Vacation dilemma
April 5, 2008, 9:38 pm
Filed under: Travel

Ah, early spring. Time to plan the ol’ summer vacation.

After some convincing on my part, Jake and I had decided some time ago that this year we would like to visit his grandmother in upstate New York then swing by Maine to go camping in Acadia National Park for the better part of a week. We let the planning and details rest in large part until now.

We’ve been saving our pennies for months and have the funds to pay for everything that we’ll need to go on the trip, including a lot of gas, campground fees, and food. Money definitely isn’t an issue for this specific trip, but once we started to talk about it more, we realized that traveling to Maine this summer could put a financial damper on big future trips we have planned.

Jake’s oldest brother is in the army and he and his family are currently stationed in Italy. We aren’t going to let the opportunity to visit them while they’re in Europe pass us by. We’ve both been to Italy before when we were teenagers (completely separately), so even though this trip wouldn’t be our first time to Europe, we’re both very excited about the thought of being able to go back together. This vacation will be a huge expense as plane tickets are going to be a pretty penny, not to mention possible Eurorail passes and lodging.

We would also really like to take an old fashioned cross country road trip sometime in the near future. I’ve been itching to do this for years and I really don’t want to put this on the back burner for too long. We should do it while we’re still young and can drive for long periods of time with relative ease. Gas will be the bulk of the expense for this vacation as we’re planning on camping along the way as much as possible.

On top of all of these plans, we also need to pay for and plan a wedding and honeymoon. We’ve considered going to Italy for our honeymoon so we can kill two birds with one stone, but the verdict is still out on that one.

As much as Maine would be lovely this summer, I think we’re leaning towards pushing that trip off for a few years or merging it with the cross country jaunt. In addition, we’ve been invited to take two smaller trips this summer, one to Nags Head in the Outer Banks, North Carolina and the other to a state park in West Virginia where my dad, brother, and I used to vacation when I was younger. We won’t have to pay for lodging on either trip and most of our food will be paid for. If we went on these two smaller trips instead of going to Maine, we could use the money we save towards one of the bigger trips or our wedding.

Jake still wants to visit his grandmother this summer or fall, but it still remains to be seen if we’ll make that trek. My family is also having a family reunion this summer and it would be possible to stop in for the reunion on our way up to Jake’s grandmother’s.

Sigh. We shall see. We’re in the beginning stages of the planning, as you can plainly see, and we’ve got a lot of details to work out and a set of priorities to make. And don’t forget about budgeting.