Friday, May 10, 2013

Vacationing on a Budget Guide: Part I

Many, many, many people ask me how and why  I go on vacation so often, so I wanted to share some of the why's and then help those who want to vacation more get there.

A long time ago in a galaxy far away, I used to not take vacations.  At all.  Ever. Never. Ever. Well okay, that was is a little hyperbole, but I am naturally a homebody and am happy to just stick close to home.

But then a few things happened:
  • I started working from home (aka WAH), (lots of time to be a homebody, pretty much 24/7),
  • My company instituted a use or loose policy to our vacation time, 
  • We bought a timeshare, and
  • We had kids.
After all of these changes, I needed a break, but with working from home, my stay-cation model wasn't working.  I would not be able to take days off, end up getting called in to work (because I'm right there, right?), etc. etc.

And since many people think when you work from home, and you are female, you can do everything a SAHM (Stay at Home Mom) does in addition to your paid work, that work load doesn't decrease while on vacation either.  (For the record SAHM work is a full time plus a half time job, plus my full time paid job, minus 5 carry the 2 and I'm always working on something).

Having said this, I realized the need to recharge, but I had a very limited (non-existent) budget.  In spite of that, I took on the challenge and it's taken some time to get the equation just right, but here we go...Oh wait, let's add a pretty picture of a Lanai sunrise...

So, this might seem a little out of the ordinary, I'm going to ask you to answer a few questions and then I will post the answers to all of your vacation planning.  Please keep in mind I am a consultant, which means I ask lots of questions and analyze before I have an answer. :)

  • What kind of time to you re-energize from?  A big group of people, family time, girl time, or being alone?
  • What types of scenery to you connect with the most?  The woods, the lake, the ocean, the city?
  • How long can you be away from your job at a time? (SAHMs - This means, how long can your family survive without you and you survive without your family?)
  • How far in advance can you plan? (1 year, one month, one week?)
  • What is your budget? (Don't say a little, be specific, even if specific is zero)

I will answer my own questions here:
  • What kind of time to you re-energize from? Quite time, one-on-one or less, or the ability to get lost in a crowd.  No accountability for time, calories or exercise.
  • What types of scenery to you connect with the most? The ocean, where it is warm
  • How long can you be away from your job at a time?1 week if planned in 3-12 months advance, 1 day if not
  • How far in advance can you plan?  8 months to a year, but can be less depending on workload
  • What is your budget? $500-1500 (annual)
Write down your answers and stay tuned...