Thursday, October 21, 2010

Scheduling Future Vacations

How far in advance do you schedule vacations?  5 years? 1 year?  A month? 

Several years ago I was reading a book by Jill Savage and in it she talked about a very different way to plan family vacations.  It is somewhat revolutionary but I really liked the concept and Tim and I decided to adopt it for our family.

What Jill and her husband did was list every destination that they wanted to visit on vacation with their kids.  Then they decided what the optimal ages of their kids would be for each destination (for instance, you would probably want your kids to be older to visit Washington, DC then you would for Disney World).  Then they planned all the future vacations for their family from now until their kids graduated from college, taking into account things like the time needed to save up for those trips.

This concept is right up our alley.  Tim and I are huge planners.  We also believe in paying for our trips in full with cash, not credit.  Meaning we need to plan our vacation far enough in advance to save up all the money for it.  So, we followed the same steps that Jill family did and now have a list of our future vacations (in a spreadsheet of course).

These are our plans:

2011 - Next year it's Disney - Ages almost 6 and 8 (all potty-trained and no naps needed)
2012 - Beach
2013 - Beach
2014 - Cruise - Ages 9 and 12 (hopefully don't have to worry about them falling off the boat at those ages)
2015 - Beach
2016 - Disney again - Ages 11 and 13 (older and will enjoy different things then the first time they went)
2017 - Washington, DC - Ages 12 and 14 (old enough to know enough American history to appreciate it, but hopefully still young enough to not think it's all stupid)
2018 - Beach
2019 - Cruise - Ages 14 and 16
2020 - Beach
2021 - New York - Ages 16 and 18 (the age when they will really enjoy the city, not complain as much about all the walking and, hopefully, LOVE Broadway shows)
2022 - Beach

By that point Julie will have graduated from high school and David will be close.  Do I think we're going to stick to those plans exactly?  Probably not, but it gives us a good starting point and a plan for saving our money.  It also helps us define what places we want to go with our kids instead of looking back on their childhood and thinking "I wish we had taken them there."

So what do you think?  Too structured or a good idea?  How do you decide where to go on family vacations?

1 comment:

  1. You're such a planning nerd! Mom really did a numbero n you with all the lists! JK! We are good to plan out vacation for next year. We're going to Sevierville for a week since we have a timeshare anyhow. Probably do sometihng "big" the next year.

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