Free Vacations: Fact or Fiction

By: Lionel Wayne

Is there such thingas a free vacation? Of course not! However, did you know that there is such athing as free accommodation?

You receive a callfrom a “travel agency" and they are currently offering a free vacation packageor they say you won free plane tickets to an exotic location. You hear aboutthis all the time and usually you also find out after the fact that it was allsome sort of travel or vacation scam.

The economy is badand you are already hesitant to go away on vacation, yet you know the hazardsof not taking that much needed time off. So you book your trip, you pay yourdeposit, you hop on a flight, and your nightmare begins! Do not let this happento you!

You hear about them,you some times even unknowingly provide them with the information that theyneed to contact you. You fill out a form, enter a draw, buy some sort oflottery ticket, or just fill out a questionnaire and suddenly there they are onthe 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 significantamount of money on your family vacations.

Did you know thatmany countries offer free lodging to travelers? Some cultures do that becauseof religious and charitable ideals while others do it because they believe thatthey can benefit from knowing you and your culture. One of the most commonplaces to get free accommodation is through Monasteries in countries like Italy, France and Spain.

Several monasticorders define hospitality/charity as one of their vows and they are only toohappy to accommodate us for a night or two. Remember, these monasteries areusually in the rural areas and you may still need to give them a token gift butit’s a wonderful lesson for our family to see how people can live with solittle “stuff" and still be contented in life. This stay may save your familymillions later in life because of the lessons learned in frugality.

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

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