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zwho Jan 4th, 2009 05:57 PM

Feeling Guilty About Trip?
I know the economy is circling the drain and today in the travel section of our paper was an article about the concept of naycations. Thats like the staycation, where you vacation at home, but this, you just don't do anything!

I truly believe this life is not a dress rehersal and no one knows what tomorrow will bring, yada, yada...But I REALLY hold those truths to be the real thing, so I'm planning trips!

We found a repositioning cruise that begins in London and then spends 2 full days in Amsterdam and drops us off in Oslo. Wow, that's a trip we've never taken, and Amsterdam & Oslo are 2 places we want to see. With an inside cabin and ff miles this trip is beyond cheap. We'll have to pop for hotel rooms for a night in London and 2 nights in Oslo. And in London I'll use Priceline.

So why do I feel so guilty telling family & friends we're going? We aren't doing any better or worse then everyone we know, and I'm not spending a cent on anything that we don't really need right now. But I think when a deal like this presents itself, I've got to jump on it. Hopefully, I'm still going to be here in May (that's when the trip is)and whatever the economy, my life is going to go on. Right? I wish I didn't feel like this, but I do. Anyone else having these guilt feelings about planning trips?

daph Jan 4th, 2009 06:12 PM

I've felt guilty about every trip I've taken. I doubt if our two children will ever get to go abroad-they have young families and don't make that kind of money. They didn't go after finishing college, backpacking as many do. On the other hand, I'm very frugal and always plan my spending in terms of how much a trip costs as opposed to a new car, haircare, movies, etc. We try not to mantion our plans except to a few good friens who also have the travel bug. Go and enjoy!

scatcat Jan 4th, 2009 06:14 PM

No guilt-and I travel to Europe 3 times per year. I think most everyone has a love of something they spend their money on. Mine happens to be traveling and my husband's weakness is cars and motorcycles and tractors.

suze Jan 4th, 2009 06:16 PM

Nope, I have never felt guilty about a trip. But I'm self supporting with a small extended family and no dependents of my own. I'm not sure why you're feeling bad ;-)

Dancingqueen Jan 4th, 2009 06:26 PM

Yes I am feeling very guilty and somewhat fearful about our upcoming trip to Spain - given the economy. That said I booked the flights several months ago and we will be meeting up with our daugter who has been studying abroad. I am telling almost no one about the trip except for a few close friends. At least at the moment the dollar has been stronger than it was. Let's hope it holds until the end of January when we travel.

Have a great trip and enjoy - travel feeds the soul.

Gary_Mc Jan 4th, 2009 06:26 PM

The President and leading economists are begging those who can safely spend, to do so. The worst thing would be for everyone to pull in their spending. The economy would collapse. The $600B>>$800B>>$1Trillion stimulus package is designed to compensate for those who are afraid to spend (perhaps for good reason). You are being downright patriotic.

Regards, Gary

scatcat Jan 4th, 2009 06:40 PM


Another reason to travel-we are helping the economy! I am flying on American owned planes.

lifeofmytime Jan 4th, 2009 06:56 PM

I feel the same way. I've taken a trip every fall since 2005, all of them abroad except one. I didn't used to feel guilty. I'm a single female in my 30's with the lowest income among my girlfriends. I have a travel fund I consistently contribute to and my trips are paid for before I go - it doesn't go on credit.

I can't count the number of times my friends have planned a group trip only to back out once it becomes clear I'm the only one who has saved any money. It's happened again and so I'm thinking about putting my savings toward my first solo trip. I found a great deal on a flight to Spain. I don't want to tell anyone and even have this notion of saying I'm going out of town on a work trip and go without anyone having an idea.

Maybe it's not guilt so much as not wanting to have to answer all the questions I'm sure to get from both family and friends. Even my coworkers have made cracks about how I could afford my most recent trip. And now there'll be all the questions about why I'm flying solo this time.

To me, life is short. I want to explore as much of this world as I can, and who knows how long I'll be able to. As long as I can afford to travel without causing too much budgeting stress, I will.

taggie Jan 4th, 2009 07:12 PM

I know what you mean.
Sometimes I feel guilty because of family "pressure" - we travel approximately twice per year to see our parents, but every time we go on a bigger trip (usually every other year) we feel like we should be going to see them instead. In fact my dad (who hasn't taken the one hour flight to visit me in over 12 years) has even said so - "you seem to find the money and time to go to Europe but not to come and see us".

But I REALLY feel guilty about this next trip - I am going to England in less than three weeks, without my husband. I went less than a year ago to London. And I'm currently unemployed (although that will change in late Feb I believe). I have spent the extra money to bump up my points so I can go business class and I've got a good PL rate for a 5* in Mayfair... so I'm not even going cheaply, and it's not the best time for us economically. But I have had a miserable, stressful year, and I have to have a little surgery in February/March, and I NEED this getaway desperately. Luckily my husband is supportive. However, my guilt is weighing so heavily on me that I haven't been able to bring myself to tell my parents and sister that I am going...

LoveItaly Jan 4th, 2009 07:24 PM

Unless you are expecting someone else to support you how you spend your money is your business and not anyone elses zwho. That has always been my thinking and it will continue to be my thinking. I don't critique and worry about how others spend their money and don't worry about what they think about my financial decisions. Go and enjoy!

taconictraveler Jan 4th, 2009 07:54 PM

Zwho: I just have to add my two cents to this discussion. I agree with other posters that it is your business how you spend your money.'

But think, also, about how much you learn on a trip to another country, about how you are adding to your own knowledge about other cultures and people, and how that experience can result in change and growth in you, which in turn can help others in your family and your circle of friends.

Sounds like a downright mandate to me, for personal growth.

I see that happening to fodorites all the time, just by reading their travel inquiries and their incredible travel reports.

I'm older, and want to keep traveling. We haven't done much since last Christmas in Oaxaca, and I hope to go to California in February and Italy in September.

We haven't got much money left at the moment, and income is down, but going on the cheap is an option we can use, and it can be fun. If you can manage business class, go for it. That's what I'd do, and hope to do again.

Keep on traveling and keep on learning and growing.

zwho Jan 4th, 2009 07:55 PM

You guys are making me feel a little better. Atleast I know I'm not alone. I have stated on this board that I am a Fodors addict, which means I'm also a travel fanatic. I love it, and it's what I would rather do over anything except maybe spending time with my kids. I even get s#$% from them about it. I said I'm saving so next year I can take everyone to Spain for a trip and my newly married, financially strapped son says, " why don't you just give us what you would spend taking us on your trip". No way! Let them quit smoking and buying Big Gulps everyday! I'm saving to take them with me!

greg Jan 4th, 2009 08:37 PM

Each one decides what is of value worth spending money. The value of trips increased significantly for me after a health scare. After spending two years not knowing if I could travel again, every chance to travel abroad is a not-to-be-missed opportunity.

I have a colleague at work thinking about postponing his first trip to Italy this year due to the economic uncertainty. He has not had a health scare, so the value of ability to travel physically remains out of this mind.

When I hear one thing old people regretted was not having taken more risks when they were young, I know I am on the right track.

annw Jan 4th, 2009 09:04 PM

I'm with LI; if you meet your responsibilities and aren't expecting others to foot the bill, it's no one else's business.

Taggie, I'm surprised your father doesn't know the planes fly in both directions, something worth reminding him when he complains you visit Europe instead!

We have friends who take incredible trips every year--they're off to Egypt and Africa for a month right now; they've been to Antarctica, Easter Island, Russia, Panama Canal, Alaska, Korea/Asia, South America--not even getting into European travels. They work hard as MDs, but they value travel and time off more than just about anything. Some of their trips are as ship docs (adventure cruises, not the big ships), so they work their way, but otherwise they use miles, and then earn the dough for the rest.

I'm sure people wonder and make comments about their trips, but I've seen first hand how frugal they are--she buys her clothes at thrift shops (she can get away with it, working in a very casual chemical dependency clinic), they saved enough to install solar and get off the grid, they grow some of their food -- they live well but as frugally as anyone I've known. They highly value their travel, and they subordinate other expenditures to support it, without guilt.

When I had the guilt factor was when we went on a long overdue and much needed vacation (we are both in health care and get little time off) and arrived at our respite place, Lake Como, only to watch in horror as Hurricane Katrina unfolded--on the news, in the papers, etc. It was horrible to think about what people were going through. We sent money to Red Cross and tried to have as restorative a trip as possible (also it was going to be our last one until this last September!), knowing we would be back in the trenches in a couple of short weeks.

Carrybean Jan 5th, 2009 01:10 AM

LoveItaly said it best. I don't justify my spending to anyone. When "they" (whoever they are) pay my bills, they get to have a say in what I spend.

I live in a tourist destination & daily I see frail, doddering elderly people going on their "trip of a lifetime". The trouble is, they would have enjoyed it so much more when they were 20 years younger & healthier.

PatrickLondon Jan 5th, 2009 02:03 AM

What exactly is it you're feeling guilty about? The spending or the visibility of the consumption?

If you're spending within your means, that's nobody's business but yours. If you're spending what other people might have a legitimate claim on, that's rather different, but I doubt if that applies to many people.

If you're just worried about being seen to find a way to enjoy yourself when others can't, that's more complicated. But as long as you're not swanking about it every five minutes, it really shouldn't be anything to feel guilty about.

Sitting at home doing b-all so you can feel superior in your misery, on the other hand, ought to be something to feel guilty about at the best of times, and especially now. But that sort of self-righteousness is sadly impervious.

Images2 Jan 5th, 2009 04:20 AM

We travel frequently to Europe, for vacation. It's something I can't seem to give up. We find low airfares usually or use FF miles. In France we'll stay in gites, and find B&B's in other locations. We're leaving for Ireland in mid January with very low priced tickets ($360 round trip). Still, I feel guilty, but that won't stop my addiction!

I'm trying to include our family in our travels, instead of them feeling left out. They know they can join us if possible. We've decided to bring each one of our grandchildren on a trip once. I want them to experience new cultures and find that they'll be able to do this on their own someday! We took our first grandson to France and Italy this past spring and it went very well!

In September his Mother wants to go with us. She has 3 children but her husband will pitch in more, and her in-laws will also help. All the kids are in school now so it's easier to leave them for 2 weeks, but we also took a short trip together when she had preschoolers. If it's important, there is a way to overcome the obstacles.

MomDDTravel Jan 5th, 2009 05:36 AM

We felt SO guilty telling people we were going to Paris for Christmas/NYE. Even my 15 year old mentioned she felt it when telling her friends. I do understand what you mean. It was hard to try to explain we had a 5,000 credit on Airfrance that had to be used or lost by 1-2-09 - that the apartment had been paid for since last Feb. That our son's friend was paying his own way to get there... So I do understand.

We generally use miles, stay for free from points on Amex or Marriott ect and travel is a high priority.

Go and enjoy yourself.

Venezuela Jan 5th, 2009 05:48 AM

More than guilt it's a tinge of discomfort.
If we view our trips as an investment in global relations and world diplomacy, maybe it becomes easier.

RufusTFirefly Jan 5th, 2009 06:49 AM

I don't see any reason to feel guilty because you can afford to take a trip. There are always people who can't afford to take a trip--at this moment in time there are more than there were a couple of years ago. I certainly wouldn't flaunt it in front of someone who can't afford a trip, but there's no more reason to feel guilty about traveling than there is about eating when there are people who don't get enough to eat around the world.

That doesn't mean that you shouldn't feel compassion for those who don't have as much as you do, or that you shouldn't be sensitive to their feelings. But guilty? No way.

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