To Travel or Not...

Updated on March 22, 2014
A.N. asks from Saint George, UT
20 answers

I am about to start a full time job after freelancing for the last 7 years. Although I did work full time last year (part time before), I belonged to no one and could still travel when I wanted, and my family and I do love to travel. With the new job I will have little vacation time. We are also planning on another baby in the very near future (currently have a 5 year old son), and I know once that happens, my trips will not be the same as they can be now. My son can hike, kayak, and backpack with us, all things I want to do.

I really want to go on one last big trip in May to New Zealand. I want to do one of their great walks, and my son can handle one of the shorter ones, and would be able to handle the trip and everything else we want to do. If we don't go now, it will probably be at least 5 years before we get the opportunity to go again. Normally I would just do this, but it is going to be pretty expensive, flights are a lot right now. We can afford it, and still have a good savings buffer, but I feel like it is sort of a waste of money (although I love travelling, I also am frugal). Of course, everything just keeps getting more expensive, so I could be down the road in 5 years and it costs double or triple.

Would you take the trip knowing you won't get another opportunity to do this specific thing for many years, or would you plan something cheaper (and maybe regret it later, I wish I had done so much more before my first was born)? I do have other trip ideas planned for the next couple of years, places I could take a baby/young child and be fine, but New Zealand would not be able to be done. We also may not have as much time or money in the future (it always seems to be one of those two that stops us), maybe we won't be able to travel like this again for a long time.

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for your encouragement to go. I know this could be my only chance to do this, but my brain still needed some convincing. We will go while we can, I don't want to have any regrets.

Featured Answers

S.T.

answers from Houston on

Meh. Go or not go. Such a personal thing. I am with Pam on this one. Enough money is such a nebulous thing and with kids it's a sliding scale at best. If I decided to go and for whatever reason on the back end at a later date, money became tight I wouldn't have the room to complain.

My bigger issue was the idea of missing out on travel experiences because of kids (or fill in the blank reason). Life can always be constructed in terms of coulda shoulda woulda. Shrug. I did what I did before marriage and again before kids not because of those things but because that was where my life was at in those points in time. I could have done more or made different choices or... But I didn't. Now I do what I do with my family and it is satisfying because I choose to say it is such.

Good luck whatever you decide.

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P.R.

answers from Cleveland on

I'm the Debby Downer. To me it depends on what you mean by "afford". I'd go if even with some really bad luck we are still totally fine financially. But if afford means counting on things going well and only a "good" savings buffer, i probably wouldn't. We keep getting hit with expenses which aren't even horrible luck or anything. Just seems to be life with a house, cars and kids and they really add up. Over the past week, almost $4k in car expenses. Just random stuff. And if it's not the cars, it's the house. And if it's not the cars or house, it's the kids. So I'd want a very big savings cushion (and that's all relative) so hard to say. Looks like I'm way outvoted though :)

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D.K.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Go for it. Have a great time!

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T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Life is uncertain. Go for it! You may have a "plan" but you never know what the future holds. Take advantage of this opportunity now, while you are in a good place.
New Zealand sounds amazing, I'm sure you won't regret it at all.

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F.B.

answers from New York on

Go. It will be great.

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B.P.

answers from Cleveland on

Go for it. You'll regret not going especially if your talking about expanding your family

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L.P.

answers from Boca Raton on

i never second-guess a trip. money comes and goes...

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M.J.

answers from Sacramento on

I would do it now. One of my big regrets is that we didn't travel more before having kids. We didn't do it enough, either, when we had just one child. Now that our kids are 11 and 7, it's easier, but we had a long stretch there of finding it tough to travel (not to mention, it's very expensive with four people).

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M.M.

answers from Chicago on

GO!
Don't regret not doing it. You may never have the chance again, for one reason or another, and 2 children is a whole different ballgame.
Go, take the one you have, and enjoy the time and ease together.

I'm jealous!

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J.C.

answers from New York on

Go. You never know what the future holds.

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D.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I would go.

Sure, it's expensive. It's a long trip, it's never going to be cheap. But you have the time, you can afford it, and you've always wanted to go. So go for it!

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S.B.

answers from Houston on

I have learned over the last couple of years that life is too short for regrets. No one is guaranteed a tomorrow. Go for it!!! Have fun and enjoy!

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D.B.

answers from Boston on

Not sure how it's a waste of money to see another part of the world you won't be able to go to for at least 5 years! Sometimes you just have to seize the opportunity. I'm sure you can find some economies by staying in lower-tier places or Bed/breakfasts, or by doing one of those home-sharing deals through a reputable agency.

There will always be things that eat up our money - you say you can afford it and still have a savings cushion, your son could handle it, and you'll be losing your free time soon. What's the down side to going?

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R.R.

answers from New York on

I would go. Not only will your future little one not be able to hike etc. for 4 or 5 years, but you will have to arrange vacations around school schedules very soon too. It may be more than 5 years before you have this opportunity again.

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E.M.

answers from Phoenix on

DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!
I went to Kenya for three months when I was pregnant with my first son and even though it was expensive, I am so very glad that I went! What a wonderful experience for your son. If you have the money and are not taking away funds that should be paying for things like your electric bill and food, then absolutely do it. ABSOLUTELY.

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X.Y.

answers from Chicago on

I encourage you to go now.

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S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

the answer to this sort of question is invariably 'GO!!!!'
:) khairete
S.

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❤.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I say GO. If you can do it financially, go now.
You may not get the chance later.
Life is about experiences.
I've never regretted a single trip I took BK (before kids).
So thankful I did ALL I did as now I can't do anything. ;)

C.O.

answers from Washington DC on

If you can afford it. DO IT.

If this is part of your bucket list? GO FOR IT....

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N.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

If you can go now, and in your heart you really want to, i say do it.
Life is about the experiences you get that inspire you, push you forward.
There will not be extra money, probably ever. Possessions you will not take with you to another life ;) New Zealand is one of my dreams and a great place to leave you in awe of mother nature.
I say, live it up! Don't postpone. You never know what awaits tomorrow.
:)

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