I use my friends and family to save money on traveling and I’m not afraid to admit it. Why pay for a hotel or Airbnb when you have friends and family more than willing to have you at their homes or second homes for free? Why pay for a rental car when your family has a spare they’ll let you use while you’re in town? This kind of trip also kills two birds with one stone. You get to travel and see places that you enjoy, while spending time with the people you love and maybe don’t get to see as often as you’d like.
I just got back from one of these trips down south and it was great! And while I never classified myself as frugal, this is a great way to take a lot of the cost out of vacationing. See the breakout of my expenses for the 7 day trip below:
Flight – $256
Restaurants & take-out – $182
Transportation – $68
Groceries – $40
Entertainment – $23 (park entrance fee and greens fee)
Grand total – $569 or $81/day
Spread that over 7 days and my trip only cost me $81 per day. Not bad considering some of these costs covered part of my girlfriend’s expenses and a thank you breakfast out for our hosts.
Things we did over the course of the week: saw a minor league baseball game, walked up to the highest point in Georgia, went on a boat, golfed, ate out multiple times, walked on the Appalachian trail, grilled, did Sudoku’s, watched a movie, etc. Not bad for 81 bucks a day, if I do say so myself. Plus for a majority of the trip it was nice to “sign-off” from being connected as where we stayed most of our trip did not have wifi or much cell phone service.
I definitely plan on returning the favor to my friends and family down the road (once I move out of a shared apartment in NYC). Whether that be hosting guests in my RV while I travel, at my home wherever I decide to make it, or in my month long rental in Barcelona if I decide on that. Traveling is fun and it’s even more fun if it is with friends and family, on the cheap!
Do you leverage friends and family for cheap vacations? Do you invite others to your residence while they travel?