My husband and I aren’t cheapskates—but we do love saving money. When we can combine saving money with traveling, it feels like were getting away with something.
For our travels, there are three things my husband and I have taken into consideration: location, season and friends.
You don’t have to go far from home to have a fulfilling and inexpensive getaway with your spouse.
We’re fortunate enough to live within two hours driving distance from mountains, an hour from two lakes, and five hours from the ocean. In each of those areas are state parks. Most of these parks have rental cabins or small lodges on property with reasonable rates.
Sometimes, we choose to stay in a town next to the tourist town to save on lodging. That way, we save money, but are still only a short drive from the attractions.
Tip: Getaway to a place within a couple hours drive. Stay in non-traditional lodging.
For us, there is no off-season. My husband and I enjoy traveling to places no matter the time of year.
But sometimes a vacation has to take place during a specific season. In those cases, we book our travel as close to the edges of those season as possible—either at the very beginning or end, rather than in the middle. That means, we have to pay attention early.
For example, if we want to go to the mountains to see the fall color, but the seasonal rates are doubled, we get online nine months in advance to search hotel websites. We use Yelp.com, TripAdvisor.com and other sites to check ratings. Then, we go directly to the hotel sites to look for specials, and to see their seasonal calendar.
From that calendar, we pinpoint our desired dates of travel—usually the week before the tourist season starts.
Tip: Travel during the off-season to get the best rates.
If possible, choose travel dates the week or month before the official tourist season starts. Youll save money, and your destination won’t be as crowded.
That Beatles song is right—we get by with a little help from our friends. My husband and I have friends and family all over the U.S. and the world. We’re blessed that many of them invite us to visit.
Last year, we were able to getaway for a weekend to the mountains and stay in a friend’s cabin. In an upcoming year, we’re planning to visit cousins who live in Australia.
Staying with friends or family not only saves in lodging, but will also save on food, if you choose to cook your own meals. Not to mention, your friends and family will also have insight on the best things to do when you’re on vacation.
Tip: Ask your friends if you can housesit for them when they go on vacation.
If your friends have a weekend or vacation home, offer to do any light repairs in exchange for lodging. You’ll be able to go on vacation while they’re on vacation.
The Best Getaways are Cheap
Travel is affordable when you get creative and flexible.
Finding a close location can be just the change of scenery you need without the huge cost of air travel. Going during non-tourist season will save on lodging as well as attractions, plus theres the added benefit of smaller crowds.
Asking friends for a weekend away at their home could help you and them—so ask!
Wherever you go, be sure to fully go. Leave your cares behind and be with your spouse. Getaways make a difference in every marriage.
Jennifer Wilder is an Online Content Manager for The reThink Group. She and her husband, Nathan, happily live in Mableton, Georgia, with their 113-pound German Shepherd Dog and 65-gallon saltwater aquarium.
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