First Person: A Fitness Vacation on a Budget

Yahoo Contributor Network

Americans are notorious for the long hours they work every year. By the time vacation comes around, workers are need in some quality relaxation time. Nothing is worse than spending your vacation contemplating how much each hotel room or restaurant meal costs. Learning to do a fitness vacation on a budget can enable you to get the most out of your vacation while keeping costs low. After spending the last two years traveling constantly throughout the United States and abroad, I have finally discovered the way to keep costs low while I travel.

My Vacation

My husband and I recently decided to do a fitness vacation on a budget. We set our sights on doing the Road to Santiago in Spain. This path loops almost 800 kilometers across Spain and ends on the western coast. In medieval times, the pilgrimage was traversed by more than double the number that it currently handles today. Modern times have brought with it charming hostels and restaurants every five kilometers or so.

A Pilgrimage on the Cheap

Our fitness vacation on a budget was set up as both a spiritual journey and an attempt at getting in better shape. We started at the city of Roncesvalles and finished 3thirty days later at the city of Santiago de Compostela. During this time, we avoided spending the $20 a night on a hostel by bring with us several tarps and rope to make our own camp site. The tarps and sleeping bags we brought along were already at our house, so there was no added cost. Along the pathway, we camped out in lonely country spots with only the stars above us.

What to Eat?

Last time we took a vacation, we ended up spending an exorbitant amount of money at restaurants. Even cheap cafes end up costing more while on a vacation than just purchasing the food. For our fitness vacation on a budget, we purchased loafs of bread, cheese, canned tuna and fruit at towns along the way to save on food. Altogether, we spent around $15-$20 a day on food. For the thirty days this added up to $450 to $600.

Other Costs

Before we left, we had to figure in other costs. Transportation from the airport, showers, laundry, the random hostel stay and occasional dinner at a restaurant had to be calculated into our budget. We calculated an extra $600 for unexpected expenses and "luxury" items like restaurants.

At the end of our journey, we had spent almost the entire $1,200. (Airfare cost $1,600 going into it) For a month like vacation, this amount was relatively small. Since then, we have started to plan future fitness vacations. The road to Rome pilgrimage is a future dream, but in the mean time we will hang around the Pacific Northwest. Within this area, we can avoid the cost of airfare and take advantage of numerous cheap campsites and the Pacific Crest Trail. By choosing cheaper vacation options, avoiding restaurants and sleeping outside, we were able to limit the cost of our dream backpacking trip in Europe.

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