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"Travel" Not A Budget Item - Should It Be?

April 20th, 2009 at 04:20 pm

The kid's birthday usually falls on Spring Break in March. This would be FABULOUS for families that like to travel and combine a "Happy Birthday". Welcome to Disneyworld or Jamaica or whatever... Not one time have we traveled ANYwhere for the kid's birthday.

I grew up a military brat (my father was in the service) and my first spouse was an Army man--I moved almost every two or three years for most of my life growing up. Since my divorce however, I opted to stay put and raise my son in one place.

The kid turned 20 his last birthday. A good friend of mine has a daughter who turned 13 and she took her daughter shopping AND to Disneyworld. I thought: Wow! I must not be a good mother. I have deprived the kid of traveling and REAL vacations. My son was OBVIOUSLY born to the wrong mother.

I asked him if he wished we had traveled more as a family when he was younger, but he didn't know the answer, since he didn't know anything other than staying at home.

Vacations are costly. We did go on a family cruise once to the Bahamas with my parents. That was a one-time deal. (That took me 18 months to pay for.) I never even had a budget for travel, except for visiting my parents. Travel was never on the list. But now I wonder if we should have done more traveling (like to national parks or the Grand Canyon or Disneyworld) when the kid was growing up. What do you all do with your families and children when it comes to travel?

We can still do some things...it's not like it's too late. I'm thinking about a cruise to Alaska. A road trip to the Grand Canyon. A trip to Europe? The kid probably isn't that interested in hanging out, but he'll likely go if I pay for it. Plus, that would be another goal for my sidebar...hmmmm.... Do I really need another goal??

4 Responses to “"Travel" Not A Budget Item - Should It Be?”

  1. skydivingchic Says:

    Let me preface my reply by saying that I have serious wanderlust and I quite simply cannot imagine NOT traveling. Travel is absolutely a budget item for me and ranks above most other wants. It is expensive, but for me it is worth it.

    When I was growing up my family would take vacations most summers and I have great memories from those trips. Now my brother and I are both grown and involved in our own lives. We still occasionally travel as a family, though. Four years ago we all met in southern Utah for several days of exploring the National Parks. My parents paid for the condo rental and we all split food and entertainment expenses. It was really fun and we all have great stories from that trip. Two years ago DBF and I went on a cruise with my parents - they paid for half of our bill and DBF and I paid for all of our shore excursions. Again, a nice trip with fun memories. I would have gone on either of those trips whether or not my parents paid for part of it. We are talking about planning another big family trip, but my brother now has two young kids, so it might be difficult.

    I would encourage you to plan a trip with your kid - I've always been thankful that my parents were able to take us places growing up and look forward to continuing to travel with them in the future.

  2. monkeymama Says:

    I wouldn't worry about it. If you think you should add travel because of everyone else, forget about it!!!

    If your child is 20 he should be old enough to take the initiative if he wants to travel.

    My personal experience is my family never traveled/vacationed. There were a multitude of reasons.

    As an adult I have done a lot more traveling, which is great. I would not have gone to Asia or Europe if not for my parents (though I Was much older). THat being said, I am not a vacation person. I've seen it once and that is really enough.

    My dh is kind of on the same page because he went on tons of vacations and so it doesn't mean much to him. He is of the spoiled variety. It's funny how we both kind of end up on the same page, from 2 completely opposite paths. I think we would both be content to never travel again.

    As for your son, in my 20s I did a lot of traveling with friends. Traveling with the parents? Doesn't sound so fun (though I think we did a DC trip in my early 20s - which was admittedly a great trip). But if you decide to do it because YOU think it is important it is certainly not too late. In that regard I think it could be a great idea. But on the flip side, there is nothing wrong with having other priorities. I personally think vacation/travel is over-rated. & I am used to people thinking I am crazy.

    I am so excited we are NOT going on vacation this year, that is for sure. Big Grin

  3. homebody Says:

    I will tell you right now, we did not take vacations when the kids were growing up, could not afford it. Took them to Disneyland 3 times, went camping a few times, went skiing once, that's it.

    Now they are grown and we have taken a few trips together, Las Vegas and then back East when the granddaughter was born, rented a house on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, but we now plan on making it an annual event(this year beach house at Hilton Head, SC). So remember you have your whole life to travel with your kids (and grandkids!)

  4. ladycartel Says:

    I grew up with very active parents who were young and somehow made us travel but now that I look back it was always on a budget with fishing, lots of camping and road trips. I'm talking 20 hour car rides with two kids jumping in the back seat the whole way. We n never went to the big national parks except the everglades since we live on the east coast, but it's just the moments you spend with your children. You were looking out in his best interest to give him stability, which is way more important than going on lavish vacations all the time.

    I also agreee that it's never too and the family grows. This July, for example, we are planning a cruise for 7 days in the Meditteranean and two years ago we also managed to go to Italy for 2 weeks and rent out guesthouses and apartments through HostelsClub, which is a fantastic way to save. We paid about $30 per head per night at each place. It was my mom, dad, teenaged brother and me (who is 30 yrs old). Obviously, it took a lot of planning, but you always have to budget. I'm not angry with my parents for not taking me all over the world, but I'm glad I'm able to now help them plan with all the sites out there and we are creating new memories which are just as important.

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