Are you in need of a fun trip, full of activity but hesitant to take your trip in fear of breaking the bank? You’re in luck! There are lots of great places to visit that give a lot of bang for a little buck. My fiancé and I recently returned home from a super relaxing yet active trip to the breathtaking Smoky Mountains! We did a lot of research on where we wanted to spend our vacation and looked for fun, free activities to engage in while we were there. Getting prepared ahead of time allowed us to have a fun-filled trip while sticking to our budget! Here are some tips to help keep your costs down and have a wonderful, guilt-free vacation!
- Drive: Lucky for me, my husband-to-be drives a Chevrolet Volt and gas prices are low – so between electricity and fuel, we were able to travel over 1,500 miles roundtrip (including driving to the mountains from our cabin and back multiple times) only spending about $70 on gasoline. Picking a destination that you can drive to will cut down the cost significantly as airfare and rental car fees add up very quickly!
- Research accommodations: Almost every vacation spot has streets lined up with hotels, motels and other accommodations for their visitors! Months before our departure, we started to research cabins in the mountains on VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner) and other rental sites. On such sites, you can easily type in your desired price range and the amenities you’re looking for. Some sites, such as the one we used, offer special incentives if you stay a certain number of nights or book during a specific season. In our case, we spent roughly $300, including cleaning fees and taxes, to stay three nights in a quaint cabin nestled in the mountains. Hard to beat!
- Eat in: Eating out causes the average American to eat more than 200 extra calories per meal. Craziness! I recommend spending a little more on your accommodations to include a kitchen, so you can store groceries and cook during your trip. Take a few minutes out of your road trip to plan healthy meals for the duration of your trip, write out the groceries you need and allow for a meal or two out while you’re planning. My fiancé and I really enjoy cooking together and keeping it simple while we are on vacation. The grocery bill for our 3-1/2 day vacation was equivalent to the one dinner that we ate out – you do the math! By eating in, we saved lots of money and even more calories! And don’t forget to bring your Reliv shakes to stay healthy and energized for your full days of fun activity. Another bonus is the Reliv business opportunity you can take with you wherever you go. So while you’re meeting new people on your trip, tell them about Reliv!
- Have fun for free: My future husband and I love to stay active while we are on vacation, so when we started looking into places to visit, “things to do in the area” was a key search topic. The Smoky Mountains National Park is absolutely gorgeous, bustling with hiking and walking trails of all difficulty levels, endless wildflowers and wildlife, and lots of opportunity for free fun! Although hiking doesn’t necessarily appeal to everyone, a little research goes a long way and there are plenty of ways to stay active during your trip and keep the cost down. If hiking isn’t for you, many communities offer public walking trails and beautiful botanical gardens.
Do you have any recommendations on activity-filled yet inexpensive trips to take? Share your stories and suggestions in the comments section below!