Tuesday, August 26, 2008

WFMW: Vacationing on a Dime

Last week, James and I took our first real vacation - the only time we've taken a "vacation" and not spent the time visiting family or traveling back & forth for school. It was our 10th anniversary, so we wanted to have a great time; however, since we're in the middle of a Total Money Makeover and are still trying to pay off debt, we had to be careful with our plans.

Here's what we did:

1. Location: We found somewhere we wanted to go that was within a couple of hours. That means that our round trip cost us one tank of gas - not bad for vacation travel.

2. Accommodations: We splurged a bit on a hotel, and it was SO worth the money. It was very clean, our room was spacious and quiet, and the complimentary breakfast was great. (We definitely could have saved money by camping, but camping in the South in August = HOT. Not my idea of a good time.)

3. Activities: A few weeks leading up to our trip, I spent quite a bit of time researching area attractions, restaurants, ticket prices, etc. This enabled us to have a plan of attack, and we ended up pacing ourselves better and saving money with combo tickets.

4. Entertainment: In addition to the attractions we wanted to see, we also planned to go out to one movie. We also brought a couple of our Netflix DVDs to play on the laptop, and we rented two more movies from Blockbuster while we were gone. We also brought our Wii and hooked it up in the hotel; James and I love playing video games together. (I know, we're geeks.)

5. Food: Last but not least, the food. As I mentioned, our hotel had a great breakfast. Our room had a microwave & refrigerator, so we had one additional meal in our room every day. The daily food budget was $30, and by having a quick lunch or dinner in our room, we were able to eat out a couple of times at nicer places.

All in all, we had a great time. We did come in a bit over budget, but the tips I've shared definitely helped keep our costs as low as possible!

For more helpful tips, visit Works-For-Me Wednesday at Rocks in my Dryer!


Anonymous said...

My fiancee and I also enjoy finding trips that aren't too far away. We found a book that recognizes all of these little towns around us where we can have day trips, and we turn them into weekend extravaganzas with hotel movies to boot for entertainment. It makes the trip more enjoyable at the end of the weekend when you can come back and not feel ripped of your savings. Thank you for sharing!!

Heather @ Not a DIY Life said...

We're doing a few of these this week, although with Hubby in class all day, we don't have extra time to sight see. But watching the food budget while traveling will definitely save money!

Audra Krell said...

It sounds like you really did an amazing job though, it would have been easy to come in way over budget! Thanks for the tips, I appreciate you sharing.

Stacie@HobbitDoor said...

Good idea! Thanks for sharing!

Robyn said...

We live in Southern California so there are just a ton of little weekend trips out there for us. My husband and I decided that since our birthdays are both in January, we would treat ourselves to a weekend away every year. We started this year with Coronado, San Diego. Sometimes we forget about the treasures all around us!