Last week, I returned from a vacation. It was fun, refreshing and I’m not going to lie, I’m already figuring out how I can go back — if only to eat more of the food. And of course, when I turn on the TV Friday morning before heading to work, one of the first stories covers the start of the “Summer Travel Season” and how much more expensive it will be to get where you want to go.
That seems to be a fact of life every year, doesn’t it? But I still went on my trip. According to news reports, I’m not alone in choosing to do so. Traveling is something my husband and I like to do. (Have you read my bio? It’s listed under hobbies! When we got married, we made a list of the places we wanted to visit and have been checking one off every year.) We also like to get good deals. Like most Americans, we have a budget, when something costs more, something else goes. While there are plenty of articles out there providing tips for frugal travel, not everything mentioned is feasible or even sounds fun.
So when we planned for our vacation to New England, we looked for ways to spend less while still actually enjoying the trip.
Now you may be thinking that Mid-May is on odd time to vacation in the Northeast. Well, that’s the thing about traveling in the shoulder season, it’s a lot cheaper and a lot less crowded than other parts of the year. That’s money saved right there and it meant we could actually get tickets to a Red Sox game (as opposed to September). The trade-off — it was colder and did rain every day. Oh well, there’s no bad weather, just bad gear, right?
Also, while Boston is an expensive town, there’s a lot to do on the cheap. We spent a whole day walking the 2.5 mile Freedom Trail. Total cost was $3.50/person to tour Paul Revere’s house. Plus it’s heart healthy! OK, we also spent money on food that day, but that’s something I was willing to splurge on. Have you ever had real clam chowder? That’s also why I needed to do all of the walking.
It’s not like we didn’t spend any money, it’s just a matter of prioritization. I didn’t plant as many flowers in my yard this weekend to make up for visiting the Boston Museum of Fine Art. When we picked up our rental car and drove to Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, we tried to balance paid attractions like Ben and Jerry’s, Acadia National Park, and a whale watching trip with free stuff like hiking at a New Hampshire State Park, touring the Capitol building in Concord or visiting the library that sits right on the border between the U.S. and Canada.
And yes, we did pay higher gas prices after we left Boston, but I wouldn’t want to give up any of the experiences we had. Had we stayed in Boston, we wouldn’t have seen a moose on the side of the road.
So my questions for you: is the experience of a vacation something you highly prioritize? What are your tips to saving some money? Or are travel prices making you consider a staycation this summer? Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’ll be spending my July and August only 45 minutes from my house to help make up for what I spent at lobster shacks along the Maine coast.
So, share, share away!
Stay safe on the road, wherever you choose to go. Your safety is number one to us. For peace of mind on the road, contact a Foremost agency to talk about a auto insurance policy.