What To Do When You Can’t Afford A Vacation (Episode 293)
Have you wondered what to do when you can't afford a vacation? Do you simply just hold off and hope that "one day" you can make it happen...and that it'll just magically materialize?
I just can't afford to do that!
Well...I hear ya. And yes, taking a month off is simply not a feasible option for many. That being said, don't just throw out the baby with the bath! You can travel. You can have adventures. And you can even have a stay-cation that will transport you all over the world!
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Let's talk. We all know the old adage by Henry Ford:
"Whether you think you can or think you can't,
either way you're right."
Well, this is the biggie. What it takes to do what we did isn't to win the lottery. It isn't to get a huge inheritance or anything crazy like that. It can really be boiled down to one word: PLANNING.
It seems overwhelming and impossible. You have kids pulling at you, bills to pay, work demands all the time, and just never enough....energy, money, time to breathe!
But get this - we are actually choosing the life we live. Sometimes that drowning feeling is only happening because you haven't put your feet on the ground. Sometimes, putting your feet on the ground means drawing some clear lines over whether you are running your life, or your life is running you.
It's harsh, and I can go off an a thousand bunny trails of exceptions, excuses, and reasons why we are living in the lives we are living right now. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Unless we are willing to step away from the shore, we will never see a new horizon. (Can I throw in any more cliches?)
Let's get down to brass tacks - you want know what to do when you can't afford a vacation.
What To Do When You Can't Afford a Vacation
Remember that vacation is a mindset. If you've read my personality style series, you know that I can come across very...direct. I'm not trying to just be harsh. This is a topic I am so passionate about, and although I can write a book in a nice way, cramming it all into a blog post means I need to get to the point quickly!
Vacation isn't just about how long you can go or how extravagant you can afford. It is really about the mindset of rejuvenation - how are you going to rest, recharge and connect with the ones you love?
How are you going to make yourself (and your loved ones) a priority in this world?
How are you going to recharge your energy?
Don't let budget limit you in your pursuit of happiness - where there is a will, there is a way.
You can stay at home and simply plan for a day, weekend, or even longer to take time off. We do it for maternity leave and justify this as acceptable. It seems that hospital stays and funerals are about the only justifiable exceptions to taking a day off. How many times do we let vacation days roll by without taking them, always striving to make the extra dollar? Or not utilizing them simply because we didn't plan (or budget for) anything?
You may have searched "what to do when you can't afford a vacation," however, it begs the question - when you are so drained, how can you afford NOT to take a break?
As Seth Godin says,
"Instead of dreaming where your next vacation will be, why not create a life you don't want to escape from."
Get serious about your budget
This is reserved for another blog post, but I want you to seriously sit down with your significant other and talk right now about how much money you actually need to live on. We all can fill our lives based on the income we have at the time. When you are making $30k/yr, you figure out how to make it work. And when you are making $150k/year, somehow, your expenses start to fit that amount. We live at our max. Maybe, just maybe, you don't have to.
Maybe you can actually live off less than you did before. Let go of that extracurricular activity, that cable subscription, or anything else that would simply go under miscellaneous and not a necessity. Look at the little things and start saving up. Even if it's just your "Starbucks Jar" and you forgo your daily cuppa joe, at $5/day that's $1,825 you save in a year that could go toward a fun trip!
Plan ahead! So often we say we can't afford to, and what it boils down to is that we haven't prioritized it. Yes, it can cost money, but it:
- doesn't have to break the bank, and
- can be something you save up for
Decide how crazy you want to get. Find your destination, set your budget, and decide how long it will take you to get that nest egg. Start planning now to put a little away with every check that comes in, and forgo that extra meal out or extra thing that clutters your house. Taking a vacation requires some leg work - research plus saving up. You can't just hope to have it happen "one day" and yet not do anything today to make that a reality.
Here are some ideas to think about that are free or low-cost. See how you can incorporate them into your trip*:
Ideas For When You Think You Can't Afford A Family Vacation:
Not only is this an incredible way to give back, but it creates amazing lessons for your children and allows them to see ways to help and look beyond themselves.
If you know when you want to go and how much you want to spend, just post what you want - you will be surprised at how many pricey hotels will accept a low bid just to fill the rooms.
*No more searching "What to do when you can't afford a vacation" - you have some answers! I have way more information/opinions on each of these - if you want to know more, ask me in the comments below - I challenge YOU to start planning now for your next vacation - big or small, commit to making it happen, and reach out and ask for help along the way!
And, if you're dreaming of hitting the road with your family in an RV, next week on the podcast we'll be talking all about our 90 Day Family Road Trip...
I'm here for you. From free resources to full on 1-1 coaching for your unique situation, you aren't alone.
You invest in toys, date nights or Disney. When was the last time you invested in something to get intentional with your family connection?
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*this post contains affiliate links. Bottom line, if it's not something I believe in, I don't promote it. If it IS, then it's no extra charge for you to click on an affiliate link, and I get a little bonus. For more info, please read our disclaimer.