The cheapest way to travel will not come as a huge surprise to you. In fact, you probably already travel this way at least once a year.
If you are new here, you should know we have the travel bug really bad. We try to leave the country every year and visit a few National Parks. Getting out into nature and exploring feeds our soul. We love to travel hack most of our trips to save money, but that is not our secret we are talking about today.
There are times when our wanderlust feels stronger than our budget can handle. This is when we do the cheapest form of travel we can find – Local Travel.
Traveling locally is cheap, accessible, and often requires little to no planning.When we are saving for trips to France or Peru that needs to be our focus. This is when we travel locally to save money and get to know our surrounding area really well.
Options for local travel range from free to moderately priced. Depending on your current financial situation, hopefully you and your family can find one that works.
The road trip can be as expensive or cheap as you want it to be. Our favorite is to take the Prius 3-4 hours away for a great view. We also regularly road trip up to the mountain to see the snow, do some snowshoeing or skiing (if we want to pay for the pass).
We can typically take our dogs and grab a yummy snack on the way. I should also note we are lucky because things like natural hot springs, cave spelunking, and the ocean are all within a few hours drive from our home in the PNW. Regardless of your location, a road trip can be a fun way to travel on the cheap.
This is the way we travel most often. We are surrounded by trails and mountains. One busy weekends we just head to the local walking trail. When we have a whole Saturday to ourselves we set out for a bit more adventure and work with hikes up into the mountains and back.
While most of our hikes are free, in some areas there is a park pass that does cost a bit of money. I don’t consider this to be a bad deal by any means since it goes to the care of the forest and lasts a year.
A trendy word and idea. It is another way to travel locally that can be cheap or expensive. We have done a staycation in our local city by getting sweet little Air BnB and hopping around the city to try new food. We have also used points for one night in a hotel after a show.
The idea is that you stay the night somewhere fairly close to home and explore a bit like a tourist.
Since I mentioned being a tourist above I want to expend a bit more here. Seeing the touristy things in your area or city can be so fun! Especially if you can swing going on a weekday when it is less crowded. Look on Groupon to see what deals they have. Maybe you could take a jet boat ride or go to a famous historical location.
If you want to be even more of a tourist in your local area sign up for a tour. For example, we can tour the waterfront on segways. We once took a winery tour out in McMinville OR and enjoyed every last drop, especially our driver.
Google Maps is especially helpful to the photographer. Pull up a map of your local area and you should see little brown photo icons. Check out some of the spots for fantastic photographs.
Catching the Sunrise
Since we have been getting up earlier, catching the sunrise on the weekend does not seem as hard. A sunrise hike is spectacular. So is pull off to a view point and sipping from a thermos as the sun comes up. I think it is romantic and full of promise.
Lastly, try out the new restaurants. We love food (obviously) and love to support local businesses. We are vegan, but still manage to find at least side dishes and good drink at any restaurant. Leave a good review online if you are especially impressed to pass on some of the love.
The Adventure Every Weekend
At one of our goal setting meetings a little over a year ago, Charles said he wanted to make it a habit to have an adventure every week. This sounds expensive already, but it turns out we could do this for little to nothing and gain so much more in return.
Some adventures were small and ended in a nearby cafe for brunch, while others where long 14 mile hikes up the side of a mountain and back. We went by ourselves, but occasionally managed to rope in a friend who was down for some adventure too.
Getting outside was important for our mental health, our mindfulness, and our relationship. It turned out to be one of the best goals we ever set and saved us from bingeing Netflix on the couch every weekend.
We will always travel. Sometimes our financial goals mean we do not travel as far and I hope this help you consider local travel as the cheapest way to feed your wanderlust.