|Image taken by TNL with thanks|
Finding ways to celebrate life without spending up a storm is a constant pre-occupation of mine, being a frugalista and all. Is it wrong that three weeks into school term I am already looking forward to the next holiday?
Lucky for me, our family loves to camp. We do this regularly and once you have acquired your gear, it is a very cheap and cheerful holiday for families.
There are many places to camp for free (like friends farms and state forests) or for a minimal expense (like National Parks). The trick is to camp outside the very busy periods (to avoid feeling like you are sleeping with another family) and to go with another family with age-matched children so your kids are happily occupied so you can relax. That is the plan anyway.
We will spend Easter camping with a group of happy campers. The thought of it gets me through the snore of school term. While Easter is probably the busiest camping weekend in the calendar, the remoteness of our destination will ensure there will be no-one else there but us chickens. And, of course, the flies. And rain.
If you aren't up for camping, and I know some of you are horrified at the thought of a night under canvas, all is not lost for a frugal holiday. I suggest the road trip. Fondly known as a 'roadie' in these parts. Spend as little as possible on accommodation. Try out house swapping if you are game. We find renting a house is cheaper than the two hotel/motel rooms we would otherwise have to get. Investigate the impact of staying a night or two versus a week at one spot. If there are plenty of day trips, sometimes staying put is a cheaper experience.
Try not to do more than one paid-for activity per day. A trip to the museum in the morning, followed by a picnic lunch and a scoot at the park in the afternoon, is a much less expensive day out than museum, bought lunch and another outing to, say, an aquarium in the afternoon. There are so many free ways to spend time and explore a new destination:
- Park time - scooting, riding, playing ball sports, playing cricket
- Bush walking
- Swim at the beach or a local river
- Map out a 'tour' on your free tourist map and walk from place to place
- Learn about the history of a town by learning about the architecture
- Go wine tasting
- Visit the library
- Visit friends/family
- Forage for food
- Go twitching
- Go geocaching
- Star gaze
- People watch at a busy location
Do you holiday the frugal way?