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Does Sampling A Vacation Make Financial Sense?

Have you ever paid big buck for a vacation, only to get to the location and realize that it was terribly overrated and overpriced?  The vacation would end up being a horribly expensive experience because you packed up the entire family and flew them to the location, only to be disappointed and much poorer?

Sampling Vacation

If so, then perhaps a Sampling Vacation would work better for you?  In a sampling vacation you (and maybe a buddy) would go on a vacation (for a few days) to a destination optimizing the fly time and hotel accommodations so that it’s as cheap as possible, especially compared to carting the entire family to the area.  Once there, you can move faster than if you had the entire family with you, and then relatively quickly determine if it’s what you expect or not.  You could even determine what sights you would want the family to see based on your accelerated sampling of the vacation activities and strong points.


Ala Wai Canal


Where did the name Sampling Vacation come from?

A sampling vacation is what a guy from work uses to determine the vacation planning for his family.  You see, five years ago, his wife bought him two weeks of time over in Paris to study under a chef, as a surprise birthday gift.  He went over and enjoy both the class and countryside so much that he took his family (wife and two kids) after they saved up for a few years.  Today, he travels during the cheapest times to a vacation location, to sample the environment for a few days, then determine if both he and his wife want to take the family there or not.  If not, they have a standby locations that they go to and still enjoy, like Hilton Head Island or Disney World.


Palm Trees After Sunset

The only sampling vacations that I have been on, are the ones for blogging conferences and work related trips.  There are a few places out west that I would like to take the family on vacation when my kids are older.

Sunset Surfing


So the real question is, “Are such sampling vacations worth it or a waste of money?”  I know that when I’m on a business trip, it’s definitely worth it since I’m not paying for it on my dime… but the guy I work with, I’m not so sure it is.

For me, I think if I were able to sample a vacation for around $400 or $500, it might be worth it, otherwise I’m sticking to work related paid trips to sample areas for vacations.

Dreaming about vacation already,