With all of the gloom and doom and constant pummeling from all the negative “news" stories on the TV and in the newspapers these days, I can understand why a family would seriously consider canceling the annual vacation. Gas prices outta sight, unemployment worse than the great depression and everybody's house is now worth a dollar ninety-five. But, is the country ready to go to hades in a hand basket, or are our friends in the media creating overblown hype to sell the news?Sure, it may cost you a few more dollars to hit the road this summer, but here are several ideas that can help put you behind the windshield and on to creating some priceless vacation memories.
- How much extra will it cost me?
Gas costs 33% more than it did last year. The big news was how fast it rose from $3.00 to $4.00. Let's calculate exactly how much extra you'd pay for gas to drive to your vacation destination If it's 1,200 miles round trip to Wally World for 7 days (and 5 nights) of unparalleled bliss, gas will cost you $220 in your chariot that gets 22 mpg. How much would it have cost you last year with gas at $3.00/gallon? About $165. Cancel a vacation for a lousy $55? You could save that much by giving up that Starbuck's double sugar and cream frappucino for only 13.75 days! Give up smoking for 18 days! Eat only beans & rice for two weeks and you'll have at least a hundred extra bucks in your pocket!
- Cheap out a little on the road.
Instead of stopping for all your meals at roadside restaurants, bring a cooler packed with lunchmeats, cheese, fruit and drinks. Don't forget a loaf of bread. When you and your crew get hungry, pull off the highway and have a picnic- much more relaxing than a typical fast food joint and you'll save a ton of cash.
- Find a motel that includes free breakfast.
If you're reading this article, then you've got internet access, and there's no excuse for not shopping ahead for your motel on the web. Spend a few minutes to get the best deal and make sure that breakfast is included in your stay. Most likely the food isn't fancy, but they usually have the basics (cereals, hard-boiled eggs, juices, coffee, etc. ) and it's a pleasant way to start the day and visit with the family before you hit the road. And, a newspaper is often part of the deal, so relax and you could save enough to make up for the extra gas costs with this tip alone.
So, don't give up, play the game a little smarter and enjoy yourself this summer.
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