Vacation Time

It’s almost vacation time again for us. I just bought 2 flights to Havana last weekend for June. The flights are expensive, about $1000 each. We will be going budget once in Cuba though, staying in Casa Particulares, eating in Paladares, and taking the bus. It will be cheaper than an all-inclusive resort. I decided not to use Air Miles for our flights by the way (even though I said I might), because I decided to assume the higher $0.16 or $0.2 valuation for the Air Miles. I think they will get used for sure within the next year for flights to Calgary. We already know we will be going to a wedding in Canmore next January for a weekend and Air Miles are worth about $0.23 on flights to Calgary.

Since our last vacation, in October 2005, we have been saving about $600-700/month towards vacations. That amount is automatically transferred at the middle of every month from one of our chequing accounts into an ING account. We did this because we both have full time jobs and we both get 4 weeks of vacation per year now and we want to be able to use it. We have no kids right now, but we will eventually, and we want to make sure we take advantage of this post-marriage pre-children period. We are maximizing our RRSPs and slowly but surely paying off the student line of credit and putting away some more money for a rainy day so I think we can afford it. Last but not least, we just need a vacation!

5 thoughts on “Vacation Time”

  1. I would expect that in june you could find all kinds of all-inclusive vacations for less than $1000. I’ve seen them for less than that in Cuba even during peak season.

  2. Sorry, nice try. 🙂 From Toronto or Montreal for 1 week, yes, but not from Vancouver. We’re also going for 2 weeks.

    I just did a check on Trip Central and in Varadero, leaving on Saturday June 17th from Vancouver for 14 nights would be about $2355-$2538 per person at the hotels I would be willing to go to (because of decent ratings at Trip Advisor.

    That works out to $4710-$5072 total including all taxes, but before factoring in excursions, souvenirs. When we went to Varadero before we didn’t go on that many excursions, just 2 I think, but they can add up. The day trip to Havana is pretty expensive I think. For our DIY trip I am estimating it will cost us between low to mid-$4000s including everything.

  3. A few years back (maybe 5 or 6), my wife and I spent 2 weeks in Cuba over the Christmas and New Years holidays. We went to Cuba as it was the cheapest location we could find. I am going from memory, but I could have sworn that we spent $1,600 each for 2 weeks in an all inclusive. We flew direct from Ottawa.

    Now, the rating on the hotel was maybe a 4 star. It definitely wasn’t a 5 star.

    Cuba has great beaches and really beautiful crystal blue oceans. And you should enjoy yourselves now. Once the baby arrives, priorities change.

  4. Dave – as a new parent myself I can’t stress enough – do the vacation thing while you can!!! Once u have a kid/kids you won’t be doing much travelling for a while and once you do, it will be centered around the kids. Not that I’m complaining but I’m glad I did all my snowboarding trips out west (AB,BC) because I may never take another one! Or I’ll be so old I’ll be staying on the green runs to avoid broken bones 🙂


  5. You are right, I think one should go on as many vacations as possible before kids. But I recently realized another benefit of this:

    When my parents had us, they took us on very kid-centric holidays (Disneyland, camping, etc…). One of the reasons was that they weren’t very experienced travellers. ie. They hadn’t been to any foreign countries besides the US and no countries were English is not spoken. So the other benefit of travelling as much as possible before kids is that the more wide-ranging travel experience you rack up before you have kids, the more willing you will be to take your kids anywhere, even to those places that you might often think of as non-family places. It allows you to basically continue travelling with kids as before, and it gives the kids great non-Disneyland-style experiences. They might complain a bit, but when I was a kid I always was a whining kid no matter where we were.

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