Frugal Friday

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Last summer, because of high gas prices, we didn’t “vacation”.  This year,  we probably won’t vacation either. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have fun during the summer.

Have A “Staycation”

A “staycation” is a term I heard someone use recently.  When you have a “staycation”, you vacation in your local area.  We’re very lucky in that we live close to a bunch of popular tourist destinations.  A “staycation” isn’t much of a hardship, although my kids do feel disappointed at first.  They quickly get over it.

If you decide to take a “staycation”, begin by checking out interesting sites, attractions, and points of interest in your local area.  Also consider things that are available in areas close to your town.  Some friends I know take “one tank trips” because they live in a very remote area of the country.  “One tank trips” are trips that they can take in their car on one tank of gas.  They pack food in a cooler and take off for the day with the kids.  None of their children has complained yet about the arrangement.  Their costs are minimal: the price of attraction admission and the cost of gas.

Visit or Have Visitors

This year, several friends asked if they could visit us for “vacation”.  The answer is a resounding yes!  Since we moved recently and are quite a distance from family and old friends, this is a great way to see everyone.  My children actually love getting visitors more than they do going away on vacation.  During Christmas break, my friend visited with her Belgium exchange student, which was a lot of fun for everyone.  Not only did my children get to share American culture with this student, but they learned about his culture as well. The best part was that we didn’t have to travel to do this!

Plan Ahead

If you will be taking a traditional vacation, it’s not too early to start planning and looking for the best deals and prices.  You can purchase reduced rate admission tickets to many theme parks if you buy your tickets before the season starts.  Some parks have a budget plan where you pay a little bit each month for your tickets.  Other parks have in-state resident discounts; other parks offer free admission for a day if you live locally.  Start to explore your options now!  By the way, I just heard that you can get free admission to  Walt Disney theme parks on your birthday!  If you have served in the military, be aware that many places give military discounts.  For example, Busch Gardens allows military families one free day in their park each year.  There’s a military kiosk at the park entrance where you can get your free tickets. Colonial Williamsburg offers free admission to military families every year on Veteran’s Day weekend in November.

What are you doing this year for vacation? Have you found any great vacation deals you can share?

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