The Ugly Truth About Your Vacation

Let’s play a game.  What image pops in your head, when you read, 7 Day Vacation?  If you have to close your eyes, go ahead I can wait.  Okay, you got it?  Now, I’m going to attempt to guess what you saw.  Ready?

  • Sun
  • Palm Trees
  • Blue Water
  • Beach
  • Blue Skies
  • Maybe a fancy drink in your hand with a little umbrella sticking on top of it.

Am I close? Yes? No?  I bet at least three of things on that list was in your image.  Don’t feel bad, it’s not your fault.  We’ve been taught that vacations must include sunshine and walks on beaches.  Coconut trees and lounging around taking naps in hammocks.  Don’t believe me?  Do a search on your computer and type in the word, vacation. What images came up?  Pretty amazing, huh?  I’m only speculating, but I’m pretty sure the top 5 places families travel in the United States are as follows.

  • Florida
  • Caribbean
  • Hawaii
  • California
  • Mexico

We’ve been told for so long that our vacations must look a certain way, that we’ve actually started believing it.  Therefor, when we stumble upon a place that offers a majority of what we’ve been told a vacation must include, we continue to visit that place over and over again, until eventually, it becomes a part of our life’s routine.

“Well, Ben.  We’ve been going to that place the past 8 years and everyone knows us.  Plus, we just reached our Triple Platinum Status. Plus, it’s a time share so we have to go!”

The Ugly Truth is,  it’s very easy to get caught in what I like to call, “Vacation Exasperation.”  So,what is a Vacation Exasperation?   It’s when going on vacation becomes so routine, that it no longer re-energizes you, or the family.  The whole point of going on vacation is to escape our life’s routine’s, isn’t it?   Didn’t Albert Einstein say something about Insanity, and doing the same thing over and over again?

If you ever heard yourself say,  “I need a vacation from my vacation”,  that’s the first sign of Vacation Exasperation.   It might be said in jest, but it’s definitely a red flag. Soon, you’ll start to resent vacations.  Soon after you won’t want to talk about vacations.  Eventually you reduce the vacations you take, or worse case scenario stop taking vacations all together.  You’ve become ensconced in your vacation routine for so long, that you forget that vacations are supposed to be an escape from your life’s routines.  Don’t you see?  Once your vacation becomes routine, it might as well be another day on the job.  You’ll stop caring about vacation little by little, little until eventually, you’re one of these people:

  • “We’re going to save up for a big vacation next year.”
  • “We spent our vacation on fixing the roof this year.”
  • “Money’s a little tight to go on vacation this year.”
  • “The kids are too busy to go on vacation this Summer”
  • “Vacations are overrated.”

Sound familiar?   If you’ve never said one those phrases yourself, odds are you know someone who has.

We are creatures of habit.  We want to feel secure and safe when it comes to vacationing.  That’s why once we find something that we are comfortable with. it’s very difficult to try something new.  It’s not our Comfort Zone.  Unfortunately, like I said, Vacation Comfort Zones can lead to Vacation Exasperation.

Now, our  family loves to go on cruise ships. I would definitely call cruising our vacation comfort zone. We enjoy the open sea, and meeting new people from around the world.  Today, ships are becoming more and more ginormous and magnificent, that they’re as much the destination as the ports.  But we avoid Vacation Exasperation by avoiding places we’ve been before.  Chile, Argentina, Norway and Belgium, are just a few of the places we’ve visited while cruising.  That being said, we’ve had times where cruising just isn’t what we want to do, and we’ve gone road trips. I challenge you all to break the mold.  Even if it’s trying a new restaurant while you’re on your annual vacation to Florida or wherever, it might be.  Remember…… New Places, New Experiences, New Adventures.

I want to hear from you.

What’s your vacation comfort zone?

What excuses do you hear from people for not going on vacation?

What do you do to avoid Vacation Exasperation?


One Comment

Cruisin with Daddy » My Family Guide

[…] and have new adventures.  Families can sometimes be trapped in the “vacation comfort zone” (more on that blog post, click here.)   As I talked more with the voices in my head about the new places, experiences and adventures […]

Leave a Reply