My BIL and SIL are visiting this weekend! It’s really fun having them around.

We were trying to figure out where to take them when I suddenly remembered that they’re both also fond of churches and cathedrals. So we took them to the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and a Franciscan monastery/church. (Note, the Basilica has a really scary-looking Jesus that looms over the whole place, I think I prefer the Franciscan place. But the Basilica’s crypt church is amazing!!)

It was a wonderful trip, I’d been to both before so I could give a decent tour for the other three.

Then we came home and SIL and I made dinner. Well, the boys helped too and cleaned up. It was a nice bonding experience, chance to chat and share ideas. In particular, we talked about some of her blogging ideas.

All in all, it only cost the price of dinner’s ingredients, which we were going to buy anyway for our weekly cooking. And for them, it cost gas money to get here.

The best part? We didn’t have to stretch or do anything weird or let them down to have a frugal time. Nope, we just had some good ideas, they agreed, and we had a great time. (SIL reads my blog and is quite in sympathy with my frugal ideas–they’re also grad students.)

Some other posts in which I’ve touched on frugal tourism are “How Hometown Tourism Saves Money and Sanity” (seriously, it does!) “Save Money on Your Trip to DC: Prudent Financial Planning.”

Micah says: The moral of the story is to have relatives who like free things like cathedrals and dinners at home.

Or it’s knowing where to have fun without spending too much.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Festival of Frugality #107 | Cash Money Life
January 8, 2008 at 7:17 am
Frugality, Friendship, and Feeling Left Out
February 8, 2008 at 9:19 pm


Dan January 5, 2008 at 9:40 am

Great idea. Enjoy your town and save money.

On our honeymoon to Santa Fe and Taos, my wife and I spent a couple of days visiting the old missions in the area. Whether your at home or on vacation, some of the best entertainment is free.

Lily January 5, 2008 at 1:34 pm

I completely agree. When my boyfriend and I went on vacation in Texas, our favorite activity the entire trip was visiting the historic missions of San Antonio. It was free, not counting gas, and it was fun and beautiful and educational.

Also, after spending a year doing dinner and a movie, it was refreshing (and more frugal) to find something completely different to do.

RacerX January 5, 2008 at 1:59 pm

What makes the day special is spending it with someone that is special.

Often we think that we need to go somewhaere exotic (re: not near home) to have a great experience, but it really seems that the memories that stay the longest are the shared ones.

ArdenLynn January 5, 2008 at 4:32 pm

I grew up in Fairfax County and you can really take the whole DC thing for granted when entertaining out of town guests. In DC it isn’t a problem especially if you add on the surrounding VA and MD touristy sites. Just walking around Georgetown and stopping for coffee is fun.
It’s a little harder in Ohio. One ice cream shop in my little downtown area and you’ve pretty much done it all.

CatherineL January 5, 2008 at 6:32 pm

Sounds like you had a great time. When my brother and sister in law came for dinner last week, we were even more frugal. We both made a course each – they just prepared there’s before they came and cooked it here.

wealthy_1 January 5, 2008 at 6:32 pm

This will probably be a visit that the four of you will always cherish and remember.

Hilda January 5, 2008 at 8:05 pm

Yeah, we did the same thing with DF’s family last Christmas. We took them to a free tour of a candy factory and it was a blast! and lots of free candies, too.

Christine January 5, 2008 at 11:13 pm

That’s nice; I heartily approve.

You know how I’m easily exhausted by crowds/people/etc. Often when I travel (especially when to somewhere I’ve been a million times, like to DE) I’d much rather take short walks around the neighbourhood, or some such thing, than go out on a big trip — or, for that matter, often I’d rather just stay in.

I guess I’m mostly a homebody, regardless of whose home my body is in.

Meg from The Bargain Queens & All About Appearances January 6, 2008 at 1:04 am

My husband and I recently had dinner at our friends’ house and it was a blast. We couldn’t remember the last time we had done that, but we’ll have to make a habit of it — and return the favor of course.

I also need to find more places to hang out for free here in town.

mrsmicah January 6, 2008 at 2:27 pm

I think we’re very much the same, Christine. Which is why visiting your family isn’t too stressful for me.

Fiscal Musings January 6, 2008 at 10:28 pm

No matter where you live, there’s usually something that you haven’t seen or done that’s pretty close. Most cities have museums or galleries and the like.

I’ve always found it interesting when people don’t really know much about the place where they live, but really want to go to all these far away places.

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