How To Take A Getaway Vacation On The Cheap

Hocking_Hills_CabinLast week Friday my wife and I set out on a little weekend getaway vacation to spend some time together since it was our 10 year anniversary.  With things being a little tighter on the budget this year I didn’t want forgo this opportunity to spend time with my wife.

So with a little persistence and planning we ended renting a small cabin in the Hocking Hills area around 50 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio.  The picture above is the actual cabin we stayed at.

What’s great about this trip is that it didn’t cost us much plus we got  tons of amenities from a grill to cook on, a full kitchen, to even a 6 person hot tub, and I will say that the hot tub came in real handy after a long day of hiking.

So what did this entire trip cost us?

In total the trip cost us right around $400 for a two night stay plus an extra $100 in spending cash which I will admit I went a little overboard on but since it was our anniversary and such an important moment in our lives I decided to spend a little extra.

So in this article I’m going to show you just how you can piece a small getaway vacation together just like this.

1. Start Saving Now

The first thing you want to do before anything is to start saving way before you plan to do this.  I actually started saving back in the earlier part of 2013.  I knew I wanted to do something for our anniversary but I didn’t what.

The point here is to recognize that you want to just take the getaway.  You may not know where, when, or even why you want to take one but by saving the money now keeps your option open.

Finally, consider how much you plan to spend on this trip.  Consider everything from the place you plan to stay at, groceries, to any extra spending cash you plan on having.  In my case I planned on sticking to a $500 budget.

2. Consider Locations

The next thing you need to do is consider different locations you want to go.  In my case I looked at everything from a trip to the Caribbean,  cruises, to a long road trip but the problem with them all was none of them met my budget of $500.

This is when I started looking more local.  With the cost of fuel I knew we weren’t going to be able to go to far.  This lead me to renting a cabin in Hocking Hills.

The drive was only 3 hours away, plus my wife and I love to go hiking in the great outdoors.

3. Go Out Of Season

The third thing I’ve found to save us a ton of money is to go out of season.  This helped us out with saving money on our cabin and avoid the big crowds.

First off, I was able to rent the cabin just out of season saving me around $100 if the cabin would have been at in season prices.  The first weekend of November isn’t exactly the most desirable time of year but the temperatures were between 55 to 63 degrees most of the time which actually made it fairly pleasant.

Secondly, going out of season allows you to avoid big crowds.  I’m personally not a big fan of big crowds and would rather go in the off season to avoid it.  Walking through big lines and dealing with tons of traffic is not exactly my idea of a fun vacation.

4. Bring Your Own Food

Fourth on the list is to bring your own food.  My wife and I actually did a picnic lunch while hiking on the trail.  On top of that with a full kitchen and grill at our dispose we did a lot of the cooking on our own over the weekend.

Which for us I feel meant a lot more than just going to several different restaurants.  Now don’t get me wrong we did go to one restaurant while on our little getaway but that was only because some friends recommended it to us.

For me I don’t mind firing up the grill and cooking a little food.

5. Enjoy It

Finally, the last thing to do is to just enjoy the moment.  From hiking, to cooking, to sitting in the hot tub at night we had a blast and can’t wait to do it again.

What I like even more about these small getaways is it charges up your battery and gets you more focused.  I know people who work all the time because they love their jobs but when you take a small little getaway it can help you in so many ways.

In the end working is still important but what fun is it when you never take anytime out for yourself  to enjoy the fruits of your labors.  So take some time to start planning your getaway today.

Are you planning to take a small getaway soon?

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12 Comments

  1. Happy anniversary to you two! Sounds like a wonderful trip! We are working on these same tactics to plan a long-overdue vacation for our family in 2014. Hope we can find as great of a deal as you guys did. 🙂

  2. Traveling is one of my priorities! I too save throughout the year for a trip. Of course I use the travel sites online to find cheap airfare, rental cars, etc. I also look at the vacation rental sites and stay at those types of rentals a lot. It’s amazing how much you can save, and like with your trip, you can bring and cook your own food! We’ve had really good experiences staying in vacation rentals. They’re my first choice.

    Happy Anniversary!

  3. I’ve heard Cebu is a very nice place to visit but that would definitely side with a much bigger vacation for me. Thanks for sharing you thoughts Clarisse.

  4. Thanks Laurie I really appreciate it, I think it all comes down to planning and preparation. My getaway was no last minute thing I was doing a lot of work to way ahead of time to get things in order and hit our budget on this trip.

  5. Thanks Lori. I like using a lot of the big travel sites as well. I find starting way ahead of time before you plan to take the trip will help you save the most money because it allows you to scout all the deals and monitor prices such as airline tickets so you can see what really is a good deal and what’s not. Thanks for stopping by Lori.

  6. Great post! We are in Gulf Shores and it is definitely their off season right now. We managed to score an awesome deal on a beach house and it is great!

  7. Congrats on 10 years Chris! I love log cabins but also dig those cruises to the Caribbean. We are thinking about doing some caving with the family in Alabama soon. Best part is that we are saving money by getting some passes to the park’s attractions from my wife’s boss.

  8. That’s awesome Michelle, I’ve heard Gulf Shores Alabama is a pretty nice place. Nothing like saving in the off season.

  9. Thanks Brian. Renting a cabin is great because it allows us to have that home away from home. A lot of my family is big into camping but I’m just not so keen on dragging a 20′ camper around with me.

    As far as the cruises go I’ve never done one but the few I did look up were going to run me an easy $1500 which was a bit out of my budget for this trip.

  10. That’s awesome Pauline. That’s a great way get a free getaway. I’ve often thought of buying a vacation rental property but I don’t have the cash and I don’t live close enough to a great vacation destination to make it feasible.

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