Author Topic: MMM worthy experience vacation?  (Read 714 times)

HipGnosis

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MMM worthy experience vacation?
« on: May 13, 2019, 01:24:01 PM »
I need info / guideance / enlightenment on MMM worthy experience vacationing.

I am FIRE, but I live frugally out of concern for health care costs.

I've read here, and other places, about experience vacations, or is it vacation experiences?
But I have an illogically(?) hard time deciding to spend money on a vacation instead of something physical and tangible, like an improvement in my home.

I have gone to a lot of museums since I retired, I think they sorta count as experiences.  But so far they've all been day trips.  I cringe at the thought of paying $$$ for a room for a night because it would be the biggest expense of the trip.

LifeHappens

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Re: MMM worthy experience vacation?
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2019, 01:30:13 PM »
It's okay to not be interested in travel. Do you feel a desire to travel, or do you think you "should" feel a desire to travel?

PoutineLover

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Re: MMM worthy experience vacation?
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2019, 01:32:06 PM »
It's pretty hard to recommend a vacation if we have no idea what interests you, or where you are located. What makes you want to travel now?
If you don't want to pay for a room, you could do a workaway type vacation where you exchange labour for room and board, or couchsurfing, which is free and allows you to meet locals around the world (although it's better to think of it as a more of a cultural exchange than just a free spot to sleep, and it's usually expected to bring a small token of appreciation, cook a meal for your host, or something along those lines). If you've never traveled, you might want to pick an "easier" location, like somewhere that shares the same language or similar culture, but again, it would depend on what type of vacation you're looking for.
What are you hoping to gain from this experience? What's your budget? Do you have any dream locations you've always wanted to see? Have you considered travel hacking for cheap/free flights or hotels?

Enigma

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Re: MMM worthy experience vacation?
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2019, 01:36:58 PM »
Maybe go and see relatives.  Drop in on cousins and others.  Most will want you to stay at their place until you over extend your stay.  Just and idea...  The cheapest MMM worthy experiences that I have had was staying at my aunts' (plural) houses in Daytona Beach FL.  Also I used to work overseas and have friends in Texas and DC.  I have stayed at their places as well.  Sometimes I give them a little money and do not mind it as bad as giving it to a hotel chain.  Just some ideas.

GoingToMaine

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Re: MMM worthy experience vacation?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2019, 02:15:57 PM »
US National Parks are awesome and not too pricey.  You can get a 1-year pass to all the parks for $80.  Day passes aren't bad either.  Most of them have camping available or nearby, which will generally be cheaper than a hotel.

Or if you really like hiking, pick a section of the Appalachian Trail (or whatever long trail is near you) and go backpacking for a few days.  AT shelters are free (except in NH and parts of ME) and if I remember correctly only one part of the trail has a paid registration to hike there (the Great Smoky Mountains).

letsdoit

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Re: MMM worthy experience vacation?
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2019, 02:29:44 PM »
i wonder the same thing, for an experience, prob overseas, with 8 yo and 10 yo in tow

something volunteer-y,  something that gives perspective.

prob better than joining the tourist hordes.
i hate the prices on most of those volunteer programs you can arrange from abraod. 
gotta get boots on the ground and arrange it yourself, i guess.  lemme know if there are experienced heads out there

yyc-phil

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Re: MMM worthy experience vacation?
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2019, 03:02:23 PM »
What about vacation where you can learn something interesting, such as small-scale organic farming, a community project in India or Iowa, a bison farm in Australia or sheep farm in New Zealand, a llama operation in British Columbia, whatever you feel like doing. Check HelpX (volunteer work in exchange for free accommodation and food on farms, backpacker hostels, lodges, horse stables and even sailing boats), or WWOOF (worldwide movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange, thereby helping to build a sustainable, global community). There are hundreds of places, both on the other side of the world in exotic locales, or close to your own home-town. All you need to pay is travel to get there and back, the rest is paid for in exchange for volunteer work, usually light duties, for a few hours a day.

remizidae

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Re: MMM worthy experience vacation?
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2019, 03:56:16 PM »
If you're already financially independent and you're wondering about this, why not...try it? You can get a very nice hotel room for $100 a night in many cities. You can afford to spend a few hundred dollars if only to satisfy your curiosity.

spartana

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Re: MMM worthy experience vacation?
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2019, 03:44:45 PM »
I actually don't know what an "experience vacation" is but I will assume it means going somewhere unique or doing something you've never done before. If that's the case I feel you can easily "experience" that without having to fly to far flung places and stay in expensive digs. If you are in the US throw a tent and sleeping bag in your car (or bike or on your back) and go explore some of the unique things here. Visit the Anzasi ruins in Arizona, hike the Grand Canyon, sleep under the stars in the desert, climb mountains, see cultural sites, eat local foods, go hug a rewood,  walk on a glacier, kayak with alligators, etc. Lots of great local areas where you can enjoy new experiences and challenges without breaking the MMM piggy bank.

OurFirstFire

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Re: MMM worthy experience vacation?
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2019, 04:55:19 PM »
If you do want to travel (and not just think you should), I recommend making it a challenge.  Most of what people spend a lot of money on are just about not leaving their comfort zone - fancy hotels and English speaking tour guides so you never have to figure your own way around a new city.  Staying in hostels, sleeping in cars, figuring out public transportation, shopping at a grocery store or local market will make the trip much more meaningful, teach you new skills, and save money.  Find the cheapest place you can fly in Europe at the cheapest time of year, and make it a goal to spend less than $1000 including airfare for a two week trip (for example).  Going to someplace with a low cost of living is nice also - for me part of the entertainment is how cheap my meal and beer is.

letsdoit

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Re: MMM worthy experience vacation?
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2019, 08:56:33 AM »
i agree wth the above.
if i ever have a guide i completely zone out and almost feel like a schoolgirl being led around.  passive agressive!

letsdoit

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Re: MMM worthy experience vacation?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2019, 09:01:06 AM »
what would travel be without that moment of looking at the subway map for the first time nad being like, What?!
and then 2 days later you're proficient.
or getting lost down an alley. 

when we were in rome, there were 80 roman office jockeys fighting to get into this hole in the wall for lunch.  we just jumped in the swarm bc we knew it had to be legit.
i remember the faces of a passing tour that looked at us enviously as they were led away like cattle

BECABECA

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Re: MMM worthy experience vacation?
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2019, 10:05:41 AM »
Although I havenít taken a Workaway trip yet, I fully intend to soon, ideally when my wife is also retired and can come along too. It sounds like a great way to get immersed in a local scene and itís just a bonus that it comes with free lodging.

Have you looked into AirBnB? For our last vacation to Tokyo we put our house up on AirBnB while we were gone and it paid for nearly the whole vacation (we got a good deal on flights and stayed in a small AirBnB apartment).

I also recommend visiting family. But I do it as a Workaway type trip... I visit my mom in the fall when she has tons of raking leaves and other yard work to do. And I just got back from visiting my sister for a week while they were rehabbing their bathroom. I also have a lot of family in one spot, so I can fly in for a month and hop around from one project to the next, staying at whoeverís house Iím currently working on. And I really appreciate coming back home, since by then my body needs a recharge!