Ok....the economy has been tough all the way around. We deprived ourselves in 2009, we stuck our toes in the 'do something nice for ourselves' water in 2010 and now...it's the winter of 2011 and we are asking ourselves if it's "OK" to take a vacation, splurge on a weekend away or even go out for a nice dinner.
It's time to do it isn't it? I don't know about you but the whole 'staycation' thing was a bad idea. No one wants to take trips to buy paint for the bathroom, eat out at a casual restaurant and call that a vacation just because we didn't go off to work each day. Even with the buzz word of 'staycation' which basically meant, we don't have enough money, we're worried about our jobs or we just can't take the risk of spending to go. We had to do what we had to do ....but it's time now to get away and make a plan...because, frankly we deserve it!
We are a nation of hard workers...and if you are of the baby boom generation, like us, our parents taught us to work hard and we will get ahead, to be a part of the team, to pay as we go (although the credit card bonanza kind of screwed that up). We were lucky to get a vacation at a cabin on a lake in our home state or more likely to visit family in another state. But times changed and the world opened up to us. Travel became available, affordable and we were thrilled to explore. Our generation had more expendable income than our parents and we sought to enrich ourselves through travel and leisure activities in a way our parents never would or could.
In the end, US citizens have the smallest number of vacation days than our counterparts in Europe. It hurts...we work long hours and our jobs often consume us. We need the time off...the rest, the time for exploration and relaxation. Not only is it good for us, but it's good for the economy. We buy the vacation or the getaway and we purchase new clothes, cameras, luggage and get our hair done (at least the gals!). We may stay at a hotel before a flight or cruise, rent a car or take a bus/train/car service to where ever we are starting our trip. We have to pay to have someone watch the dog, cat, pick up the mail etc. This translates to jobs for lots of people. Travel and vacations are good for the economy.
So this blog post is about encouraging you to dip your foot in the water in 2011. Take the trip you've wanted to take and/or do a few weekend getaways and explore new places ....but take the time to go. These times enrich our lives, our relationships with our significant other and expand our horizons. Not to mention great opportunities for the things you love to do, whatever that may be. Some of my favorite things are learning the fascinating history behind what I'm seeing, experiencing new foods, taking photographs so I have a permanent memory of my experiences and trying to learn about local culture and life.
There are opportunities for every kind of getaway and budget, from a weekend away within a few hours of home to a full blown trip to someplace far away. So what are you waiting for? Plan to go....somewhere...anywhere, together.....It's time to do it!