Friends, I’m just going to say it, vacation brain is a thing.
For some reason, whenever we get out of our comfort zone of daily life and it’s like we’re all of a sudden in a parallel universe. One where the normal rules of physics, biology and finance just cease to exist.
Can I handle sangria from 9am-9pm? Of course! Can this swimsuit I bought 8 years ago at Target still fit? Obviously. Fifty bucks should be enough for a daily dining out budget, right? Of course! Hawaii is so cheap! If I don’t hop on this particular flight deal, will Italy end up at the bottom of the sea, never to be seen again? Most likely.
Somehow we’ve gotten into this place where trips overseas aren’t just a truly once-in-a-lifetime thing. The pressure to go big or go home on a quarterly basis is now the norm. Going to Galveston just isn’t fancy enough, next time it better be the Bahamas. It’s a very common occurrence for me to see people choosing vacations over things like debt payoff and retirement. None of them are stupid people, there’s just something about trips and travel that seems to circumvent our logic networks.
BUT, here’s the thing. I believe you can have the fever, revel in it even, and come back home free of spending guilt. And I say all this as one of you. I could be the president, VP and secretary of the vacation-brain club ok? Here’s my hot tip; be honest with yourself. That’s it. Honesty is the cure.
I know my brain is going to be addled when I go somewhere else. That’s ok. But it’s not an excuse not to plan for that incoming addled state when you’re in reality land. When I’m setting aside for my vacation, I’m not budgeting like the person I WANT to be. I’ve learned to budget for the person I really am.
As a modern person on the internet you have the luxury of access to real data. So, here’s my challenge to you as the summer is wrapping up here in the next few months. Get in those spending reports your bank and credit cards make and look at your vacation spending as far back as you can. This will give you an average of how you spend when you’re in vacation-land per day. Who knows what you’ll find? It might not be as much as you think or it might make your heart sink into your stomach. In my experience, most people’s gut instinct on what they spent is always off in one way or another. And that’s ok! Just rest in the truth that knowledge is power. Vacations are meant to be enjoyed, not regretted.
This will allow you more confidence the next time you get the itch to get away. Don’t run from planning, run TO it.
We got this.