Monday, January 5, 2009

Thinking of where to go on vacation in 2009.......

When January rolls around, me and dh's thoughts turn to where should we go on vacation this year?

This will be the fourth year in a row we have been on vacation, prior to that we rarely went on vacation. I remember we took the kids to Myrtle Beach when they were in their mid teens. However other than that we never really went on vacation. It was never a priority and we couldn't really afford it.

When the kids left home, we decided to make it more of a priority and although we still don't have a lot of money, with doing a couple of things we make sure we get away.

Here are a few things that save us money when going on vacation.

1. We prefer to stay in a condo or a house, as that way we can come and go as we please. I tend to get up early, so like to go and read or go on the Internet, which is a lot easier to do in a condo/house than a hotel room.

2. With staying a house/condo we eat breakfast in the house, and we either eat lunch or dinner in the house. This saves us money and also saves our stomach's. We find that eating out both at lunch and at dinner kills our stomach. We also eat out a lot at lunch time, as it tends to be a little cheaper and we don't like having heavy meals late at night.

3. Once we know where we are staying I check out on the Internet what grocery stores are in the place where we are staying and go on the Internet to see what they have on sale. Also I check to see if they have loyalty cards, which give us better savings.

4. As we have no young children or school age children, we tend to go on vacation when the school children are in school and it's a bit cheaper.

5. I check on the Internet for the tourist information for the area where we are staying, and request brochures and coupons for the area.

6. I put money away each week, year round towards the vacation, that way we are not scrambling to come up with money for it. As an example if you decide to go away Labour Day weekend (September 5th), and you put $20 a week away every Friday starting January 9th, you will have $700 saved up before you go away.

7. We drive to our vacation destination as it gives us more flexibility and it means we don't have to hire a car at the other end.

8. If we have to stay overnight at a hotel on our way to our vacation destination, I cash in my air miles for a hotel gift cards, so again it doesn't cost us any money. There are other ways of getting cheap hotel stays.

9. I research the area where we are staying and what attractions we would like to see, then go on their websites to see if they offer discounts. We bought a multi-attraction pass this summer when we were in Charleston and it was so worth while, it saved us a lot of money.

10. Booking last minute can save you money, however we like to plan ahead. Mind you, I discovered that they had reduced the rental fee on our condo in Charleston when we were there, so I asked them about reducing our fee and giving us a refund, and guess what they gave it to us, so it pays to ask!!!

I am sure there are many more ways on saving money when going on vacation and would love to hear your tips.

So I am sure you are dying to know where we are going this year..............NO IDEA!!!! Dh is favouring Tennessee again, we love the Smoky Mountains. I am thinking Virginia, Ohio or Pennsylvania, that area, but the mountains are calling us!!!! We tend to stick to the eastern side of the States, as we live in Southern Ontario.

So any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also where are you planning on going on vacation this year?

***Don't forget your 25 cents today, if you are participating in the Daily Savings Club***

***Coming Wednesday 50 + 1 Recipes on Fruits, and so far there are some yummy recipes there, this week it will be Apples***


Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Will be interested to see what/where you decide on Gill.

We haven't any holiday plans for this year, so far. I think travel abroad may be on hold for a while as we are trying to sell our house, but there are endless possibilities in the UK.

Looking forward to your fruit recipes too.

A x

Margaret's Ramblings said...

We also are putting our thinking hats on trying to decide where we will go this year. Although we, my daughter and I, have been in the Uk 14 years we still are tourists when it comes to holidays. Oxfordshire is high on the list. One of the attractions? it's where they make Midsomer Murders. LOL. Margaret

Twisted Fencepost said...

We have decided to stay a little closer to home this year. We will be spending a week at the lake, in our camper, with the boat.

QuiltedSimple said...

Sounds like a great plan to get the vacation money together and have an affordable, enjoyable vacation. Ohio is a good place to go:)

mommanator said...

you always have good ideas. I particularly like the money saving one, now if I would just get started

Niki RuralWritings said...

We visited Lancaster County PA last year and loved it! Absolutely beautiful countryside/farming, lots of great shopping, theatre and driveable to lots of non-Amish sights/touristy stops. We stayed at a local B&B, very comfy and inexpensive, let me know if you decided on PA and I'll email you further details on our trip.
Have a good week :)

George said...

We try to follow many of your tips when we travel. You're right -- they sure help. I'll be interested in hearing where you decide to go on vacation, but I'm glad you're considering eastern Tennessee!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Gill, you are certainly organized. The best tip I think is staying away from summer and holidays---and touristy areas. IF you come to the Smokies, they have cabins galore--and I'll bet you can get a good deal if you start researching. We like the Townsend and Wears Valley OR the Cosby end of the Smokies--because we stay away from the Gatlinburg area. But--it just depends upon what you want to do. We enjoy nature and hiking --and don't like the touristy areas as much.

The Asheville side of the Smokies is beautiful also on the North Carolina side. Oh I could go on and on.

IF you consider Virginia, you should look into the Shenandoah area. GORGEOUS!!! The Clifty Falls area in lower Indiana is pretty. And--we love Arkansas and the Ozark areas. Let us know if we can help you in any way.

Good Luck.

Sandi McBride said...

Ah Gill, try Myrtle Beach...and if you do, I'll drive down to meet you for lunch!

Denise said...

Well, we've got the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia and they are fantastic. We go to them all the time because they're always calling us;) Tennessee is a beautiful State though, and I have seen the Smoky Mountains and wow, they are indeed very beautiful. If you enjoy driving, road trips are great. I will be interested to see where you decide on going. Your tips are great. We did a lot of that on our latest one and we also we find out where the locals eat when we do for for a meal. They usually know some great places that are reasonably priced.

Gaynor said...

No holidays for us this year..what with veggies and a growing menagerie..but we live in a little slice of heaven so dont feel the need to go anywhere. Will probably do day trips to explore this lovely island.

Looking forward to your decision tho!

scrappy quilter said...

Gill, just so you know who I am. There's an envelope of coupons coming your way from the west.

I enjoy reading your blog. Look forward to seeing where you plan to go on vacation. We haven't been on one in years. Hopefully this is the year for us.

Gill - That British Woman said...

great comments as always, I am so lucky to have you all come by and comment.


Marla said...

You will certainly have to let us know what your destination will be. You are just so organized, that amazes me!

Notes From The Frugal Trenches said...

What a brilliant post, I too save like that for vacations.

Do you ever come home?

I would suggest the north east coastline (USA) or Prince Edward Island.