When things are tight financially we can be tempted to leave out vacation and rest, but economic challenges create added stress. We need to refresh more than ever! I hope you heard that when we considered Why Vacation is Righteous. Yesterday I gave you some Tips for Vacation Success. But how do you do it on a dime? Here are some ideas for ways to vacation when cash flow is low.
Camp. :) You might be able to borrow gear, and it's much cheaper than other accomodations. I can testify it WILL help you bond and WILL give you adventures and memories. ;) Rest? It might be of a different nature, but you can find it.
Split the cost with a friend, family, or relative. 1/2 the cost of a cabin or condo is MUCH cheaper than all. Choose your companions carefully. :)
Plan to enjoy the natural activities instead of those that require a ticket.
Plan to prepare your own food (even en route) and keep it simple. Lunch for 4 may cost $30-$50 out, but you can do it for $8-$10 in. Plan ahead to take potentially pricey items or things you don't want to buy a lot of (like mayonnaise or PB).
Check out VRBO for accommodations owned and rented by individuals.
Consider checking out camps that offer cabins or rooms at lower rates.
Stay with a relative, but take advantage of area attractions, parks, & time to rest.
House swap. Sites like HomeExchange.com and homeforswap.com give great information about this option. Many more resources are out there. We have friends who have enjoyed amazing vacation time because of a house swap that cost almost nothing.
Absolutely can't leave home? Insulate yourselves ... tell people you'll be on vacation, turn off your phone, don't check email, stop your mail, and don't go to routine spots. Each day do something you haven't done. Go on a picnic, go biking, visit an historic site, go on free tours, visit a park, or window shop in a new town.
Consider a Bed and Breakfast. We've stayed in many and really enjoyed the unique experience in each one. Some are more suited for kids than others. If it's last minute, in particular, don't be afraid to do a little negotiating. It's particularly possible in leaner times.
How about you? Do you have an idea for how to vacation on a dime?