A couple days ago when I was challenging you to make it a priority to vacation with your spouse, Nicki commented and said, "That's a great idea, but what if you truly don't have any money." I thought it would be fun to throw out some of my own ideas about how to vacation with little or no money--and then see what you would add to the list. To begin, let me say that when Faith and I first got married, we had very little money. We were far from homeless--but we were the typical newlywed couple with few possessions and a lot of love. We pooled our money to buy a bed (that seemed important), but that was all we owned. Then people began to give us their hand-me-down furniture, and we began to collect enough to occupy a small apartment. Cash was limited, and it was a real treat to be able to buy a can of Dr. Pepper once or twice a week.
Sometimes there was little money and creativity was all we had. Here are some ideas for vacationing on the cheap...
- Pray. It sounds trite, but I believe God is more committed to you having alone time with your spouse than you are. He wants your marriage to succeed! When you pray, don't ask him to send you to that exotic resort--just ask Him for quality alone time with your spouse. See what He does to surprise you. James 4:2 -- "You do not have because you do not ask God..." We have seen God bless this prayer over and over, in ways we would never expect.
- Partner. Find another couple you can partner with who has the same commitment--then help each other. Perhaps they take your kids for the weekend. Or maybe you trade houses (it's good to get away from your own home so you don't spend your 'quality time' fixing the leaky toilet or working on the yard). You might say, "We don't have any friends to partner with." To that, I would again encourage you to pray. I believe if you are involved in a local church, and praying for God to bring another couple into your lives who has the same commitment to their marriage--God will honor that prayer!
- Google. It's amazing what you can find people are willing to trade for online. They may have a cabin sitting empty. You may have something they want. Look for ways to barter.
- Cut. Recently a friend was encouraging me to work with a trainer to do regular exercise. I told him I couldn't afford it. He said, "You just told me you are paying extra on your mortgage every month." He was right. When I said "I can't afford it" -- I meant that it wasn't a priority. I realize that is not everyone's situation. There have been times in my life when I truly had no money for anything beyond the necessities. But many times, it's been a matter of priorities. For some of you--you need to decide that making time alone with your spouse every year is a priority above other things in your life. So cutting might mean living in a smaller house, reducing junk food from your grocery bill, or taking a sack lunch. Look at your whole budget and see if you can make time away a priority.
Your turn. What have you creatively done to make vacation time with your spouse a priority--with limited or NO money?