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Your Frugal Summer Vacation

By Cary Anderson

No matter how tight your budget, everyone needs to get away once in awhile. A summer vacation may be more within reach of your budget than you realize. Itís all a matter of perspective. Will you be sunning on the beaches of the French Riviera? Probably not. But going on a vacation doesnít mean you need to go far away. Chances are there are plenty of great summer vacation options in your neck of the universe.

Destination: Nearby. Plan a great vacation to a spot that you would tell someone on the other side of the world to go to if they were intent on coming to your area. You probably take the part of the world you live in for granted and view ďvacationĒ as a faraway idea. But itís not! There are vacations to be had all around where you live. A tank of gas or two is all it takes to transport yourself to a great vacation destination in your area. Be creative. Visit a historical site or state park in your area. You donít have to travel far to experience the riches of the world.

Take a bus to your adventure. Getting on a bus is becoming a lost pastime. Before the airline industry revolutionized the way we travel, people took buses and trains when they needed to get somewhere. Turn your vacation into a fun relic from the past by hopping on a bus to a city of your choosing. View it as an adventure. You never know what crazy, unexpected experiences might fall at your feet when you step out of your comfort zone.

Switch houses with someone. Home exchange is one of the fastest growing aspects of the tourism sector. The movie The Holiday was based around the premise of swapping homes with someone looking to get away. No hotel costs or being pigeon-holed as a tourist. Live like a local and relax on your vacation knowing your house is being taken care of by a fellow home swapper. You may even arrange to swap cars with someone to avoid purchasing a rental.

Crash at a friends. Think about who you know in other parts of the world and see if you can crash on their couch for a few nights. Tell them you need to get away and would love to reconnect. See if theyíll play host and show you around their area for a few nights. Just be sure to practice good houseguest etiquette by arriving with a gift, lending a hand around the house, and getting a heartfelt thank you in the mail as soon as possible.

Each of these vacation ideas can give you just the break you need for a minimal expense. When you think outside the box, it gets easier to enjoy the qualities of life without a large budget. Remember, itís all what you make of it!

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