How To Take a Break Without Breaking the Bank

A small, two-person, backpacking tent

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How To Take a Break Without Breaking the Bank

Trying to bring up the subject of a vacation over the dinner table (home made spaghetti sauce of course) can definitely be a bit dodgy, especially when you’re supposed to be saving money, not thinking of ways to spend a bit more. Fortunately for you, there are ways that you can take a well earned break without having to break the bank to do it. If your idea of a long weekend is being pampered in some luxury hotel being rubbed down by sweet smelling oils and sipping champagne then you might just have to rethink it a bit, but there are ways and means of getting away from it all for less.

Camping – has come a long way since you were a boy scout trying to pitch your canvas tent in the middle of rain shower then singing “Kumbaya” around a smouldering camp fire. Camp sites these days have plumbing (yes, you can shower without your best boy scout mate dripping a bucket of cold water over you from a wobbly tree branch), electricity (you won’t have to go to bed as soon as the sun goes down) and there are some very comfortable mattresses around for a very reasonable price. Okay, so if you haven’t camped before it might cost you a bit to get the bare essentials, but then you’ll have all of that stuff so that you can enjoy yourselves again and again, alternatively you might be able to buy a job lot from the neighbors who tried it once and found that it wasn’t for them. It’s a cheap way to get away again and again.

House Swap – don’t be put off by “Wife Swap” on the TV, you take your own family with you and just enjoy yourself in someone elses house. It’s a great way to get a little free accommodation, as long as you don’t mind someone moving in to yours whilst you’re away. Of course, it’s not without its dangers but realistically I don’t think that squatters usually go to so much trouble do you? You’re more likely to have problems in that department if you leave your house empty for a couple of weeks. You don’t need a Beverley Hills mansion either, although if you’re lucky you might get a couple of weeks in one in exchange for your simple family home.  Check out some websites and find out what it’s all about.

Visit Family – well, it’s cheap . . . and if you’re lucky they might even throw in a few free meals in exchange for pretending to be interested about that new contract that cousin Vince has finally managed to bag for the family tire business. If you have family which live in an area you’d genuinely like to visit then it’s definitely worth a try, although you’ll probably only get away with it once unless you’re willing to exchange the favor. On second thoughts . . . .

Sleep in the Car – this might not be even remotely feasible if you’ve got more than around three children over the age of . . . well, it’s not really the age, it’s more the length and amount of bladder control of the children which can cause a problem. Anyway, you won’t get away with it for too many nights. Perhaps on second thoughts you should stay at home and camp in the back yard for a bit of an adventure. I knew a lady who thought that sleeping on the living room floor was a good substitute for a family camp out . . . wonder what happened to her?

Other Vacations – you can actually find great deals on flights and hotels if you know where to look and stick at it. Do a few online searches and surprise yourself.  Here are a couple of ideas from Clark . . .

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