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Alternative Vacations

Looking for alternative vacations - something a bit out of the ordinary? Perhaps you don't want another trip to an amusement park, a week at the beach or an ocean cruise. Why not try one of the following instead?

Vacations In Monasteries

Not only monasteries, but spiritual centers and retreats all over the country will rent you a room. Some may require participation in certain activities or help in daily chores, while others require nothing of you. Some are expensive, others cheap, and some just ask for a donation. And generally, you do not need to share in their beliefs to stay at these places.

A few years back I stayed at a Zen center in upstate New York. For $18 per day, I had a simple bed in a plain room. Two meals were included, and there was a nice library and even a hot tub. I walked the trails on the property to sit by the pond, read books, or collected butternuts on a hill overlooking a valley. It was very peaceful and relaxing.

When you want a peace and quiet, these are the places to look for. They are usually in beautiful settings. Whether a catholic monastery full of monks, or a Hindu meditation center, most now have web sites, so you can find them online.

House Sitting

People are looking for others to stay in their houses, water the plants, and keep an eye on things. You can find these caretaking jobs online or in one of the few newsletters that have listings of this sort. You might find a house on a lake for a month, and occasionally you can even get paid for your services.

Locations? Every part of the United States and most other countries. If you have experience with house sitting or caretaking it can help. If you try it and like it, get letters of reference from those who you do house-sit for, so you'll have a better chance at getting the next position.

How much of a vacation is this? That will depend on how much work the owners require in exchange for the use of their home, of course. At least it is a cheaper alternative than most vacations.

Outdoor Vacations

Not all outdoor vacations involve backpacking or hunting. For example, friends of mine recently took part in a week-long bicycle tour in Michigan. These kinds of bicycle tours take place in many areas, or can be done anywhere if you want to do your own arranging. Although they can include camping, you can also plan to stay at a nice hotel each night.

A great outdoor vacation that can be done in comfort is hiking hut-to-hut in the mountains. There are some places in the United States where this can be done, but it is much more common in Europe. No tent or sleeping bag needed - food, wine, beds and bedding are available at each hut. You just hike a few hours from one hut to the next each day, through beautiful mountains.

More Possibilities

Do you like rock and gem hunting? Rent a van to camp in and head for the eastern Arizona desert. Always wanted to explore underground? Check out the caves of northern Tennessee. Just look around and think about it a bit, and you might find your own "alternative vacations."

Other Pages:

United States Travel
Cheap Family Vacations
Cheap Solo Vacations
10 Cheap Vacations

Everything About Travel | Alternative Vacations