Feeling Guilty About Trip?

Jan 7th, 2009, 10:25 AM
Join Date: May 2005
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You must go! Please do not feel guilty for enjoying life!
annikany is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 10:45 AM
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I suspect you're not feeling guilty so much as uneasy. It is hard to go 'against the flow' as it were.

Suppose you had just lost your job but all your friends were going travelling, exclaiming "but life is short -- come on, you'll find a job when you get back!" Now, how would you feel about going travelling? True, you'd have the approval of your friends if you went, but would it have met the majority of your criteria for the best possible decision?

Why is it that every decision must be reduced down to right/wrong or good/evil or even just 'deserving of guilt/not deserving of guilt'? Few decisions in life are that straightforward, so if you're looking for total acceptance and no qualms, I think this is where you are raising the bar unreasonably high for yourself. Most times, the best you can hope for is the best possible decision as measured by the criteria that YOU have decided are important. Presumably the opinion of your friends, or for that matter people here at Fodor's, constitutes one factor to be considered in your decisions, but one hopes it is not the only factor.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 01:30 PM
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My husband, who never has been without in his life, always worries about the cost of trips and everything else. I never do.

I always say, no one ever says on their deathbed, "I wish I traveled LESS."

I have been around a lot of dying people and they often shared how glad they were they took that "one last trip" before they got cancer.

gruezi is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 01:51 PM
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I sometimes feel guilty about traveling. I'm 22 year old college student who is also an only child. The last part usually sends up the flags for everyone and I start hearing all sorts of remarks. My parents aren't rich by any means, but there are no monetary problems in our family and they are responsible with what they do with their money. Right away after they got married they started investing for their future and the future of their children, which only ended up being one.

I was fortunate enough to study in Galway, Ireland last summer and then go on a tour with my parents. My friends all commented on me going abroad and how I was spoiled and have an easy life. I still work and respect money and and pay for most of my own things. But I don't make enough money to afford trips.

This summer I'll be teaching in Latvia and traveling to Lithuania and Ireland. My parents are paying for my flights and my tour in Ireland while I'll once again pay for any extra expenses that I may want to incur.

Sure I feel a little guilty for doing all this traveling, but then I realize that I'm young, the experience will look good for future employers, and I am fortunate enough to be recommended for this experience and have the funds available to do this.

It's your life, more than likely you'll regret not going if you let others talk you out of traveling. If they say anything bad about you traveling just tell them to join you and worry about the consequences when you get back. It may be a once in a lifetime event, so go for it.
JAK86 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 02:40 PM
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DH and I were able to travel in the US, Canada and Mexico for many years, but with children and aging, ill parents, we were not able to travel elsewhere.
In 2003, after being a caregiver for my mom, and before that his mom, and having children who were finally adults, I took my first trip to Europe with friends. DH was thrilled I was going, I'd been pretty much confined to to my house for about 3 years. So, off I went and had a wonderful time. I've been every year since on the girl's trip, and DH and I have gone to Europe every other year. We still travel in the US, as our grandchildren are far flung.
These trips are not extravagant things, we plan carefully and use points and miles for the trips DH and I take. The girl trips are budget trips as well, shared rooms, not terribly expensive hotels, off-peak times.
There is a commercial for some tropical resort that has a song "some people wait a lifetime, for a moment like this." Every time I hear it I feel sad. So many people do wait, and then never get to go. Health, death, divorce, whatever, things happen and travel isn't always possible. It doesn't matter to some people that they've never left "home," never enjoyed a new culture, challenged themselves to get along in new places, tried all the food and experiences that are out there. But it sure does to me, and DH. Being fairly close to retirement age, we know that there are likely limited years when we'll be able to travel like we do now. We don't want the regrets of trips not taken, time not spent together.
We don't flaunt our trips, we don't take money from things we need, we do things for our children and grandchildren. And I have never spent one second feeling guilty.
I do most certainly feel bad for those in terrible financial circumstances. It could happen to us, too.
But I do not feel guilty.
Challiman is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 02:57 PM
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I don't feel guilty. How one chooses to spend their money is their business. If others want to be jealous, that is their business, too.

That being said, I also don't see the need to dress up leisure travel as something it isn't. Most of us ain't saving babies by hopping on that plane to Paris. I'm not doing anybody but myself (and maybe the wife) any favors by traveling to Japan. And I'm not going to bother worrying about whether I live a financially prudent life (I probably don't), and somehow deserve a few indulgences. I simply don't need any justification for a trip other than, "I want to".
travelgourmet is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 02:59 PM
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I don't even justify my trips to my husband...and he's the money maker.
scatcat is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 03:16 PM
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I always say, no one ever says on their deathbed, "I wish I traveled LESS."

I know some consultants that would disagree with you.
travelgourmet is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 05:10 PM
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Having just returned from a 12 day trip to Spain at the end of December, I WAS feeling a bit guilty. Then I read this great article from the Wall Street Journal:


Good perspective on what we each CHOOSE to spend our time and money on.
AJMelheim is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 09:46 PM
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I agree that if you can afford to go and you love to travel, don't feel guilty. If anyone asks you are doing your part to stimulate the economy.

For years I never went anywhere because I had two kids and they came first. Now it's all about me! Not really, but I do love to travel.

We all have things that we are willing to spend money on. Some gamble, some go out to eat every night-we like to travel.

Have fun!
bluzmama is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 03:09 AM
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No guilt here...can't afford a trip since fall of '07 {retail sucks right now} but I certainly can't begrudge those who are doing just what I would had I the means. Bon Voyage and take lots of pictures!
peterboy is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 05:49 AM
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No guilt here. I am taking my first cruise (with many friends and family) for my birthday this spring and my sister and I are going to Japan in the fall. All booked and paid for. Plus DH and I will have a few trips to the States in between.

We have worked very hard to stay out of debt and we don't live a frivolous lifestyle. Should I feel guilty for that? As many have said here...everybody has their priorities. Mine just happens to be travel, while for some of my friends it's keeping up with the Joneses. Nothing wrong with that...just different preferences.
Statia is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 05:50 AM
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I felt guilty when I went to the Virgin Islands in November, but worse than that I felt nervous the world was going to collapse while I was there and I wouldn't be able to get home. I did not enjoy myself as much as I should have for that reason. That is a waste!! If you are going to go, make sure you can leave your negative feelings behind. There's no point spending the money if you can't relax and enjoy it. Also as far as telling other people... who cares what they think? You are not taking them with you, so their opinion doesn't really matter. IMHO
evcobe is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 06:05 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
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I wouldn't feel guilty. In fact I think those who stay home should be the guilty ones. To think they're wasting valuable paid vacation time to sit at home and do the same thing that they do any other day. What kind of vacation is that. Vacation time should be spent on vacation.
I am also a firm believer and try very hard to live by the rule "never turn down an opportunity that you may regret one day." This mainly after not going on a trip that was going to take me to New Orleans and New York before Katrina and the fall of the great Twin Towers. I missed out on two places that I will never be able to see again in all its glory. Though I can't complain too much because I went on a fantastic father/daughter trip instead, but you get the point.
And if all else fails, think about how you're actually helping the economy by spending your money. Your helping others to keep food on their table.
Happy traveling (and vacationing!)
jello1369 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 06:11 AM
Join Date: May 2008
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No matter what you do/don't do, there will always be someone to try to hand you the guilt card. But if you turn the guilt card over to the side facing them you will see it reads 'jealous'. We just renovated 2 baths, have done nothing but replace a faucet since we built in '80. We are the last on the street upgrade. Yet at least 3 remarked that they wished they could afford to redo their baths. ?????

As was said, everyone chooses what to spend their money on, but those who are unsure/unhappy/insecure with their lives & choices want you and me do do the same thing and thereby validate their choices. Years ago a co-worker was making my guy feel guilty b/c I didn't have a fur coat. (We did attend numerous formal functions at the time.) I said I'd rather have a new motorcycle. I got new Suzuki!!!
Jem28 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 06:27 AM
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No, I don't feel guilty. I had not traveled to Europe and Asia until I retired from 34 years of teaching. 6 trips to Europe and 3 to Asia since then plus Mexico, Costa Rica and Caribbean Islands. I plan to go on a Mexican Rivera in 2 weeks and a cruise out of Rome to the Eastern Mediterranean in Sept. I usually take one of my adult children with me. I tell them I am spending their money in this way. They do not seem to mind, and I feel it has definitely broadened their views of the world.
My car is old, and I could use new carpet in my house,but I had rather spend the money traveling before I am not able to do so.
maryanne1 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 06:40 AM
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I do not feel guilty about any of my trips and I have no problem telling anyone about my upcoming travels. I'm single, have a good job and have no dependents. My house payment is absurdly low and my cats will never want a car and will never want to go to college.
Missoulasue is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 07:08 AM
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If you have 6 months of expenses saved (just in case that job disappears), can afford to take a vacation without tapping those emergency funds, and pay your bills in full and on time there should be no guilt. But, if you live above your means, like many of us have been doing for quite some time and have equity loans and credit card debt, then you shouldn't go. I hear from everyone that instead of travel, I should replace my 12 year old car and I, too need gutters on my house. I don't have a plasma TV (horrors!!) and I take my lunch to work and eat out rarely. My husband and I max out my Roth IRA and a 401K every year. (so we can travel even more when we are old!!)

We are off to South America this year - and I'm hoping to squeeze in a Zambian safari, too if I can scrape together the cash. We don't make a lot of money, but without travel, our lives would be so empty. So we make sacrifices that others will not make - instant gratification, you know. It's all about priorities. Maybe you feel a tinge of guilt because you have been responsible with your money and your friends and family have not.
christabir is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 08:40 AM
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Good points, christabir, if you come home to a pile of bills you can't pay or are ready to get evicted then I would say don't travel until you save up some money. But if you are stable financially, as much as anyone can be in these times, I say try to shake off the guilt and go.

You also can save and save and fret and then something may happen physically and then you really can't travel so the question would be moot. I have seen this happen too many times, people who either wait too long or just live an old trip over and over instead of going on a new one.

I suggest just think of yourself as a woman of the world and that you are visiting part of your domain.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 01:51 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 510
I had a sister who always wanted to visit Paris - we live in the United States. Her husband was going to take her for their 25 wedding anniverary. She past away from cancer two weeks before the anniversary.

I am taking my daughter whos name is BRITTAIN to Britain for graduation partly because we have talked about this since she was born AND for my sister.

Life is a gift!!

I'm a single mother who teaches ( meaning POOR) but I have taken on a second job - we do without and have done what i needed to take this trip.

I have told people- too excited not but and EVERYONE has been thrilled for us.

Hope everyone finds a way to travel - safe and happy trips to you us all!!
oh2doula is offline  

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