Famiglia Horrell has just returned from a spring break trip, and I am dreading opening my credit card bill.bTransportation X 6 people, accommodation X 6 people, food X 6 people, tickets for stuff X 6 people…I think you get the picture. Family trips are expensive.
They are also worth every cent.
As you’ve probably figured out, I pinch pennies everywhere. I drive an older car. My kids get their clothes at the thrift shop. We don’t eat at restaurants when we are at home. However, there comes a point where counting every cent will suck the joy out of life. For our family, that point is when we are travelling.
This is not to say that we go crazy hog-wild and take extravagant family trips – nothing could be further from the truth. I track down cheapish apartments because two adults and four soon-to-be-adults do not fit in one hotel room, and two hotel rooms are expensive. We bring food, and grocery shop while we’re there. We try to limit restaurant meals to once per day. We spread out the cost by booking different parts of the trip at different points in time: apartment paid for in February, plane tickets paid for in March, trip in April.
However, when it comes down to the actual trip itself, I just have to relax and remember what is truly important. I’m spending time with my family, and my husband is there. We’re seeing things that many Americans never see, thanks to an overseas posting. We’re learning about the rest of the world. Why ruin it because it is impossible to find “affordable” food in European capital cities?
It’s taken me a long time to reach this point of almost-ease with the expenses of travelling. I started by asking my husband to pay all the bills during the trip itself, so that I wouldn’t have to look at the actual prices until I got home. Then, I learned to just go with the flow. We have a travel budget, and we’re not exceeding it. The trip isn’t going to put us into debt or we wouldn’t be on the trip in the first place. It isn’t actually a money problem, but a mental problem.
I know that I am not the only person who hates spending money, and I’m sure that it has made travelling. Do you have any tips or suggestions for making it easier to relax and enjoy the joys without stressing over the costs? ‘Cuz I’d love to hear.
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