Frugal Living and Vacations: Finding a Purpose to the Savings
When I talk to many of my frugal friends, many of them tend to be the type that skip out on vacations and getaways because it disrupts their stringent budgeting practices. It’s a choice that every family has to make for themselves, but we have memories of traveling with our families growing up and want the same for our children, so we choose to include traveling in our budget.
I’m frugal because I want to be intentional with the way we spend our money, and it’s important to us to include travel!
Traveling as a family allows us to not only create memories but also to develop a deeper bond with our children. As we experience the different areas of the country, we are learning history, taking pictures which practices the art of photography, then later learning how to properly edit them. It’s important to prioritize what is important to your individual family then find a way to work those activities into your budget.
It kind of upsets me that some frugal individuals will willingly give up on expanding their interaction with things such as cultures because they feel like it isn’t worth spending money on. Certainly, travel isn’t for everyone, but I think it’s good to get out and explore every once in a while. We don’t take big extravagant trips, just short day trips in our area usually, and try to budget for a larger trip every few years.
We have the mindset that makes us wonder, “What’s the point of being frugal if you aren’t going to use the money that’s been saved?” We do NOT spend all of our savings on travel – we have money set aside that is budgeted for a variety of things, both short term and long term. However, we don’t want to just save and never enjoy any of the money we work hard for.
Travel can be cheap when you apply frugal tendencies and practices to the mix. Frugal types like me, are those that are willing to wait a little longer until the great deal or sacrifice until the best investments come about – this is exactly how some of our travel experiences work. We have an idea of the general area we want to visit, and the time frame, and I am always looking for deals or discounts on the things we want to do there. When I find a good deal, we solidify our plans. Here are some Tips on traveling with Frugal Intention:
- Use the internet to your advantage. Sometimes a travel agency can save you money, it’s worth a call to get a free estimate. Then, take the time to price out things for yourself. A few extra hours of taking your own time to plan a trip can save you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars. You don’t have to be tech-savvy either – most of these platforms like Kayak and Expedia already suggest proper times when to make a purchase.
- There are many lodging options today! These days between Hotels, Motels, Hostels, AirBnB’s, and timeshares, there are many different choices that can meet your needs. For example, a quick look at a Welk Timeshare for rent already shows me that plenty of money will be saved if visiting around Cali, Mexico, Missouri, and others. It only takes a bit of extra time to find a place that’s right for you and your budget.
- Many people travel with too much stuff. Make a list of what you really need, and stick to the list. There are usually shops in the area if you forget random items. Check the weather before you go so you’re prepared with proper clothing, and then grab your toiletries and shoes. There are places that even allow you to rent clothing upon arrival at your destination if you’re traveling commercially and want to avoid baggage fees and the hassle of dealing with luggage.
- Take things slow. I know a lot of you want to pack your vacation with a ton of things to do because you’d like to maximize the time. When you’re pushing yourself so hard to do everything on the list you really miss out on the smaller things. It’s about creating memories – not checking off a list you’ve created. You may only have one chance at visiting a spot so why not make the most of the time you spend thereby absorbing it all versus running through a top 10 list of things to do.
When you place the goal of travel as the reason why you’re being frugal it all comes into place. You find yourself adding toward the travel budget with real ease. The frugal living as a purpose rather than just cutting corners.
Mix smart thinking about finding flights, lodging, and exploring the areas. Your next trip is possible if you keep with the minimal lifestyle. I’ve done it – so can you!