How do you estimate the value of your next vacation?

My wife and I have been going back and forth the past few days on whether or not we should go to Hawaii in February. We both want to, of course, but we’re not sure if it’s worth the money. And we’re not sure how to decide.

We figure we’re looking at at least $4,000 if we do things as cheaply as we’re able. That includes getting a friend to pet sit for us – otherwise add another $900 for the pet hotel. Obviously we prefer to save the money but our friend has a job and dogs can use extra attention because one of them is pretty old and has to eat three times a day at the same time every day. Even with a friend pet sitting, we figure about 5k if we don’t count pennies, and while I am somewhat cheap, I don’t like being super cheap on vacation because it stresses me out.

And while we’d like to see Hawaii, we’d also like to save more money to move to Hawaii or somewhere else while I do a PhD. It would be nice to save up some money before becoming a poor student again.

Plus, we could be happy staying in our apartment with our dogs, possibly visiting a few places in Seoul or elsewhere in Korea – a staycation or a close-to-home vacation. Probably staying in Korea with the dogs would not make us as happy as being on a beach in Hawaii though. And we could seize the moment, live for today, follow our bliss, etc.

Anyone else have / had a similar dilemma? How did you decide to vacation or not?

Filed Under: Travel discussion

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  1. Sharon says:

    It all depends on your personal financial goals and budget. Since you want to do the Ph.D. thing, then you have to have a plan as to when, where, and how much money you’ll need. If you are managing this financially so far, then I would feel comfortable enough in taking a vacation somewhere. However, Hawaii is expensive and it might not be the answer, either long term or this vacation. Vacations are supposed to be fun, and too much advance discussion often ruins the pleasure, especially if you’re going to feel guilty about spending the money,or worrying constantly about your dogs (which is understandable). I have taken vacations on the spur of the moment, and do love spontaneity. But, it was money I could spare. So, if $4 or $5,000 won’t make a serious dent in your future plans, and your dogs will be well cared for,then by all means take the plunge!

  2. Antonio says:

    Vacations are priceless because you don’t get your time back. If you have the opportunity to go somewhere now, and you don’t use it, you never get that wasted opportunity back.

    There are so many things that can impact your ability to travel in the future: kids, health, money, geopolitical stability, etc. I always prefer to go now, than regret not going later.

    P.S. Hawaii is beautiful, I went last July and loved it!

  3. JimC says:

    My God…Do a PhD!!!

    Hawaii isn’t a vacation, it’s an event. Going there on the cheap is ridiculous!

    One month minimum…

    Five islands minimum…

    And if you don’t go to Molokai’s leper colony and driven then road to Hana WAY PAST Hana, you’ve wasted the whole trip.

  4. Gilwing says:

    Hey Jim, I have a similar problem. I want to go to an all-inclusive resort but am afraid of going to a resort that isn’t Sandals/Beaches like. I also won’t go some where that some one I know hasn’t been to. I rarely go on vacation but when I do I want it to be the best (then again who wants an OK vacation).

    I was considering going to Ocean Blue Golf and Beach Resort @ Dominican Republic-Punta Cana. Now my co-worker who is Dominican just came back from there and loved it. But I tend to read the bad reviews first and I don’t like them.

    My wife and I are also trying to save up for a house and start a family. We also have a cat that also is on a special diet 🙂

    Maybe we should just stay home…decisions decisions.

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