Because of a tight budget, vacations have become a thing of the past. We have traveled; road trip to the East Coast of Canada, all over New York State and Ontario, flown to San Diego, San Fran, and Dominican Republic. I know, we aren’t globe trotters, but we don’t want to be. Even when we had a mostly disposable income, we were smart with money, especially when traveling. Hotel deals, cheap flights, few souvenirs. We love exploring cities, rather than just parking ourselves at the newest all-inclusive resort (we did it once, and it was after a VERY stressful end of the year at my job, I was completely burnt out, and needed a drink in one hand a book in the other and to not think for 7 days. We doubt we’d ever do it again).
Our theory is that we want to explore this amazing country of ours (Canada) and the wonderful neighbours to the south, before we strap ourselves into a plane for 10 hours to get to Europe, or wherever the current hip place to travel to is. There are so many incredible places to visit right in your own backyard! Beautiful national parks, museums, beaches; things that I bet you have never experienced. Why would you travel across the globe to visit a museum when you’ve got them so close to you! We go to local parks for morning hikes, evening walks on the pier, camping in parks with some of the best beaches this country has to offer.
Local wineries, museums, art galleries, science centres; historic sites super close to home that we didn’t even know were there. Granted, some of these cost money; museums and art galleries can be expensive, wineries get costly when you buy a lot of wine, but our tastings are free! Camping is cheaper than staying in a hotel, which is a great option if you are on a road trip. Hiking is free! We sling the kid in our Ergo carrier, and off we go! There are close to 10 conservation areas within a 15-20 minute drive of my house. I’ve lived here all my life, and haven’t been to most of them.
You’ve heard of the 100 mile diet right? Could you manage a 100 mile vacation? Stay within 100 miles of your home (or 160 km for us Canucks). Go and visit every possible place you can close to home, before traveling around the globe. Your Eco footprint will be smaller, your bank account a little fuller. Who knows, you might just find a hidden gem of excitement in your own backyard. (We recently discovered a part of WWII history right in a neighbouring town, and a forest that is perfect for morning hikes that is only 15 minutes up the road.) I can’t wait for morning hikes with my son, husband and my mother-in-law once the leaves start changing colours; cost is only a few dollars in gas, and the memories will last a life time. Support your local economy, and save a few bucks while doing it.