Backpack to Buggy

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Five super low-budget, family destinations for Fall

October 20th, 2008 · No Comments · Tips & Tricks

As I mention often, we blew our 2008 travel budget on our Bali trip.  I learned my lesson– one trip a year is not enough.  I want to travel, now.  So, I have been turning our trips into travel.  Here’s where we’re going on limited funds:

5 super low budget destinations

  1. Seasonal celebrations.  Wherever you live, Fall seems to be the season of festivals and fairs.  Farms, orchards, vineyards and ranches will have celebrations.  Don’t forget pumpkin patches and Christmas tree farms.  Late in September, we spent the day participating in Sonoma’s Weekend Along Farm Trails – visiting mushroom, horse and apple farms with a California comfort food dinner.  A mid-October Sunday was spent in the land of Charles Schultz looking for the Great Pumpkin.  Pick a theme, plan at least half a day’s activities, and make it as much an adventure or quest as an activity.
  2. Friends and family vacations.  I bet a friend or family member or friend of a friend or family member of a friend, etc., has a time-share, vacation condo, hotel discounts, or something that could take a huge chunk out of the cost of travel.   One of my friends has a condo in Napa, so we are having a birthday, girls-only weekend.  (My first overnight away from Mirielle.)  Last week I received an email from a friend whose boss offered her a cabin in Tahoe for a weekend.  Our November travel plans are filling out nicely.
  3. Enjoy Nature. Generally I avoid cold, but I have wonderful memories of the first snowfall of the season while camping in the Adirondacks, Donner Lake, and Yosemite (in July).  Fall foliage tours and hikes are wonderful.  Jamie at Travel Savvy Mom just reminded me that Elephant Seal breeding season is coming up.  (Nature’s version of a monster truck rally).  Bird and whale migration, crab or deer season, or just quieter trails at your state park, enjoying nature’s seasonal wonders costs very little.
  4. Host visitors.   A spin on the ‘staycation,’ when you host out of town guests, you can play both tour guide and traveler.  Be sure to visit new places or try new things with your guest.  When our friend drops in later this year, I plan to visit the renovated (and expensive) California Academy of Sciences and take him on a “cheese” tour of the area.
  5. Hawaii – My recent analysis on Bali vs. Hawaii is out the window temporarily as there are some aggressive promotions to Hawaii.  Airfares are half of what they were a month ago, deals on the ground are getting sweeter, and packages are unbelievable.   Air and 3 nights hotel from the Bay Area is running about $550 per person.  I think I could probably put together 3-4 nights on a $1500 budget for a family of 3.  I just have to figure out what I can give up to make it happen.  Vegas, Orlando, and other tourist dependent destinations are suffering from the dramatic drop off in US tourists.  It is a great time to travel.

    Mushrooms at New Carpati Farm

    Mushrooms at New Carpati Farm

OK, we may not get to Hawaii before the end of the year, but only because our time has filled up with trips described in 1-4.

Where are you going with your family this fall?

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