Many people take off each year to recharge and reconnect with family or themselves. Not everyone can afford to spend thousands of dollars to fly to the beaches of Fiji where servers bring out cocktails every hour. But vacationing does not have to be expensive. With a little creativity and forethought, you can have an enjoyable time during vacation without spending a fortune.
Rough it out in the wild with tents, bonfires and sleeping bags. Depending on where you are staying, a nightly fee of $7 to $20 will be assessed for the campsite but it is more affordable than staying at a hotel. While camping, you can hike, try out wilderness survival skills, swim, discover the night sky and explore nature. Camping will transport you out of your daily environment, giving you a chance for respite and time to be with friends and family without distractions.
Out of the Mainstream
When looking for affordable international vacations to stretch the worth of money, avoid Western Europe, most of Northern America, and Tokyo, Japan. Instead, go to Eastern Europe, Argentina or Southeast Asia, where the cost of living remains low and the dollar exchange rate remains high.
A little planning, and having more people in the car during the road trip can mean an affordable price-per-person vacation. If you have an RV to hang out in, that would take care of sleeping arrangements, but otherwise, you can do road trips to sleep over at relatives’ and friends’ houses, or use motels or hotel chains where you can pay with credit card reward points. Some people even sleep in their car at truck stops for a cheaper alternative. Road trips allows sightseeing and the long drives offer a bonding opportunity. Avoid eating from fast-food joints or restaurants. Instead pack snacks and sandwiches and replenish at the grocery store when needed to lower the trip cost.
Amusement parks are thrilling but the cost of food and entrance can set you back $50 to $100 per person. Having an annual pass to all the U.S. national parks for $80 (2009) includes entry for all passengers in the car, or for four adults, with children under 15 being free. Visiting national parks gives you a chance to appreciate the beauty of nature and wildlife, can be adventuresome, and is a change of scenery especially if you live in a big city. Recommended parks to visit include the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park and Yosemite National Park.
Big cities come with bigger price tags such as New York, London and Paris. Instead, aim for small-town charm or places off the beaten path. The closer you stay to home, the more money will be saved. Many small towns have a unique history or aspect that is worth an investigation too and the slow traffic allows you to de-stress more easily.