Why Vacations are bad for you.

Why vacations are bad for you!

I was on a trip to the Yucatan, Mexico where I enjoyed a few days at an all-inclusive resort in Cancun.  The resort has a great view. It had a beautiful open entrance where you could see the amazing dark blue ocean transitioning into a mesmerizing shade of turquoise blue.  Upon arrival of guests, the resort will give a welcome cocktail just to make sure you know you’ve arrived and welcomed. The resort has everything that will fit your lifestyle. Thing such as food, beverages, beer, wine, and liquor are all available just for you to drink/eat.  Simply indulge as much as you wish with the array of bars and restaurants located on the property.

This resort situated in an area called “Hotel Zone” of Cancun which is comprised of dozens of resorts catering to the needs and wishes of their guest most of whom mostly travel from the United States ready to soak up the sun-drenched beaches and bottomless cocktails. As the roll by, the vacationers can eat meal after meal, sip on margaritas, lounge by the pool, soak up in the sun, and snorkeling in one of the many water sports available. However, at night, there are a few areas designated for partying with bars and clubs for the thousands of vacationers from the surrounding resorts. There are teams of promoters eager to take you for a tour from the entrance allowing you to see inside and see what you’re missing. Upon the brief sample of the club they escort you back outside and inform you there’s a cover entrance but a juicy deal is available for you.

This was precisely my experience, Manuel a local nightclub promoter who stopped to talk to me wanted to let me know that he can get me in with all inclusive drinks for only $75.00 USD! At that moment, something bumped on my mind; Wait a minute!!! I’m NOT on vacation, in fact, I DON’T take vacations for this exact reason.  It’s easy to fall into vacation mode and throw away common sense, logic, reason, critical thinking, or any other skills that help you make informed decisions and most importantly protect your wallet.

For instance, let’s say that I wanted to indulge and maximize my vacation experience.  For the sake of this example, I’m going to go ahead and take Manuel up on his offer. I’ll drop $150.00 for cover for my travel companion and me. We then head inside to hit the bar and order our drinks.  Hey, if I want the bartender to keep them flowing quickly and easily and notice me in the sea of all other vacationers around me wanting to soak up their paid drinks, I’m going to have to fight the crowd to get their attention, make my way up to order 2 drinks and leave a healthy tip so next time I want a drink I can get their attention with ease. So we’ll say a $10 spot for this round and $5 for the next round. Now I’ve built credibility and if I want another drink they’ll actually pay attention to me.  So there we go $165.00 for that night of fun and memories. It’s a 5-day trip and we had such a fun time and we have to go back to work next week let’s say we soak up the fun 1 more time. The total two-night outings come out to $330.00 which isn’t too bad right? I had fun, ordered whatever I wanted, danced the night away, released some stress or tension, and feel recharged ready to head back to work next week.  Is your mission accomplished?

Absolutely NOT let’s break some things down real quick:

  • How much is 1 dollar in pesos, how much is 165 for this party experience?
  • That’s over 6000 pesos!
  • Aren’t I able to have bottomless drinks at my resort?
  • I have drinks included at my resort and I’ll probably have a drink or two at the club so I’m not really going to utilize the all I can drink feature.
  • How much was my flight here?
  • I used the Live Retired Now Travel Course Strategies so I saved a lot on my airfare, in fact my airfare was cheaper then the proposed night out in Cancun.  had a round trip for under $150.00 to mexico.
  • How much would I spend to go to a club at home?
  • I’d never spend this to get into a club at home so why do it here?

By asking and answering these quick questions, I was able to gain some perspective about the value of the proposed all I can drink experience in the clubs of Cancun. I was able to realize that vacations can be dangerous especially when one feels they work hard and deserve to treat themselves. You could overspend on things you would never buy or spend that amount of money on, you could eat things you shouldn’t eat or loosen your nutrition restrictions all because you feel like you deserve something extra for your vacation and you only do this once or twice a year.

I firmly believe that vacations and vacation mindsets are toxic ideas. You need to shift your lifestyle from taking vacations and saving up income and “vacation” time to let loose only once a year.  Rather than taking vacations you need to incorporate a lifestyle shift into your daily life. A lifestyle shift becomes part of you and your identity.

For example, I’ve decided that my lifestyle requires me to leave the city I reside in at least once a month for more than 24 hours. I leave the state I reside in at least every other month, and I leave the country I reside in at least once a quarter.  By doing this I create several trips throughout the year and adjust my lifestyle accordingly. I use these trips as a way to reflect on my life and where I’m headed.

They also serve as a break from the day to day life of responsibilities. With this adjustment I can take a quick 5 day trip to another continent because I’m not concerned about maximizing my limited time (the vacation mindset), I’m more focused on the lifestyle goal of leaving the country even if it’s for a few days. I get a chance to see a new culture and environment while meeting and interacting with people who are different than me. This helps me gain and appreciate the things I have as well as motivates me to keep working hard day-to-day. I often work on my trips as well and split my time still executing my day to day responsibilities as well as enjoying the new environment I’m in.

These are the ways that I reaffirm my lifestyle choice, you may choose a different path, even though it’s critical that you shift away from the toxic vacation mindset.  Vacations are for those who choose to cram their desires and dreams into a limited time period and suffer the rest of the year in hopes to get back to that vacation next year. Why not shift to change your focus on incorporating time away and experiencing new things outside your day-to-day community on a more frequent basis. It’s a simple shift of lifestyle, instead of eating out a couple times a month why not save that money and cook so you can fill up the gas tank and take a road trip, stay overnight in a hotel, and explore a part of the state you live in that you’ve never been to?   This is just an example but when you make a lifestyle choice you will make the sacrifices day to day to pursue the chosen lifestyle goal that you have required yourself to attain and uphold. A simple shift of you mentality and focus could lead to you becoming a world traveler, or best-selling author, or fitness personality. Regardless of your lifestyle, you must make the decision to shift your focus to attaining that lifestyle choice and design a plan to get to that point.

My desire was to travel more so I did the following:

  1. Committed myself to the lifestyle shift of traveling
  2. Set a goal to meet and achieve with smaller milestones first and then incorporating larger or more financially demanding targets later.
    1. Leave my city once a month- 12 trips a year
    2. Leave my state every other month- 6 trips a year
    3. Leave my country every quarter- 4 trips a year
  3. I realized traveling is expensive so I adopted a lifestyle choice that lead me to research and find ways to reduce the overall cost of travel and also enhance my experiences. This is the foundation Live Retired Now was built on.
    1. Found and researched travel hacks to lower my cost
    2. Found tools to help me travel for free or significantly reduced cost.
    3. Found ways to enhance my travel experiences for little to no additional cost.

I hope this adds value and changes your mindset or way of thinking.  Stop the toxic decision to vacation and expand your experiences with a lifestyle shift and change to incorporate travel into your lifestyle.