Maybe it’s the sunshine, but this week we have mostly been thinking about holidays.
Our budget and tropical beaches don’t quite match but it feels like we’re long overdue some ‘nothing’ time – a week without distractions or pressures. A bit of time to focus on being in each others’ company, a bit of space to try some new recipes and take time over eating together instead of bolting down our meals, a bit of quiet wilderness in which to stomp and poke sticks at new discoveries without yanking on each other’s arms and pacing along to the next engagement.
So forget Ko Pi Pi, this year it’s all about Carmarthenshire. We’re embracing the ethos of the Slow Holiday. We’ve booked a tiny cottage in the middle of the Welsh countryside in two week’s time. No wifi, no TV, no billboards or shoppings centres. Just a stove, a stream, some Welsh blankets and wellies, some novels and a pile of cook books.
It’s beautiful, rural, and incredibly, jaw droppingly cheap. My mother’s coming, so we’ll have some great conversation and middle eastern food (her speciality) plus we’ll all get a few afternoons of independence from the kiddo to do our own thing. Johnny will get to meet his Welsh great-grandmother, my Grandma, for the very first time.
Who knows if he’ll be as keen to ‘go slow’ as we are. Only one thing’s certain: we can’t bank on much sunshine…
For all our American readers, for whom the joys of Wales in the drizzle can only be an exotic dream, here’s a featured post about saving money on your own family holiday. There’s some very useful advice for Brits on a shoestring too. Enjoy!
How to Save Money on Great Family Vacations
When the economy took a bit of a nosedive, people scrambled to find ways to save money. As families searched for ways to still have vacation family time, the ‘stay-cation,’ staying home and doing local vacation activities became a popular idea and selling point. As the economy gradually recovers people are beginning to return to their travel vacation plans – but doing it a little smarter and using some of the money-saving ideas they have learned over the last few years.
The wonderful thing about the world today is there are so many opportunities and ways to accomplish whatever goals you have, even if that goal is taking your family on a great vacation without having to sell one of your children to do it. Sometimes you have to “think outside the box” and realize what you may have already available that can help you. Parenting.com writer Lixandra Urresta shares four eye-opening ideas for saving money on a family vacation.
#1: Use privileges you already have.
- A Bank of America ATM card is good for FREE admission to about 120 zoos, botanical gardens, science centers, and museums across the US.
- AAA members can save on car rentals, and 40% on theme park tickets.
#2 Pack the apps.
- Download ‘the lowest gas prices finder’ for just $2.
- “Mobile Magic” tracks Disney ride times.
#3 Consider cruising.
- Reduce expenses and stress with all-inclusive cruises.
- Ships offer babysitting and age-appropriate “zones” for kids to have fun while you relax.
#4 Teach and save.
- Full-time teachers and faculty at accredited schools can apply for an International Teacher Identity Card which is good for all kind of travel discounts.
There are a number of amazing places to travel in the US, but it can get costly staying in hotels. To help cut costs, a fun family activity that you can do locally or as you travel, is camping. You can go online and find great discounts on all kinds of camping gear from sites – such as Campmor.com with Campmor promo codes and deals. By saving HUGE on overnight accommodations, you can do more, or stay longer wherever you travel.
For a truly unique experience, try some of the breathtaking beach campsites suggested by Jennifer Plum Auvil of TravelChannel.com:
- Assategue Island National Seashore.
- Jalama Beach County Park.
- Long Key State Park.
- Myrtle Beach.
- Padre Island National Seashore.
Cheaper With Just One Click
Donna L Montaldo sheds lights on a massive trend right now in her article for couponing.about.com when she states, “Manufacturers and stores are shifting their best coupons to the internet as subscriptions to newspapers decline”. Hot sites to check out:
- Coupon Network.
It is extremely simple, and very fruitful! What you do is go to your internet search engine and you type in something like, online promo codes at NerdWallet. When you click on the link you will see codes for just about anything you would need for vacation, including toiletries, clothing, entertainment as you travel, electronics, pet supplies, and even their “travel” selection offers deals on trip destinations.
Creative Money Making
No matter how much money you “save” on your vacation in deals, you still have to ‘save-up’ money for the vacation too. So backupcare.org shares some creative ways to save up for your family trip.
- Garage sale!
- Everyone keep ‘change jars’.
- Sell old ‘collectibles’ or things you don’t want.
- Eat more ‘home cooked’ meals.
- Cut energy costs.
- Encourage the kids to contribute.
- Hold a savings competition.
- Start a ‘no waste’ challenge.
- Have potluck get-togethers with friends to share costs.
Have fun planning a family vacation. Just use some of these smart money saving tips and you’ll be surprised at how much you can do for how little money.