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Figuring Out the Next Vacation
I know Travis just posted the other day about starting to plan a summer vacation and the pitfalls that come with it, but I wanted to touch on the topic too! If your family is anything like ours, you want to experience new sights and adventures, but you are also on a tight budget.
All the latest research shows that children that travel with their families are happier, smarter, better adjusted. So of course, we want to travel as much as possible. We are fortunate enough that we are traveling to the beach with my parents this summer, but we wanted to see if we could swing even MORE travel this summer!
The first thing we did was consider what we would be willing to spend. This is just a very rough estimate and what we will be willing to spend actually varies slightly by the location and the duration of the trip. It also depends on what our tax return looks like this year!
The next step was to sit down and think about places we would like to visit, do a little research on those places, check out things to do, places to stay, etc. We considered another beach trip, but we are already doing that once this summer and I want NEW experiences. Someplace none of us have been! Now, this is the point where I turn to my long-standing bucket list (you have one of those, right?). I have always wanted to go to Maine. I’m not sure where the obsession began, but I suspect it has something to do with lobster! So, I pitched the idea of Maine.
Our Maine List of Vacation Spots
Now, I say, “pitched the idea,” because honestly, who wants to spend 13+ hours in the car with kids? But, I think we can do it (famous last words! Pack the wine…). Travis knows this is on my bucket list, so he is willing to consider it, but I know I still have some more selling to do!
We also considered Gatlinburg, TN, Outer Banks, NC, New Orleans, LA, and Myrtle Beach, SC. They are still on the table, though if we are going to drive the 16+ hours to New Orleans, we might as well go to Maine in the summer-it will be more pleasant that time of year (still trying to sell it!).
Anyway, I have latched onto the idea of Maine, so I am looking into AirBNB, things to do, places to see, all the lobster (lobster bisque, lobster rolls, whole lobster, and yes, they even have lobster ice cream!). I’m working on mapping out a driving route and plan for stops along the way. I discovered this road trip planner for mapping the trip. It lets you see where you should be at a specific time of day so that you can figure out meals, stretch breaks, and, if needed, sleeping accommodations. Ideally, we would make the horrid drive in one day, but I don’t know if we can do that. If anyone has made the drive from Maryland to Maine in one day, please weigh in to help me plan!
Vacation with Airbnb
I’m also looking at accommodations in the area. I logged into Airbnb.com to start my search. It’s insane to me to pay for a hotel room when I can get an entire house for less. AND I can save even more money by making meals at the rented house instead of eating out every meal. If you have never been on Airbnb (like me!) then check out this referral code and you’ll get $55 off your first trip!
And of course, I have been looking at what we will do once we are there! I started a Pinterest board about Maine and have been gathering as much information as I can so that I can plan activities that won’t break the bank.
How have you started your plans for family vacation? Do you just look for deals and go from there or do you decide on a place and then look for deals? Any tips or tricks? If you can share what you’ve learned, we’ll share along our experiences (if we go; fingers crossed).