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05-24-2016, 03:52 PM #1
how much do you save for your frugal vacation?
trying to figure out how much to save for our year getaway. how much do you frugals save for your getaways/vacations?
this year, our san diego trip budget is $4500. going to try to be under that.
saved it within 2 months as it was a last minute plan. but now that i am doing the budget, i want to plan it out and save all year for next year's trip to universal studios/disneyland.
06-16-2016, 05:27 PM #2
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I have gone on vacations for a little a $500 (camping or staying at relatives houses) and also spent at much as $4500 for a weeks vacation.
I am learning to do more of the hotel/airline points deals and figuring out how to travel less expensively.... Our 2 weeks in Hawaii this year will cost less than $3000 including a rather expensive ($200 each) helicopter tour for 2 or 3 people.
This year we planned well in advance and each person going is putting $50 a biweekly paycheck into the vacation fund.
06-17-2016, 01:10 PM #3
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One of the things I try to do is spread the expenses out - so buying the airline tickets this month, paying for a tour the next month, etc.
Obviously it depends on a lot of factors - how large your family is, how many days you are going, what kind of lodging you will be in, how many activities you plan to include, where it is, how much airfare will cost to get there, etc.
It's just me and my husband. I would plan at least $2K for a vacation and probably more. In our case though, we normally don't do annual vacations. We go every several years and then plan a bigger trip. So we did an Alaskan cruise last month, which was our first vacation in about 12 years. However, we have decided we are getting to an age where we want to start planning to travel more, plus my MIL is aging to where I don't think she'll be able to travel as much possibly in a few years because of her health issues (we want to try to take her with us, as she is a widow and losing her travel partner is one of the things she most misses with her late husband). So we will plan our next big trip sooner.
Our next trip will probably be Italy in 2018. We'll save up $10K or so for that trip most likely, maybe even more.2018/2019 Pay Off the Windows Challenge: $31,057.34/$31,057.34 (Goal: Pay Off By 11/30/2019 - DONE! PAID IN FULL 11/15/19)
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06-17-2016, 02:19 PM #4
06-17-2016, 04:17 PM #5
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I own a timeshare (that I bought on Ebay years ago for $200!) so the exchange week cost me only the $700 yearly maintenance fee (which I would have to pay anyway on my home unit) plus a $129 exchange fee. This is a standard condo - 2bd/2bath - with kitchen - plus the added feature of an in unit washer/dryer so I don't have to pay for coinop laundry.
I got a 5 night vrbo rental for $635 total. Two nights free at Hilton with points will be used for our flight layover coming and going (This is the only way I could work the trip using airline points - no direct flights were possible from where I fly out from). The Vrbo rental is a 2 bedroom house in the countryside that I am super excited to go to - it is only one block away from the ocean - not a swimable area though but great for views as it is a cliff side location with a walk trail along the area. Again I picked a place with a washer/dryer available and a modern kitchen.
So here is the budget:
lodging: $1464 (if you include the timeshare fee - which I am obligated to pay anyway...)
carrental: $441 (compact car thru Costco)
Flight: Airline points!!! I just paid taxes (33.60) and a $170 cash upgrade to stretch seating for my tall spouse. (my son and I will be okay in economy for the 6 hours).
Helicopter tour: $400 - $600 depending on if the spouse goes or just me and son.
This is $2500 to $2700, so that leaves $300 to $500 for misc eating out or sightseeing. Since we are mostly planning on doing free stuff like laying on beach, swimming, and hiking I think it will work well. The only steak dinners I will be having on that budget are the ones that I grill myself, but it allows for a fast food stop or two if so desired. There is one historic site that we will go see for $5 parking fee, but it is so easy to find free stuff. We will tour things like the Mauna Loa nut farm and Kona coffee farms for free, visit botanic gardens, and just do a lot of walking/hiking to enjoy the place.
I will mostly cook our meals/make picnic lunches so I don't count that as any vacation spending since we would be eating if we were at home anyway. I already have a stragegy as soon as our plane lands to buy hamburger, cheese, lunchmeat, bread, and other basics at Costco that we will eat for the two weeks... I will hit up the farmers market for produce. I will slide a few things like rice and instant potatoes from my pantry into my bag to save some money and time shopping. I get one free check in bag from the airline credit card I possess and most of my clothes will go in my carry on anyway - since I have laundry available I only need 3 outfits, pjs, and my swimwear. The checked bag will be for 1 extra pair of shoes/sandals apiece, toiletries like sunscreen and shave gel, 1 beach towel apeice, and food. With the food gone at the end of 2 weeks I will then have room for any little things that I buy to bring home.....
My tons of frequent flier miles were the only reason I could do the trip - regular airfare would have been as much as $1800 per person if I had to buy it! I fly alot plus I use airline credit cards to get the miles. I have never stayed at Hilton, but I got an incredible sign up bonus on a Hilton credit card so I got that specifically for use on this trip. Later I will probably cancel the hilton card and do the same trick with a marriot card for a couple of free stays there. (I do like marriot an have stayed there a lot - they just bought out starwood so there will be more options with that merger.) You can learn about travel hacking/points programs/credit card churning from a lot of online sources. It only works if you can meet minimum spends and then pay it off before accruing interest on the credit cards though. I happened to get some dental work done this year that made my minimum spend in one easy transaction (a couple of crowns) for the hotel card. I had cash in my Efund that paid off the card the following week and now I have to only repay myself for the dental work.
Last edited by KmmCo; 06-17-2016 at 04:29 PM.
06-17-2016, 04:57 PM #6
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By the way, my beach shoes always get thrown away when I leave so that I don't have to smell them anymore.... I either take an old pair of tennis shoes, a cheap pair of dollar store flip flops, or grab some aqua shoes form the thrift store if I know I am doing a beach vacation in a few months...
06-18-2016, 09:33 AM #7
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KmmCo this is exactly what my husband and I do. We went to the Big Island in February. My ticket was free on points first class on the way there. So only had to buy 1 ticket. We stayed at two different places one near Volcano national park and one on the krona side so was able to do lots of sightseeing.
We rent from VRBO and always get a kitchen and washer dryer. We only ate out like 2 times when we were there. Most we paid was $125 a night and both places had hot tubs.
Did lots of hiking and free stuff. There is an orchid farm near Volcano that is free and smells wonderful, the baronial is really pretty and lots of flowers, if you like wine there is a winery in the town of Volcano kinda on the outskirts ( gps should get you there) that has great wine. We bought a bottle and when back for a second before heading to the other side of the island.
Definitely do the green well farms coffee tour. If you bring your own cup you can fill for free and take with you. If not you can sample all day if you like.
Go to the Kilauea crater rim at night you can see it glowing for miles.
Stop at black sand beach for a picnic.
If you like hiking I would recommend the Kilauea Iki trail it is a 3 mile hike not to strenuous and will take 2-3 house depends on if you stop or not. We packed a lunch and sat on the lava at the bottom and had a picnic.
If you have not bought the book Big Island reveal I highly recommend it. Amazon has it.
This was our second time to the Big Island and we are hoping our next trip there is a 2 month trail to see if we want to move there.
Hope you have a great time as we just love the big island.
06-19-2016, 01:45 AM #8
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Hey - thanks for the tips! I will add the winery and the orchid farm to the list of possible to do items... I saw info about the Kilauea Iki trail and was wondering if the spouse can do it (he has some leg related health issues) but he should be okay for a 3 hour hike. We are definitely gonna do the little lava tube trail. I also found some other lava tubes near Hilo that looked fun....
That is kind of why I picked the country rental house was to get a contrast to the resort condo in Kona and see what real Hawaiians live like. (Some of the people I work with spent a couple of years in Hawaii and every once in a while I do see job openings there, but I would not want to move somewhere without knowing what I was getting into. There is a reason they didn't stay! Probably a lot to do with cost of living - I don't really think it was because they missed the snow!)
07-11-2016, 02:25 AM #9
I also spread out our spending for vacation. First we book flights, then 2-3 months before the trip, book accommodation then of course exchange money days before the trip(for overseas trip). Having it spread out makes it a little easier to budget.
The least I spent on a trip is around $2500 for a 12 days Japan vacation.
11-02-2018, 04:46 PM #10
It depends on where I'm going. I took I quick trip from LA to San Diego on a budget of $500.00. That included the local train to Union Station, and Amtrak to San Diego.(and back home.) I brought lunch with me to eat on the train. I traveled coach, which was fine. I splurged on a nice hotel and only stayed one night. (The Sofia) (I walked there from the train station.) I bought a bus pass for the day, and used it to get to Martinis on Fourth to see Ben Vereen in a dinner show. I met a friend in the lobby of the hotel to knit for a while in the afternoon, which was free. I had lunch at the hotel's Brasserie. It was only $10.00, and delicious. The room had a coffeemaker, and the next morning. I bought an inexpensive breakfast next door at The Coffee Bean. I had packed sandwiches, fruit, and homemade popcorn to eat on the train on the way home. It worked out very well.