The vacation policy.

Have you established vacation policies with yourself or your family? I told Girl Ninja when we first got married I would take her on at least one vacation a year for every year we were without child. Last year we went to San Francisco for a long weekend and Hawaii for 10 days. After only one year, we’ve been forced to rethink that policy (no, we are not pregnant).

Instead of going on one “big time” vacation like Hawaii, Aruba, or Germany, this year we basically are taking a million small vacations to the same place… San Diego. Two of Girl Ninja’s sisters are getting married in the next few months which makes for a lot of travel. I think she’s already been down to SD three times this year.

For spring break, we are both heading down that way for a week (and yes I fully intend to eat my body weight in California Burritos while I’m there). We will be back May 5th for my sister-in-law’s college graduation. Girl Ninja is heading down that way Memorial Day weekend for a bachelorette party (I’ll be in Malibu, Canada that weekend). We are both heading down in June for her sister’s wedding. The weekend after that, we’ll be kicking it in Las Vegas for a Ninja family reunion. And the last week in June we will be venturing north to Canada to take our high school kids to summer camp for a week.

Phew, I think that’s it. 

So even though we might not find it in the budget (or our Calendar) to make a trip to Fiji this year, we definitely will be getting our vacation on. Stepping away from work, even if for a stay-cation or a long weekend trip, I believe is crucial to one’s mental and relational health.

Do you make sure to take a little time off every now and again? Do you go big every few years (like we did last year)? Or do you enjoy many short trips throughout the year (like we are doing this year)? What is your vacation policy?


Every guy ever

36 thoughts on “The vacation policy.”

  1. While Mrs Scot and I are pretty frugal and save quite hard, we always go ‘all-out’ on vacations. We always do at least one BIG trip each year and then a number of long weekends. Last year we went to Thailand over summer and then back again (to get married) over Christmas and New Year. This summer we are going to Roatan (Island of Honduras in the Carribean) for 2 weeks diving and then for various other weekends around the UK. Travel is our passion – so we never hold back! 🙂

  2. Our Vacation Policy is take vacation. Sometimes it’s hard with my husband’s schedule the military isn’t always a plan ahead for vacation type thing. But last year we went on a cruise, the year before that we went on several small weekend getaways. And the year before that we went on a cruise. This year since we just moved to Okinawa, Japan (6 months ago), and I am currently pregnant with our first child travel plans are kind of a no go since I can’t fly internationally after 30 weeks. So we plan on doing some weekend getaways on the island. Next year we are going back to the States for a month though. As for ‘fun’ vacation our next one will be in 2014 when we get stationed back stateside, and then we plan on doing another cruise! We love our cruises!

  3. We typically take one vacation farther away from home every year (in October to celebrate our wedding anniversary), plus the odd long weekend or 1 night away. The last couple of years have been a bust on the October vacation because Hubby got really sick in Fall of 2010, and last year, we opted to give our kitchen a facelift. This year’s kind of up in the air in terms of flying somewhere for our anniversary, as we’re talking about listing our condo and moving into a newer building or townhouse; if that’s the case, might just hop in the car and drive somewhere (maybe Muskoka area in Ontario, or Finger Lake region in NY). This year marks our 10th wedding anniversary, so we’d like to do something.

    I just got back from Paris, France a couple of weeks ago… trip with my Mom to celebrate her 65th B-Day… you HAVE to take GN to Paris (THE Paris) before the kidlets start arriving; it is an AWESOME place to see and experience!

  4. We keep saying we’ll do at least one big trip each year before kids. Last June we went to Jamaica for a week, this June we are going to Myrtle Beach for a week. I hope we can keep doing one a year, but we will see. It is going to continue getting more difficult.

  5. Our family tries to go to Florida at least once a year, take a week long sailing trip on Lake Michigan each Summer, an annual camping trip with family and friends and a BIG Trip every two years! I’m with Savvy Scot – travel is my passion.

  6. Personally I just can’t afford annual vacations like that. I am content with some kind of vacation every few years, but it usually isn’t anything big. My last big vacation was to Australia, but that was only because my boss at the time offered me 2 plane tickets to anywhere in the world as a bit of a bonus. Since I had always wanted to go to Australia but could never afford the flights, I jumped at that opportunity. Thinking back though, I probably would’ve enjoyed it more if I could’ve afforded to spend more while on vacation. I guess it’s at least a goal to work towards. Maybe some day I will be able to afford more vacations like that.

  7. Back in the 90s when travel was cheaper and my company more generous with raises and bonuses, I did a European trip every year – Paris, London, Rome, Switzerland, Spain, Germany – and these trips were invariably the times of year I looked most forward to. Now that I’m getting older and have to watch the retirement account balance more scrupulously (not to mention that climbing to the dome of St. Peter’s in the Vatican is no longer as doable for me as it was in 1994), I have tended to stay closer to home (Chicago, Boston, DC). Still, I like at least a small trip each year. One plan I’ve been thinking of is to take a 2-week car trip from where I live (Long Island) west to Chicago and back, hitting all the major sights and cities; or a similar trip up and down the eastern seaboard.

  8. I’m all about BIG vacations!! I make it a point of saving every month for an upcoming trip….always a beer budget trip. No fancy hotels, dinners out, or expensive touristy experiences (read: gondola rides).

    2008 – 1 week in Mexico
    2009 – 3 weeks in Western Europe
    2009 – Mexico
    2010 – 2 months in Asia
    2011 – 2 weeks in Kenya
    2012 – 2.5 weeks in London (Olympics) and Eastern Europe (Summer)

    I often times forgo short holidays with friends, last year was a missed trip to Boston, but I always have that upcoming big trip in the back of my mind when looking through photos of the trip I missed out on.

  9. I take a “big” trip every other year it seems. Last year my friends and I rented a house in St Maarten (did the same thing in 2008 too). This year I’m taking my mom to D.C. for her birthday present. Otherwise it’s small trips to see friends or even a staycation to do stuff around my house. I use every single vacation day given to me. I need those days LOL!!

  10. I still live at home but my family and I go to the city roughly fourtimes a year as a weekend/holiday thing. I stay a week in the summer my best friend’s house, and I also go with a huge group of people to either Cedar Point or Michigan’s adventure once a summer.
    I’m hoping to save up money this summer and treat my self to a week in Cancuun.

  11. My only rules about vacations are to pay for them before I go and try my best to get a hell of a deal. Otherwise, I’m all about taking as many trips as possible as long as they fit in the budget and don’t interfere with my other financial goals.

    I like to have a mix of small & large trips, and I typically go big twice each year. Last year was Napa, Colorado, Greece, and Mexico while this year is Florida, Chicago, Colorado, Ireland, and Tanzania for a safari and hiking Mount Kilimanjaro.

    Some may view this as being a bit spoiled and/or not a wise use of my $$, but it’s a personal preference to travel and a priority in my life.

  12. As a commissioned employee, vacations are tough. I get some vaca days but to take time off sacrifices my pipeline and has ripple effects when I return. I just got a payout on my unused vaca days since I can’t carry them over to the next year. I would love a nice vaca but it’s easier to tack on days to long weekends than to get behind at work.

  13. Our vacation policy is I have to take my wife on an international vacation every four years. We got married on Feb 29, so we use this vacation as an anniversary trip aswell. Other than that we tend to do long weekends or go visit family for other vacations.

  14. No vacation policy. My wife gets a month off in January and April and she usually goes somewhere during those times off. I stay home in work while she enjoys her much needed break. I usually spend my vacation time over Christmas. This year I will be heading to Patagonia for two weeks,so I guess it all balances out.

  15. We usually took one big trip (i.e., Dominican Republic, Europe) per year once we were both working full time and before kids. We also did an additional long weekend or two of camping with friends each year. Now that we have our little man, I’m not sure when the next big trip will be. Camping will probably be our primary vacation option for the next while.

    Just curious, Ninja, where is Malibu Canada? (i;e., what province? never heard of it…) and what are you doing there? (I’m a nosy Canadian…)

  16. Last vacation I took was almost three years ago : road trip to Colorado! Bad timing, lack of cash, and school have kept me away from vacations. However, we are taking a trip to Hilton Head, SC in May. You have no idea how much I am looking forward to that! I keep imagining how great its going to be. Travel is going to be one of my passions once we both start working full time.

  17. My husband and I go away for 3 or 4 days every summer and leave our 2 young kids with my parents. We usually go somewhere close like the beach. This year we’re going to Atlantic City. right now we are saving for the bigger vacation away from them but I want both to be potty trained and a little less dependent before we go away for a week or more.

  18. That’s the funniest comic I’ve seen in a long time. Hilarious, especially the little beret.

    Back before kids, we had the “get your passport stamped with at least one new place a year rule”. I loved that rule. Now, it’s more like get away from the house at least once a year so you’re not tempted to do projects on your vacation days. We’ve been less good at it, but we still manage to go places at least once/year.

  19. My husband is in medical school which means his breaks are few and far between. We did agree when we got married though that we’d take a trip to see each of your families once a year. So once a year we head to NJ and Seattle to visit family. Any trips outside of the family visits, are usually only road trips on extended weekends.

  20. I wanted to go on vacation once a year but I think we might be skipping this year:

    2009: 3 day Carnival cruise to Mexico (my first vacation because I had just graduated from grad school)
    2010: Apparently nothing.
    2011: 5 days in Cancun
    2012: ??

    We both started new jobs in 2011 and want to do the best we can so neither of us wants to take much time off. Plus, we want to save our money for a future wedding/honeymoon so it just doesn’t make sense to take one this year. Instead, we’re doing weekend getaways. So far, we’ve been to San Francisco, Vegas and Mammoth…and we’ll probably continue doing things like that as the year goes on.

  21. I usually combine travel with 2 months of volunteering overseas, but that will probably change next year. It’s so nice getting a good chunk of time off for summer holidays, but when I work a real job I’ll probably take ‘real’ vacations.

  22. Hey, I was just in Paris (TX) a few weeks back…just to the northeast of us.

    We tried to do something every year- but that didn’t work out very well. So now we try to go somewhere big every other year- at Thanksgiving. Two years ago we went to Las Vegas. Last year we hosted the family Thanksgiving. This year we haven’t made up our mind yet. We usually decide in early summer. So we’ll see where it leads us this year…

  23. Usually we just do a bunch of little trips, but this year we have some big ones.

    Right now we’re in Kauai! Of course I’m still blogging because I just can’t get away from reading all of my favorite blogs haha.

  24. When I was a kid, we’d visit our grandparents in Florida each Feburary during one spring break and alternate years between a big summer vacation to a far away destination and a more local one (within an 8 hour drive, usually). We also spent a lot of time at a relatively inexpensive ski lodge managed by a club we belonged to.

    I budget for travel and vacations together. My most recent big travel was to visit my parents for Christmas. As a young professional/student, most of my travel is to go to weddings, reunions, ski trips, and white water rafting trips. I am lucky to be 1-3 hrs from some big mountain resorts, so they are often day-trippable, but too many day trips in a row is tiring and occasionally I’ll stay a night or two at an inexpensive hotel. Since I’ve only been in my current state for about 7 months, this summer I plan to do a lot of exploring and weekend trips, as well as attend two weddings, a graduation, and a reunion. I like taking lots of little trips, it seems!

  25. I don’t have a vacation policy, but I’ve been on a great run these last few years, almost all for external reasons:
    2009 3 weeks in Ireland/Scotland (friends got married in a castle in Northern Ireland)
    2010 week in New Zealand (crazy airfare of $400 – HAD to jump on it); week-long road trip in the Pacific Northwest of the US
    2011 week in Honduras (friends getting married); 2 weeks in Greece (older brother in the International Special Olympics!)
    2012 two trips to Germany to see my sister who’s studying there (week and a half in April, ditto July)

    So the REAL question is, who do I know who’s doing an awesome adventure next? Actually that’s already answered: my brother’s moving to Hawaii so I know where I’m spending at least a week next year… maybe two 😉

  26. Every few years, we go crazy and go on multiple vacations. This year, we are going to stay home because that’s so much more fun than going places!! Oh wait, it’s because we’re broke this year. That’s right. Yay..

    • Haha me too! Actually I did that every year until I finally saw I was getting broke-er, not richer. Even though this is the year of “belt tightening”, I’ve still got two trips booked and will probably take a full week off in summer to hang out with sister and niece and nephews. We’ll stay home but go to water parks and the beach and I can’t wait!

  27. My wife had to restart her vacation accruals because she has been changing jobs so much. Because of that we have to use the holidays for our vacations. It has been tough to do because I lose a great deal of tip income because holidays are usually busy for me. My vacation pay is pathetic because my hourly salary is so low. Traveling expenses also go up during the holidays. Besides the money, I do enjoy getting out of Las Vegas, too much desert, not enough water and greenery. Probably why I like the entire west coast of North America…

    It’s funny how you mention a family reunion in Las Vegas. It has been a popular destination for those in recent years.

  28. My policy is the following: Travel and family are life.

    It’s a stringent policy.

    I am an expat living in Chile and last year traveled to the U.S. 8 times to see my family. Of course, some of those were work trips that I extended so we could visit them. Every time we are hired to photograph a wedding we also try and stay longer and explore the surrounding areas too. Last year we went to Patagonia twice, Frutillar (in the South of Chile as well), I went to France twice (once to Paris and once to Lyon), Spain, England, Scotland and Argentina.

    For this year we’ve been to Miami and Venezuela so far. I have a wedding coming up in Brazil, one in NYC, a few more in the Northeast of the U.S., another one in Spain, so we are going to use that time to try and visit a few more places in the area, we’re thinking Finland and Russia maybe.

    Honestly, I could make a TON more money if I just went, shot the weddings in the country they’re in and then went home, instead of staying longer and traveling in the area. Or I could make way more money if I’d just go to the U.S. to do a wedding and then come back to Chile to shoot a bunch more here without seeing my family. But both family and travel mean way too much to me to do that.

    I’d rather make less money and have this great life that I have. As long as it never gets to the point where I *need* to make more money I think I’ll keep it up!

  29. Our vaction rule is that while we are on vacation, we think of where we want to go on the next big trip. That way we always have something to look forward to. We are currently doing car based camping holidays as we have a young son, and that gives us the flexibility to suit ourselves. We generally do one big holiday and several weekends.
    Holidays are definitely a priority in our house.

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