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Summer vacations in the new economy

Summer vacations in the new economy debgardner.jpg
Like many people, my family handled our summer vacation a little differently this year. We still went to our favorite summer spot, Cape Cod, but our stay was shorter, shared, and at a different place than where we've traditionally stayed in the past. First change this was a multi-family, multi-generational trip we took my mother and sister-in-law along with us and I think (hope!) it was an enjoyable experience for everyone. (I know it was for my son, Evan; he reveled in having both his grandma and favorite aunt with him!) Second change we swapped our usual seven days at a cabin at the outer Cape for four-days at a beachfront resort in the busier area of South Yarmouth. We booked what the resort called a "family room" two bedrooms sharing one bath. (Getting three women ready to go somewhere was a bit of a challenge, but we made it work!) Breakfasts eaten in the room (we had a small refrigerator) and liberal use of the property's compli-mentary coffee service also helped keep us on budget. However, when it came to dinner and entertainment, we splurged. But planning a vacation such as this did require us to do a bit more work up front. Before we booked the room, we discussed the location with everyone and all reviewed photos of the property online. We also made sure to find out (as best we could) what everyone was hoping to get out of this trip time on the beach, shopping, a chance to play mini-golf or swim in the resort's pool, a trip to visit our old haunts before we took off. Sure, there was some give-and-take when we got there for example one of the restaurants we planned to visit had an extremely long waiting line and we had to choose another on the spur of the moment but as long as everyone was willing to flex a bit, the vacation met most of everyone's expectations (I hope!) Tips on planning a shared vacation If, like us, you're planning to travel with family or friends to make your next trip more affordable, here's some wisdom we can share: 1. Check finances with everyone up front, and plan a realistic budget. 2. Make sure everyone is comfortable with the choice of accommodations. 3. Get a clear picture of everyone's expectations for the trip and plan accordingly before you drive out of the driveway! Debbie Gardner PRIME Editor dgardner@reminderpublications.com