Vacations offer many benefits

Melisza Campos used to travel with her husband and three children every summer to visit her in-laws. 

Since some of their family members have moved to Florida, they now travel in the winter. And they also have decided to start a new tradition to go on an extended family trip with her parents and brother. 

"To be able to spend good quality time without the hustle and bustle of work and allowing my kids to be able to have that extended amount of time — whether that be with their parents, their uncles and grandparents — builds memories that they’re going to remember when they’re adults," Campos said. 

Luis Ormaechea, a local attorney, his wife, Darcy, and their two children also travel during the summer, visiting New Hampshire to attend an annual family reunion, he said. They are fortunate to have free lodging during the tip, he noted, as they stay at a home that has been in his wife’s family for generations. When Darcy was growing up, her parents always made sure to make the trip to the reunion, and the Ormaecheas plan to continue the tradition. 

"It’s a great opportunity to build memories with each other and with relatives from near and far," he added. 

Those kinds of experiences are well worth the financial investment and taking time off from one’s job, Campos said. 

"When you come back completely refreshed and rejuvenated, you’re ready to take on the world," noted Campos. "You can’t be running on fumes all the time." 

She added that she and her husband are fortunate that their work involves travel, so they are able to save and use airline points for vacations. To save money, the couple also plans trips to sites or locations they can drive to whenever possible, she said. 

For families or individuals on a budget, planning for vacations is essential to prevent overspending on credit cards or falling behind on paying bills, according to information from the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Rochester ( To help save toward a vacation fund, an individual could cut out certain expenses, such as buying coffee or lunch every day, according to CCCS. 

The financial counseling service also offers additional tips: 

* Set a goal to allow for summer fun within a budget. 

* Decide how much you can set aside out of each paycheck and how many weeks this goal will take to achieve. 

* Plan for all possible expenses, such as plane fare, hotel costs, food and trip activities. 

* Ask about possible discounts at a destination or event, which are not always publicized. 

Vacation spending also is an important part of the economy, especially after the 2008 recession, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Expenditures on travel for pleasure averaged $4,700 per household in 2011, according to consumer information collected by the federal labor bureau. That total is 22 percent higher than what the average consumer spent on groceries or take-out meals that year ($3,838), and more than half of what the typical renter spent on housing that year ($8,548). Additionally, the leisure and hospitality industry accounted for about 10 percent of total employment each year between 2004 and 2011, according to the labor bureau. 

Going on vacation also can provide an economic boost for employers, including boosting employee morale and helping companies attract the best talent, according to Campos, who is vice president of operations and instruction for the Dale Carnegie Rochester office, concurred that paid time off is worthwhile for both employers and employees. 

"Just take the trip, make the time," Campos remarked of taking vacations. "When we get so wrapped up in work, it doesn’t allow us to be able to spend time together as a family. (Vacation) gives us that time when we’re not talking about what tasks need to be completed. It’s just about life and enjoying each other’s company." 

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