Image captured in Pohick Bay, Fairfax County, VA. Taken this past spring, this place has become one of my very favorite places to be; an easy weekend get away, within an hour of my home. The campground is beautiful and affordable. Pohick Bay was our second camping trip of 2015. We had decided to keep our trips local so that we could practice with our new travel trailer. It rained considerably, hence the lush greens in the featured image. The rain also made making and keeping a campfire a challenge… solution… Duraflame Logs! These logs will burn in any condition and have proven to be the best solution to starting campfires. I recently found the Duraflame makes Roasting Logs. These logs are made to be used in campfires and can be used to cook and roast marshmallows, etc. Traditional logs should not be used for cooking. There are many Pohick Bay weekends ahead!
In my last blog I mentioned planning ahead and having a saving regimen to help afford the cost of travel. Travel can be expensive… no doubt, but the costs can be managed a few ways.
- Plan ahead and book well in advance.
- Pay as many costs off ahead of the trip. For example, if you book your plane in advance, it can be paid off before the actual trip happens, lessening the cost burden after the trip concludes. Put deposits down on car rentals and hotels for the same reason.
- Invite friends and share costs!
- Put money away, weekly or monthly, to build up a travel fund. These funds can be used to offset costs or completely cover the costs of future trips.
- Look for deals. Airlines run specials all year long, each one with different travel dates. If you plan ahead and identify a destination, you can stay on the look out for these deals.
- Join airline and hotel rewards clubs. These clubs are often free to join and as you accumulate miles and points, you can use these to offset future travel costs. Also, these rewards clubs often offer deals on car rentals and destination excursions.
- Look for budget hotels or stay at inns/bnbs. Realize that your room is a place to sleep and rest. It needs to be clean and safe, not the Ritz. Use your money to travel to many locations or to eat great local food, not sleep in luxury.
- Camp… Camping is a great way to disconnect from our electronic lives. We have taken to camping locally (within 15-30 miles of our home) just to be out in nature. These trips are by far the most relaxing and rejuvenating trips.
- Be flexible… Often being flexible with your travel dates can help reduce cost.
- Travel just before or just after high season. Weather doesn’t pick a day of the week to change, but destinations do have high seasons. Travel just before or just after the high season to take advantage of discounts and lower prices, while still getting decent (more often than not) weather conditions.
This is the savings plan we use. I have put in dollar amounts, but those can be anything. To lessen the burden of saving during the holiday season, you could increase your contribution mid-year. No matter how you do it, even at $10 a week, every little bit helps and adds up. Also, as you get in the habit of saving, you will find that you miss the money less and less each week and love the pile of money left at the end of the year. These funds can also be used for rainy days, should something unforeseen happen, but putting it away with the plan of a great trip makes the savings easier.
How do you make travel affordable? Share your tips and tricks in the comments!
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