If you’re like most people, you work hard all year – which makes the prospect of a relaxing vacation with the family seem like an important priority.
A lot of families go all-out on vacation spending, whether you’ve got younger kids who are enamored with all things Disney or teens who love seeing the big-city sights.
But with all the time, effort, money, and planning that goes into a major vacation, it can seem like a letdown when it’s over and the next vacation is many months away.
What if there were a middle ground – a way to enjoy several mini-vacations during the year that are just as fun for the family, with less hassle and for similar cost? A boat club membership is something that can make that possible.
If you live near inland lakes, a boat club membership means you can spend as many days on the water as your schedule allows – tubing, water skiing, swimming, enjoying the sunshine, and making memories.
A boat club membership also gives you access to reserve boats at various destinations around the country, wherever your family or business travel takes you. It means the opportunity to take clients fishing – or take your mom and dad out on the lake with the grandkids.
So how does the cost compare to the price of a week-long family vacation?
A standard Disney resort vacation for a family of five costs upwards of $4,000 – and that’s not counting the plane tickets! Even bargain-hunting online for flights, total cost of travel plus Disney is likely to run you more than $6,000 – and you’d better hope it doesn’t rain!
A six-night hotel stay on Times Square will cost you about $1,700 – and, at New York City prices, a week of restaurant meals will add another $1,400. If you plan $1,000 for tickets to a couple of Broadway shows, $1,000 for shopping, and $500 for museums and other attractions, you’re already forking out $5,600 – and that doesn’t include the cost of getting there or (heaven forbid) parking.
A Caribbean cruise can be a little more economical, depending on where you go. If you opt for the cheaper cabins, you might be able to get by for around $2,500. Of course, you’ll have to fly there – and, with that cost factored in, you’re easily above $4,500.
A boat club membership for the year will typically run a little less than the cost of that weeklong budget cruise – with no lost luggage and zero trips through airport security.
The best thing about a boat club membership is that it’s not limited to a single week or a handful of dates that aren’t blacked out on the reservation calendar; it’s something you can use all year long – summer, weekends, and any time you can get a spare afternoon.
Done with work a few hours early? Why not get a meal to go from your wife’s favorite restaurant and take her on a sunset dinner cruise?
Got a few potential clients that you want to impress? Have them meet you at the marina, where you’ll show up and a dock attendant will hand you the keys to a brand new boat that’s ready to go.
You can use your boat club membership to take your buddies fishing, take your visiting relatives on a memorable outing, or throw your kid the best birthday party ever – with almost no hassle or expense.
Most of all, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you and your family can go out and enjoy the lakes as many times as you want, all year and all summer long – that vacation and the making of memories doesn’t have to be confined to just one or two weeks a year.
Contributor: Carefree Boat Club of Tennessee