Vacation Ideas

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      Here are a few budget ideas for vacationing. hope these help someone.

      i would suggest getting aaa before leaving on vacation! we did this year and we have already saved more than the membership cost and we got the plus membership! you get all kinds of free brochures, maps, literature on the areas you are going to see.

      there are many things to do that are free! when i started reading the books i was amazed at all of the free museums, tours, etc!!

      as a matter of fact, my family is on vacation now. we live in western nc. we have been wanting to take a road trip west. we talked about how could we afford it with the prices going up like they are.

      then i kept thinking about hearing my parents talking about wanting to go west all of my life. both of them passed away, neither of them ever got to go where they wanted. i didn’t want that for my child.

      i wanted to share this experience with him. so, first i put a yard sale together.

      this was a smaller yard sale than what i normally have, but i still made $600. My husband did some extra work on the side which was like $550. So we had $1150 to start our trip with.

      Then came AAA. Cost around $80 but like I said, we have already saved more $$ than the membership cost. A couple of weeks before we left our son, 10 years old, was given chores to earn “vending machine money”. We all remember as children loving the vending machines.

      He has a bag of vending machine money, when it is gone, there is no more vending.

      We decided to take 13 days to go to Branson, mo., oklahoma city, ok., lawton ok, nacogdoches tx (this is where we are now), we will drive on through little rock, arkansas on our way back home to nc. so, how are we doing this kind of trip? we used the trip as a challenge.

      go on a long extended vacation trying to spend the least possible. (not that we couldn’t buy something we wanted. but to let the “challenge” help to keep us on track with spending)

      1. We decided we would eat out only once a day, IF we ate out once everyday. That meal would be a late lunch, and try to go to a restaurant with a buffet.

      Use coupons if possible. Lunch is always cheaper than dinner. Most hotels provide breakfast, a lot of choices too.

      So, at breakfast we would take a piece of fruit with us. (bananas are great as a snack or to make Peanut Butter / banana sandwiches. hubby loves them) Then for dinner, we would eat in the room.

      We have ate sandwiches, leftovers from lunch, frozen healthy choice meals, etc. You really can get creative when you have a microwave.

      2. I bought a midsize cooler from Target for $13. Which as more than paid for itself.

      We took drinks / water with us from home. Some snacks. I froze the water bottles and used that as ice.

      ( keeps things cold longer and saves money on buying ice) When it is time to buy food, try to find a Wal-mart Superstore. Their prices are almost always cheaper than local chains, or an Aldi. Stop and have a picnic.

      3. Everyone remember the Time Share Cons a few years ago? Come with us for 90 minutes and you get tickets?

      Yeah the 90 minutes turned into hoursssssss!! Well when we were in Branson we got asked to listen to a vacation presentation. It isn’t a time share, and they DO keep it to 90 minutes total!

      We got $75 cash for one and $100 for another. HELLO that is my kind of bargain vacation! So check into these things if you are out / about on vacation.

      We gave up 3 hours but got $175! Now most of them have a room for the kids to play and watch movies.

      4. There are lots of coupons for buy one get one free things. My hubby/son played mini golf for like $6.00.

      So look through those books!

      5. We have went through several museums for free or for very little money. we did the river taxi in okc for $21.

      One museum was by donations. We have had a blast seeing these things instead of doing the theme parks. We did go to one water park in OKC, again used a coupon and saved $30!

      We have seen Scott Mountain, the refugee park, the holy city, Chisolm trail heritage center, “rode the ducks” and saw the Ozarksin Branson, played mini golf. Tomorrow we are touring Nacogdoches, the oldest town in TX. There is one tour that is $5.00 for all three of us.

      The others are free. Then we are driving 30 minutes to Lufkin to go to their small zoo. $14 for all 3 of us!

      I found all of these places in the books from aaa.

      our vacation is almost over. we are well under what we thought it would cost. we have done a lot more than we thought we could do. so great vacations can happen.

      hope this helps someone!


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