Category Archives: No fee

5 Things To Know About Free Camping

Teri Clifton’s collection of hilarious essays, THE THINGS I CANNOT DO, is now available on Amazon for under $5 and includes her misfit Mount Whitney summit.

Here at On A Dime, we talk about free camping a lot, a whole lot. We lead off our lodging article with freebie camping. Obviously, staying somewhere for absolutely no cost is pretty outrageous but for those of you who have never done this, you may wonder if it is too good to be true. Here are your answers.

1) IS IT REALLY FREE? Yes. It really is free, however, we would not want to leave out amazing campsites that cost very little so we include those anytime we have them available as well. Backcountry/backpacking is free or darn near free in most areas and a whole different experience from developed campsites. *Great example of free camping was on the north rim of the Grand Canyon!

Campsite along the river
Campsite along the river in the Hoh Rain Forest

2) ARE THEY REALLY NICE? We don’t feature any sites that we consider unappealing for any reason. We encourage you to Google sites for info but then also absolutely search for photos! Here is an example of freebie camping at Gumboot Lake photos (not taken by On A Dime) in the Mt. Shasta, CA area. Having been there, we can confirm that these photos accurately represent the campground.

Gumboot
On A Dime photo of Gumboot from a campsite

3) DO THEY HAVE RUNNING WATER? Not always and this is very important to note. We feel it is also not a bad idea to travel with adequate jugs of water anyway. Car trouble in rural areas with no water is no fun.

$5 camping at Tuttle Creek, approx. 10 miles from Whitney and elevation 5,120
$5 camping at Tuttle Creek, approx. 10 miles from Mt. Whitney, CA and elevation 5,120

4) WHAT ABOUT BATHROOMS? Also a wild card but often they’ll have pit toilets and for the most part, we’ve had luck in that they’ve been pretty clean and odor-free. Come prepared w/ a small garden hand shovel and be prepared to dig and cover. If you’d like a giggle, know that on multiple camp trips when the kids were little, this On A Dimer brought the kiddie potty with plastic bag liners and more than one adult was known to utilize it as well. This also comes in handy during car travel with wee ones needing to wee-wee.

Sunrise
Sunrise Lake Yosemite, no bathroom and 3 mile hike in
Fall is in the air
Fall is in the air in Kansas and yes, Elk City has bathrooms

5) IS IT SAFE? That is up to interpretation and asking the rangers in the area is beyond smart. We’ve had wonderful experiences and passionately love the pristine and Zen energy the non-fee sites  offer. Only once did we feel uncomfortable and leave due to there being no one in the area except a lone and unseen camper in a cave. This turned out to be kismet after a park ranger offered us an alternate site in an area nearby that turned out to be stunning and offered a view of the mountain range that houses Mount Whitney. Remember that there is safety in numbers and you save even more money (see Grand Canyon article) by splitting more ways!

*Fire, critter, and food safety? Check this link.

Finally, go ahead and try some free camping and enjoy spending your hard-earned, adventure dollars elsewhere. You deserve it!

Share to Facebook and/or Tweet it if you like it and thank you tons!

Grand cyn sunset
Grand Canyon, North Rim has some dispersed camping, south rim we camped at Mather for $28 w/ amenities
Gang
Kings Canyon $40 each for the whole weekend

Free Flowers

Free flower power is what we are celebrating in our post today and if you are in N. California or Oregon, do not miss these freebies!

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We discovered Oregon’s Botanical Gardens, in Shore Acres State Park, and talk about an On A Dime Adventure/Life moment! This Garden of Eden is donation only and even the parking, at $5 for a coastal spot, is flat out heavenly. The $5 is paid once per day at any state park and good for all state parks visited on that same day or purchase a five-day pass for $10 per vehicle.

If camping is on your agenda along the Oregon coast, your options for on a dime fun are endless and we’ll have a full article in the next month on what we found near Bandon and Charleston.

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Today, take a moment to stop and smell the roses and then get your trip planner out for Oregon!

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9 Bold And Free Vacation Links

This Wednesday’s blog celebrates the bold and the free, as in the inspiration gained when you learn from your kids. Last Saturday the eldest On A Dime child returned from college – with degree in hand – and made good on an offer to write a blog post. This On A Dime creator was thrilled to sip a glass of wine and shout invaluable pointers into the other room such as, “don’t forget the Oxford commas; adventurers always need those while traveling!” The child – in response – took my wine away.

I was left footloose and fancy-free while my guy handled the usual tech challenges, which included the weekly undoing of damage I’d done while randomly pushing buttons and my little (big) girl tackled the creative. Too much down time can be dangerous, I realized, as I added in links to the sites we purchase gear from and pondered what I would do with the millions in commission money that awaited me from said links. I studied the spread sheet for several days and concluded I could safely spend… a little less than nothing.

And, fellow travelers, the weird part is that the financial challenge energized me nicely. On A Dime’s goal of enhanced quality of life for less financial outlay is evolving into a sweeter philosophy, one that begs a return to community and good old-fashioned give and take. So when the college kid handed in her article on Couchsurfing, I felt it was a call to something bigger than saving a hotel bill and promptly signed up. As of yesterday, I committed to couchsurf my way back down the coast in a few weeks.

Couchsurfing heads up our list of the 9 bold things to consider when dreaming of a vacation, and conserving cash is only one bonus that these nine pony up. We can confidently state that Couchsurfing is justified in going number one on our list as the article on it exploded our website in popularity, but it is not the only – out of the box – consideration, so here we go. Let’s get bold and free.

1) FREE COUCH – Couchsurfing. We could take the easy way here and tout the fact that surfing an individual’s couch (sleeping on it) is free but that would miss a huge part of the equation. Couchsurfing is for those who wish to connect on a deeper level with the places they visit. Motel 6 has its place but an individual’s home and the beautiful hospitality that is offered cannot be duplicated by a corporation. The On A Dime kid wrote glowingly of Couchsurfing and also broke down the “do’s and don’ts” involved. Check out her article and boldly head out on a journey where the lodging is free and the hospitality is stunning.

View from my host's balcony in Amsterdam
View from my host’s balcony in Amsterdam

2) FARMING – WWOOF – Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms http://www.wwoof.net/how-it-works/ – Yep, it’s free. You put in 4-6 hours help on an organic farm in exchange for accommodations and food. Beautiful connections, beautiful experience. Bold and free.

Our hosts' windowsill in Bergen, Norway
Our hosts’ windowsill in Bergen, Norway

3) BIKING – Warm Showers https://www.warmshowers.org/ offers a variety of freebies to those deciding to vacation via cycling. Depending on the host, you can receive warm showers (obviously), free camping, places to stay, meals and drinks. A biking vacation? Pretty darned bold!

4) CLEARING TRAILS – Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation – http://bmwf.org/ Free trips (food included) into the wilderness in exchange for 8 hr. work days spent restoring the trails. Located in Montana. You choose trips according to your ability with grades of “easy, moderate, and strenuous”.

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5) HELPING HAND – Workaway. www.workaway.info/ exactly as their site proclaims, A few hours honest help per day in exchange for food and accommodation and an opportunity to learn about the local lifestyle and community, with friendly hosts in varying situations and surroundings. 

6) CAMP FOR FREE – Dispersed Camping – Yes, we put this on every single list for freebies because we are determined to make more travelers aware of this jewel. Check our links on this and also ask (call ahead!) at the ranger station in the area you are headed. We cannot state this enough, many of the sites offer solitude and unspoiled beauty that cannot be duplicated in fee campsites.

7) FRIENDS – That’s right. We have social media and it’s time we tame the beast and make it our own. More people should simply be bold and put it out there that they want to travel to a certain area and try and arrange lodging swaps.

Hammock time
Hammock time

8) VOLUNTEER – Cross Cultural Solutions. Volunteer and experience cultural emersion in a safe and structured environment. This On A Dime creator volunteered for 3 weeks in Costa Rica and can vouch for Cross Cultural’s integrity and safety. The program is neither free nor cheap, however, they have a guide on how to raise the money required for the program and this proved successful in my experience with about 80% of my trip donated.

9) PAY IT FORWARD – Watch for 2015’s Pay It Forward Day but also enact this while traveling. If you have something to offer, consider sharing or exchanging. We’ve given away extra firewood, a dinner to a PCT hiker, and hilariously, received a 6 pack of beer left carefully at a campsite. In the backcountry we (ok, I) have cried with gratitude over donated power bars and Gatorade. The best bold and free thing we can take advantage of is the joy derived from our own generosity so here’s hoping that we can offer the couchsurfing hosts something equal to their hospitality, perhaps a bottle of wine, a potted plant or the bold and free offer of doing the dishes.

On A Dime heads out on an adventure for the next 18 days to Lake Tahoe, the coast of Oregon, and the backcountry of Washington and we’ll be looking for the best freebies to pass along. If you also have secret money-savers, please let us know.

Feel free to share on Facebook and/or Tweet. We are always grateful. <3

14 REASONS WHY COUCHSURFING IS THE BEST (ONLY) WAY TO TRAVEL

Teri Clifton’s collection of essays, THE THINGS I CANNOT DO, is now available on Amazon and if you plan to visit California, check out our new On A Dime Guide!

Today’s blog post is written by seasoned traveler Lexie Davis, and her On A Dime spirit offers a way to enjoy varied lodging sans fees but rife with hospitality.

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By the Berlin Wall

14 REASONS WHY COUCHSURFING IS THE BEST (ONLY) WAY TO TRAVEL  

Most of my conversations about Couchsurfing begin with the question “but isn’t it really sketchy?”, accompanied by a raised eyebrow and look of concern. It’s difficult to convince people who have no knowledge of Couchsurfing’s mission that the hospitality exchange network is not only not sketchy at all, but is in fact the best possible way travel, especially for those who want to fully and deeply experience the culture of the place they are visiting. Here are 14 of the many reasons why Couchsurfing is the best option for an adventurous and open-minded (and not to mention, cash-strapped) traveler:

1. YOU’LL LEARN NEW THINGS

The first time I Couchsurfed was in Oslo. As soon as my friend and I arrived at our hosts’ apartment, they greeted us with a dinner of trout and potatoes. Throughout the meal, we discussed the differences in Norwegian and American culture, and they taught us how to peel our potatoes like Norwegians do. During our one-week trip, we learned so much about Norwegian culture—about their history, fairy tales, customs, and social systems. We learned about all the small things that would never be written about on a Wikipedia page or in a travel book: about the raisin buns that Norwegians like to eat on long road trips and the correct pronunciation of Edvard Munch’s name (as well as the accompanying story of how that correct pronunciation has actually changed over time).

hitchhiking

On our way to Bergen, Norway

2. YOU’LL EXPERIENCE A NEW CULTURE FROM THE INSIDE

 Most travel guides pride themselves on authenticity: If you want to do as the Hungarians do, then you have to go to eat at this place, and shop at this store. Yet nothing’s really more authentic than an actual Hungarian taking you around Budapest to all of his favorite places, telling you things about the city that only someone from that city would know. Whereas most people only get to dip a toe into another culture, Couchsurfing allows you to dive in headfirst. You may not walk away knowing all the details of Hungarian history and society, but you’ll come a way with a sense of what it’s like to walk around in the shoes of a Hungarian, even if just for a few days.

Troll

In Oslo, Norway

3. YOU’LL BREAK OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

 When most people travel, they’re surrounded by their American friends and family. They eat with them, sleep in the same hostel/hotel rooms with them, ride the train with them,  and go to bars with them. Sometimes I travel this way too, and sometimes it can be fun. But it’s not the greatest way to fully experience another culture, and it’s definitely not a good way to escape from that safe little bubble that surrounds so many travelers, and protects them from really integrating themselves into the cultures of the places they visit. Showing up at a stranger’s home, having beers with them, and sleeping on their couches is a pretty intense thing to do for most people. Not knowing what to expect is a nerve-wracking feeling, but also an exciting one, and is very often insanely rewarding.

4. YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THE TRUE MEANING OF GENEROSITY

When I first began Couchsurfing, I thought that I would be offered a couch, and that’s it (and letting someone sleep inside your home for free is already a pretty generous offer). However, every time I’ve Couchsurfed, my hosts have given me breakfast, and on many occasions I’ve walked through the door to a home-cooked meal. Couchsurfing hosts are by and large people who share because they love sharing, and ask for nothing in return. My hosts in Norway made my friend and me a thermos of hot chocolate to bring with us while we walked around the city. My host in Ghent called in sick at work in order to show my friend and me around the city. My host in Montreal lent me a pair of beautiful Swedish clogs when my own shoes started giving me blisters. When I was traveling from Berlin to Warsaw, I accidentally missed my connection, and ended up on the last train to a Polish city I’d never heard of, all by myself, with nowhere to stay. I called the girl I was supposed to stay with in Warsaw, and in the space of an hour, she called all of her friends until she found one who lived in the city where I was headed, and set up a place for me to spend the night. All of these people had never before laid eyes on me, and were still willing to help me out in ways that normally only the closest of friends would.

5. YOU’LL MAKE NEW FRIENDS

 The Couchsurfing experience is most often about cultural exchange. While there are a lot of hosts who are okay with merely providing a place for a traveler to sleep, most want to get to know you, to learn about who you are and where you come from.

kitty

You might even make new animal friends, like Poulet, our littlest host in Montreal

6. YOU’LL DO AND TRY THINGS YOU NEVER THOUGHT YOU WOULD

Eating raw herring from a street cart. Going to a heavy metal concert. Riding on the back (“begagedrager”) of a bicycle. Scaling a snow-covered hill at midnight, and breaking wine glasses along the way. Trying brown cheese. Attending a stranger’s going-away party. Watching Frank Zappa documentaries until 4am. Eating fries with—yes—mayonnaise. Couchsurfing is full of surprises. Good surprises!

7. YOU’LL SEE THINGS THAT AREN’T IN GUIDEBOOKS (AND HEAR THE STORIES BEHIND THE FAMOUS SITES)

The “cool” bars and “trendy” neighborhoods outlined on travel sites are usually already passé (and not to mention touristy) by the time you get there. Your hosts will be able to tell you what’s a rip-off and what’s a must-see. If they’re not busy, more often than not they’ll take you there themselves. If you’re the type of person who likes to avoid tourist traps and get to know what “real” Italians/South Africans/Chileans/etc. do, then staying with a local host is pretty much the best way to do so.

8. YOU WON’T BREAK THE BANK

It’s free. The only thing you need to provide is good company and an open mind (though offering to cook dinner or share bottle of wine is usually welcome as well). But really, it’s no charge for a roof over your head in houses and apartments that are often way cozier and more interesting than a room at a hotel or hostel. What more can I say?

JB

The beautiful kitchen of our hosts in Montreal

9. IT’S INCREDIBLY SAFE

 For some reason, this is the one that people have the hardest time believing. Really—it is safe. Hosts fill out a profile with photos of themselves, introductions of who they are and what they do, lists of their interests, and descriptions of their homes and where surfers will be sleeping. But couldn’t these people just be con artists, or worse—killers? How do you know they are who they say they are? you ask. The answer: when people surf at someone’s place, they write their host a review afterward (and vice-versa). It’s essentially a Yelp review for a person. Many hosts have pages and pages of these references, all from different surfers who have their own profiles with references. It would be a pretty elaborate scheme for someone to create hundreds of fake profiles and then write hundreds of fake references. People who are on the website for shady reasons are pretty easily identifiable, as they almost always those who have zero references, no friends, and an incomplete profile. Another safety feature of the site is something called “vouching”. A more experienced host or surfer can vouch for other hosts and surfers on the network who they found to be really great and trustworthy.

I’ve tried to explain to those who are skeptical about the safety of Couchsurfing that when you arrive at a hostel you don’t know who will be in the room with you, and you have no way of finding out before you arrive. With Couchsurfing, you do know who you are staying with. You talk to them beforehand, and read all about them from their former surfers. Another reason that I believe that Couchsurfing is an incredibly safe way to travel is that you have someone from the place you’re traveling to who is looking out for you. Someone who will tell you which areas are dangerous at certain hours and where to look out for pickpockets. Someone who will help you out if you get lost or into trouble. If you’re a smart person who is able to use basic common sense and judgment, I think it would be extremely rare to have an unsafe Couchsurfing experience.

For more about safety, check out the links section at the bottom of this post.

10. YOU SELECT WHO YOU WANT TO STAY WITH BASED ON SHARED INTERESTS, OR CRITERIA LIKE AGE AND GENDER

 When you look for hosts in a certain city, you can modify the search so that it only shows hosts between a certain age, or only female or male hosts. You can choose to stay only with hosts who don’t smoke or have pets, or those who speak certain languages (nearly everyone on the site speaks at least conversational English), or those who offer to host families with kids. The person you request to stay with is not random—you search the site and find a couple of people who seem like they would be the best fit for you, and then you send your request straight to them.

11. THE COMMUNITY IS OPEN TO EVERYONE

While looking for Couchsurfing hosts in Norway, I came across multiple grandmothers. There are also a lot of families who host, most often couples with a very small child or two. There are big houses full of roommates, as well as people who live by themselves. Because open-mindedness and enthusiasm about diversity are defining characteristics of the Couchsurfing network, it would be difficult to find a host who doesn’t welcome people of all races and sexual orientations. No matter your age or who you are, you will be welcomed by someone on the CS site, as long as you fill out your profile to best portray you who are and what interests you.

12.  IT’S GREAT FOR THE SOLO TRAVELER

While I was traveling alone through the Netherlands and Poland, CS saved my life. I’m someone who needs company to stay energized, but always building travel plans around friends’ schedules can be limiting. Couchsurfing liberated me from my fears of traveling alone and getting lonely, because I knew that no matter where I went, I would be guaranteed to meet new people. Recently, I found out that I couldn’t fly to Amsterdam on the same flight as my boyfriend (whom I met while on a solo Couchsurfing trip, by the way). I was really bummed at first, but then I decided to book a flight with Icelandair, which offers free layovers in Reykjavik to people flying from the US to Europe. Before I’d discovered Couchsurfing, I never would have decided to plan a four-day trip to a Nordic island all by myself. Couchsurfing is perfect those who love company, but also like making their own plans.

Plane

Overlooking Oslo

13.  IT WILL HELP EASE THE TENSION BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR TRAVEL MATE(S)

 Many of us know that when you travel with a friend/family member for an extended period of time, you often start to get on each others’ last nerves. Spending all day and night with the same person or group of people (or even your lover) for days on end can sometimes get irritating, but when you Couchsurf, you have the opportunity to bring new people into the mix, which eases the tension and redefines the dynamic. Plus, after you’ve been traveling with the same person for awhile, you run out of stories to tell and things to discuss, so you will welcome the chance to hear new stories and have new discussions.

14.  YOU CAN TAKE A BREAK FROM PLANNING

Close your guidebook. Don’t make a detailed list of all the places you need to go and things you need to see. Even if your host is busy working and can’t show you around during the day, she’ll give you advice of great places to go. Your schedule will (and should!) change based on her recommendations and pieces of local wisdom. If you know everything you’re going to do and see before you arrive in the city, where’s the fun and adventure in that? More likely than not, your host will want to include you in her plans, especially in the evening and on weekends. You might be invited to a small party where you’ll be the only American. Or you might end up at the concert of a band you’ve never heard of. Or your host might take you to her favorite dive bar, which is way better than the trendy club where all the tourists go. Vacation should be about going with the flow, and letting your whims and sense of adventure lead you. Often, your host will take pleasure in deciding where to take you, and for making the plans for the evening, allowing you to relax and just follow along. Also, it’s important to mention that most hosts don’t like to answer requests more than two weeks ahead of the date you’ll arrive. For the last-minute adventurer, this is an ideal situation.

 TIPS AND REMINDERS:

  1. Surfing does not obligate you to host. Hosting does not obligate you to surf. There are plenty of people in the Couchsurfing network who only surf, or only host.
  2. Fill out your whole profile! You are carefully choosing the people you’d most like to stay with, but they are also carefully choosing those who they will host. Hosts want to see who you are as much as you want to know about them. Upload at least 5 pictures, and try to be detailed about the kind of person you are and your interests.
  3. Carefully read the profiles of all the people you request. Nothing makes a potential host more annoyed than being able to tell that you did not read their profile. When you send them a request to stay at their place, be specific about why you found them interesting, and why you think you would get along.
  4. Send requests out to multiple hosts. In other words, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You may not get accepted by your favorite host. Have a few back ups ready, and don’t feel bad asking a couple people at once in order to better your chances of being accepted by someone. However, if you are accepted by multiple hosts, be sure and respond to all of them, even if it’s just to say thank them for their offer, and let them know that you already found somewhere else to stay.
  5. You are an ambassador for your country. Remember that Couchsurfing is a reciprocal experience; your host is offering up his home because he wants to meet new people and learn more about other cultures. Treating your host’s house with the same (or more!) respect than you would your own is an expectation. Offer to do dishes, cook some dinner, fold up the bedding, etc.
  6. Gifts are never required, but it is kind to show up with some token of thanks, such as a bottle of wine, an interesting souvenir from your home county, some cookies, etc.
  7. One of the rudest things you can do is to be accepted as a surfer and then never show up. If you find out that you are no longer able to stay with someone who offered you a place, let them know sooner rather than later.

 COUCHSURFING MIGHT NOT BE FOR YOU IF YOU:

  1. Have a high-stress personality and don’t like improvising.
  2. Are a germaphobe.
  3. Are obsessive about things like pillow or mattress firmness or softness.
  4. Have difficulty with social situations and meeting new people.
  5. Need a lot of privacy.
  6. Aren’t easily accepting of different lifestyles or belief systems.
  7. Feel you need constant access to the place you’re staying. (Many Couchsurfing hosts don’t give surfers keys. Understandable, I think, but maybe a problem for some people.)
  8. Desire more of a solo getaway or privacy with friends/significant others traveling with you. Alternative lodging ideas can be found at this link.

 LINKS

How to be a great Couchsurfer:

https://www.couchsurfing.org/n/resources/rules

 Safety tips and information:

https://www.couchsurfing.org/n/safety

https://www.couchsurfing.org/n/safety_tips

 Proof that if a fussy, cynical old writer for The New Yorker can enjoy Couchsurfing, so can you:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/04/16/120416fa_fact_marx

1,2,3… GO! Summertime Freebies!

The ONE, TWO, THREES of freebie joyfulness.

Summer is on the way and free is on the agenda. Free to eat a slice of watermelon while watching fireflies work their magic, free to picnic during concerts in the park, and free to explore some low-cost and no-cost activities. The following three ideas are designed to encourage those pinching pennies to not also pinch rest and relaxation.

1) FREE ACTIVITIES – Concerts in the park, potlucks with friends or neighbors, weekly spirited walkabouts or runabouts for the kids (have everyone bring their own drink and take a group walk through the neighborhood). Consider a neighborhood garage sale day and use your profits for leisure. If the creation of a more cohesive community appeals, have a neighborhood potluck after the garage sale. Provide name tags and have everyone write, in addition to their name, something they’d like to share about themselves to spark conversations.

Run

Other free ideas are blanket stargazing, farmers’ market visits, bonfire in your fire pit, group dog walking, library speakers and free classes, book signings, poetry, and art. Many communities offer enrichment days with sidewalk chalk art, chili cook-offs, and activities in local parks.

Skatepark

2) HOBBY – Just one. That’s all you need. Brainstorm up a free or nearly free hobby and try it out. Here are a few suggestions from the most kickback to a couple of adrenaline boosters. If they seem a bit daunting, pack up a picnic and enjoy watching the daredevils go after it. Biking, dirt biking, skateboarding, photography (Instagram is free), and gardening – we planted kale and sunflowers last summer for under $10. Or as one artist recently shared on Facebook, make a natural teepee vine trellis with inexpensive bamboo poles from your local garden center and pick the beans as they appear.

sunflowers

What about surfing, kayaking, hiking, bowling (an excellent one for hot days), juggling, magic, camping, and the obvious – water-play? The soaker balls are very inexpensive and a blast to dunk in even a bucket and toss at one another. We’re not just talking for kids on this one; adults can recreate childhood silliness and find that this is a guaranteed stress reliever.

Surfing

Short on adventure-loving friends? No problem. Check out Meet Up, an online forum that brings people together to participate in hobbies. There is no charge for joining in and using the service. We once happened upon and took a, donation only, meditation cruise on a sailboat via this site.

3) HOME TURF – It’s your state, explore it. Mended Wheels is a phenomenal website that shares freebies throughout the country’s entire 50 states.

Don’t wait until August and then say, “sure wish we would have…”. Your rearview mirror can reflect a summer that was a perfect blend of inexpensive relaxation and celebration.

Hindsight

We are awarded a finite number of summers and, at the very maximum, it usually tops out at 80-100. How many do you have left and what do you want to do with them? We know money can be an issue and we here at On A Dime are hoping that this article offered hard-working dreamers some ideas for much deserved and less expensive respite.

Feel free to share via Facebook and/or Tweet the article. And thanks a bunch!

8+ Links To Free & Almost Free Getaways

Teri Clifton’s collection of essays, THE THINGS I CANNOT DO, is now available on Amazon!

Update! Check this link from Sunset for last minute, no reservation, campgrounds!

If you are dreaming of grabbing some time away but the hot water heater just malfunctioned and the orthodontist said Jr.’s braces will be on through his MBA, we’re sending relief your way.

You deserve a break from the daily grind that doesn’t break your bank also. Pack up a bag and choose from this list to help get you on your way.

1) FREE – Camp for free or darn near free. Yes, anyone can do it and generally there’s no real competition to get the sites. Here’s your link with sites available throughout the United States as well as a few photos of sites where we’ve stayed. http://freecampsites.net/

2) PETS – Bring your dog along for the vacation? Yep, here’s your link and a darn cute photo of a stellar camper by the name of Bean. http://www.bringfido.com/lodging/campgrounds/region/united_states/

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Have dog, will travel

3) LITTLE KIDS – Need to save money but also want to keep little ones entertained? This should help. And be sure to stop off along the way for unexpected fun.

http://kidsonthegrand.com/2011/07/07/top-ten-things-to-do-with-kids-while-camping/

The middle of nowhere on the way up and through Jerome, AZ
The middle of nowhere on the way up and through Jerome, AZ

4) ROMANCE – Pining for some romance? Camping relieves the money stress and enhances the sappiness. http://www.romanticcamping.com/romantic-ideas.html

5) HONEYMOON – Share the love on honeymoons, anniversaries etc. http://www.essortment.com/top-ten-camping-honeymoons-31409.html Yosemite? You betcha’ http://www.mywedding.com/articles/honeymoon-camping-yosemite-national-park/

tealights = ambiance
tealights = ambiance

6) ROAD TRIPS – The price of gas is non-negotiable, however, no restrictions on throwing extra people in. Double date if you’re a couple or make it a friends weekend. Here’s the top 100 choices. http://www.bestroadtripplanner.com/best/index.php?s=2

Foot

7) POTLUCK – Can’t say enough about this. Recently, I was a guest at a wine or appetizer potluck and the birthday gal specified “no gifts”. Great night, minimal expense. Get a vacation going this way also. We’re including our $40 weekend link and our potluck one too.

Crepes goat cheese

8) STAY-CATION – Yes, we are all familiar with the stay at home vacation and here are a few ideas that make it work. Fib. Yep, that’s right. Tell everyone (co-workers, mom, your best friend) you are going to be unreachable. Next, turn off the phone. And then read these ideas and embark upon your journey. http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend

Picnic
Picnic

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