Working towards becoming Debt Free is a journey and for us a long journey. Should you be taking a vacation when you are on the debt free journey??? Our answer is yes. It helps to have a small reward to keep you motivated. Our vacations while working on becoming debt free are nothing like before.
If we truly think about what our goals are with taking a vacation, we will see that it doesn’t need to cost a lot to meet those goals. Our goals for vacations are to spend time together, take a break from work and make memories with our kiddos!
Some fun options we have enjoyed include:
Stay-cations: One year we simply planned a daily outing within our own city. We explorer new parks, swimming at the local lake and visited some fun museums. Since we were in our own city we could sleep and eat at home saving us a fair amount of money. Another activity our family loves to do it is go geocaching. Fun and very inexpensive. You will need a smart phone or GPS to participate in this fun activity. Using the geocaching app on your phone for GPS you will find hidden caches (treasures) that others have hidden for you to find. It is a great way to explore your own town/city. We discovered a hidden park only blocks from our home that we didn’t know about. For more information check out the Geocaching Website.
Camping: We recently returned from our first camping trip of the summer. While camping does have a cost associated with it, it is a lot less than staying in hotels and eating in restaurants. Camping does take some planning, but it is well worth it. The memories you make with your children are priceless. We do have a tent, but my back no longer likes to sleep on the ground. Instead we have found a camping option we like much better, Camper Cabins. Camper cabins at the State Parks are rustic, one-room wooden cabins that provide basic shelter for those who want a “camping out” experience but prefer not to deal with a tent. Camper Cabins are located at many of MN State Parks and campgrounds such a KOA, Kamp-Dels, and Beaver Trails Jellystone Park. Most campground that has the word resort in the title has cabins of some type. If you want to take advantage of the MN State Parks Camper Cabins you need plan in advance for your reservations.
Our most recent trip: Bear Head State Park – Camper Cabin – ($50 – $55 a night)
Menu Planning/Camping: As much as I stress how menu planning saves you money at home, it also saves you money while camping. Before our camping trip I completed a camping menu plan including snacks and did as much prep at home as I could. This made cooking at the cabin so much easier, especially since it rained a lot!
I also packed a lunch for us to stop and have on the way to our campsite. This always brings back great childhood memories for me and any food eaten outside just tastes better.
As always the bottom line is planning and budgeting. Little getaways are possible if you plan and budget for them. We appreciate our little vacations so much more when we plan and budget for them.
Hope you are able to plan some fun into you summer!
Paul and Jen
Faithfully Living Within our Means