The vacation. Something that as a pastor can be difficult to take for a few reasons. Coming from a smaller church it is always on the back of a pastors mind if they should be back in time for church that following Sunday. Who are they going to call if something happens with the building? What will people think if they go on vacation?
I remember back to 2005 when Tracy and I decided to go on vacation (out of the state). A lady from the church who is no longer with us told me “must be nice. Only rich people can go on vacation.” For some reason or another that ignorant comment has stuck with me all of these years. To be honest, I wanted to reply that “not necessarily rich but fiscally smart”.
Let me first say that vacations come in all different types of forms. From the staycation to simply driving somewhere in the state you live in for a day or two…a vacation is really a state of mind. Where you go is relative.
The way I have been able to take my family on vacation the past two times via an airplane has been due in part to our Chase Southwest Airlines credit card. Tracy and I put pretty much all of our purchases on the credit card. At the end of the month we pay it off so there is no interest charges. By doing this we rack up frequent flier miles all year long. This past trip to Florida only cost us $50.00 in processing fees for all five of us to fly.
Regarding hotel, once again Priceline came through. When traveling with a family of 5 it can become costly to eat out for every meal. There were two things I was looking for in a hotel and they were a continental breakfast and kitchenette. That way we could cook most meals in our hotel room after a simple visit to the nearest grocery store. If I were to book this room through the hotel’s website it would have cost me $340.00 per night. Thanks to Priceline, I found the same room for $120.00 per night. This was a win win situation.
I have traveled so many times to Florida and other places that I have become quite savvy in doing things in a less expensive way. It has really been a blessing. With that said…yes…I will continue to go on vacations. I will continue to not answer text messages, etc. from church folk while I am away so that I can be fully present with my family. It is necessary to stay sane and to give my family some much needed downtime.