25 November 2008

Doing the right thing

Looks like hubby and I will be kissing our big trip to Europe goodbye. Given the global financial crisis, we were starting to get cold feet about a $7000 splurge. While hubby remains confident that his job is safe, there have already been a few subsequent layoffs and ‘expense cuts’ at his company. We’re not being pessimistic; we’re just erring on the side of caution and deciding to save rather than splurge. On one hand I’m heartbroken by the decision; on the other hand I’m somewhat relieved. Better to save for a rainy day and have a good umbrella.

The only negative about this whole decision, other than the fact that we don’t get our dream vacation, is that we may loose the $1,800 that we already paid for our airfare through Expedia. Because we got such a great deal on the flights, the tickets were non refundable. If we do decide to cancel the flight, Expedia will grant us a credit equal to our ticket price however we will be charged an extra $500 ($250/each) if we decide to use the credit to book other tickets or make changes to our existing itinerary.

For now we are in limbo. We may decide to scale back our trip and simply visit Paris for 5 days, cutting our original estimated vacation costs by roughly 70%. We still have the flight to Paris booked, although we would have to pay a penalty to switch our return flight which was originally departing from Rome. In terms of accommodation, I would only have to book 1-2 extra nights in Paris as we already have 3 nights reserved. It may not be the original plan, but it could still be a feasible small vacation to one city rather than several different stops with expensive train travel between destinations. Thankfully, I am able to cancel all of my accommodations in Italy at no charge.

I’m upset that our original plans are falling through but I’m optimistic that we are making a much wiser decision by playing it safe. We may still end up with a nice little vacation, or worst-case-scenario, we will have lost $1,800 that has already been paid and the money no longer exists. Yes, it’s a stupid waste, but it would be even more foolish to let this dictate our decision to fork out yet another $5000 on a vacation that we may not be able to afford when the time comes.

I suppose that one of the greatest joys and sorrows of being an adult is having the common sense to analyze what is important in your life and being able to cut your losses and move on. The added gravy is always nice, but it’s certainly not a necessity. At twenty-seven life is certainly not over. Europe has been around for ages and I still have ages to get there.


F3rret said...

It sucks, but we're being safe. If we didn't have anything already planned, we definitely wouldn't book a vacation now. That's one way of looking at it.

Ms. Homeowner said...

Sucks that you have to scale back your plans...I know how you feel, I'm doing the same thing right now! But, there is more than enough in Paris to keep you occupied for 5 days!!

Obviously check how much of a penalty there would be to change your departure city from Rome to Paris...it may be cheaper to take the train to Rome and fly out of there still. When we went to Paris, it was cheaper for us to fly in and out of London Gatwick, and take the Chunnel to Paris than it was to fly directly into Paris. You could also try switching your departure to Frankfurt- it's about a 4-5 hour train ride, but the airport is cheaper for the airlines to operate in.

Hilary said...

It does suck, but there is sooo much to do in Paris, and it really can be appreciated fairly inexpensively without feeling like a backpacker! (says the friend who still hasn't retired her pack). So much of Paris is the atmosphere of it, and that does not cost admission! It also probably won't change much in the coming years. There's always a standing invite to Kitchener, no matter what you decide to do. We have atmosphere! We have ...um...geese.