It seems some people prefer a hotel. Which just boggles my mind. Don’t you want to wash yourself in the morning with biodegradable, nature-friendly soap in the deep part of a stream flowing with snowpack run-off??
Once in a while I will be around families who are talking about their upcoming summer vacations.
Destinations like camping, Mexico, Hawaii, visiting family in New York, or Disneyland might come up.
I am definitely more of the camping-oriented vacationer. I want to find a flat place to pitch my tent in the middle of the woods, preferably next to a stream. I want wake up in the morning and get coffee going in my Coleman percolator, and stoke the morning fire in my double-lined flannel jacket while my brew percolates. Quiet. Some birds in the distance. Trees towering above you in a canopy of nature. The brink of dawn creeping through the pines. The smell of a firepit happily flaming away.
How can you not absolutely love everything about that?
But it seems some people prefer a hotel. Which boggles my mind. You don't want to wash yourself in the morning with biodegradable, nature-friendly soap in the deep part of a stream flowing with snowpack run-off? You would seriously prefer to sleep in a bed, rather than find the one comfortable spot on the hard earth in between rocks and twigs? Unfathomable. But, it is what it is.
I am a frugal miser who enjoys canned tamales heated over the wild flames of a pit, so it is difficult for me to see the joy in having to go to a restaurant when you are on vacation. For me, a vacation is getting away from it all, which includes restaurants. They take sooo looong. It takes an hour or longer to get in and get out of a restaurant. That is an hour I could have spent staring at the billions of stars while resting in front of a campfire curled up in my army-green fold-up camping chair.
Be that as it may, I have to admit that with a family of seven, maybe a few days enjoying Disneyland’s fireworks show could be more enjoyable than throwing pinecones onto the fire. Maybe. It certainly claims to be the happiest place on earth, but it is also a pretty chunk of change. Especially for a family our size.
We also haven’t been on a proper vacation for two years, and it certainly isn’t happening this year after our huge move out of state — so maybe I am just more sensitive to hearing where people are going, these days. It seems to me like Disneyland is definitely the crème de la crème of vacation destinations.
As a rule I cross-reference and cross-check prices on everything: From canned beans to trips to Disneyland…there is a spreadsheet just waiting to be created. And I'm just the person to create it.
I ask myself: “Self, how much would you spend at Disneyland for a three-day trip?” and then I would counter that with, “Self, how much could that money get you…anywhere else?”
Let’s go (find out, I mean)!
(Fortunately, Priceline cannot calculate a trip to Mordor.)
Camping: campsite $25 + $200 gas to get there + food $10 (hot dogs) + hotel $0 (because, tent) + socialization* 0 = $235
Disneyland (3 days): tickets (4 adults, 3 kids) $1,612 + food (3 meals/3 days @ $280/meal) $2,520 + hotel ($379×3) $1,137 + socialization 10 = $5,269
Scottish Highlands/Islay (7-9 Days): 7 seats $2,597 + food ($120/meal) ~$1,080 hotel (300×7) $2,100 + socialization 7= $5,777]
Cruise Ship (7-9 days): $899/person (cheapest) $6,300 + food included (pretty sure) + hotel included (thank God) = $6,300
*Socialization scale included for the vacation introvert.
And this is why staycations (and camping) were invented.