Weekend get-aways are awesome, but do you know what’s even better? A week long vacation! Yesterday I shared some tips and tricks for a weekend vacation, but today I want to talk about longer vacations and how to save money while having an amazing experience.
I am going to be pulling experiences from my Maine 2016 and 2018 vacations to the Rockport/Camden area. If you ever have the opportunity to to visit that area, I strongly suggest it.
- Both times we rented a cabin from Megunticook campground. The campground is right along the water, so we spent breakfast along the sea and watched the sunset over the water. The cabins have electricity, so when we went at the end of the season in 2016 (saved money because it wasn’t busy season), we brought our own electric space heater which was a life saver. I will post the campsite’s website below.
- Just like a weekend away, we plan ahead for our meals. When we know what we will be having for each meal, we will save money from bringing food from home and not eating out every night. We plan our meals according to what will last the longest and what will need to defrost. For example, if we pack frozen veggies and regular produce, we will eat the regular produce before eating the frozen foods because they will thaw on their own in our cooler. Another lifesaver for us was bringing our electric burner on our 2018 trip to Maine. This allowed us to boil water and cook without constantly having to make a fire.
- While we are talking about food, you will probably get hungry during your drive if you are traveling far from home. For our 2018 trip I packed a reusable chopping bag with snacks such as almonds, fruit, granola bars, mints, and water. When we got hungry, we would just grab a snack from the bag at my feet instead of stopping at a rest stop and eating junk food or having to go through all of our packed food for a treat.
- If you are traveling on a road that has tolls, be sure to bring a little sandwich bag or mason jar full of quarters. Even if you don’t think you will have to pay tolls, bring quarters. You never want to find yourself at a toll or paying for parking without any small bills or cash on hand. Oh, and don’t forget to notify your bank that you will be out of town! There is nothing worse than getting your cards or bank account frozen while on vacation.
- Do some research about local events/museums/scenery… in the area that you will be traveling to. My husband and I love museums, so on our 2016 trip we visited a lighthouse museum and on our 2018 trip we visited several art museums and a transportation museum. Be on the look-out for museums that are linked with other attractions. Some museums’ tickets will grant you access to other museums in the area (like The MET in NYC). Some other great (free/cheap) options are swimming at beaches, finding lighthouses and hiking at state parks. During our 2018 trip we found an adorable beach along the coast and decided to eat our packed lunch there. We also found a ton of cute little shops to browse through. We even found the cutest little bakery with delicious pastries that were affordable and amazing (this trip was pre-vegan). Do your research, but don’t make yourself stick to a plan. Have ideas of what you want to do, but if you find something you like better, do it! Live in the moment.
- We also plan what meals we will eat out instead of cooking ourselves. Usually we will eat breakfast at a little diner the day we leave our trip. We also picked one lunch and one dinner to eat at a local restaurant. Oh, and one night that we went out just for drinks after dinner! By talking with local people you can find great food for a great price.
- Drive around aimlessly. Remember that beach I told you about? We found that on accident. We also found antique shops, lighthouses, bakeries, pizzerias, breweries, and museums just by driving around. Don’t rely strictly on Google searches for your vacation. Not only will you find awesome places to experience, but amazing views. One of my favorite things about that area of Maine is how much lavender grows wildly. The stuff is everywhere! It is so beautiful and it took everything in me to not come home with bunches of the stuff.
MEGUNTICOOK CAMPGROUND https://megunticookcampgrounds.com/
Planning is a great way to get your cost-efficient vacation started, but don’t forget to live in the moment and enjoy your time to relax and recover from daily life.