Back From Vacation

Well sorry folks if I haven’t got back to your comments lately, I’ve been on vacation for a few weeks and I am just getting caught up.  You have to love the schedule feature of WordPress to allow your friendly blogger take a break once in a while.  Anyway unlike last year’s epic month long vacation that cost $7500 we decided to do all our planning around a request from my oldest son….can we go camping this year?

After last year I was sort of looking to go a bit more low key anyway, so camping nicely fit the bill.  So we bundled that with a visit to my mother-in-law and went camping afterwards in Banff for five nights.  There we hiked daily (25 km in total), enjoyed great food and roasted lots of marshmallows.  I can also state for the record that the top foot of the lake we went swimming in was tolerable but below that was down right arctic (which felt great on a +28C day).   Then to round it out we had a wedding to attend during last weekend in Saskatoon where we literally let the kids dance until they dropped.

Unlike last year we actually only spent one night in a hotel, so our overall costs were much cheaper.  In fact we just broke the $1100 mark for a two week trip or $78/day for a family of four.  So how do you keep your costs in the basement for a vacation?  Well here are a few of my ideas.

  • Alternative Accommodations – Avoid spending too much time in hotels, they can add up really fast for your costs.  So try staying with friends, family or camping or if you plan to spend a while in a given spot perhaps look into a short term rental.  I’ve also hear of people using Air BnB and house exchanges with some luck.
  • Cook Your Own Meals (some of the time) – Our eating out in Banff consisted of Cows Ice Cream (twice).  That’s it.  Otherwise we found the grocery store and cooked our own meals.  To make things easy we prepared as much as the food as possible so most of the time I was putting something in a pot or fry pan and heating it up to eat.  Then we obvious ate out when on the road and we took out some friends for breakfast one day.
  • Do Free Things – We had  a great time in Banff by balancing doing some fun paid things like the upper hot springs and then going to the beach or a hike (which didn’t cost any extra beyond the park entrance fee).  We also attended several shows at our campsite where you got to learn more about the wildlife of the park.

Yet despite the cost savings I didn’t feel like we were being cheap ever on the trip.  We all had a great time and came back to the house tanned, happy and relaxed.  Also I tend to know we rotate between big trips and little ones so I don’t mind the low cost years as I know we will do something big again in the future.

So what are you doing for you summer vacation this year?

7 thoughts on “Back From Vacation”

  1. That vacation sounded great Tim!

    I just got back from my own 10 day summer break. It was probably one of the greatest summer vacations I’ve ever had. It was so wonderful that I decided about half way through the holiday that I had had enough with my job. Gave two months notice the very day I returned to work. So I am on the ER countdown clock right now.

    Big thanks to you Tim, your blog was a big factor in setting me on the ER path. Retired at 45 became a bit of an obsession. So much so that I have pulled it off a 42!

    BTW, would you launch litigation if I started a “Free at 42” blog? 😉

  2. jon_snow – Now that must have been a great vacation! Way to go and I’m happy to see you get there at 42. It helps keep me motivated to keep pushing ahead with my plans. And go ahead and do a free at 42 blog…it’s not like I have a trademark on the ‘free at 45’ anyway.


  3. I will likely try my hand at blogging, but I have way too much respect for this site to name it “Free at 42”.;)

    It will focus more on post ER lifestyle stuff anyway (with a dash of porfolio preservation) – so I need to think of a catchy title that emcompasses that.

    I will definitely keep following your journey to ER Tim – but I do hope you find the time to post more.

  4. jon_snow – Well good luck on the blog what ever you end up calling it. Also if you were interested you could just blog here. I’ve worked out that if I ever want to finish my other writing projects I won’t get more than 2 posts a week done.

  5. I am 33and have been off work for 6 months for cancer treatment and surgery. Needless to say this year is a bust financially. I want to retire as young as I can. I have no idea how to be able to do that or where to start. I am in the red right now due to the cancer, and my partner can only find a minimum wage job despite having a masters degree. How can we pull ahead? Sad and depressed.

  6. Ugh, Steph, that sucks. Pulling ahead in that situation would be very difficult in the short term so don’t beat yourself up over it. I would suggest focusing on getting better and having your partner get a better job. Even if it isn’t in their field, they should consider other jobs that pay better. Minimum wage would pay the bills, but you need more to get ahead. Good luck.


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