Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Pre-Vacation Spending Fast

In April, I'm going on my first real vacation in a few years.  I've been on shorter trips recently, of course, but this is the first vacation in a while that's long enough for me to need to make sure all the food in the fridge gets eaten before I leave.  Since I'm a little apprehensive at the idea that I'll be spending money every single day for more than two weeks, I'm going to go on a spending fast before I leave so I won't feel any guilt for splashing out.  I'm pretty good and living low-key while in regular life and then splashing out while on vacation, but I always like to start a vacation with a bit of a deficit, which makes vacation mode out that much sweeter.  There are a few things I'm going to do to set myself up for the most enjoyable travel experience I can get.
  1. I usually try to lose a little weight before I go on a long vacation since I know I will inevitably gain weight while traveling.  Traveling is great in that I will be moving much more than I do at my desk job, but I will also be much more gluttonous.  Losing weight and eating mindfully before setting out on a trip helps me both identify what is real hunger as opposed to just convenience or boredom eating, and it helps ensure that my clothes continue to fit while I'm away.  I also find it much easier to diet before going on a trip, because I know that there is an end point to the diet. I will, of course, be bringing looser or more forgiving clothes on this trip, but I can't wear them every day.  Also, there's really nothing worse in my mind than returning from a trip and immediately feeling guilty for having nothing that fits to wear to work, or having to buy new clothes.
  2. I am going to avoid the grocery store except for the absolute essentials.  I did a January pantry/ freezer cleanout, which got rid of a lot of items that had been lingering in my cupboards for far too long, but I could have actually kept up that cleanout for another month or more easily.  This time around, I have even more incentive to stick to it, so that I can leave the fridge nice and clean for my house/ cat sitter while we're gone.  I'll also, obviously, save money on groceries, which is nice since paying for hotels already has me smarting a bit.  I already have a few restaurant dates on my calendar for before I leave, so buying fewer groceries will help finance eating out, which is kind of the opposite of usual rules of frugality.
  3. I've been doing slightly more online shopping lately. A lot of what I've ordered has been returned, but I've also been looking for "the perfect X", which has necessitated ordering and sending many things back, and just spending more time being tempted by items in online stores.  Since I don't want my house-sitter to have to deal with a large volume of packages, I need to not order anything else until I get back, or just not at all.  Even though I'm being very deliberate with my purchases, this will help me avoid temptation since I won't even be looking.  Even the most deliberate shopper gets tricked sometimes!
  4. I'm doing a very slow and methodical closet clean out.  Travel always forces me to consider the functionality of my clothes, since I need to pack things that are comfortable, move well, clean easily and don't take up too much room/ have too many complicated pieces.  If I'm being honest, that's how I would like my wardrobe to function on a daily basis too, so by analyzing items I currently have, thinking about situations I would wear it and determining how many potential uses I could get out of it, helps me decide if a particular item of clothing is really as useful as I would like it to be.  I've been slowing siphoning things out of my wardrobe since we moved over a year ago, and since I realized I had a bunch of clothes I hadn't really unpacked or missed.  It'll be fun to come home to a closet that is more reflective of what I actually wear, and that will have room for my travel clothes once I've unpacked.
So maybe this all makes me sound like a bit of a crazy person since a lot of it is only tangentially related to travel, but I find that planning a trip unlocks the organizer part of my brain and gets me excited in a 'take on the world' way.  I might as well harness that energy to improve the rest of my life!