Vacations are awesome. I love spending some time out relaxing outside of my normal environment and my wife does too. We normally take at least one vacation a year, sometimes two just to enjoy our lives a little bit. I can’t imagine living our life without vacations, assuming we can afford them of course. After all, we’d never take a vacation if we couldn’t pay for it in full in cash or credit card rewards.
I came across someone on Twitter recently that had a different opinion that I just couldn’t wrap my mind around. This person stated that you should never take a vacation because it’d delay your financial independence date. Instead, you should invest all of the money you would spend on your vacations so you can become financially independent sooner. My mind was blown. How can someone not see the benefit of vacations?!
Why I Feel Vacations Are Awesome And Much Needed
Vacations are a huge benefit to us. They allow us to recharge our mental batteries which is a necessity after many months without any extra days off. They allow us time to forget about the day to day worries of life and just relax. We could probably find a way to do the same thing at home, but it wouldn’t be the same. Why?
Vacations allow us to go out and explore new areas and broaden our life experiences. We have already explored most of the parts we’re interested in exploring in our local town, so we wouldn’t be adding much to our experience list by hanging out here. Vacations also allow us to not have to worry about the daily responsibilities we have to take care of at home. Unfortunately, all of that awesomeness comes with a price.
Why I Could See The Other Person’s Point
For some people, their jobs are shackles that are so powerful that they’ll do anything to escape them. Rather than take just a temporary escape (a vacation) that pushes back your permanent escape even further, why not just stay home forever and never vacation in order to retire earlier? Chances are vacations cost more than a typical week at home, so you’d be delaying your retirement for much more than the week or two you’re off exploring the world.
Of course, vacations aren’t the only frivolous spending in a budget. If you really want to retire as early as possible, you can cut out many other expenses in your life and live a bare minimal lifestyle. But would it be any fun? For some people it may be, but for others, I think there is a good compromise you can come to in order to both retire earlier and still take vacations.
A Nice Compromise
Rather than spending thousands and going all out for your vacations one or multiple times per year, you can compromise a bit and still enjoy the benefits of vacations for a lower cost. Instead of going out of town, you can plan a staycation in your town. Instead of going to an exotic location and staying in a hotel, rent a room on AirBnB or VRBO.com. Better yet, go camping and enjoy nature and disconnect from the conveniences of modern life for just a few bucks a night!
As you can see, I don’t think you need to forgo vacations completely to retire earlier. There are many cheaper options that will give you close to, if not exactly the same benefit that a ritzy expensive vacation would.
So, what do you think? Do you think vacations are necessary or a complete waste of money? Or, do you take the compromise route and still take vacations but just at a cheaper rate? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Photo by: paul bica Text added by: Lance Cothern