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Vacation Travel Is Overrated

People go on vacations and enjoy them. But they routinely mix up several different benefits, some of which are unrelated to traveling and staying at a hotel somewhere.

Traveling to a place with something good about it (sunny beaches, museums you want to visit, etc) is one benefit of vacations.

Not working for a while is another benefit. People have more free time while on vacation. You'd still get this benefit if you took the same time off work but stayed home.

Another reason people like vacations is they spend more money. Not just on travel and the hotel, but also on food, spas, massages, entertainment and conveniences (to save time or hassle at the cost of money). They are less frugal about buying luxuries while on vacation. It's a common mistake to attribute some of the fun of this additional purchasing to travel. They could stay home but go to nice restaurants for a week and buy some other stuff they want, like they would on vacation, but without also buying a plane flight and hotel room.

I consider vacations (and travel) overrated. There are some good things about them, but try not to mentally bundle everything together. Recognize that you could do some of the stuff you do on vacation (take time off work, spend more money on your happiness for a week) without traveling, and save a lot of money, and it'd be better and more convenient in some ways. (Your home is nicer to stay in than a hotel room unless it's really expensive, and even then your home has all your stuff. And you have your car if you stay home.)


Elliot Temple on March 24, 2017

Messages (8)

I hate vacations.. I get sick a lot


Anonymous at 10:59 PM on March 25, 2017 | #8531 | reply | quote

There's a saying among people who live in their RVs all the time and just move the RV to different places:

"My life is better than your vacation"

I'm sure that's not always, and perhaps only rarely, true. But I think they have the right idea in trying to have a life they like all the time. Instead of live a life they mostly hate with the occasional vacation thrown in for fun.


Anonymous at 7:54 AM on March 26, 2017 | #8532 | reply | quote

Western culture also portrays travelling as a rich in learning activity. Especially for younger people i.e. 18-30. I’m not sure this is a good thing, so I thought I’d write down some of my thoughts.

First, what do they actually learn that they couldn’t have learnt at home (assuming their home is reasonably normal)? What are they learning specifically? Usually, it is something vaguely defined such as ‘gaining life experience’. I do admit that people learn some things e.g. maybe they didn’t know how to pack clothes well when moving regularly. Furthermore, I don’t deny that people may actually have a life-changing experience for the better. E.g. maybe somehow they find out that it is important to want to learn or develop skills. But if they didn’t *intend* to learn this - isn’t it an accident? Shouldn’t they put more time into learning how learn *intentionally*?

Overall, I think the learning experience people have is overrated/over exaggerated. Most of the time I think it is much more consumption than investment.

Does anyone agree/disagree that travelling is a rich in learning experience?


Louis at 7:48 AM on December 12, 2019 | #14805 | reply | quote

#14805 Yeah travel is consumption, not investment.

People think the exposure to different cultures and customs is valuable. I think that's true but also travel is overrated too.

A lot of people understand cultural differences more IRL than from documentaries and books.

Travel gets people out of their social circle and comfort zone to interact with other parts of the world. So it has some usefulness in relation to some common problems people have.


curi at 1:02 PM on December 12, 2019 | #14807 | reply | quote

#14807

> People think the exposure to different cultures and customs is valuable. I think that's true but also travel is overrated too.

I found some standard responses for why it’s valuable here: https://leselfes.com/understanding-different-cultures/ and here: https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/www.theodysseyonline.com/should-experience-cultures.amp. I don’t agree with all of them. I’m curious as to whether you have extra reasons for you think exposure to different cultures and customs other than:

> Travel gets people out of their social circle and comfort zone to interact with other parts of the world. So it has some usefulness in relation to some common problems people have.

Also, do you think it’s useful because getting out of that zone develops their social skills better? For example, they have more stories to tell at a party? Or, they learned to talk to different kinds of people without knowing them well, which may help at work or in other social situations?


Louis at 3:02 PM on December 13, 2019 | #14827 | reply | quote

#14827

Damnit,

> I’m curious as to whether you have extra reasons for you think exposure to different cultures and customs other than:

Should be:

I’m curious as to whether you have extra reasons for thinking exposure is valuable other than:


Anonymous at 3:05 PM on December 13, 2019 | #14828 | reply | quote

#14827 I think there's value in getting a broader perspective on life and realizing that lots of stuff you take for granted can be done differently. Not everything about your culture is just how life is and must be.


curi at 3:26 PM on December 13, 2019 | #14829 | reply | quote

#14829

Do you think this value enriches day to day life? I think it can, but I’m not sure if you were getting at that or something different.

E.g. maybe country X does a different thing at the supermarket and having been there, the person is reminded that problems can be solved differently *between cultures*. The realisation might also highlight that not all solutions are created equal.


Louis at 1:28 AM on December 14, 2019 | #14836 | reply | quote

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