I’m going to be guest-posting about money and visiting DC for plonkee’s blog, as a guest post while she’s here. As I was brainstorming the idea, I came up with some general ways hometown tourism can save money and still be lots of fun. No spoilers here for the other post, just stuff which was too general yet interesting.
Hometown doesn’t have to be your own lil’ town (if you don’t live in a big city). Instead, it can be anywhere that’s within, say, a 3 hour drive.
First advantage of being a hometown tourist: You save big on hotel rooms by not having any.
When Mr. Micah and I were honeymooning, I sometimes cringed at the sight of our hotel bills. Yet we did pretty well, they could have been a lot more expensive.
Second advantage: You can pack meals or fix something to reheat when you get home.
We used to go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (about a 1.5 hour drive from my old house, depending on traffic). We’d leave in the morning, see some exhibits, and then go back out to have our sandwiches (we used a good cooler). Then we could go back in ’till about 4 and head home to our reheated dinner.
If Mr. Micah and I wanted to visit the National Gallery some Saturday, we could have an early lunch, bring a little snack, and be home in time for a normal dinner.
Third advantage: You save gas and other traveling expenses.
Gas (or plane tickets) is another huge expense in traveling, especially right now. But if you’re staying local, you’re obviously using less gas. And if you’re visiting some place like DC or New York, you can use their metro system. Some places even have day passes you can buy (more to come on DC’s nefariousness in the plonkee piece).
Fourth advantage: You stay in your comfort zone.
This is where sanity comes in. You’re not having to drive or fly long distances. Score 1 for comfort. And you’re not spending too much money. Score! And (most important to me) you come back to your home at night. Megascore!
I’m a nesting sort, a homebody, the kind of person who’s most at ease at her own place. I really don’t like traveling much. Visiting relatives is ok, at least once you know them and their house pretty well. Hotel rooms depress me. They feel so lonely. Plus, it’s so easy to get bored in them, because you don’t have all your things around.
And last: If you’re lucky you save on admission.
Touring your local area means you can pick and choose when and where you go. We used to visit the Delaware Art Museum on Saturdays because it was free. Or my mom and I went to see a quilt exhibit last summer because her credit card was sponsoring free admission to that local museum (it was weird, you just showed the card to the people and they let you in!).
It’s easier to find out about things in your local area and, because you’re not traveling far, you’re freer to go to them.
So enjoy your local area. Look for free days and great deals. Enjoy the savings and enjoy the comfort of home!!