I spent every weekend of the last six weeks out of town on a “weekend getaway”. That would equal a 12-15 day vacation (some of them turned into three day weekends). I can’t afford a15 day stay at an all-inclusive destination resort, but these small trips more than satisfied my taste for travel, relaxation, and fun. How did I do it all on my budget? The generosity of my family.
Weekend 1: Squam Lake, NH.
Every year my family makes a trip out to one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been in the world, Squam Lake, New Hampshire. Though I was working during the week they spent there, I was fortunate enough to join them for a short weekend stay. Three delicious meals a day, kayaking, swimming, waterskiing, and the company of my family. The cost to me, a tank of gas to get there and back, about $50.
Weekend 2: Burlington, VT.
You can read about my full trip to Burlington in my post 3 Days in Burlington, Vermont. I was in the area for work and was able to find a ton of low cost activities to enjoy on my weekend off (which included my birthday!) It was my big splurge weekend of the summer and the total cost only came out to about $200.
Weekend 3: Washington, DC.
I had to head down to DC for an audition and decided to couple it with a visit to my Aunt in the area. We wined and dined, went to the theatre, and explored Washington from the National Zoo to the National Gallery of Art. The cost to me, a round trip Bolt Bus ticket, about $45.
Weekend 4: Wildwood Crest, NJ.
Each year, the Ukrainian-Americans of the northeast (I’m one of them by the way) head down to the Jersey Shore to celebrate the end of summer and Ukrainian Independence Day (August 24th). My family (being extremely involved in the community) shares in the festivities and naturally I join them when I can. This year I spent three days at the beach- soaking in the sun, playing on the boardwalk, and enjoying bottles of Trader Joe’s wine from our beach front hotel room balcony. The cost to me, a couple bottles of three buck chuck, $40 for a full day of waterpark/amusement park admission, and a few meals- total, about $100.
Weekend 5: Hunter, NY.
Another Ukrainian-American destination (I told you I was involved). I spent the weekend going on runs through the beautiful wilderness of upstate New York and relaxing at my friends’ upstate houses (which are all conveniently situated within a few miles of one another). The cost to me, $5 breakfast at the church and a train ticket to CT so I could hitch a ride with my parents. Total cost: $14.
Weekend 6: Greenwich, CT.
Finally, I spent last weekend at my childhood home with my best friends. A close and welcome respite from NYC, we enjoyed the fresh air, green grass, and a dip in the pool. The cost to me, a train ticket back to NYC (I was able to get a ride on the way there) $9.
In total, my 12-15 days of summer vacation spread across six weeks cost me roughly $418. Structuring my destinations around the locations of my family and friends allowed me to save on the biggest expenses: housing, transit (sometimes), and food. Plus I got the added bonus of spending time with my nearest and dearest.
Have you ever structured a vacation around friends and family to visit AND help save on costs?