Cost effective Holidays…

Have you ever had a holiday in your own neighbourhood?

Now I don’t mean that you do the sleep-over thing with your neighbours, or take it in turns to treat your neighbours’ home and their swimming pool like a resort. But what I do mean is have you ever turned into a tourist in your own town?

For the past 2 weeks, we’ve been playing tourist in our local area. And I have to say – it’s been a fabulous time.

We started by looking in our local paper; in the classified section where different categories gave us some inspiration. From there we found that a 45 minute drive would take us to an area where we could pick and eat our own berries. Beautiful berries – strawberries, blue berries, raspberries, boysenberries; all ripe and ready for the picking. The cost was better than buying them through the supermarkets – around $9 per kilo and obviously they were fresher than buying them in a shop.

Apart from the fresh air and ‘bonding’ experience we shared, the other advantage was that we were able to bring home enough berries for smoothies, cheesecakes, berry pancakes and muffins for the next 10 days as well as enough to make over a dozen jars of homemade jam.

We had an excursion to the river where we had a lovely time; relaxing and fishing. The local council have provided free bbqs at lots of places along the river, as well as in many parks, so we packed a few snags and some salad and were able to enjoy our evening meal while we were there. It felt like we were in the best holiday spot in the world!

New Years Eve was a bit special – we went to the local harness racing meeting. It’s billed as a family affair and they’re right – it certainly is. There were loads of happy families there and the atmosphere was friendly and fun.

Now, we’re not big punters, and the most any of us think we know about horses is that they probably end up in the glue factory (well, that’s what somebody tried to tell us). But we had a great time! We packed some seats and some eats and found a good vantage spot in the grandstand. And there we propped until the fireworks display to send out the old year, and welcome in the new.

After consulting the local paper again, we took a drive south to discover ‘the gourmet food trail’. Again we were gob-smacked at the quality and quantity of things to do, see and taste. The vendors of all this ‘gourmet food’ are very generous in allowing so much free tastings and we got the opportunity to sample many different products.

Of course we came home with some wine from the winery, mustard from the condiments shop, olives from the area and cheese from the local factory. Yummo!

You don’t have to travel very far to be a tourist or have a holiday. Isn’t it funny how we seem to spend heaps of money to visit other places and then spend a lot of time and cash on sight-seeing, when there are so many things to see and do right here – in our  own  backyard?

And it’s very cost effective to put your brain into ‘holiday mode’ and become a local tourist. You don’t have to pay for accommodation for starters…

Don’t take it for granted or say that you’ll get to enjoy it one day. Go now – I can assure you that you’ll fall in love with your hometown area all over again!

©   Carmel McCartin – Budget Bitch

And don’t forget – (The views expressed in this blog are the personal opinions of the author. Don’t rely on them to make financial decisions; you have to make up your own mind. If you don’t like the content – then either stop reading or send me an email)

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