Subscribe -- FREE!
Shel Horowitz's monthly Clean and Green Newsletter
Receive these exciting bonuses: Seven Tips to Gain Marketing Traction as a Green Guerrilla plus Seven Weeks to a Greener Business
( Privacy Policy )
If You Don't Plan, You Won't Go!

All it takes is a little planning to make your vacation happen.

For your own mental health you must go away somewhere on a regular basis. But if you don't plan, you won't go. Oh, I know, you can't go because of the kids, you don't have the money and your schedule is too full ... that's a bunch of nonsense. Going away; Going away is not optional; it's mandatory.

If you plan to go, you will find a trusted relative or friend who will take care of your kids if you choose to go away without them. You would find the money to go even if it was just a tank of gas day-trip to a nowhere adventure (sometimes these can be the best kinds). There is no alternative - you have to go.

You probably don't realize what a hectic pace you keep until you go away and then try to gear up again when you return. You know, when they put you in that hole in the ground you don't come back. Not even for weekends. Don't get me wrong, Heaven is my home but I'm not homesick yet.

Well, you'll argue, there's this problem of my husband or wife, who never wants to go anywhere. If so, then it's time to sit down and negotiate some time away. If your spouse says it's not the money, it's probably the money - so propose an inexpensive local getaway. But some people are just homebodies. If they still won't go, plan to go away alone (or with a friend or relative) and your spouse can stay home. Don't be too suprised if you find that at the last minute the don't-go-won't-go person shows some interest in going. If he or she doesn't, however, then you go anyway. Bon Voyage!

Negotiating time also needs to be spent with the person who always plans or influences where you are going to go, based on his or her golf, fishing, tennis, relatives, bed & breakfast, shopping or other hobby and self-centered interests.

You're going to be dead a l-o-n-g time. The Bible says be packed and ready to go at all times because you never know when you're going (you have noticed this, haven't you). Why not start enjoying what you have now before the long dirt nap? You deserve an adventure!

The time isn't right? Well, the time never seems to be right, does it? Just plan it and go do it. And if you start to plan to go, put the date on the calendar so you can anticipate what's a comin'. The great thing about getting away is the anticipation of going and the memories after. The only way to see and feel how you fit into this world is to get out and travel.

IMPORTANT: Don't go away with a hidden agenda to work out pent up problems in your relationships that you haven't had the time, skills or participation from your partner to resolve. This has ruined many a trip when it has been sprung on the unsuspecting partner.

If you are planning on trying to use your vacation to fix your relationship, you are going for the wrong reasons. If you can't work it out before you go or agree that this will be the time to do it, leave this baggage at home.

Don't just plan one trip. Get into the habit of planning and going. Just lock in the dates on the calendar and watch what happens. Adopt the philosophy that if you're not on a trip, you're planning the next one.

A 1991 Gallup poll found some interesting facts about how Americans want their vacations. - Almost two-thirds said the most important reason for a vacation was to relax, reduce stress, rest, take a break, or escape. - Fifty-five percent of Americans are taking shorter (a week or less), more frequent vacations, probably a reflection of their two-income lifestyles. More than half of all Americans in this category take at least two vacations. - Eighty-six percent of parents said a vacation with the kids is more "fun" than "drudgery." - Women are much more ready to go away without the kids or hubby. - Over half of the travelers preferred active sightseeing vacations over sedentary ones.

Some people get stuck in a rut as to where to go to get away. They end up going to the same old theme parks they have been to before. The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth. My friend Dennis and his family have been to Disneyland umpteen times. In desperation they end up going because they won't plan and venture out to the full spectrum of opportunities available for places to go. They charge down Highway 5 for the six-plus hours drive on a Friday, endure the long lines, heat and smog, and drag home on Sunday frustrated and exhausted. They end up amazed at what has happened: as educated and intelligent people, they have been foolish enough to have done the same vacation again. Dennis told me recently that they had booked a new vacation this year. Where do you think they are going? Disney World - in August. No heat, humidity, or crowds then!

Touring At Home

So where do you want to go? There are plays, musicals, fairs, festivals, and special season events everywhere.

Every community seems to have an annual entertainment book that is sold by Little League, soccer teams, school bands and church organizations. They offer two meals for the price of one at numerous restaurants and discounts on everything from rental cars to dance lessons. They are an excellent investment that can be used for creative dating or just to get you out to get the smell of the city blown off of you.

Everyone loves a bargain. Depending on how hard you want to work for a trip that will fit your travel budget will determine what you'll end up with. Some people don't need a bargain. They can afford to just go if they would only plan a vacation . . . and follow through and take it.

If you can pretend you have gone away (although you're still at home), you can expand your horizons at home. Think about it. When you're on a trip you are more laid back, in better spirits. As a tourist, you just take off to explore museums, hang out with the Romans at the cafes, check out night life and take long walks. It's all a change of attitude. You can adopt this same changed attitude at home. With it you can meet new friends, take in events, try new restaurants and places to visit.

A revised touring production of "Bye Bye Birdie" was sold out in San Francisco. But by checking the Sunday entertainment section, we saw that they were adding a matinee. A quick call produced Second Row Center seats for a great afternoon of the revised classic followed by dinner in the city. The Sunday papers are full of ideas world-wide or right in your area. One recent section I saw was dedicated to Summer By the Bay. This showed upcoming events in cities of the San Francisco area. Another article was on how to travel like a tightwad.

It might be as much fun and as easy as finding out why people come to your area to vacation. There are probably a number of places you have never been to in your own back yard. Go to hotels in your area and pick up travel brochures of those sightseeing things to do right in your home town. If there is a tour available, take it. You could find out a lot of what you didn't know about your locale.

There is camping or renting a camping trailer.

You don't need to own a recreational vehicle where you have to pay the insurance, storage and installments all year. You can rent one to take the whole family away, including the dog. We took an RV trip up the Redwood Highway in California, along the rugged Oregon Coast into beautiful Washington State. There we went by ferry to Victoria, British Columbia, the Butchart Gardens and back into Vancouver, Canada. We stopped when and where we wanted to accommodate our schedule and interests.

"Captain Bob" Speaker/Author of "Fire Up Your Communication Skills". Get People to Listen, Understand, and Give You What You Want! Phone toll Free 888-238-3959, Fax 510-846-9650, address 5565 Black Ave. Pleasanton, CA 94566. Website: Media Web Site:

Share this article/site with a Friend

Bookmark Us

Many of the 1,000+ articles on Frugal Fun and Frugal Marketing have been gathered into magazines. If you'd like to read more great content on these topics, please click on the name of the magazine you'd like to visit.

Ethics Articles - Down to Business Magazine - Frugal & Fashionable Living Magazine
Global Travel Review - Global Arts Review - Peace & Politics Magazine
Frugal Marketing Tips - Frugal Fun Tips - Positive Power of Principled Profit

Clean and Green Marketing

Our Privacy Policy

Disclosures of Material Connections:
  • Some of the links on our site and items in our newsletters are sponsored ads or affiliate links. This financial support allows us to bring you the consistent high quality of information and constant flow of new content. Please thank our advertisers if you do business with them.
  • As is the case for most professional reviewers, many of the books I review on this site have been provided by the publisher or author, at no cost to me. I've also reviewed books that I bought, because they were worthy of your time. And I've also received dozens of review copies at no charge that do not get reviewed, either because they are not worthy or because they don't meet the subject criteria for this column, or simply because I haven't gotten around to them yet, since I only review one book per month. I have far more books in my office than I will ever read, and the receipt of a free book does not affect my review.

Site copyright © 1996-2011 by Shel Horowitz