Tuesday, August 25, 2009
When we built our house we didn't have money saved for a down payment. The banker had a brilliant idea - sweat equity. We did a lot of the work ourselves, saving money over what it would have cost to hire the work out, earning us equity - sweat equity. We ended up doing enough of our own work to not need a down payment.
I have decided on this trip that it is the same with camping. You are saving money by doing most of the work yourself. Setting up the tent, cooking out of a cooler on a camp stove, sleeping on the ground, unloading and loading all the stuff out of and into the vehicle....sweat equity. Especially when it is 91 degrees with 90% humidity in the middle of say Nebraska.
However, I must say that somewhere around 1 am when the tent was acting more like a parachute in the extreme wind gusts coming off the mountain that $140 was looking pretty good :) However we now know what it is like to sleep in a decending parachute.
Sweat equity be damned, we opt for a hotel room last night. I am sitting in the Best Western in Kearney, Nebraska. We pulled in at midnight after driving about 4-5 hours longer then we had originally planned. But, I did use a traveling tip given to me by my chiropractor: pull in late (like midnight or after) and go to the counter. Step 2 is to look very tired, while stating the time "it is 1 am, we are only staying for the night, we will be out of here right away in the morning....what is the best rate you can give me?" The first night it got us a $70 room for $45. Last night it didn't work at the first two hotels... but what we did do was get the rate of the 2 star hotels ($59) and we then went to a 3 star hotel and asked the rate ($85). In my most weary voice and tired face I stated that I could get a room across the street at said rate and would they match it? YES!!!! They did!!!!! Lesson learned- never be afraid to haggle, they are getting your money!
Although we could have camped for $18 last night, the $41 we didn't pay in sweat equity was welllllll worth it.