Vacationesia and Going Broke

I hate to admit this, but we overdid it on our vacation. I’m not talking about eating too much pasta, street hotdogs, and decadent desserts. This is not about my waistline. I’m talking about the “Oh-Why-Not” purchases along the way. For instance, should we pay for the special exhibit at the big city museum? “Sure. Why not?” Should we order room service at $20 per person because the kids are really tired? “Sure. Why not?” Should we get the tiny economy car, or splurge on the mac daddy SUV with the drop down built-in movie theater. “Um, we have three kids! This is a no-brainer!”


I don’t know what it is about vacation that makes me completely forget that I am not related to Donald Trump, my kids have no hope of an athletic scholarship to college, and that my air conditioner at home has maybe one more month of life left—and it’s June. I call it “vacationesia.” Even when we are taking a budge vacation, I tend to lose all sense of…well common sense.

In honor of David Letterman’s retirement, here is my own Top Ten List of Ridiculous Vacation Purchases:

Top 10 List of Ridiculous Vacation Purchases

10.  A $5.00 Diet Coke in the motel vending machine, when a McDonalds $1 large soda was a short walk down one block.

9. A touristy family picture package for $25-$70 at for example, Disney’s Hoop Dee Doo Revue, the Top of Rockefeller Center, or Universal’s Studio’s character meet and greet. I really don’t want the $30 picture of me falling down Splash Mountain where my face looks like I am going to die or throw up. I don’t need to pay all the money for a memory of me wetting my pants in public.

8. A two-pound bag of M & Ms for $7.99 a pound just because it came from the M & M store in Times Square and you can choose your own colors. That’s $16 and change for a bag of candy covered chocolate. I think it is even cheaper per pound in the hotel vending machine.IMG_0779

7. I understand being desperate for clean undies (especially after Splash Mountain), but it is foolish to pay for laundry service at the resort or hotel when a laundry mat is down the street. Incidentally, it’s also faster to do it yourself.

6. We live only two hours from Sea World, and every year we get suckered into buying a family one-year pass, thinking we will certainly be back again in the next 365 days. Nope. We never seem to make it back in the year, and we paid the extra money for nothing.


5. Going to an expensive seafood restaurant on a picturesque pier because your husband likes the view and has a craving for stone crabs, even though the kids eat something like a Happy Meal for $10 and complain about the “fishy” smell the entire time.

4. In the afterglow of a fabulous massage, I’ve been known to be suckered into some expensive spa miracle face cream that will make me look like Christy Brinkley in the 80s, only to get home and find out it causes serious breakouts.

3. Buying tickets to walk up the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. First, it’s not the crown so you have zero bragging rights, and second, it does nothing to enhance your experience with the actual statue. You can’t see the Statue any better. The best you can do is look up her skirt (easy, Moms, it’s still G-rated). Not exciting nor kid-friendly.IMG_0891

2. Paying for audio museum tours. It costs money and goes much slower than I would go through an exhibit. It’s easier to read the plaques, and that part is free.

1. Buying full price Broadway tickets from the hotel concierge just because your rich boss told you that’s the way he does it, even though the hub for the discount tickets are practically underneath your hotel window.IMG_1024

So, I hope my readers can learn from my costly mistakes. Feel free to post your own costly “vacationesia” mistakes. After all, idiocy loves company.

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