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Old 08-05-2008, 05:53 PM   #1
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Saving $ on vacation

I知 always looking for ways to save money. I致e taken my family to Mexico now for vacation five years straight. I知 thinking if I go there every year, why not get a property out there? But I wonder if a vacation home is more a convenience than a savings. I'd love to hear from folks that use alternate means of accommodation on vacation.

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Old 08-05-2008, 05:57 PM   #2
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I decided on an Airstream travel trailer to take me where I want to go. For me, I have not ventured out of the country except for Canada but friends have gone as far as Costa Rica in them. There is even a trip to Africa planned for those who can afford it and have the time. Saving money? Probably not but I have been to places that I may not have gone to.
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:01 PM   #3
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My next door neighbor owns a home right on the beach near Ensenada and splits their time between there and their home here in LA. A home like that on the beach would cost at least 10 times more here in LA. And of course, unless you're a Mexican National, you don't own the land your property sits on. They seem to enjoying life down there...
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:48 PM   #4
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I don't know if it actually saves lots of money but I have a small "vacation" home on the coast here in Texas. It's about 3 hours from where I live. Because I have a large family, there are enough beds to sleep 8 (10 in a pinch if they want to sleep on a futon). It's fully furnished and stocked so I don't have to take anything but clothes when going down there.

I bought it in awful cosmetic condition for an unbelievably low price and then we renovated it ourselves so it's completely paid for. Of course, there are monthly utility expenses and yearly property taxes - probably around $300/mo. But the savings on hotel accommodations plus not having to eat every meal out works out to be a lot for my large family. The grown kids go down there regularly too so the yard gets tended to by us - no expense there. And because it's ours and always available - we get to take mini-vacations whenever we have a day or two free.

I would say if you are willing to look for a "deal" and put in a little elbow grease, and you are really in love with the location for vacations, it can work out pretty well. (I have before and after pics that illustrate how much elbow grease I was willing to contribute just to be able to hit the beach more often!)
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:11 PM   #5
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We own in Mexico.
I don't know about saving money... it cost a lot up front...and now we monthly dues..taxes...insurnace...property managers fee's. Add in the cost of airplane tickets and it really adds up...

BUT, that being said... it was the smartest thing we've ever done.
We love 'going home" for vacation.

Trish
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:23 PM   #6
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We took our Economic Stimulus payment and dropped it into a 6 month CD. The wife is busy this time of year, so when it comes due we can cash it and it will be her off season and we can go on vacation. Which is another way to save, go during the off season and everything is much much cheaper.
In the meantime we take a few small camping trips during the year, just head out for three days or so, do a little camping, then head back. Cheap and relaxing.
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:29 PM   #7
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^^^ That's my idea of a vacation....camping that is....

As far as my stimulus check, I just filed my '07 return a couple of weeks ago so I won't expect my check til later on in the year at the earliest.
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:29 PM   #8
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We have two weeks of timeshare in Aruba. Now that we have been going there for 9-10 years, we don't feel the need to eat out as often. We buy groceries in one of the supermarkets and cook in. We buy bottles of booze and mix our own drinks for happy hour.

We buy all our groceries and gas on our credit cards along with other purchases and use the points to buy our airline tickets. This is only a savings if you don't carry a balance on your credit dard.
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:47 PM   #9
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If you want to save money, you should jump off the beaten path, away from the tourist traps like Cancun. If there's a cruise ship docked at your destination, keep going. I really like places away from the ocean, like Guadalajara or San Cristobal. Less Tourists means less tourist prices.

Timeshares aren't for everyone. Ebay is crammed with people trying to sell theirs. My neighbor had a bad experience with his and actually had to hire a company called timeshare relief to get it out of his name. If you're willing to vacation at the same time and place each year, then maybe. But I would be careful.
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:57 PM   #10
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You're right Ddupont... that's why we are full time owners and didn't go the time share way.
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