Budget Holidays

It’s nearly Easter! A chance to reflect, relax and rest. But you don’t have to spend lots of money to do that. Following from my last post about staycations, I’ve got more cunning ideas if you’ve managed to save a few dollars but don’t want to go into the red to travel.

  • Swap a house – what’s Facebook for if not for friends?! Chat to an old school friend at the other end of the country about swapping houses for a week – cars and all. That takes out the accommodation cost which is often the biggest budget item when seeking a change of scene.
  • Borrow some wheels – we borrowed a camper van off a family member and tiki toured around the deep South for a week one summer. Loads of fun. The kids tucked up in bed at night, us outside watching sunsets. One of our favourite stops was Riverton where we stayed in a camping ground that used to be an Education Board camp. Friendly campers and the township features a great museum of local history, beaches and an awesome cafe or two.
  • Take the long way home – you don’t have to go far for a break. Pack the car and take the scenic route to a nearby destination. For example, there’s a fantastic camping ground at Herbert Forest just 70 minutes drive north of Dunedin. Instead of taking the direct route via SH 1, travel along the harbour to Port Chalmers, head over the hill then duck out at Karitane. Sometimes taking the less direct route ensures your kids learn to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
  • Day tripping – consider day trips from home. We’ve headed West over the Taieri Plains to spend a morning at Wal’s Plant Land playing mini golf before heading to Outram for lunch at the Wobbly Goat (visit them on Facebook). A right turn south led us to NZ’s largest privately owned wetland, Sinclair Wetlands where we spent another hour enjoying this conservation project our kids have helped develop via their primary school. You’ll have plenty of similar options close to you.
  • On Ya Bike! – there are a growing number of family-friendly cycle trails around New Zealand. Last Easter, we cycled part of North Otago’s Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail from Kurow to Duntroon. It was easy to navigate for Master 9 and a great way to spend a day together. We had a family member drop us off then meet us at Duntroon.

So if you think you simply can’t afford a break away, think again.


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