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Travel Question: Should we go to Europe this year after all?

June 15, 2012

We had barely been back a minute from our Alaska vacation when I started plotting something new, almost by accident:  Thanksgiving in Paris and Barcelona!   The package costs $1116 per a person and includes 6 nights hotel, all flights, and daily breakfasts.  Pricing it out myself, I think flights alone are at least $700 per a person, and that is just for a single RT flight to Paris.  (Now that I’m saying that, I may want to try one more time to create the same deal myself.)

Reasons NOT to Go:
-Is 6 nights too short for Europe?  I usually plan more extended trips, but the reason is to maximize the value expensive flights.  A shorter trip in the off-season similarly minimizes cost (and a longer trip has more lodging costs)
-While we can afford it, we also could save the money it would cost, about $3000 when all is said and done.  This would go into general long term savings.
-I feel guilty not using the money and time to visit our families in the Midwest
-Christmas plane tickets to T’s home town will be about $450 each and we’ll be there for a week or so
-We are still talking about doing a long trip next year (4+ weeks), though we are looking at South America our South East Asia
-I’m a little embarrassed by my own extravagance on vacations

Reasons to Go:
-We spent much less than originally planned on our summer vacation by choosing Alaska
-It is far enough away (November) that it doesn’t feel TOO spoiled to go on another longer vacation
-It is available around Thanksgiving makes my other usual concern (vacation days) minimal.
-We can afford it
-With our living situation, it would be a romantic (and luxurious) way to reconnect over break
-We’ve never been to Paris!
-Barcelona was T’s favorite Spanish city!
-It’s great deal!
-It should not interfere much with either of our jobs, since it is around the holiday
-Travel is a huge passion of ours, and we would not regret it
-T won $1000 award last month & is due to get several thousand in contracting money in the near future
-We will probably start trying to have kids in < 2 years (!), so isn’t now the time?

We haven’t made our minds up yet.  I really want to do it, yet I understand the appeal of keeping the money in our bank accounts.  We will probably/hopefully be fortunate enough to have travel opportunities throughout our lives, though they will scale back a lot once we have kids.  I can see the argument for both sides, and I’m just not sure which decision is the best for us.  What do you think?

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. June 15, 2012 5:41 pm

    I think that sounds like a great deal! I’d go 🙂

  2. June 15, 2012 10:05 pm

    I think it does sound like a GREAT deal and you guys can afford it. It does seem a little short of a timeframe though – personally, I would prefer to do Paris and Barcelona in a bit more time. I’m not sure what I would do if I was you!

    And ! indeed on starting trying to have kids in < 2 years!

  3. dogatemyfinances permalink
    June 16, 2012 6:59 pm

    I’m torn on this one. The finances look fine, timeframe sounds great, and I was going to just say go for it, but then I thought about the Thanksgiving part.

    The issue for me would be seeing your family; family is more important than any travel. I would be heartbroken if I didn’t spend every moment possible with my neices and my parents and my in-laws, and Thanksgiving and Christmas and Easter are the only time we are all together. It’s even worse when you’re flung all over the country. I would really think through how your family would feel and whether you could really enjoy this trip missing out on time with them.

    • June 16, 2012 8:35 pm

      We don’t typically see our families on Thanksgiving. We’ve spent a couple at my nearby cousin’s place, but I probably haven’t spent thanksgiving day with my parents in over 5 years. Same for T, except for him it is probably more like 8.

      It sounds sad (and frankly, it is), but I typically just make the trip home on a random weekend for a more reasonable price. My sister and her kids will come too. It makes more sense to visit in september/october than to visit late November, then again for Christmas.

      Anyway, we probably aren’t going on this trip – but we also probably won’t see our families for thanksgiving either way. :/

  4. June 17, 2012 7:05 am

    1. I’d go, but that’s me.

    2. I’d consider this 3 nights in Barcelona and 3 nights in Paris thing. Perhaps pick 1 city? The reason why I say this is because of the jet lag and general fatigue on the first day — a total writeoff when you first arrive, although if you are not super hardcore tourists, and you just want to go to the city to wander around, see one attraction a day, then by all means!

    3. Finances look fine to me

    4. Why not save up the money from this trip to combine with your second trip to have an amazing holiday? I’d personally either spend more time in Europe in one city, or go somewhere totally different like Hong Kong to have a new experience?

    • June 17, 2012 8:47 am

      The idea is/ that we’d probably have a chance to go to Paris again sometime in the future. I agree it isn’t really a sufficient amount of time – but having spent similar amounts of time in other new cities, i think it would be OK for me personally. Clearly, I won’t be intimate with the cities, but I’d get a taste.

      We’ve done a bit longer trips, and I’m wondering if I would like it more to have a shorter, more bite-sized trip. Uh, in addition to the longer one. (PS – I lived in hong kong for 6 moths, but I get the idea)

  5. June 17, 2012 5:54 pm

    Do it. You can afford it right now and all your reasons for doing it are valid. Trust me, once you have the kids, it would be different even if you could take them. 3 days in each city is plenty, especially if you have a chance to go to Paris again in the future. 3 days is plenty to see Barcelona.

    The experience of doing this and reconnecting in those cities is FAR more valuable than an extra $3k in your bank account.

  6. June 18, 2012 1:37 pm

    I don’t think it’s really enough time to really enjoy those 2 cities, although I’m definitely more of a slow traveler who likes sitting in cafes for a long long time!

  7. June 20, 2012 2:10 pm

    It’s a great deal and I’d say go. It’s not a lot of time, but whatever.

    You can go now, you don’t know what the future will hold. Besides, see each other and spending the time together is well worth the $3k. Go.

  8. June 22, 2012 4:40 am

    We always end up with the families in the midwest. I think DH is a vampire and if he doesn’t sleep on his home ground at least once a year he withers and dies or something. (If it were just *me* otoh…) Though we’re not doing Thanksgiving because the plane tickets are crazy that time of year– Christmas gives us some more flexibility in terms of prices.

    I agree with O&G and Leigh etc. that it’s hard to enjoy both those cities in 3 days a piece. Two weeks is good for multiple cities in Europe. Usually I do one city and surrounding areas in one week (and combine with work travel).

    I say think hard about your travel plans next year and if 4 weeks in South America or Asia is what you want to do, then make this decision in conjunction with that one.

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