I knew I’d fallen asleep because the sun was much closer to the horizon than it should have been. I was laying on the banks of a chilly glacier lake in Montana’s Waterton National Park. Apparently the three-hour trek had taken its toll on my mates as well, because they were fast asleep on the rocks beside me.
This is the first part in a series of posts about inexpensive summer holidays.
I remember taking my time to relish the moment. Compared with a busy city, this little slice of paradise was relatively untouched. The still waters of the lake let me drift off to another reality, though in truth, there was nowhere else I’d rather have been.
And the good news is that it hardly cost anything to get there.
1. Vacation Like a 20-Year-Old College Graduate
That road trip through Montana happened over ten years ago, but the memories I created with three of my buddies are going to last a lot longer than that. Fresh out of college, we wanted to get away even though we couldn’t afford anything too lavish or extreme.
So we hiked. We camped. We explored. There was very little we needed to buy other than gas and food (and yeah, some beer - beer’s a necessity, right?) and the occasional park pass.
2. Join Forces
Nowadays it might be difficult for the three of us to convince our significant others to join up on an excursion through the Canadian and American Rocky Mountains, but if you have a comfortable vehicle than you can save a lot of money by hitching your vacation to another family’s.
You could rent a recreational vehicle and hold some epic card games on board. Plus, you’ll be spending far less than you would on gas for multiple vehicles, not to mention hotel rooms or other necessary amenities.
3. Sit Still
From packing enough snacks in the car to keep your hunger at bay and therefore expensive dinner bills in check, to camping out instead of splurging on hotels, it isn’t difficult to save money while you’re on vacation.
However, it’s still tempting to hit the town when you’re out of town.
One of the best ways to enjoy a cheap and amazing summer vacation?
Relax. Read a book. Find a gorgeous spot that feeds the senses and simply bask in the glow of the sunset (or sunrise, if that’s your thing). Too often we embark on summer vacations that require their own vacation once they’re complete. You’re faced with enough hustle and bustle when you’re at home, so don’t let your vacation fall prey to the same afflictions.
This Canada Day, take the time to watch the ripples of the lake flatten out or the breeze sigh its way through the trees from the deck. Let yourself live simply for a few days at least, and you’ll be amazed at how much your wallet will appreciate it.
Have a great summer everyone!