This is a follow up to our little-heard 3rd podcast episode originally recorded on November 4th, 2013.
In that show, Gary and I discussed the idea of vacations and what they mean to us. We started with childhood vacation memories: what made them great and how our parents' choices in vacation destinations shaped how we choose to recreate today.
What Kind of Vacationer Are You?
When I thought of the subject for an episode, the answer to this question was at the heart of the idea. What makes for a great vacation personally? Does it mean bringing a family to a theme park for officially licensed sweatshirts and beanies? Does it mean surrounding yourselves with the sounds of foreign languages being spoken or the smells of exotic foods and intoxicating drinks? Does it mean peace and quiet via an escape hatch into nature or paradise resorts?
Any place can be a great choice for a vacation and, as we found out, Gary and I had some common themes in our ideal vacations and some differences as well.
The Escape Vacation Paradise by the Beach
This is the kind of vacation my wife loves. Lots of beach time, closing your eyes and stopping the world for a while. For me, fair weather on vacation is great but it shouldn't be the main attraction of a vacation. Hawaii and Mexico are not hurting for visitors though, so clearly not everyone agrees with me. I personally never took this kind of vacation until my honeymoon to Hawaii.
When I think of cultural vacations, I picture cities rich in history, style and entertainment sights to see. Places I think of for this kind of vacation are Boston, Washington DC, Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York. As a kid, these were the predominant style of vacation we took, other than theme park vacations. To this day, I still probably prefer this kind.
Theme Park vacation
As a kid, we did these kinds of things because that's what I'm told kids want to do. I don't recall asking to go to Disneyworld but I have been assured by my parents that I did indeed wish to go. Either way, I don't really remember the Disney parks but I do remember the middle states places like the Wisconsin Dells, Gatlinburg, TN and Branson, MO. Lots of go-karts, mini golf, wave pools and water slides, Ripley's museums and aging celebrities doing their act to adoring fans.
Wonders of Nature vacation
Gary mentioned this type of vacation as his childhood's primary vacation style. Things like going to see the Badlands National Park in South Dakota, The Grand Canyon, or Old Faithful at Yellowstone. I think this category would also include any camping vacations or fall foliage trips. We definitely didn't take these kinds of trips as a kid but I'm more inclined to try one now as an adult. If karma has any sense of justice, I'm guessing my family will no interest in these just as I start to develop an interest.
Cottage / Summer Home Vacation
This didn't apply to either Gary or me but it's worth adding here because cottage vacationing is a huge part of vacationing for many people. I can totally appreciate the idea of escape to nature but without the inconvenience of staying in rented rooms but I think I like variety too much to ever buy one.
What's your favorite kind of vacation? Did I forget a category? Vote in the poll and add a comment if you have an opinion and want to be heard.