As some of you may already know, a couple weeks ago my wife and I stepped away from our everyday lives to enjoy our annual vacation. We were celebrating our third anniversary (early because of other commitments at the actual time of our anniversary) and we enjoyed it 100 percent! Many of my readers were asking me about it, so I thought I would share a little bit more about how we did some simple things to keep the vacation affordable and yet still have an amazing vacation.
Travel Off The Beaten Path
When it comes to my philosophy when traveling, I understand that there are two major differences in how people travel. You can follow the crowd to the nice resorts, sit by the beach, eat at a restaurant for every meal, and order room service. This option is nice because it allows you to live care-free for the entire vacation. All of the ordinary concerns that life brings you are out the window and it allows you to relax. I would be lying if I didn’t enjoy this sort of vacation. My wife and I had one of these vacations on our honeymoon, mostly because it was paid for.
There’s the important part – paying for this type of vacation. Not everyone, myself included, can afford this type of vacation annually or even every two years. As it turns out, I looked into the resorts on the Caribbean island we were staying. The average cost per night was $450-600 per night and that wasn’t even an all-inclusive deal. No matter how much you budget for your vacation, you may not be able to afford spending over $5,000 in one week. Even if you can save that much money, it may not make sense to spend what would equal the amount of a second car in one week (if you have been reading this blog for sometime, I often dream of buying a second car).
The alternative to living the luxurious vacation life is to travel off the beaten path. You can elect to travel to the same location and stay somewhere where it is less expensive to do so. If you avoid the crowds of people, odds are the prices will decrease. This is what we did. We were able to stay in a two-bedroom cottage with a private pool for a 1/3-1/4 of the cost of renting a private room at a resort just 5 minutes away by abiding by this travel philosophy. In case you are worried that we had to make major sacrifices in the quality of the stay, here are some pictures of our private cottage (which also came with housekeeping and someone to clean the pool daily).
How did We Afford it?
If you are wondering how we were able to afford such a nice place, please don’t suspect that we are rolling in the cash. We definitely budget for a nice vacation each year (or every other year at least), but the trick was getting away from the crowds as I mentioned above. In fact, to be more specific, we used a site called VRBO.com. It stands for Vacation Rental By Owner. It is a great place to find vacation rentals for very affordable prices. Not only can you find them in the U.S., but other exotic places like the Caribbean. Think of it like a craigslist of vacation rentals. It’s an easy way to connect with private owners who are willing to rent out their homes at a fraction of the cost of resorts. It’s a great way to plan a vacation on a budget. If you are looking to go on a nice vacation, you might want to check out VRBO.com to see what you can afford.
Enjoy Your Vacation
The summer months are ahead of us with many more possible vacations. I hope that you are able to get away from the 9-to-5 and enjoy a nice vacation. I am a huge fan of using incentives to motivate financial success and organizing a nice vacation is one of the best rewards out there. My wife and I love to travel, so we prioritize our spending accordingly. You can do the same.
Have you ever used VRBO.com?
Feel free to share your vacation plans in the comments below.