My wife and I just returned from our annual vacation a few weeks ago. It was just last week that we returned from a wedding, where we saw a handful of our closest friends. Thinking about future vacations in light of our experiences with these most recent trips, I have started to contemplate the most enjoyable and frugal way to travel. Despite popular belief, I think that it is possible to increase entertainment while also lowering the costs of traveling.
Typical View of Vacation
Growing up, I have understood vacation as a great way to get away from everything and everyone. In fact, this is what our anniversary trips have consisted of. A nice secluded cottage or a cabin in the wilderness fits nicely with this way of thinking. A vacation is seen to separate yourself from the normal life and to re-charge your batteries.
In many ways, this line of thinking matches the individualism of U.S. culture. I definitely think that people enjoy these sorts of vacations partially because their everyday lives are so busy. I know that I enjoyed sitting in a hammock and just reading. Yet, as I think about it now, vacations seem to epitomize the American dream. The farther you can be away from everyone and everything, the better off you are. The one catch with this type of vacation is that it typically costs a lot of money. Most exotic resorts can costs $500 per night at minimum. For young adults, this makes vacationing seem like a distant dream, instead of a reality.
Alternative Way to Travel
Instead of looking at traveling as a way to get away from it all. Why not spend it with those who matter most? My wife and I are thinking about traveling to Hawaii next spring and have been thinking about going with some good friends so that we can split the costs. Traveling with another family or couple that you are friends with sounds like the perfect vacation to me. You not only get to travel with people you care about, but most of your costs are automatically cut in half. This means that we could rent a timeshare that would have plenty of space (most likely a larger common space) and be more affordable than renting a single bedroom. As you know, my wife and I prefer to travel off the beaten path and would much rather rent from a private owner than stay in a hotel somewhere. With the ability to do your own thing for a couple of the days, while also being able to celebrate with friends, I don’t see any down side.
Have you had a group vacation? Did you enjoy it more than traveling solo?