We do a lot of traveling, mostly for work, which means we haven’t really been on any vacations that aren’t connected with a conference or someone getting married. Almost all of our vacation time is spent in DH’s home town (population ~3K and falling) at the grandparents’ because DH needs to see his extended family at least once a year or he starts getting maudlin and depressed. So essentially everywhere we’ve been, someone else is paying for our housing and often part of our meals or some of our travel. Or there’s been a wedding.* When we’re low on cash, we spend a day and another one back driving to get to DH’s home town (it is a very long day). When we’re flush with cash or miles or rates are especially low, we will fly instead which cuts the time spent traveling by about 2/3.
This year DH’s parents are both retired so we’re going to try something different. Not, you know, too different. But still a little different.
Last year, DH’s brother’s company transferred him and he ended up moving near DH’s sister. So last summer DH’s parents rented a couple of cabins in a state park near the town DH’s siblings live in and they spent a few days there as an extended family. This year, DH wants to join them with the kids. So after some discussion (and realizing that everybody in the world wants to visit peak tourist places like Yellowstone during peak tourist season which drives the prices way up), they decided to go to the same place as last year and DH and the kids will fly in to the nearest big city, rent a car, and drive down to the cabins. After a few days there, they’ll spend a night in the city and fly home. (Me, I will be staying home getting work done because I have to go to TWO conferences the next week. :/ )
It’s like a real vacation!
When this was initially discussed, we talked about splitting the costs for the cabins, since DH would be adding an additional family and we want to subsidize his less-flush siblings. Plus we’d just found out that DH would indeed be working in April and May so we were going to have more money than we’d anticipated. AND DH’s dad is retiring and his parents are going to have to start budgeting again for the first time, so there’s no need for them to shoulder the entire expense. But DH’s mom is being difficult about it (we finally got a “we’ll talk about it later” from her) so we’re going to have to figure some way to pay/subsidize. Maybe we’ll pay for the hotel the night in the city and DH can pay for food purchases if she won’t let us write a check to her for half the cabins.
With some research, it looks like they’ll be paying $450/night (plus tax) for 3 nights = $1350 for the cabins. We’re going to try to pay half of that: $675
Airfare for DH and two kids came out to= $937 (We don’t have enough miles on the right airlines to make it worth while to use miles for this trip.)
Then there will be one night in a big city (estimated) = $250/room (if we go for near the touristy stuff rather than near the airport– airport hotels are closer to $150/room)
Car rental + gas for us (estimated) = $350 (though we may find a better deal closer to the time)
Food (estimated– a total guess because who knows) = $200
So total cost (not including incidentals): $2,182
Which seems like a lot of money for 5 days for 3 people, but also not a lot of money for a vacation compared to what we see when people go fancier places than a Midwestern state park. (Going on a weekend would have cost double the cabin fee!)
*We honeymooned in beautiful London… Ontario (the one in Canada). Which is kind of like honeymooning in Ann Arbor if you could daytrip to Niagra Falls from there. We did not have a lot of money.
What do you do for vacations? How often do you go on them?