3 In Personal/ VACAY!!

The Prize That Isn’t

So here’s the deal.

Brent was home sick Monday and Tuesday of this week. He didn’t even know he qualified for the contest, which made the win even sweeter. A coworker called him at home Tuesday night and spread the great news that he had won. What, you may ask?


Seriously, how amazing is that!?

And our planning began. Having wanted to take a fabulous family vacay – let the kids experience a tropical beach and develop a love for palm trees like their mama {they better} – we got thinking.


Barcelo Maya Beach Resort

Ever since we went to the Barcelo Maya Beach in the Mayan Riviera {2011} we have been DYING to take the kids there. It’s seriously an amazing resort and we have nothing but positive things to say. Our trip was spectacular – and while I believe every couple with kids should take at least 1 kidless vacation, I am also a big believer in taking vacations WITH our kids. And since we’ve taken one without them, we figure it’s high time to take them along.

So, option #1: Barcelo Maya Beach – Destined to be an amazing holiday!

Option #2: Hawaii – Because Hawaii doesn’t have all inclusives and has a few excursions we definitely want to do {Dolphin Excursions, Pearl Harbour, and Polynesian Cultural Center for example} which add to the cost of the trip, we felt this would be a trip we aren’t likely to take too soon on our own. So with two flights free off the top, it opens up the opportunity to do more things {excursions for 4 people are not cheap}. This was a high candidate. And I was already dreaming of swimming with the dolphins {in the wild!!!} with the kids.


Ko Olina Beach Villas Resort

Having heard amazing things about the Ko Olina Beach Villas Resort, I thought it would be AH-MAZING to stay there. I know, the dream just kept getting bigger.

Another perk to flying West Jet with this prize is their annual Halloween promotion – where those with halloween birthdays or last names halloween related {black, orange, etc} receive a free flight that day. I am a halloween baby, so we tentatively planned to fly out on my birthday, adding one more half free flight. If it would work for this. *perks*

Then the bomb dropped…These flight vouchers expire JUNE 30TH, 2013! Yep, 3 months away.

Why, you may ask? Well, it’ s pretty apparent someone {NOT WestJet} has been holding them for the past year. Since June 2012…and it is not extendable {is that a word?}.

**cue stress**

Here are the problems….

1. Neither of us has more vacation time to work with right now…not in the next 3 months…fall would have been perfect

2. In the past 4 months Brent has had 1 coworker go on mat leave, 3 quit, and 1 announce a pregnancy. So, as you can imagine, getting time off RIGHT NOW is not super ideal.

3. It doesn’t leave us a lot of time for financial planning either. Even with the free flights, it’s AT LEAST $3,000. And that’s being SUPER skimpy. Plus, we need a new roof, eavestroughs, and furnace this summer….

4. We really wanted to maximize the opportunity and go for 2 weeks, but as a result of the reasons above it’s not even kind of a possibility.

AND – there’s a whole slew of dates the voucher does not allow travel during: March 28th-April 2nd, May 16th-21st, and June 27th-July 2nd.


Oh, AND June is completely out because of dance recitals and the end of the year school concert.

So now we are trying to figure out something else….my parents have a timeshare in Puerto Vallarta at Paradise Village {where we spent our honeymoon 10 years ago} and they have generously offered to let us use it this year. My parents rock!

But even still….do we want to spend the money now when we have all these expenses coming up? Or do we, instead, want to be responsible and scale back the dream?

Scale back on the FAMILY vacation?

radisson fishermans wharf

Radisson Fisherman’s Wharf

Maybe it’s a husband/wife getaway instead…Arizona?   Texas? ooo, San Francisco? I’ve always wanted to go there with just Brent, since the kids and I went in 2010 with my cousin and her son. It would be awesome. But the flights are fairly inexpensive {$700 for two flights} and I’d like to get the most out of these vouchers instead. So now we are back to the mexico thing….a quick 4-5 day husband/wife trip.

paradise village

Paradise Village Resort

And if we go to Paradise Village, we’ll be there nearly exactly 10 years after going there for our honeymoon. And I LOVE that. And I love being with my husband – but I want the kids to come too. And I want to anticipate and save with them for the next 6+ months and enjoy a fabulous 2 week vacay in the fall. And I just want it to turn out how we originally planned. lol

I know I sound ungrateful…and I don’t mean to be. Receiving two free flights anywhere West Jet flies is HUGE – and SO exciting. And we are THRILLED. But with this expiry issue I am feeling REALLY overwhelmed and stressed out.

What would you do? {we can’t sell or transfer the vouchers}. Where would you go?

**Disclosure: Westjet has NO idea who I am. This voucher was neither gifted nor held by them.

I do not hold them responsible and look forward to flying with them soon. **

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