Friday, 22 June 2012

Doing things differently to save money while travelling

Mike and I going to Halifax (to see Mike's mom) and Toronto (to see my mom and dad - and Mike's son Matthew) for the first 2 weeks of July.  Our house is still occupied until then and our stay in Canmore is up.  We weren't too sure about spending money unnecessarily right now since Mike is between contracts and we really don't know when the next paycheck is coming in.  But he does have a part-time contract that he can do from anywhere, and we really need to go and see our folks sometime this summer.

So I began looking for inexpensive accommodations, particularly in Halifax where we definitely can't stay with Mike's mom in her tiny assisted living apartment - and we need a car while there, so going to Halifax is not an inexpensive trip for us.  We can stay at my dad's house if necessary, and don't really need a car, so Toronto is a secondary concern.

Here's what I found for our first 2 nights in Halifax for an incredible $50 a night:

The owner wrote to me after I booked it and said we will have the house to ourselves because they are going camping for the Canada Day (July 1) long weekend and would it be okay with me if he just left the key somewhere secret and we let ourselves in!

Airbnb is a very libertarian idea (in my opinion).  Anyone with a spare room or two can list it on this website, charge what they want (without tax) and make a little money without actually starting a B&B business etc.  The prices vary, but the average charge I've seen for Halifax in a modest room is $35.  Some even give you breakfast for that too.

Here is what I found for our next 5 nights in Halifax for $35 a night:

Incredible, isn't it?

Another idea I've been exploring for the future is house sitting.  I joined a couple of website services recently and I am amazed at the opportunities out there to live FREE in someone else's home all over the world.  

Check it out:

We are planning to put our house up for sale this summer.  Our plan after that is to try to find a suitable house-sitting gig in the Calgary/Edmonton area for at least 6 months.  It looks likely that Mike will need to be around here this winter, particularly if things kick into gear with the legal software app and we get funding for further development.  But if not - there are house-sitting jobs in Mexico!

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