Do you go on holidays every year? Do you wish you were able to?
I just returned from Maui, Hawaii this past monday. I was able to spend two amazing weeks with my family. These times away for me have been so crucial to my family, and my ministry. I have built into my goals for the year that I would take my family on a holiday. A lot of people ask me how can you afford two weeks away in Maui(last year we were there for 3 weeks!). Well here is how we do it, and pay for the whole thing in cash before we go.
1. First thing is that we save money. If you have a goal, it is easier to go without that starbucks coffee, or the newest xbox game. We put money away each month, and when we see a cheap deal we purchase it. We always make sure to pay it off right away. I know this seems simple, but a ton of people have credit card debt. If you struggle with saving money make sure to check out Dave Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. This book helped us develop a savings plan. If you can borrow it from a friend do it today!
2. Book a place on VRBO.com. We booked a two bedroom condo in Maui for cheap. Actually, it was almost $150 cheaper a night than what a travel agent could get us. The key when booking a place to stay on VRBO is that you can actually negotiate with the owners. We ask for a better deal every year, and guess what…we get it. We have booked places to stay all over the world and it works! The best thing about booking a place on VRBO is that the owners usually have everything you need. The place we stay at in Maui has beach chairs, coolers, kids toys, and the person managing the property found two pack and plays for the kids to sleep it!
3. Either get a free flight, or find deals. I saw this website awhile ago called, travelhacking.org. Check out the website and they will show you how to accumulate flyer points the easy way. The guy guarantees 4 free flights a year! I started this too late, so I wasn’t able to use points for Maui. So, what we did was setup email reminders for flights and car rentals. Kayak.com would send us a daily email telling us what the flight cost was. I know this is the most annoying thing, but it saves us tons of money each year. Sometimes it will take us 3-4 months to get a deal on a flight. It is worth the way to get a flight for half price. I also set up email reminders with hotwire for car rentals. Hotwire emails us when the car rentals go on “sale”, but be patient. We never book a car rental for over $15. Ideally we want a car rental for 10-12 dollars a day!
My prayer for youth workers who are constantly pouring themselves out for their churches is that you would take time to slow down, and love your family. Your kids need to see the love of Christ in you, and your marriage. A lot of times our families come at the cost of ministry, and church. Lets be a generation that changes that.