There are times you just need to.
I am planning on taking a short trip. Honestly, I would rather not as I don't like long distance driving, but there are times it simply can't be avoided. My brother contacted me a couple of weeks ago and said he needed me to come sign some papers for our dad's estate. He prefers me to handle this directly with the attorney rather than via the mail. Dad is very much alive, but his mind is starting to slip more and more. At pushing 90, it is to be expected. No rush in coming, but sooner rather than later. With well over 400 miles separating us, this trip will take a little planning.
First of all, I need DH to be home to take care of the boys (our geriatric dogs). Taking them with me is not practical and having never boarded them, at their age, now is not the time to start.
Secondly, I will need to rent a car. We took the insurance off of our two other vehicles (one of which we will be selling) until May. I know I could add it back on, but it would cost me more than renting a car. Plus then all those miles I'll be driving won't be put on our own vehicle. DH offered to just be without a car, but I didn't like that idea. I'd also like him to take care of getting the oil changed in the car we have been using all Winter. He likes hanging out in auto places, whereas I do not!
I have vacation time at work so at least I won't be out those hours. I'm seeing prices of around $24/day for the cheapest rental car. I may decide to upgrade to a larger vehicle and take advantage of being in a big city to purchase items for my business. In that case, I'd also stay an extra day. Doing it this way I could also write much of it off as a business trip. No hotels needed as I can stay at my dad's as he still lives on his own. Staying with my brother is also another option.
Perhaps this trip is just as well. I haven't had the opportunity to see my family since we moved. Prior to making our move 18 months ago, we still lived 200 miles away from family. While visiting made for a super long day, I would go back and forth in one day. Definitely no longer doable.
So yes, there are times taking a trip while in debt can certainly be justified. I may even start going every Spring and Fall. I never look forward to the drive, but especially in the case of an elderly parent, it is necessary.