Tips on How To Vacation on a Small Budget

During difficult economic times, taking a vacation may seem like an impossible task, especially if you have children. But the truth of the matter is that everyone needs time away to relax and have fun. A vacation does not have to cost a fortune.  There are ways to vacation on a small budget.

The following is a list of  tips to help save money on a vacation:

1. You don’t have to stay in expensive hotels and resorts. There are plenty of campgrounds that offer very affordable rates.  Also, vacationing during off-season cost less. Bed and breakfasts are another idea. The rooms are usually very lovely and the food is great.

2. If you have children, give them a set amount of money they can spend. Tell them they have to budget because that is all the money they will have for the entire trip.

3. Using credit cards while on vacation has its draw backs. Before you travel,  plan how much to spend to avoid high credit card debt. You can do the following:

• Contact your credit card company to see if they give any travel discounts on things like accommodations, car rental, insurance or airplane tickets.
• Bring only one credit card with you on the trip so you want be tempted to over spend.
• Keep track of everything you spend; keep all of your receipts.
• Find out the steps involved with reporting lost or stolen credit cards and if you will be held liable for unauthorized use of a card.
• Keep a list of your credit card numbers and important credit card contact information.

4. When it comes to meals,  pack homemade lunches and beverages. Try to cut the amount of snacks you buy. Many hotels provide free continental breakfasts. Look for restaurants that offer discounts for children, or “Kids Eat Free” programs. We spend way too much money on eating out. This could be one of your biggest cost savers, plan ahead the internet is a great way  to find deals before you leave on vacation.

5. If flying is part of your vacation plans, look for cheap airlines and discounted rates; discount airlines are a good choice.  There are online  specials available all the time. Comparison shopping online is a great way to buy cheap airline tickets, last-minute tickets are often sold at great discounts.

6. Vacation activities do not have to be expensive. Research your destination before getting there, you can find reasonably priced options such as museums, historical sites, amusement parks, national and state parks and zoos. These types of places will often only charge a small fee.  Check on free local festivals that can include walking tours, wine tasting, arts and crafts, as well as historical re-enactments.  Doing some research on cheap things to do before your trip could help you save alot.

7. Often, fun events are taking place close to your own home. Visiting local and regional areas is a cheap and fun way to explore your state. Make sure you check the visitor center of each town and city you visit. They will have information on affordable sights and activities, and may have special discount coupons.

8. Buy a cheap long distance phone card before you travel. Hotel phones can be expensive. If you are using a cell phone, check out the cell phone carrier’s roaming fees before using it so your not hit with a surprise bill when you get home..

Everyone needs time away from their busy day-to-day routines. Being on a budget does not mean that you can’t have a fun vacation. By implementing and following a well-planned vacation budget, you and your family will have a great vacation full of lasting memories.

I’m not Crazy…It’s Empty Nest Syndrome

Over the years I’ve heard about empty nest syndrome, but I’ve never thought it would start while my son was still in high school. Now that I think back I think it really started to hit me when the second semester started back in January. I think that is when you start to realize that it’s only a few months left till your baby is graduating high school. I’m the last person in the world you would think would be having such a hard time with this. I’m a really strong person and most things don’t get to me. I guess that is way I’m having such a hard time with this.

It seemed like the closer it got to graduation the worse it got. I have been so sad and depressed. I think my brain flipped though every memory it could recall of my son growing up. I started missing all the things you do for your kids. Simple things like school shopping I went to Wal-Mart, and saw a young mother buying school supplies for her elementary aged children. I found myself wanting to buy colors and paste and scissors and one of those little cardboard boxes they had to have to put it all in. Remember those? I wish I could do it all over again, I love being a mother.

After reading up on empty nest syndrome I learned it’s usually the mother who suddenly finds herself with these feelings of being lost and alone. The effects can vary, depending on different factors. For instance, when the mother is divorced and living alone, it can be particularly difficult which I am. When a mother has been a stay at home mom like I have been, she might feel that life is over, that she has no purpose in living. In severe cases, when depression is severe or last a long time, counseling may be needed. I’m hoping I want need that.

When the time does come that our children marry or graduate from high school and leave for college, it can be difficult to deal with the emotions that we feel. We try to hide our sadness from others because these events in a child’s life are supposed to be happy occasions. While we are happy for our children, we are also feeling a deep sense of loss. We have to remember that these feelings are perfectly normal, and not be afraid to seek out comfort from friends and family.

No Posting Last Week

I have tried to post something at least a couple of times a week. Well, mother nature had other plans for me last week. Last Monday night when most people were sleeping soundly in their beds we were hit with some nasty storms. Of course since I’m not like most people and I rarely sleep at night, I was wide awake for house rattling winds and pounding hail that beat down on my window air conditioner so loud it woke up everybody else in the house. The force of the winds was unreal. There was stuff flying everywhere and we know whats going to happen next, yep you got it. Down came the trees and of course the power lines came with them. I have to tell you as I was watching the storm out the front door and I saw the sparks flash from the top of our power line and the lights in our house go out. I never would have guessed what was really waiting for us to see in the morning light. That little spark was the least of the damage. One house down from ours a Hugh tree uprooted and caused a chain reaction. Before it was all said and done there was one power pole in three pieces another one broke in half and all the wires ripped out of a couple of others. So, we ended up being without power for three and a half days. Our cable still isn’t right and it’s been almost a week now. Here are a few pictures of the damage.

My Family

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