Enjoy Your Vacation – I Did!

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).

Sunset View from Our Porch

A View of Our Porch

Our Private Pool

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.

10 Responses to Enjoy Your Vacation – I Did!

  1. Michelle says:

    Wow so pretty! I’ve never used VRBO, but I have used airbnb.

  2. Wow! I do agree that we deserve to reward ourselves some vacation after months of working. I never used VRBO but I will soon. Thanks for the share.

  3. I love VRBO but I’ve only done it domestically. Maybe soon I’ll try for international!

  4. I used VRBO for a mini-vacation in 2007. It was awesome! 3 nights in the Smoky Mts. for 2 people and we spent $700 total (including food, transportation, etc.) – there’s no way I could have gotten away with that if I hadn’t used VRBO.

  5. Your third anniversary is coming up too? What a conincidence! Aside from a couple of overnight trips, the the only vacations we’ve taken have been to fly home to visit family. My old bedroom is still there, so our costs tend to be pretty low.

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  7. Marie says:

    Wow this is out an out beautiful….. I plan to at least have a small vacation with my entire family once in every 3 months. Mt hectic work schedule most of the time takes a toll on my nerve, hence it gets necessary to have a change once in a while….Gladly I have used VRBO during last year in December when I planned a small tour to Chicago along with my family in Christmas Vacation and needless to say, the experience has been so pleasurable that soon I am planning for an international tour as well.

  8. Forest says:

    How awesome is that place!!!!! I always try to go off the path. Glad you had a great time.

  9. […] The past few weeks have been really busy with my family. My wife and I have been going to weddings left and right, as well as taking our annual vacation. As we were driving home from Ohio, where we went to the most recent wedding, I couldn’t help but think about how expensive traveling can be. When you add up all of the gas, housing, food, and forthcoming maintenance costs on our car, our short trip adds up quite quickly. I imagine other young families face the same situation. In that light, here are some of the ways that I have brainstormed to keep the costs low. While it may be necessary to take out loans for emergencies (like those offered at Wonga), following these tips can give you that cushion. Not only will it put you in a better financial position, but help you enjoy your vacations. […]

  10. A girl in... says:

    Wow, those pictures look amazing! I love off the beaten path type travel as well. In fact, my bf and I are leaving to Maui soon and are staying in a yurt for one of the nights. 🙂

    We’ve always had good experiences staying in rentals and b&b type places. Plus, I like supporting smaller, local businesses or private owners.