When you're just starting out on your own, taking a "first" vacation is important. It's almost like a mile marker on the road to adulthood. It is a very empowering feeling being able to road trip or fly to a destination to relax with a mojito in hand.
You worked hard for your money and now you should spend it on something you enjoy. When you think of "vacation" what comes to mind? A sandy white beach with turquoise water? A freshly groomed ski slope? A warm summer day at the lake? When deciding where to travel you should really determine what it is that will make you feel like you got the most out of your trip.
Even though I may not be able to afford a trip to the beaches of Hawaii or the vineyards of Sonoma, I have found that if I focus on what makes a trip feel like a vacation to me that I come back happy, rejuvenated and satisfied.
This summer, I decided to take a few vacation days and spend my time at the lake. The lake is my happy place, but this time I wanted it to feel like my vacation and not just another trip to my family's home.
I bought a plane ticket, went shopping for a new bathing suit, looked up recipes for summer cocktails, got a pedicure and ordered floaties to bring along. When I was there, I made time to read, enjoy a cocktail or two and take a nap in the sun. Even though this year I may only be able to afford a week away to the lake my family calls home, I made it feel like a vacation worth saving for.
Where should you start when planning your first vacation?
1. Plan Ahead
Taking a vacation can get pricey. For budgeting purposes, make sure to plan ahead months in advance. The least relaxing thing is when you are worrying about how much money you are spending. Be smart (you are an adult after all) determine how much it is going to cost to fly, drive or bus to your destination, and map out how much cash it will take to enjoy yourself.
2. Save Money
Once you've determined how much money it will cost (yes, it may be more than $250) start saving! Put aside a percentage of every paycheck until you've hit the lucky number. It is a rewarding feeling when you save for something worthwhile.
3. Pick the Right Option for You
This year, you may not be able to ski the slopes of Aspen or snorkel in Mexico, but don't deny yourself time off. Your vacation may be to visit a college friend or take a camping trip to a destination only a few hours away. Be creative and make the right decision for your wallet and your sanity. Want to take a dream trip in the future? Start planning now!
Always, Maddi B.