Thursday, November 16, 2017

Frugal Trip 2017

Beach Life

Alrighty folks, you've got both of us here to tell you all about our super fun and super frugal vacation we took at the start of November.

For those of you asking yourselves, "Isn't November a cold time of year to be vacationing in the Pacific Northwest?" we can now confirm it was a very cold time of year for our trip!  Nevertheless, we had an amazing opportunity to spend two nights at the Pacific Ocean for a grand total of $22.  That's right, $11 per night!

What?!  Why so cheap for two blissful nights listening to the roar of crashing waves?  Well, we went camping.  And we don't mean out in the sheltered woodlands or parked in a nice little camper.  Nope.  We mean camping in a 2-person lightweight backpacking tent right by the beach with minimal wind barriers during a heavy rainstorm.

It looks this small in person too!

Cozy Camping

Mr. DebtFree gets a pretty awesome discount through the government to a military resort by the coast.  They have a hotel where we can rent a room without our pup for $50-ish/night on the off season, an RV park, and a tent camping area between the hotel and RV park.  We really wanted to take dog-butt with us this time so we opted for camping.  Plus it was extremely cheap so we HAD to try it out.

Before you start telling yourself that we are completely crazy (although you'd be close to the truth!) let us reassure you that we had an absolutely wonderful time!  We brought almost ten heavy blankets from our house and we staked that tent down like nobody's business.  The outdoor temp dropped fast in the evening but we stayed pretty snug inside the tent.

It was an amazing three days and two nights of talking about our goals, walking on the beach multiple times per day, and letting our aging pup have some fun running around now that she's on some new arthritis meds.

Dinner and a Movie

As the temperature dropped each night, we quickly decided on our dinner and snack items and bundled up in the tent.  Full disclosure, there was a lot of beer and candy involved too!  We watched a survivalist movie on Netflix based on a true story of some couple that got attacked by a bear while they were backpacking.  Seriously guys, what else would you watch if you're out in a tent?

It was stormy, cold, and rainy after our first day there but we had so much fun.  And really, we just wanted to see if our happiness changed at all between our previous trip where we stayed in the hotel and the current tent camping trip.

Choose Happiness

We discovered that we were just as happy, if not more happy, to be in that chilly little tent.  It forced us to be outside almost the entire day and we talked way more than when we stay in the hotel.  We were more choosy about our food and packed most of our fine dining in an old fishing cooler that kept things refrigerated thanks to the low outdoor temps.

The grand total for our trip including 2-night beachfront reservations, gas, packed food, and eating out was about $150.  Not bad, especially when you consider all the beer!

Frugal/unconventional trips can be way more adventurous and entertaining than your standard hotel room.  What are some of your favorite travel stories?

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