The price of priceless memories

The trip to Greece to see ancient ruins, the birthplace of democracy and some of the most beautiful islands in the world also was priceless.  Our daughter learned about other languages, other currencies, very long flights, and of course, European fashion!

The trip to Greece to see ancient ruins, the birthplace of democracy and some of the most beautiful islands in the world also was priceless. Our daughter learned about other languages, other currencies, very long flights, and of course, European fashion!

The summer of 2013 was an amazing one of new travels and milestones. As our family is intentionally shifting our investments from “things” to “experiences” we learned much on our journeys this summer. So, what does the typical American household spend on vacations? American Express in their 2013 study on family vacation travel estimates the average American family spends $1180 per person on summer vacations or an average of $4580 for a typical family. We did exceed that budget this summer as we celebrated a 50th birthday milestone, and we are feeling no post-purchase anxiety about that. In fact, we are hoping to continue to expand our travels as we go into next summer.

Transitioning from a mindset of “I could by X or Y with $4500 rather than that vacation” to “we have never been to the Greek Isles and that other expense can wait” has been an enjoyable one for us all. As I wrote about earlier in the summer, our daughter experienced her first sleep away camp in the mountains and returned with renewed respect for electricity and bug spray. For family vacations, we enjoyed traveling to the Grand Canyon with another family in June. To float on the Colorado and see an actual fault line was a sight I will never forget, nor will our daughter. The trip to Greece to see ancient ruins, the birthplace of democracy and some of the most beautiful islands in the world also was priceless. Our daughter learned about other languages, other currencies, very long flights, and of course, European fashion!

On currency, a better understanding of the exchange rate from dollars to Euros was an educational experience. We agreed that she will handle our travel money on the next trip. I have enjoyed many other bloggers who recommend families give their children the responsibility to handle the spending while away, and I could not muster the courage to do that this summer, but will try that next summer.

Some of my fondest memories of childhood remain family vacations, and I am looking forward to making many more priceless memories in the future. We hope our next stop will be France. Where will your next priceless memory take you?

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