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Free Vacations: Fact or Fiction

Is there such thing as a free vacation? Of course not! However, did you know that there is such a thing as free accommodation? You receive a call from a “travel agency” and they are currently offering a free vacation package or they say you won free plane tickets to an exotic location. You hear about this all the time and usually you also find out after the fact that it was all some sort of travel or vacation scam. The economy is bad and you are already hesitant to go away on vacation, yet you know the hazards of not taking that much needed time off. So you book your trip, you pay your deposit, you hop on a flight, and your nightmare begins! Do not let this happen to you! You hear about them, you some times even unknowingly provide them with the information that they need to contact you. You fill out a form, enter a draw, buy some sort of lottery ticket, or just fill out a questionnaire and suddenly there they are on the other end of the line trying to relieve you of your hard earned money. Don’t be fooled nothing is free, but there are ways of saving a significant amount of money on your family vacations.

Did you know that many countries offer free lodging to travelers? Some cultures do that because of religious and charitable ideals while others do it because they believe that they can benefit from knowing you and your culture. One of the most common places to get free accommodation is through Monasteries in countries like Italy, France and Spain. Several monastic orders define hospitality/charity as one of their vows and they are only too happy to accommodate us for a night or two. Remember, these monasteries are usually in the rural areas and you may still need to give them a token gift but it’s a wonderful lesson for our family to see how people can live with so little “stuff” and still be contented in life. This stay may save your family millions later in life because of the lessons learned in frugality.

Always remember to use their resources sparingly and leave the rooms as clean as they were before your family used it and remember to give them an offering, whether it’s a few dollars or an item of clothing, or perhaps a blanket or afghan.


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