Ok I am sure that captured your interest. So what does this mean? Well, I have been working on so many projects lately that I have neglected to keep up with the questions that people have been asking me so far. First things first. I will be putting up free downloads that will help others work on how to take care of travel, education and insurance. Of course eventually I will have an ebook that will be able to assist you with many of the techniques that I have used over the years.
One thing that I love to do it travel. I am always looking at ways to make travel fun, interesting, restful and inexpensive. So back to the title. Well I was wondering how could I go on vacation this spring with my son and not break the bank. He is taking a French course this year at University and its his final year. So last year we went to Spain. While visiting San Sebastian we decided to take a quick detour and slid into France for just a few hours hitting a beautiful beach. Barraritz. Visit both places if you have the chance it is well worth it.
How to make a trip to France possible without all the expense. I have a started a new business and cannot take a week off. I am my own employer so the days of a paid vacation have taken on a new meaning. Since I am on the East Coast I decided to look at the possibility of traveling to Montreal. It is only a little over 5 hours from my home state of New Jersey. It would take approximately the same amount of time to fly. The fuel cost will be a little over $100 with the Volkswagen.It would cost us around $750.00 a person if we flew. I found a wonderful Bed and Breakfast on TripAdvisor (where I contribute). The cost was approximately $100 a night with parking and breakfast included. In France it would cost approximately $175 a night at an inexpensive hotel. So for the same time to drive and a fraction of the cost we have a home run on our Faux European adventure. No jet lag. No bags to check.
I will write about the trip and fill you in with all the places we have visited while we are there. Vacations are important. They refresh the spirit and renew the soul. You need a break from the day to day. If you look around you there are plenty of places that are close to home and you do not have to go very far.
Do you like wine? Would you like to visit a vineyard? In my home state there are vineyards. There are wine tasting events. Are you an avid fan of organics? Look at the associations in your state. I live so close to New York that a trip to find a farm that sells organic produce is easy. They are here in New Jersey as well. Do you love the arts? I know in every state there are museums, theatre groups, art galleries and musicians who are performing almost nightly.
I hear from people that they cannot afford a vacation. I am here to say you cannot afford to not take one. Even if it means taking a bus or a car ride within 50 miles of your home. Just leave an unplug. I am now walking close to 5 miles a day. Free exercise and a momentary break from my home, business and anything else that has prevented me from feeling less stress. I know with this society so focused in on Facebook and the internet we forget to look away from the screen. Put on the timer and step away from the computer.
You owe it to yourself and you set a great example for your family and friends if you take the time to take the time. Time comes up on us fast. Life is not a guarantee. Health is not a guarantee. The only time you have is now to live. Make the most of it.
If you are still not convinced that you need a vacation well ask yourself when was the last time you took one? In Europe they factor in at least three vacations a year to their work schedule. In our country we do not. We are given a week or two to take off and that is it. If you only have two weeks then spread it out. Take off a Thursday and Friday and stretch out your time. This way you can leave on Wednesday night and be back by Sunday.
How about you work your schedule this way take off Friday and Monday either way you are off for five glorious days.If are going to wait until you retire then you are banking on the fact that nothing will change in your life. I am not trying to be the bearer of bad news but hey you never know.
I believe in being frugal and having a great life. I also believe we create our circumstances in life. If life sends you a meteorite shower of “bad” then look to see how you can change that into an opportunity that you will overcome and use it to learn from. You get out of life what you put into it.
So back to looking at where you can go for a few days and not break the bank. How about looking at the states that are near by. Have you ever wanted to just visit Canada or Mexico? Do it. How about the Caribbean but you you do not have the time. Go to the Keys in Florida. Go to the Gulf Coast in Alabama. Seriously have you looked at Fairhope, Alabama ever? Seems as if Mr. Margaritaville Jimmy Buffett loves it there and so far it is not a bad deal and the price is right. Think outside the box. Use your creativity.
Stay at Bed and Breakfasts when ever you are able. They offer free coffee, teas, fruit and lots of other goodies that you can take with you during the day. Don’t forget to hit the supermarkets or delis when traveling. There are so many ways to enjoy a vacation without going broke. Biggest clue to making the trip affordable save for it. I put at least $20 to $40 a week in an envelope that is marked vacation. Depending on how many weeks away it is I just keep socking it away.
I also limit myself to going out to eat to around once or twice a month. This is the challenge for you. Add up for one month how much you spend driving to your favorite coffee shop, eating breakfast, lunch or dinner. Look at how much that glass of wine is at the restaurant. How much is that soda? Do you even drink soda? I am not saying do not treat yourself but either skip the starters or make them the meal. Split your dinners or bring them home and make them into portions that you can eat during the week. Hey getting into shape and eating less is what counts.
Watch what you buy at the grocery store. I buy most things in bulk. Then I spend less than $50.00 a week that is with meal planning. I looked up what I was spending a year in eating out. Well to give you a clue it was the price of first class ticket to Europe and staying for a week at a five star hotel. You are all doing this one way or another. Not to mention the weight I had to lose.
So start savings. Start dreaming and make sure you get out and take at least three to five vacations a year. I can only imagine if you have the time in vacation bank you need to use it. Some companies will have you believe you are not productive if you use the time. Use it or lose it. Be creative with your paid vacation time and see where your imagination takes you.
So off I go on my Faux European vacation. The reason I say Faux Europe are for the following reasons
. It is a French Province in Canada. The City of Montreal is a beautiful city. They have a great metro system. Great food and wine.We will enjoy the feel of France without the price tag. Where is your dream vacation? Make it happen. Enjoy the day as always. Denise