You have friends just like ours! We were dining recently with a couple that enjoys a month in the Caribbean every winter. They rent a big house with staff and are joined by other friends from around the world who arrive as another departs. That is their major vacation for the year. We are the sort of people who would have our next departure scheduled seven weeks after we returned from our current vacation. A typical year included three trips to China, a couple to England, perhaps a cruise and a long weekend or an extra trip to Europe. I wouldn’t be surprised if our total spend was the same as the Caribbean couple.
This approach applies directly to cruising too. We were in touch with some UK friends earlier in the year. They have booked three cruises for 2022 and another three for 2023! There are many people who love to travel.
The Rationale for One Big Vacation
There is a case to be made for each approach. Let us start with taking one big trip. Why would someone choose this option?
- The time for vacationing is limited. It seems obvious the people who booked three cruises or our approach with multiple holidays means these are people without young children at home. If you are tied to a school schedule, you can only get away when schools are closed. If you are a teacher, you face the same issue. Maybe you are new on the job with limited vacation time or a dual income couple that finds it difficult to get the same weeks scheduled for vacation. Once you have got the time, you want it to be spectacular.
- You want the comforts of home while at sea. We have heard of other friends who book the owners suite on ships when they travel. They have a grand home. They want to have grand surroundings when they are on vacation. This does not come cheap, so maybe they do not get away that often.
- You do not like moving around. That might sound odd, but it an be very common. You do not like flying, cruising, or bus travel. You want to go someplace nice, unpack and put up your feet. A week is too short. Ditto two weeks. You take one big vacation a year.
- You like familiar surroundings. The expression “Go native” is not in your vocabulary. You do not want to drink the water, try local cuisine or attempt to communicate with people who speak a different language. You will choose to stay at a resort or sail on a ship where everyone speaks English, the bill is settled in dollars and the menu looks the same as it does at home. This is not unusual! I have heard every Marriott hotel around the world has the ”Marriott Burger” on their menu! (if they serve food.)
- You aspire to luxury. Ever hear of the TV series “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous?” It was popular in the late 1980’s. You want to live like the super-rich, at least for a while. One or two nights will not be enough. You want to enjoy it for a few weeks. Because of the cost, it becomes your one big outing for the year.
The Rationale for Several Smaller Vacations
You can make an equally good case for being in constant motion.
- You have the time. You are retired. Your children are grown. Perhaps you are self-employed and your profession has a slow season. You could spend every day puttering around your house or you could hop on a plane and explore someplace new. You have no responsibilities tying you down.
- Travel is your reason for living. You always want to be trying new things. You have set a goal to visit every country during your lifetime. FYI: There are 193! You get easily bored when you stay at home.
- You love a bargain. Doesn’t everyone get those e-mails with great travel offers? Stay at a famous hotel on the French Riviera! Fly to Bali or Tahiti! The fares are great. You have the time. Your favorite cruise line has “Sailing soon sales.” You might even keep a bag packed just in case.
- You develop relationships. We fly to the same places repeatedly. The hotel staff welcomes us. They “Want us to return to our home in (city).” They treat you well and upgrade your room. You keep in touch between trips. The hotel staff become your friends.
- You fall in love with certain cities. You find favorite restaurants. You love the café culture of Paris and cannot fins it at home. You never tire of riding water taxis in Venice. You enjoy their different festivals throughout the year. You can pretend you live there, at least for a few days at a time. You keep coming back.
You can make the case for taking one big vacation or multiple smaller, cheaper ones. The important thing is to get all the enjoyment travel has to offer.
Cover photo: FCruise ship at Key West’s Mallory Square with schooner on sunset cruise in background ©Dennis Cox/WorldViews