This past week I went on vacation and it was awesome! The places we traveled were not the most luxurious or extravagant, but the time spent being away from work and the everyday life stressors is what made it so great. Spending a week with my husband and friends of course the best was the best part of the vacation, but there were so many added benefits to going on vacation, I wondered why people don’t take them more often. Taking a vacation doesn’t mean you have get onto an airplane and fly across the country to a new destination you have never been to, vacations can be short one or two night getaways in your downtown or a few hours’ drive away. Many people think vacations are very costly, but not all of them will break the bank. Relaxation and an escape from reality paired with some great tips and tricks for saving money while on vacation has become a passion of mine this summer, below are some of the benefits to taking a vacation, knowing you don’t always have to spend a fortune to have a good time.
Doing research prior to your vacation will help you relax more while there. Go on website like yelp and read reviews of restaurants in the town you are going to or find free activities to do with kids in the new city. You don’t have to have an itinerary for the trip, but a small plan and budget will be very helpful.
One of the most affordable vacations would be to visit a friend or family member in a different state. If you can drive to their house and stay there for free you already have an affordable vacation in the works. Visiting friends can be some of the most fun vacations there are. Think about all the memories you will make and all the reminiscing of old times and laughs you will have while hanging out with your friends in their home. Going to shopping to a grocery store is a great way to save money while on vacation. Pick up things for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Offer to grill for your friends since you’re staying at their place for free, or pick up cases of beer and cocktail mixers for a bonfire or backyard party, this is so much better than going to the bar, and much for affordable. If you have to sight see, make sure you go places your host/friend wants to go too. If they have to work during your visit with them, ask to drive them to work and borrow their car to sightsee, this way you don’t have to rent a car and you can still do all the activates you wanted. Relaxing with friends is always good for the soul, and visiting a friend out of state is a great way to unwind.
If you are looking for rest and relaxation then driving somewhere warm or in the middle of nowhere might be what you need. If you’re lucky enough to live in a place where water and sunshine in the summer aren’t too far away then planning a trip for a long weekend away is perfect. I love sitting on a deck with the cool breeze blowing by, enjoying a cocktail and talking with my husband. It is one of the most relaxing things there is and it really helps us connect.
So many of us get caught up in day-to-day life activities that we forget about our own needs. From cooking dinner and going to the gym after work, to then watching TV shows and going to bed, we forget to enjoy the moment and the person we are with Monday through Friday. Taking time to get away to reconnect is so beneficial for a relationship. There are not routines or distractions while on vacation, thus brining you closer together, giving you more time to talk and hangout. If you have children, you must get away at least once a year to spend time with your spouse alone. Doing activities you both like is super important on a vacation so make sure you find a place that will meet your needs.
When booking a vacation destination, be sure to do your research on activities or things you are interested in. If you like hiking and outdoor activities then maybe laying on the beach isn’t for you. If you like breweries and drinking then going to a place with downtown is for you. If you aren’t picky and just want time away for reality, then chilling out at vacation spot with a spa and low key atmosphere is probably the best place to pick.
Vacation can be an escape from reality, so don’t be afraid to pull out a few hundred dollars from the ATM prior to leaving. Use this cash for shopping and souvenir spending, and once it’s gone don’t let yourself swipe the credit card for more stuff.
Using a rewards credit card is a great way to insure an affordable vacation. Use air miles and hotel reward programs for free night’s stays at their participating locations all over the world. I have booked a hotel room with rewards points just based on the value of the rewards. Making memories is what life is about in my opinion, so if you can go to a destination for free using rewards points, you should go! Don’t why away from places you weren’t too fond of visiting, do some research and ask your friends if they have ever been to that place. If the rewards and free hotel stays are good, and your peers said they had fun there you should give it a chance, it’s basically free anyway!
If you don’t have a hotel rewards program to travel the world, you still need to enjoy the fruits of your labor. I know that term sounds cliché, but it makes so much sense to me! Why would you work so hard year after year, never to spend the money you are working so hard to make? Of course I’m a huge believer in saving money, investments, and smart spending but you only live once, and you should take those once in a life time trips and small vacations every year. Not only does a vacation expose you t new foods, cultures, and sights but it also gives you time to reflect on life and all the amazing things you have accomplished and plan out where you want to go in your future.
Hit the reset and pause button on life when you on vacation. Don’t worry about the cell phone bill that needs to be paid, the 400 emails you will come back to when you return to work. Live in the moment on vacation and enjoy life. If you don’t hit pause and take a look around at your beautiful life, scenery and that fact that you were able to provide for your family then you’re missing out on one of the most important pieces of a vacation.
Vacations give you time to come back to work feeling motivated and energized. When I left for vacation last week I hated my job, my coworkers, and was feeling so unmotivated to do anything extra. Now that I have returned to work I am excited about what the future might hold me at this company and I’m thinking about ways to work my way up the ladder. I want to expand my knowledge and what I am good at; I no longer want to live the monotony of my work life. Vacation reset me emotionally and physically. Of course I ate and drank so much on vacation, and being gluttonous was fun for a week, but it also recharged my mental health to get me back in the gym eating cleaning and drinking much less alcohol. Of course overtime I will probably slip back into the doldrums of work and life but that’s just a sign I need a vacation to set me up for success!
If you are fortunate enough to have a job that provides you with vacation time and a little extra in the savings account, then going on vacation with your loved ones is a must every year. Vacations are an essential part of our culture and are necessary for our mental health and well-being. If it’s a trip to a cabin in the woods for a few nights, or a Mediterranean cruise, vacations can hit the re-set button on life and remind you why you work so hard in the first place. Saving money is great, but spending it on making memories and to reconnect with your loved ones is priceless. Remember to always do your research before booking a vacation, use as many rewards programs as you can, budget out your spending money, and most of all take a lot of pictures to captures the memories and moments that will last you and your family a lifetime.