It happens every summer. You book a vacation at some pricey locale—depending on your circumstances, “pricey” could mean Europe, Disney World, or perhaps an oceanfront hotel room—and you wait anxiously for your time in Paradise to arrive. Meanwhile, you make your flight reservations and buy some new clothes. You search the Internet for great restaurants and must-do activities. And when vacation time finally arrives, you jump in with utter abandon.
Vacations are important, and feeling entitled to a vacation is fine too. Most Americans lead very hectic lifestyles. We work too hard, and the vacation is a chance to break out of our hectic routine and recharge our batteries. However, I encourage you to think about your values, and your goals for this vacation. Planning ahead can make the vacation much “richer” in terms of time with family and friends, and you will not be left with the credit card “hangover” after you return.