The economy is still in the tank...you can still go on vacation...just make it a frugal vacation. How?
Make it a car trip...not a flight. I do not care how cheap the airline ticket is...you give up your car, you give up control over your costs.
You're pretty much well forced to fly if you're going across the country, or visiting family with extra vehicles... Otherwise the cars the way to go.
You have your own car you can pack it with cheap food that you buy at home. Frugal vacation tip numero uno
You are well on your way to saving money when you put your own cooler in the car...if you buy one on the road you are throwing away the cost of the cooler. Seen what they charge for checked baggage these days?
Go to the library...rent audio books.
These range in length 5 hours to 12 hours.
This costs you zip...this makes the miles float away...the further you can go the less time you will spend in a motel.
We recently drove about 800 miles from Sunriver Oregon to Beatty Nevada... We took good but very lonely roads, I cannot imagine doing a drive like that that listing to book tapes.
We drive straight thru from Surprise (Phoenix) to Sacramento...800 miles...12 hours...we stop only for gas and rest stops...thank you book tapes...do not leave home without them.
If this works for you fine...if not we understand...we leave at 3AM...we are fresh early AM, well really I am and I take the first shift driving, at day break 6AM, my bride takes over and I nap...bring your own pillow.
This puts us in downtown Sacramento 2:30 to 3PM...we beat the commuter traffic this way.
You defeat the purpose of watching your expenses by stopping for food...it takes time...it is expensive...you do not know what you are eating...your intestines may rebel, frugal vacation tips means no indigestion.
Pack your cooler with drinks, mostly water, and fruit and sandwiches...eat on the way...big time, money and stomach saver.
Remember, when you waste time on the road, you will be spending money on motels, you do not waste time you can stay with friends and family...$$$.
Besides being cheaper, it is less stressful...ever been calm in an airport?
We visit friends in Steamboat Springs, Colorado every summer. We used to fly Phoenix to Denver, rent a car, then drive 5 hours to Steamboat.
The time spent flying vs. driving all the way, door to door is a wash, 11 to 12 hours...what we now see by driving is Monument Valley...it is drop dead gorgeous, check the picture out, and we would never see it from the air. Moab Utah is also very scenic...Arches National park.
This is our best frugal vacation tips...use your car, leave early, listen to free book tapes, pack your own food...stay with friends and relatives. Go pack now.