Thursday, April 23, 2015

Vacations = scary credit card bill

I've lamented before how sometimes when you have one or two full-time jobs, it feels like you have this beautiful paychecks that magically disappear so that you simultaneously feel pinched and unable to afford some Papa John's.  We ride this roller coaster with magical highs of WE HAVE MONEY...YAY! and crushing valleys of WE'LL NEVER BE ABLE TO HELP OUT CHILDREN WITH COLLEGE OR MOVE OR RETIRE...THIS BITES. 

Right now, we're in the magical sweet spot and spending money like we've never spent it before.  That's right friends: we're going on vacations this summer.  Plural.  One sans children and one cum children. 

Here's the second best part: I have now booked 5 different lodging arrangements because of late, when we think "Let's go on vacation!" it really means "Let's see how many different places we can stay in a short amount of time!"  We have restless hotel syndrome.  There's nothing like some commitment to a vacation until you actually hit that button that says "confirm."  I always hesitate; I sure...yes, I'm sure...well...okay...let's do it! 

And wait, it get's better?  Yesyesyesyes!  For vacation numero uno (sans children), we have booked flights there and back, 3 separate lodging accomodations, a rental car, and gift cards for 2+ meals on the trip for $0. 


This is a 10-year commitment come to fruition.  Sometime during our 4-night stay on St. Thomas for our honeymoon, we looked at each other and basically said "We like this.  Let's do this again for our 10th anniversary."  It was a beautiful moment when the heavens opened up and the angels rejoiced at our newlywed bliss and naivete.  Back in reality, we soon thought "Hey, we should probably have a credit card," which turned into "Hey, which credit card gives us the best incentives?" which turned into "Hey, if we use our credit card for absolutely everything, then we could rack up some serious points that we could use toward our 10th anniversary trip."  And that's what we did, folks. 

I don't advocate this plan for everyone, but if you're someone who tracks their spending and always pays off their credit card bill, which we do and have without fail, then this is a sweet, sweeeet, idea.  Because now, 10 years later...almost free vacation. 

This means that we can still afford to take the girls somewhere this summer as well.  Last year was our first venture on anything resembling a normal vacation with the girls and it went bea-u-tifully, so we're fools for momentum and are planning on doing this whole thing again. 

I've been on a booking spree lately, which has translated into a couple of extra booking charges showing up on ye olde credit card of late, which = scary credit card bill.  But, ya know what, oh well.  Prior to having kids, the only thing I regret is that the boy and I didn't travel more.  We were stuck in this feeling of "We probably can't afford it" when in hindsight, we most certainly could.  There was something about being in our early 20s and our bank account wasn't quiet where we wanted it to languish yet that made us dance with caution rather than booking a few extra ventures. 

And now, I'm making considerably less, but that 20-something caution has paid dividends in some decided padding in the bank accounts that have given us some 30-something room to breath.  And right now, room to breath = room to travel a bit. 

By the way, check back with me in another decade.  I'll be planning our European anniversary vacation if all goes as we hope it to.  In the meantime, the credit card will continue to flex its muscles on our behalf.  Oh, yes it will.

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