Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Top 10 Vacation Ideas - Affordable AND Creative

Summer is almost upon us and for a lot of us that means it's time for the yearly vacation. Over the past few years, a lot of people found themselves unable to go and take those expensive vacations. Money was tight, time was tight - and it STILL IS.

Here are ten ways to create that vacation that you dream of and still have money left over for the rent.

1. Be ready to go at a moment's notice. You'll find that a lot of the best deals are hotels and airfare that have not sold out and go on DEEP DISCOUNT at the last minuet.

2. Visit family members. The kids haven't seen Grandma or Aunt Rose in a LONG TIME. Why not pack up the car and take a drive to see them. A vacation can be as simple as sitting on the back porch with relatives that you haven't seen in some time.

3. Go with friends. Yes, it can sometimes be a bit crazy - two families PLUS kids...but, you can reduce your costs if you all  pile in the van together and rent a suite or small cottage. Half the cost + Twice the fun!

4. Rent a house rather than stay at a hotel. Check out vacation rentals on places like Craigslist or VRBO in the area you want to visit. You may be SHOCKED to find that you can stay in a student's apartment over the entire summer for less that a week at a hotel. For timeshare rentals - check the rentals on the Timeshare Users Group.

5. Vacation at home. Have you seen the newest exhibit at the museum or taken in a concert  under the stars? There are opportunities in YOUR city or nearby cities. Explore as though you are a tourist and do all of those things you've always wanted to.

6. Check out colleges near or in cities that you may want to visit. Dorm rooms can sometimes be rented by the night or the week (hey, the kids are home for the summer).

7. Hosteling is not just for those in college. Did you know that many hostels (including international ones) now have FAMILY rooms where the entire family can stay together? Check out Hostelling International for membership info, rates and more.

8. Get paid to go on vacation. Do you have a blog or do you love to write? There are plenty of opportunities to visit theme parks, hotels and more. Just inquire via their media department and see if you can't just score some free passes or media rates...of course, you WILL be expected to produce that article.

9. If you're visiting big cities, pick up a copy of the local magazine or check their online edition. You'll find articles about Cheap Eats, places to go that are FREE and local fairs and festivals.

10. Not sure where you want to go? How about a MYSTERY TRIP? Simply pack up the car or van with the family and drive until you find a place that's interesting. Explore, dine and enjoy the local area. You can do this as a daytrip or an overnight experience.

Learn how to create a list of your own on TwitterMoms!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the Toyota Sienna and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.


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minnemom said...

Great tips--especially about going to see family. That was how we always traveled as kids!

Zippy said...

So did we. My grandparents lived in Florida and we were in RI. Our yearly vacation was going down to the sunshine to visit them and get spoiled with our favorite foods.

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