I Just Took a Three Day Vacation for Less Than $65 (Including Gas)

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Is money tight for you right now? Do you need a vacation? Then take one! Vacations do not have to be expensive. You just have to be smart about where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and where you will stay. My girlfriend and I just vacationed near Manistee, Mi, which is 150 miles away, stayed for three days (two nights), and only spent $65 total!

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What a Vacation Means

When was the last time you went on vacation, and where did you go? Was it over a year ago? Did you take a cruise or take a flight down to the Caribbean? Sure, this probably does qualify as a vacation, but you definitely don’t have to go to a tropical area to relax and vacation.

For me, a vacation simply means, “getting away from the every day grind and finding a place to relax, regroup, and refocus”. For this, you do not have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars.

For three days, I was able to leave the office and get away from electronic devices. I took naps, fished, and enjoyed a few campfires. It was heavenly. And, the fact that the entire trip only cost $65 was just the icing on the cake.

If you define a vacation like I do, then you do not have to travel overseas or spend an obscene amount of money. Nope, you just have to find a place to relax and let go of the everyday grind.

Here’s how you can do it for cheap.

Find Friends or Cheap Campgrounds

When you think about where you would like to vacation, don’t just assume that you are going to stay at a hotel for 6 nights. This could easily run you $600 or more. Instead, think simpler.

I spent this past weekend in a tent and paid exactly zero dollars for lodging.ย My girlfriend and I visited her parents’ cottage and decided that since we were going to visit them, we may as well stay a couple of nights. Instead of intruding on their place however, we decided to set up our tent in the side yard, which worked out perfectly. We could get away when we wanted, but could also enjoy a few amenities when we felt the need.

If you have friends in different areas of the U.S., think about who you might be able to stay with on your next vacation. If you feel like you are intruding, then take a tent with you and sleep in the local campground. If you can do without water and electric, they’ll let you stay for $5. Now that’s a pretty cheap stay, and much more reasonable than a hotel!

Use a Fuel Efficient Car

I fell in love (again) with my 2001 Honda Civic this weekend. We drove 395 miles and I still have an eighth of a tank of gas, which means that I got nearly 39 miles per gallon round-trip with my $2,500 car (that I’ve owned for over 2 years now). Thank you Honda for the wonderful cars that you produce.

If you find yourself looking for adventures or multiple vacations per year, then a fuel-efficient vehicle would be a great move for you.

Cheap Entertainment

When I go on vacation, I don’t want to run around and do everything under the sun. I simply want to relax with one or two activities. This weekend, my relaxation method of choice was fishing. In order to get access to multiple lakes in the area, we bought a $20 pass that’s good for Federal parks all around the US. Not only did this allow us to fish 3-4 different lakes this weekend, but it will allow us access to any Federal park through August of next year! Talk about long-term cheap entertainment!

So, in case you are curious, here is where our $65 went this past weekend:

  • Gasoline: $40 (maybe even less)
  • Fishing Park Pass: $20
  • Worms: $5
Otter Lake
One of our many fishing spots this past weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

What is it that you can do for cheap entertainment? What will allow you to relax and unwind from your busy schedule? Your activities don’t have to be expensive, they just have to allow you to escape temporarily and enjoy life for a bit before you step back into your crazy everyday life.

Do you think you can take a vacation for less than $65? What would you do?

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Money Save Money

Derek

AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

11 Comments

    • It WAS nice. So peaceful. I wasn’t really focused on spending a small amount of money, but after these many months of budgeting, it seems to just come naturally I guess. After the weekend was over I thought, “I wonder how much money I spent on this vacation? …. Oh wow, it was only $65!” ๐Ÿ˜‰

  1. I’m taking a “staycation” in a couple weeks and plan to keep it under $100…but that is mostly because I want to eat out…at least once.

    I’m going to take advantage of military base lodging ($60ea)
    I have a gift card for a massage…enough for me and vacation buddy ($0)
    We will go to base gym (free) and rent bikes to ride around base (less $10 ea.)
    We will go to the budget movie theater ($3ea)

    Our lodging will have a full kitchen so we will prep some meals. Long as we don’t go crazy eating out, we should be able to keep it under $100.
    MomCents recently posted..Finstat August 2014

    • Sounds awesome! To keep a vacation under $100 is pretty impressive. Thanks for the comment!

    • Of course I ate! But, we didn’t go out to eat – we just ate grocery food like we would have if we were at home, so I’m definitely not counting that as an additional expense!

  2. Derek, camping and fishing two of my favorite activities. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Sounds lovely.

    • It was lovely! It ended too quickly, just like vacation tend to do.

  3. Dude – completely off topic, but my sister just started a job at your same company! I recognized your face from linkedin and put two and two together. She is located in Chicago, so you probably don’t know her. Small World!

    Back on topic – it’s hard to beat $65 for three days. We probably spend more than that in half a day on our vacations ๐Ÿ™ Looks like we need to tighten our belts.
    Derek @ MoneyAhoy.com recently posted..Moving to Georgia – Triple Win

    • Really?!? That’s awesome! She’s going to love it, guaranteed. This company really values their employees and often put their money where their mouth is.

      Yeah, it was a very cheap vacation, and a fun one too! You don’t always have to spend a ton of money to have a good time.


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