Where Should You Spend The Holidays?

Where should you spend the holidays? Stay home, make a trip to see your folks, or go on a vacation? This can be a difficult choice to make, considering all the people interested in your decision. Let’s discuss each and help you make the best decision for you.

Option #1: Stay Home

There are tons of advantages to staying home during the holidays.

You get to do whatever you want.

If you’re married, you could start a new holiday tradition or continue the one from last year. It’s been said that anything you do two years in a row is a tradition.

If you’re single, you can spend this time alone or with friends. On another note, you may not be a big fan of the holidays and plan on skipping them altogether. It’s your choice. Do what feels right.

You like the people.

You don’t have to spend time with your annoying little brother or big sister. You don’t have to listen to your family members ask you when you’re going to have kids. You also won’t have to put your spouse through being continually interrogated by everyone in your family.

You get to eat whatever you want.

Not a fan of turkey or ham? Want to eat hot wings instead? Go for it! You’re in charge of the menu.

Being in control of the food being served is great if you have food allergies or looking to eat a bit healthier. I’m from a southern family that likes to cook. So as you’d imagine, it’s quite easy for me to gain a few pounds during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

If you stay home, you’ll need to decide who cooks: you, your significant other, or your children. And yeah, I said children. Some kids can really cook.

Any kid that’s been on Masterchef Junior, Chopped Junior, or Top Chef Junior is a better cook than I’ll ever be. I’m so bad at cooking, I’ve burned water. Ask my wife about it. On second thought, don’t! She still hasn’t let me live that one down.

You get to decide the topic of discussion.

You can avoid political arguments and sports debates. Truth be told, this can be a pro or con depending on the person as some people love to argue.

Option #2: Visit Your Parents

What’s not to love about visiting dear ol’ Mom and Dad. Mom provides the food and Dad provides the laughs. They’re “Dad jokes” so there’s only so many laughs to be had, but I digress. Being back in your hometown also allows you to catch up with old friends face-to-face.

If you’re from a big family like me, it’s a great opportunity to stay in the loop on what’s happening with your cousins, aunts, and uncles. It’s also more fun to watch the game, play football, or play board games as a big group. As they say, “the more the merrier”.

If you decide to go home for the holidays, you’ll need to figure out how you’ll get there and where you’ll sleep.

How will you get there?

You can drive. Just be mindful of how many miles you’re putting on your car. Driving long distances means you’ll need to take your car in for maintenance a lot soon than you might’ve planned. But hey cars are meant for driving, right?

You can rent a car. This can be expensive during the holidays and there’s an upfront cost. If you decide on a rental, get the insurance. It’s more money you’ll have to spend, but you don’t want to be on the hook for damages. Peace of mind is worth the money.

Related: Why Penny-Pinching Can Cost You Thousands

You can fly. It’s more expensive than driving, but it’s the quickest way to get where you’re going. You’ll be paying a premium because it’s the holidays, but it may be worth it. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of long car rides.

You can take the bus. Greyhound is still a thing and Megabus offers roundtrip tickets starting as low as $14. Taking the bus is a very low-cost option, but it may not be the right option for you if you like having your own space. Also, riding the bus takes a little longer than driving a car because the bus driver has to stop and pick up more passengers.

You can take a train. Now, this is an interesting choice. Taking the scenic route may be the slowest way to get where you’re going, but this also means you’ll have tons of time to enjoy the ride.

Where will you sleep?

Once you decide on how you’ll get there. You’ll need to decide where you’ll sleep.

You can stay with your parents. If they have a guest room or if your old room is still available, this is a great choice in terms of cost. As a guy that likes to travel on the budget, I can tell you that you can’t get much cheaper than free. If you’re married, make sure your husband or wife is comfortable sleeping there. If you have kids, bring some sleeping bags.

You can stay in a hotel. If you’re unlucky, there’s no guest room and your parent have converted your old room into a home gym. If that’s the case you’ll need to book a hotel. That’s one more thing to pay for and it won’t be cheap. Hotels are always more expensive during the holidays and it’s possible that there won’t be any rooms available.

Be a grownup and plan ahead.

Option #3: Take a Vacation

If you live somewhere cold, you can vacation somewhere warm like California or Florida. Instead of shoveling snow, you can soak up some sun.

If you live somewhere warm, you can vacation somewhere cold like Denver or Chicago. You can go sledding, make a snowman, have a snowball fight, or go ice skating. If you’re into fashion, here’s your chance to dress in layers.

Related: Colorado Travel Guide | Chicago Travel Guide

If you’re really looking to get away, you can take a trip overseas. The holidays are a great time to take a long trip. You probably have some vacation time available and everyone’s out of the office anyway, so you won’t be missing much.

Related: Railay Beach Travel Guide | Bangkok Travel Guide

Where should you spend the holidays?

Stay home, make a trip to see your folks, or go on a vacation? No one gets to make that decision, but you. Not mom. Not dad. You. If you want to take this time to read, do a DIY project, or anything else that brings you joy, do it. No matter what you choose to do, enjoy yourself.

Let’s Discuss: Where will you spend the holidays and why?

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Hey! I'm Andreaus. One-half of The Blue Pants Budget team! Together my wife and I run this personal finance blog as a way to share our debt free journey and to help inspire and motivate other millennials to become debt free and financially independent.

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