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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Corn is so a-MAZE-ing 9.21.11

Fall is totally my time to be outside. I guess because there are so many things going on that I want to do and the weather is nice, even if I have to wear a coat for them. After going to the farmer’s market and thinking about going veggie and fruit picking again, I was reminded of one of my favorite fun and frugal fall activities that you can do almost anywhere you go that has open land. That would be corn mazes. You have a lot of options when visiting a corn maze that you don’t ever have to feel like you’ve done it all before, because you can go through alone, in a group, in the daytime, at night with a flashlight. It really can’t be boring if you plan your trip right.

Need some alone time from your travel companions or family? Suggest a trip to the nearest corn maze. You can get out some frustration and energy by taking them out for the day. The kids can run all over, you can get “lost” from your family for hours and enjoy your personal space. Plus, fresh air is always a good thing. Most corn mazes are a short drive out of the city and fairly reasonable cost wise. Usually less than $10 per person, which is a small price for half a day of activity. Take a ride through the pumpkin patch, get lost in corn, pet some animals, have a hot chocolate, buy some pumpkins and go home and have everyone help make pumpkin pie. If you’re traveling and have a kitchen, you can always pick up some fresh squash to have as a side to a main meal (or as the main meal, if you are a vegetarian). Most corn mazes are located on farms and have a “general store” where you can pick up some produce and other local foods (maybe corn!), like pumpkin butter or jams, to take home or enjoy on your trip.

When should you go to the maze? Well, that’s really up to your preferences, because the daytime maze will be fairly tame and the maze at night is dark and may have several spooky surprises. Some have scary things that jump out at you – imagine being chased by a real scarecrow! – and others just have props, but in the dark, it’s going to be twice as frightening, since you probably won’t see it until it’s right in front of you. If being scared witless is your idea of fun, then the nighttime ones should be on your list. If it has been raining, wear shoes that you don’t mind getting muddy…like wellies or boots that are easily rinsed off. It can also be good to bring an extra pair on the car ride home. 

You really could just make a whole day out of the corn maze and pumpkin patch. Many mazes have a way to navigate through the corn, like trivia you must answer correctly to pick the right direction at each fork. So, not only do you not have to blindly wander around for hours, you can also use your brain. If you get the question wrong, you can turn back and try again, ensuring that you learn something for the day, too! 

Do you love a corn maze or a have been dying to check one out? Look for coupons on the farm websites. You might even find a great 2-for-1 deal on them or with daily deal sites, like I did on Living Social. And because they allow dogs at the one I am going to go to, my dog can get out in the fresh air, too, and we can all get some well-needed exercise.

The new travel stats have just come out saying that airlines will be cutting flights even more in the next year. They will be chopping 2-3% of their active flights, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but considering the small number of flights they already have and the overpacked planes, this could make it harder to find a cheap rate wherever you want to go. Also, airlines have reported at least a 2% increase in revenue from fees (mostly baggage) over last year. In just several months, oneairline has racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars from their customers in fees alone. If nothing else, this just makes it more obvious that people are encouraging them to continue raising fees on checked bags, because they are willing to pay them. 

Books make great gifts!  Anna Cervova
You know what you can do about it? Besides traveling carry-on only yourself, you can purchase a copy of my book (which will be out soon) for an overpacking friend for the holiday season! Not only will it be cheaper than even the lowest checked bag fee, it will also be packed full of tips to travel within and below their budget to save them hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on each trip! Imagine how many massages thatwill get someone. Maybe buy one for yourself, too. (And that is what I'm working on at the moment that I bring you this very short post. You can sign up to receive my newsletter and be the first to know when the book is available for purchase.)

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