I had to think long and hard about what to write for this very first blog post. Should it be on Disney, my passion? Should it be something in Las Vegas since I just went there? I thought about it and then decided that where to go is less important than just deciding to go somewhere.
I can’t count how many times I’ve been told that “I wish I could travel like you do” or “I sure could use a vacation, cut can’t afford it.” I understand that I have advantages that allow me to travel more than most, but to not take a vacation? Rather than question if you can afford a vacation, perhaps a better question is whether or not you can afford not to take one?
Numerous studies have shown that vacations are good for your health. I love this paragraph from a 2012 CNN article:
“I think employers should be required to post warning labels in the workplace similar to those on
cigarettes packs. I’d love to see a big sign in the break room that reads: ‘WARNING: Working too
many weeks without a vacation is going to kill you. Seriously, you are going to die from it.”
That same article states that males who don’t take at least an annual vacation are 32% more likely to have a heart attack. A similar comparison in women shows that non-vacationers are 8 times more likely to develop coronary artery disease or a heart attack.
This seems to be a U.S. phenomenon. Traveling the world, I see how other countries work to live instead of live to work. In Germany, for example, a minimum of 24 vacation days per year is mandatory. In New Zealand, employers must give workers a minimum of 30 paid days off. Even better, people actually use their days off! It’s simply expected.
Of course, I know this doesn’t put the dollars in your pocket to take a vacation, but who said a vacation has to include a flight somewhere and a luxury hotel? The point of a vacation is to get away from your daily grind to destress. You need to get away from the pressures of your job. Staying at home won’t cut it, either, because we all feel pressure to do things at home whether it’s simply cleaning up or doing a handyman project.
Start by coming up with places you can afford. Do you have camping equipment or know someone who does? Find a campground nearby and go. Prefer hotels? Check Groupon, LivingSocial, Amazon Local or some other discount site to see what deals they have nearby. Have some close friends who could travel with you to split the cost? Find a town within driving distance and check out vacation home rentals. We recently found a house that sleeps 16 and are splitting the $300/night cost, which could bring the cost down to only $18.75 per night per person.
One doesn’t have to spend a lot of money to get away and have a good time. Why don’t you do some research and start planning your next vacation today?