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Are You Trying to Buy Time or Invest It?

by Don Current on February 10, 2011

Indoor Waterpark

photo courtesy Steve B.

My family and I just returned from a fun little overnight getaway to Great Wolf Lodge near Cincinnati. We had an awesome time in the waterpark and just hanging out together. It was a VERY expensive couple of days though. It was funded thanks to a gift though, so fortunately it didn’t impact our budget. We did go in the middle of the week and use a package deal to save a little money on the trip.

It really made me think though. Yes, we had a blast, but did we really have proportionally more fun than an inexpensive camping trip? Each year just before school starts, we take a long weekend camping along the western coast of lower Michigan. We probably spend about the same on that four day trip as we did overnight at Great Wolf Lodge.

There’s no doubt that we have as much fun on that camping trip as we did at the waterpark. We play in the waves of Lake Michigan; we do some sight-seeing; we hang out around the campfire. Again, we just enjoy each other’s company.

Isn’t that what it’s all about? My kids don’t want me to spend lots of money on them. They just want me to spend time with them. You can’t buy time at any price. You can invest time however. You’ll never get a better return than an investment in your family.

There’s nothing wrong with saving up and taking a fun vacation with your family. Just remember that it’s not the cost that determines the true value of the trip though.

By the way, if you do have it within your budget, I highly recommend Great Wolf Lodge. Yes, there are a million ways to spend your money at that place, but it is a class establishment. The staff was highly trained and very friendly. The place was clean and well kept. There was something for everyone in the waterpark. We were not disappointed in any way during our stay.

What inexpensive yet fulfilling vacations has your family taken?

  • Holly

    Our cheapest vacation the last few years was a trip to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. We packed food so we didn’t need to eat out much and spent a lot of our time enjoying the park (free) as much as the cave. The important thing about the trip was getting away from the distractions–work, t.v., computers. We remember the family time more than the actual trip through the cave.

    • Don Current

      Our family has done that as well. That’s a great area to get away from it all. We even found a back road that wasn’t much more than a logging trail that was fun to travel along. There are lots of great trails to hike in the park too. It’s a beautiful area. There are quite a few things to do in that general area also. We enjoyed going to Kentucky Down Under. It’s a pretty neat park with lots of animals and another cave.