Help Us Plan A Vacation

disney-cruise-image-headerSo this year we’re thinking about doing something wacky.  We hear there is something called a “vacation” where a family can go and have fun and relax and do stuff together away from one’s home.  We’ve attempted said “vacations” in the past, but we usually end up staying home because of the costs and instead I do yard work.

Other past vacations have included removing wallpaper from a bathroom, building shelves in the garage, painting multiple rooms in the house, and smacking my head on ceiling beams in the attic while putting down plywood flooring.

The last time we had one of these so-called “vacations,” it was a pseudo one.  Our friends Kristy and Daniel were getting married, she happened to be from a part of Florida near a beach, so we combined the two and stayed for a couple extra days.  That was almost two years ago.

Prior to that, the last time we took the family anywhere was almost five years ago, and it was for one night.  We were visiting my sister in Florida and decided to kidnap my mom and go stay at a kid-friendly hotel in Orlando for a night.  No theme parks or anything.  Just swimming pool and fun, which was good for us at the time, but very short-lived.

Before that, the last time we really went on a genuine vacation was the summer before Tommy was born, so that would have been 2003, I think.  So we’re going on six years since actually going on a vacation.

This year, now that we actually have a job with vacation time again, for the first time in several years, we’d actually like to go somewhere that would qualify as a real vacation.

Here are the top two things we’d like to do, but have quickly discovered we apparently cannot afford or ever will be able to afford:

Go to Rome
Take a Cruise

We have never been out of the country before, and really have no clue how to do it.  Furthermore, we have no idea how feasible it would be to take our kids out of the country.  Jennifer and I have passports, but we really don’t want to pay for passports for the kids if we don’t plan on taking them out of the country any time soon.

The Cruise thing, lately, has been our top want.  And I realize that during Lent, talking about wants is sort of pointless.

We used to think Crusies were frivolous, pointless, wastes of money.  Now we think they are frivolous, pointless, wastes of money that we want to go on.

The idea of not having to clean or cook for seven people for a couple of days has become really, really attractive for Jennifer.  Therefore, it’s an attractive idea for me. What makes her happy and content makes me less likely to get in trouble.

Unfortunately, to go on a cruise with this many kids means we’d need two rooms, so we’d probably end up bringing my mom along or something to help out, and therefore, it would cost us even more.

Also, unfortunately, going on a cruise with this many kids would also cost as much as a decent used car.  Are we just not looking in the right places?

So at this point, we’re trying to figure out what to do, what vacation options are available to us, and if it’s possible for us to even do something.

We don’t want to charge a vacation with credit cards since we’ve worked so hard to eliminate all of our debt except for our house, so whatever we end up doing, we want to start saving for it now so we pay for everything 100% with cash.

But like with so many things, we’re clueless about vacation possibilities.  So help us out, if you would.  Do you know of any awesome family vacations that won’t break the bank?  Again, a cruise would be awesome, but we’re thinking it’s just going to be impossible until we’re 73 years old.

What about something like renting a lake house somewhere or something along those lines?  Seriously, we’re vacation neophytes so we have absolutely no idea what is doable.

So bring on your suggestions and links to great deals!  And many thanks in advance!

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