If you’re like most of us, juggling work, relationships, children, exercise and the many daily activities of living is easier said than done. Trying to squeeze a vacation or even just some fun-time into an already hectic schedule is getting more and more difficult as our lives become more demanding. Life in the fast lane seems to never slow down long enough to stop and smell the roses. We work hard so we can afford the things in life we enjoy, but because we are so busy working, we many times skip the most important part of the process….the enjoying! How many times have we had to give up that vacation in order to work? Just how high a priority is that annual vacation anyway?
If time isn’t the problem, money most certainly is. A recent survey found that the number one factor preventing Americans from taking that all important time out was expense. More often than not, the travel budget is the first thing to go out the window when an unexpected bill comes up. Sure, the house payment, insurance, food, utilities, the car payment ….all these take priority and the responsible thing is to put them first, right?
Not necessarily! Where do “we” fit in priority-wise? Researchers say that vacations rank among the most effective of de-stressing strategies, and stress gets top billing for the cause of many otherwise preventable illnesses. For our health, relationships, family, and even our sanity we need to take a break from our hectic lives. It doesn’t mean we need to travel across the globe, but we should find a way to fit a vacation in every year, even if only a low-cost, no-frill getaway. Some of my favorite vacations were my family camping trips we took as kids. It’s not the distance, or even the length of the holiday; even a long weekend will recharge your batteries. And let’s not forget how important it is to re-kindle the romance after ten years of marriage!
Next time you sit down and work the budget, make sure to allocate a set amount into the “fun-fund” and, just as if it were for the mortgage, the amount is set in stone and cannot be taken away from. By the end of the year, without having to touch a credit card, you can take a much needed, and well earned vacation.