Southern Cents: Almost Free Vacation

by Tina Shake


Dippity Do Da, this is National Ice Cream month! I just found this out yesterday, which means that I have missed over 2 weeks of this important celebration. As soon as I discovered this awesome fact, I rounded up the family and headed to town to stock up on that cold, luscious, food staple so that we as Americans could give proper homage. Not that we usually need our arms twisted to buy ice cream, but now we can buy it knowing that we have done our part in keeping the sanctity of National Holiday tradition alive. Even the old hound dogs at the end of the lane were aware that a great event was taking place. Usually, those old bassets lie around sleeping all day, occasionally looking up with that sad face begging for a scrap or two before taking another needed nap; however, today Rusty and Peanut had their paws covering their ears as they began howling , nonstop, and I wouldn't swear on it but I thought that I did see a sign in their paws begging for a ride to a more civilization location. "Roadkill Hollow or Bust"

"Rusty, you can't be serious; leaving home will not solve our table side manner difficulties. I am sure if you would stop for a moment and think on it you will understand that most human/dog conflicts can be solves easily with a sturdy back rubbing and an extra bowl of Kibble," I pleaded.

Verbal communication is not this particular pet's forte, but I was so fortunate to call over Peanut to assist in the human-animal translation process. It turned out that Rusty and Peanut was not planning to leave their happy home permanently, but had arranged for a home trading arrangement with a poodle family in Roadkill Hollow which would allow them to stay free for a couple weeks and enjoy a nearly free vacation in an upscale community for the price of transportation and food. What a concept!

There are many organizations that arrange home trading. I did talk to one human on the subject, and he and his wife had taken a vacation to Germany last year via a home trading arrangement. They offered their home, and vehicle to the German couple for one month and enjoyed the same in return at the German residence. The vacation cost the price of the plane tickets and the room and board were obviously free. These two couples were a member, or Homelink.org. The Membership is $98 per year for a full membership that includes online services, a nice thick pictorial directory describing homes and other important info. This week they are leaving for England to enjoy another relaxing vacation.

Of course being the ice cream eating, cheapo that I am, my wheels started racing the speed of light. For those lucky ducks out their that have request flier miles, this might be a great combination. Free flights, free board, free vehicle that leaves food and souvenirs.

You do not have to go overseas to trade vacation homes, there are loads of Americans itching to visit your state, why not find some other great deals to pair up such as 50% off of a childs regular full day admission to Sea World? Look for Dad's cat food for a specially marked package that has this coupon. You must buy an adult ticket at full price to redeem the child's discount but that should be no problem for ya. Your savings would be $12.50 per child/adult combo.

Shoot fire, all this talking has gotten me in a mess. Ice cream surely does melt fast on a hot summer's day.


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