Seven tips to stretch your resources
In a few short days we will pack the car and head to Idaho. Destination: beautiful Shiloh Bible Camp and then on to Tuba City, Arizona. We will travel roughly 3,500 miles through six states! The primary purpose of this trip is missions. For the past 30 years many of our vacations have been mission trips. Traveling intentionally has become second nature for us. God has led us to some amazing people, places, and experiences. We anticipate no less on this trip.
Early this year we prayed about our mission involvement and felt called to go with our church to Arizona. We could easily find the resource to make the trip. Then the opportunity to serve at Shiloh came just 2 months ago. (For more about how we raised the funds for this trip see the post “Easy? Hard? Easy!”). It has been a miraculous few months watching God pour out his blessings.
Every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven; it comes down from God….
James 1:17a GNT
Here are some ways we travel big on a small budget!
- We joined a hotel reward program. We have enjoyed many free nights. As much as we can we plan our route around the available hotels in our price range and with our reward group. We also take advantage of the chains free breakfast. These two things are great budget stretchers.
- Book as early as possible. During peak seasons rates can double or triple. Prime locations can have zero rooms available during certain times during. the year.
- Research! Pinterest is a great help finding free and economical roadside attractions. Electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets and personal computers can be very beneficial when planning a road trip.
- Another great way to stretch your budget is to plan one meal a day as a picnic. There are several benefits to this. It saves money and you can better control what you eat for those who have special diets. We love to eat at locally owned restaurants. Not only do you get to sample local cuisine, but you can talk to the locals. Many times, we have been giving tips on what to see and do in the area. This information time and again has proven to be priceless.
- Planning to purchase snacks and drinks at a grocery store rather than a convenience store is a great money saver.
- Purchasing souvenirs can be a hit to the budget. Last year as we traveled I decided to buy a coffee mug from the various places we stopped. I set a limit on the amount of money I would spend on each coffee cup. Now in the mornings when I have coffee I can remember the places and the people that we met as we traveled last year. When we visited Thailand several years ago I purchased a $2 toothpick holder that I have enjoyed using every day. I try to buy things that are affordable, and I will use.
- Be flexible! This is probably the most important tip I can give you. Things don’t always work out the way we planned. Maybe I should say things never work out exactly the way we planned. So be ready for the unexpected, the serendipitous, and all the adventures that wait around the corner!
Written by Susan