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BellaOnline's Budget Travel Editor

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What is a Vacation?

Guest Author - Jim Fortune

I have taken many trips in my day. Some were short trips - a day or two, and some were long trips. When I was younger, my trips seemed to be longer, and much busier. There seemed to be a lot of hustle to get to where we were going and always lots of driving. I would think nothing of driving all day to get someplace and then go to dinner and the next day look around and drive all day to get home - and I called that a vacation.

As I travel more, my trips tend to be more focused. However, sometimes they are not. Some trips remind me of an "all you can eat" restaurant. There is always lots to see and nowhere near enough time to get it all in. The dinner plate at the "all you can eat" restaurant is intentionally small, so you have to plan what you are going to get to make it all fits on the plate.

Let me give you an example. We went on a 12 night Mediterranean cruise. We only had a short amount of time (the small plate) at each port and we wanted to see everything (the long table) and we could only fit one or two excursions (the goodies on the table) into a stop. It really made me focus on getting the most packed into a day. The day at Florence and Pisa was a long day. Off the boat at 7:30 AM and back on and leaving port at 6:00 PM. I was bushed but I had seen enough to know that I wanted to go back someday and see the rest of what I had missed.

In 1993 we took a vacation by which we have come to measure all following vacations. One of my pet peeves was going a vacation and being so rushed, that it was Friday when I started to feel relaxed, and I was leaving to go back home on Saturday. I know you have had that feeling. In 1993, I told my wife that I hoped it would not be Friday when I was starting to feel relaxed. Imagine my surprise when on Sunday I announced that I was feeling very relaxed and was not even thinking about home and all of the things I had to do when I got back.

It was terrific. It was also my first cruise. It could have been the Coco Loco's on Saturday night when we sailed out of Port Everglades. Or it could have been the very nice couple and their two daughters from Israel at our dining room table for six. It could have been the free upgrade we got to a higher floor and bigger room because we booked early - eight months prior. It could have been most anything. But whatever it was, I was relaxed on Sunday and really looked forward to the rest of the week and what it had in store for us.

Until next time, let me know what is on your mind, and how you are doing, O.K.?

Jim Fortune, the Bella Online Budget Travel Guy
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