Thursday, May 22, 2014

Travelling on the Cheap

Growing up my family didn't travel.  So I didn't know what I was missing.  Until recently.  Last year my family and I took a trip across Canada in our beat up tent trailer.  We saw the mountains, teal blue glacier water, and wildlife I didn't even realize existed in Canada!  I was hooked. I wanted to make these kind of memories with my family more often! Problem is, travelling can be expensive.

This year we are staying closer to home. BC is just not in the budget this year. (but believe me, it's on the list to happen again. :) )  However, I wanted to travel a bit still.  We decided there were some areas in Ontario, our home province that would be great to explore.  We are planning on going to the Bruce Penninsula this year as it is an area we have never been.  Here are some tricks we are using to be able to afford a small trip.

1.  Combining it with work.  I sell tie dye.  I am taking part in a craft show in an area close to where we want to explore.  So I will spend the weekend working while we camp, and then we will move on and use the following few days to take our mini vacation.

2.  Canadian Tire money.  Gas is expensive.  And you can't use Canadian Tire money to purchase gas.  But you can use Canadian Tire money to purchase a gift card, and you can use a gift card to purchase gas.  We always get our gas at the Canadian Tire gas station so we have a nice chunk that should get us almost 40 dollars of gas.

3.  PC Points Card.  If you have a bank account at President's Choice Financial, and you use your card at various places such as No Frills or Independent Grocer, you get points.  You can then redeem those points for groceries.  It takes awhile to accumulate them, but 20 dollars of free groceries is 20 dollars of free groceries! :)  We will be using that towards our food purchases for camping.

4.  Swagbucks.  Swagbucks is a site online where you can accumulate points and then redeem them for gift certificates for various stores or for paypal money.  While laying in bed putting my toddler to sleep I have used this site on my mobile phone to gain some points.

5.  Mystery Shopping.  I have done a few mystery shop assignments.  It is not huge money, but again it is a little extra that goes into my paypal account for our trip.

6.  Airmiles.  Recently I heard that airmiles have changed their program so that your points can expire after 5 years.  Apparently in 2016 points can start expiring.  We have been collecting the odd point here and there since we were first married.  We don't use the card enough for it to be enough for a flight, but it turns out you can redeem them for other purchases such as gift cards, or gas. :)

All of this combined with cheap camping, doing free or cheap activities, and eating food you pack all helps towards being able to take the family on a trip to make memories. :)

What ways do you save so you can take your family on a vacation?  I'd love to hear your ideas!

No comments:

Post a Comment