Don’t give up on your summer travel plans due to this economic crunch…there are some unexpected ways the two of you can trim costs and make your vacation more memorable at the same time. Check out these unconventional ways to cut costs:
Swap Homes. Swap your home with another couple in another area. (This idea works particularly well if you live in a tourist destination.) Do some online searches for “vacation home exchange” to get an idea of what’s available. Details can be worked out via email or phone and often no money changes hands. Shop carefully and be sure to request pictures.
Check out B&Bs. Bed & Breakfasts offer a unique stay, often at a lower price that you’d find at a hotel, plus most offer a home-cooked breakfast to start each day. Prices will vary, you may have to share a bath (especially at European B&Bs) and a deposit may be required. Many people say this is the only way to travel and savor the culture.
Elderhostels. Is one of you over 55? Consider an elderhostel stay; you’ll find over 8,000 elderhostels in all 50 states and more than 90 countries. The stay itself is the focus of the vacation as people from all walks of life gather together to experience educational tours, learn, exchange ideas and explore the world at a reasonable cost. Cost will vary depending on where you travel.
Plan a Volunteer Vacation. If the two of you like the idea of going somewhere and helping others make a better way of life, this just might be the vacation for you. Search for “volunteer vacations” to find options around the world. At home and abroad you spend time volunteering on various projects such as rebuilding homes in New Orleans or planting trees in the Amazon jungle.
Check Out Monastaries and Spiritual Retreats. Whether you are seeking to reflect on your inner self or you’d just like some peace and quiet, you’ll find that rooms at monasteries and spiritual retreats may be rented around the world. Most are inexpensive, and some only require a donation. You may also be asked to participate in some of their activities and help with chores but it’s not necessary to share their beliefs.
Using some unconventional money-saving techniques can help you plan a vacation in your budget–and plan a vacation the two of you will never forget!