Friday, July 10, 2009

Frugal Vacation

So, this summer we decided we deserve a vacation. It's amazing how booking a vacation can raise your spirits and boost moral when you're feeling drained or sick of working. My husband and I are so excited to get away next week.

We live in Michigan, so we have lots of options when it comes to finding something to do within driving distance. We are surrounded by beautiful water and great vacation towns. This year we decided to venture to Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan. It's a great little island, with unique hotels and inns, beautiful parks and beaches, and lots of things for us to do with our little one. Now, I'll admit that the hotels on the Island aren't exactly frugal. You can't find a Holiday Inn or Super 8. All the hotels have great character that are special to the island. But, we are going to do our best to save in as many other ways as possible.

Today I'm going focus on how we plan to save money while driving. A few things on my list of ideas:

1) No need to buy a fancy portable DVD player. We recently looked into purchasing one and were shocked to find that they run you about $130. Yikes. We'll have our laptop to play any sort of DVD Alex might be interested in watching while driving up to the island

2) I have been saving the little toys that I find hidden under the bed or have lost the rest of their set. Although we don't tend to buy kid's meals at the fast food restaurants, Grandma does, so I have been stashing those toys in a box as well. When Alex starts to get bored while we're driving I'll pull out the toy box and let him have fun with all the little toys he's forgotten about.

3) Packing snacks to eat instead of going through the drive-thru will be the biggest challenge. My husband is very accustomed to getting fast food during our long drives. Infact, I think he looks forward to it. I plan to pack bagels, fresh fruit, chips and water to get us through the drive without having to pay for expensive fast food meals.

4) I plan on borrowing some books from the library as opposed to buying magazines to read. Magazines seem like such a waste of money. I usually read through one of them in about a half hour. Six dollars (or so) seems like too much for a half hour's worth of entertainment. I also plan to check out some books for Alex. He loves reading new books.

5) Our new car has cruise control that actually works! So that should help on gas milleage.

6) We will be sure to fill up on gas at a station close to our house, as opposed to near the exit of the highway. We all know gas stations near the highway can easily charge more for gas. Our drive home might pose more of problem when trying to find cheaper gas. But, we'll assess that situation when the time comes.

Have any ideas or suggestions? I could always use more input1

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