Daydreaming on National Plan for Vacation Day

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Did you know that today is National Plan for Vacation Day? I didn’t either until two days ago (thanks Sarah!). According to Project: Time Off, “individuals who plan are more likely to use all of their time off, take more vacation days at once, and report greater levels of happiness in every category measured.” I know that I am happiest when traveling and thankfully, my adventure-mates are too! Looking back, we’ve had some wonderful trips and even those that we deemed busts at the time make for some great stories after the fact. Over the years, we’ve dined on chicken feet with Chinese mobsters (we think…) in Montreal, gotten sick on the Staten Island Ferry, hiked to secluded beaches in St. John, ate reindeer in Alaska, been woken up by drunk groomsman in kilts in a remote village in Scotland, caught lobsters off the coast of Maine, and so much more.

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Unfortunately, Clay’s current position prevents him from taking more than a week of leave this summer but as of yesterday, Clay blocked out his leave so we can partake in National Plan for Vacation Day – hip hip hooray! He won’t be around much until then so we want to make sure that this vacation hits the spot without breaking the bank.

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We’re 99% positive that we will not be moving this summer, which will make it the first summer in four years that we haven’t had to plan a trip around a PCS. This is cause for celebration in itself. Woohoo! We’re currently trying to determine the magic number of what we can reasonably afford for our big vacation in addition to our smaller trips planned thus far. While we’ve never regretted spending money on vacations, the reality is that Clay is the military, I don’t work full-time, and we’re not independently wealthy so a trip to Fiji is simply out of the budget. However, some places that we’ve tossed around this year include…

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Acadia National Park, Maine. Four years ago, we took a 10-day vacation to Newport, Rhode Island, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Ogunquit, Maine. We look back fondly on our little tour of coastal New England. We were unable to squeeze in a trip up to Acadia National Park that year and we’ve been talking about going there ever since. Perhaps we could combine our time in the park with a trip to Mount Washington, New Hampshire or Boston or take the car ferry over to Canada. A plus is that we’d be able to drive, which will help keep the cost of the trip more reasonable.

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London, England. We asked the kids where they’d like to visit this summer and Weston was quick to say London. He has been wanting to go for years and to be honest, the rest of us want to go as well. Unfortunately, it just isn’t in the budget for the four of us to go to London this year. Sorry kiddo!

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Disney World. Violet’s contribution to the conversation was Disney World. While we had an absolutely fantastic three days at Disneyland last spring, Clay and I have no desire to go to Disney World during the summer months. There is something about being in Orlando in July that sounds utterly unappealing. Therefore, Disney World will not be happening this summer. Sorry baby girl!

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St. Thomas and St. John. When Clay and I spent a week in the USVI a few years ago, we left the kids with my parents. We’ve been wanting to go back with the kids and I love the idea of putting money back into the economy after the destruction that Hurricanes Irma and Maria left in their wakes. I’ve been following updates about the progress of the repair and restorations on the islands and time will tell if this is the year that we go back with the kids.

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Nova Scotia, Canada. The CAT runs from Portland, Maine to Nova Scotia in 5.5 hours so we could spend the day in one of our favorite New England cities before setting sail. Clay and I have always wanted to travel to Nova Scotia by sea and perhaps this is the summer to do it! We could also hit up Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. Once in Nova Scotia, we could spend our days whale watching, hiking in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, kayaking in the North River, catching lobsters, and more.

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Colorado. Even though we haven’t spent a ton of time in Colorado, every time we visit, Clay and I leave feeling like we belong there. It’s far too early for us to think about where we want to settle post-Army life (we change our minds way too much) and the thought of putting down roots somewhere is absolutely terrifying. But I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up in the mountains of Colorado. Perhaps we should vacation there this summer. Boulder? Breckenridge? Ouray? Estes Park? The possibilities feel endless when it comes to vacationing in Colorado.

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British Columbia. Sigh. Have I ever mentioned how much I love Canada? Clay and I spent a lot of time there during our Fort Drum days and we’ve been wanting to visit British Columbia every since. We could spend time in Vancouver and then head to the mountains. The Canadian Rockies are consistently on Most Beautiful Places in the World lists – maybe this will be the summer we finally get to experience their grandeur in person.

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Where are you going this summer?  Please share so we can all travel vicariously through your adventures! Are you celebrating National Plan for Vacation Day? While I think we do a fairly good job at vacationing on a budget, I am always open to tips and tricks of the trade so feel free to pass them along.

11 comments on “Daydreaming on National Plan for Vacation Day”

  1. All fun ideas! I hope you choose somewhere that will give you lots of great memories. I’ve never been to Canada, so that would be fun someday. I don’t have any vacations for the year planned but it would be nice to do a weekend trip or two. I live about five hours away from a few different cities like Nashville and Chicago.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  2. Wow! I would love to see Nova Scotia one day. You’ve got a good list going. My vote would be for Colorado, but I am just obsessed with that place. I was born and raised and still live in Tx, but my soul lives in Colorado. I’ve only been to Estes Park, out of the little towns you listed and what a gorgeous backdrop that city has and the Stanley Hotel! ❤️❤️❤️ Good luck with you vacation plans, I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time wherever you decide!

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  3. I am droolig over your list. Awesome places. I am with you money spent on vacations is an investment. Also I am drooling over your New England experience. Maine is one place that is at the top of my list. This yr we got weekend in outer banks, hopefully a trip to upstate New York so he can see family and I can finally experience NYC and we are going to Barcelona and taking a mes cruise for honeymoon.

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  4. I love dreaming of and planning for vacations! All of those destinations sound fantastic! We’re taking a trip to St. Louis, Missouri this summer. We have family there that we will be visiting, but there are things we want to see with our four year old that he has never seen before, so it should be a good time!

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    1. St. Louis is a fun city! We haven’t spent much time there but we always enjoyed driving through and stopping for a meal. Not a fan of the pizza, though! Ha.

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  5. A vacation sounds amazing right now. Those are some great places to visit. I have always wanted to go to Canada and Maine. I love Disney World and didn’t want to leave when we went.

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  6. This is so awesome that you’re able to do so much traveling with your kids!! I was also a young traveler because my dad wanted us to see the world. And it is one of the things I am most grateful for.

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