Small Town Vacation

Small Town Vacations

Small Vacation HomeSmall town vacations can be the least expensive trips.  My family owns a vacation house in Salisbury, Mass, and we would spend a week up there every summer.  Growing up – this vacation was my favorite.  My father would take us early morning down to a place we called the grove to eat our donuts.  We’d sit in the car watching the morning fog drift off the lake.  We called this place Twin Lakes, and it was our spot.  Later on in life, after setting up a business, and having kids own this was my vacation spot.   I would come up to Twin Lakes with my kids every summer and they loved it.

Every family needs to have a house in a small town like this.  The cost of maintaining a home is very low because of how many times its split.  The cost was split about 12 ways, and each family member did their fair share.

Take a look below to learn about the pros & cons for having a small town vacation home; we’ll start with the pros.

  • Inexpensive fun!  There is usually a nearby lake that’s cheap to rent boat or kayak.  You’re kids will be fighting over who gets to go in the front!
  • Cheap eating!  The restaurant in town is always super cheap, especially if this get away area isn’t on the vacationer’s map yet.
  • Investment opportunity!  Once this amazing spot gets recognized for its views and great family life you can always flip the home.
  • Your children will become so attached to the memories they’ve made at that home.  In middle school they’ll love having a place to go where they can be themselves; in high school they’ll be inviting their friends up.
  • Eventually your children will be taking care of the home themselves, and all you’ll need to do is show up!
The Cons
  • Can be expensive to maintain if you make a bad call in choosing the perfect home.
  • Family disputes about timing, who gets to go up, and maintenance cost.
  • College party spot!  I would by lying if I didn’t say that we had the gnarliest parties up at Twin Lakes.  We were blasting music so loud that you could hear it for miles.  Not having neighbors was the key to a great party.
  • Rising prices…  Once your quaint spot gets recognized for all the golden nuggets it’s hiding, the prices will drive up.  You’re spot may even lose its appeal that you fell in love with in the first place.

The cons are pretty steep, but the reward far outweighs the risk. 

The Rules

There is a general rule of thumb when selecting the optimal home small town vacation home.  You want to be at least 1 hour and 15 minutes away from your home.  The maximum travel time is 2 1/2 hours.  You want to maintain this even balance of being far away, but not too far away.  You’re children should be complaining about the drive, but they shouldn’t be kicking and screaming all the way up.

The second rule of thumb is to take away all electronics when you get there.  I worked with youth for a long time after college before setting up my business.  Your kids will get used to it.  Enjoy your time up there together.  Catch a fish for the first time, or go whitewater rafting.  Hell you could build a tree house in the woods.  No one will care if its your property or not!  Paula Poundstone from CBS news has a interesting article about how kids brains don’t develop well with excessive electronic use.  I would highly recommend you click here to read this informative article.

The third rule of thumb is to rough it a little bit.  You’re vacation home should have some definite draw backs so your children / significant other appreciates modern life when they get home.  Twin Lakes didn’t have a TV or radio.  We actually didn’t get cellular service either, but that long before the smart phone culture began.  That’s the way to live.  Teach your kids to appreciate the little things in life.


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