It’s that time of year many of us work for all the rest of the year—VACATION!!! We hope you have at least a short getaway planned—you deserve and need it to maintain balance in your life.
Experts suggest that the key to making your trips less expensive is planning ahead. Here are some thoughts that may get your wheels turning:
- Food: Most people save money by eating from their cooler while road-tripping. The best foods to pack are foods that stay somewhat dry, like bagels, cheese, nuts, and the like. Try to avoid foods that you have to eat soon as they may spoil rather quickly. Also, note that surveys show that if you try to just eat from the cooler, you’ll likely abandon the effort before too long—and there goes your plan for a budget trip. Try to be realistic and plan for your likely behavior. Think about mixing it up, like eating breakfast and lunch from the cooler and splurging on dinner.
- Lodging: If you’re comfortable camping, great! You can also combine your camping with occasional hotel stays. Investigate campgrounds and plan your trip so that you connect up to nice facilities along the way. Some have a swimming pool, showers, and other conveniences. Be sure to compare. You might be able to stay at a budget hotel for the same rate as the nearby campground. Also be aware of the weather. For instance, campgrounds are very cheap at Lake Havasu in the summer—because at 110 degrees at night, who can sleep without air conditioning? Many hotel chains or groups offer incentives such as points toward future stays or special packages.
- Vehicle Expenses: Long before you take your trip, get your car serviced. Check the spare. Top off the fluids. On the road, get gas at the larger truck stops where gas is usually cheaper. Don’t allow your tank to get empty—top it off at ¼ tank. Seriously consider getting CAA/AAA or a similar road service plan. You don’t need it until you do! And there are many places that offer CAA/AAA discounts. And remember to drive at lower speeds. You could save 10% to 20% on your gas! You may consider renting a car instead of driving your own. Online sites such as Hotwire or Kayak may offer more affordable rates for various locations and dates.
In case you still need a summer vacation idea, here are some more bizarre vacation options you may not have considered:
- One particularly unique vacation includes guided tours through the Ukraine’s Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, which infamously and disastrously suffered a reactor explosion in 1986. Guides assure that short-term exposure to the environs is not harmful, but there are also strict procedures.
- Swimming with dolphins? You can go one better! Visit the paddling porcine and swim with pigs in Big Major Cay, Bahamas. Jump in for a dip if you’re brave enough. They won’t bite—well, as long as you don’t whisper “BLT” within earshot.
- Step into your cell at the Alcatraz Restaurant in Japan where your evening begins with a Lethal Injection (a cocktail). You’re surrounded by servers posing as doctors and nurses, and to get their attention, you bang on your cell door. Don’t be surprised if you suddenly find yourself in darkness. They shut down all the lights several times throughout the evening.
- Bundle into the Sweden Icehotel, built along the river of Jakkasjarvi which is about 200 km north of the Arctic Circle. To build this unique ice hotel it takes around 10,000 tons of river ice and about 30,000 tons of white snow.
Please be sure to share your summer vacation plans with us. We would love to hear of your adventures!
Cindy & Kandy