Hello! Sorry for the absence – I’ve been vacationing in beautiful Boca Raton, Florida 😉 My mom was there visiting her parents and sisters, so we decided to drive down too and hang out with everyone for a few days! It was w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l! I got to see my grandparents, my four aunts and some of my cousins. It was a great trip and I’m sad it had to come to an end.
We left on Sunday and arrived back in Charlotte on Wednesday. It was a short trip, but totally worth it. We managed to not completely break the bank while there, so I thought it’d be fun to do a little trip recap in addition to sharing how to save money on vacation.
Not going to lie…the drive was longggg. Mapquest said it was 10 1/2 hours, our iPhones said 9 1/2, but it ended up taking exactly 12 hours to get from Charlotte to Boca. The girls did FANTASTIC on the way there. They watched Frozen twice, read books, played with some toys and napped. They honestly were better behaved in the car than they are at home. The way home was a completely different story, though! Because of traffic, it ended up taking us 14 hours to get home. My youngest one had a fever the whole time, too, so she was extra fussy. Oh – and we forgot to charge the laptop so the girls weren’t able to watch any movies. It was just long and by the end of the day we were all happy to be out of the car and back home.
But…flights to Boca would have been $250 each minimum (for a total of $750) and we spent less than $700 on the entire trip. To us, it was worth it.
I always ask for a discount…always. I would say it works maybe 20 percent of the time. For this trip, my mom and aunts were staying at my grandparents timeshare. My aunt called to see if we could get an extra room if there was availability and sure enough there was. I asked for a discount on the room and we ended up receiving 10 percent off! Had we stayed the entire week, we would have received 25 percent off – and all it took was asking.
John was able to go golfing twice for about $15 each time. The girls and I hung out with my mom and aunts and walked the mall, went to the beach and went out for ice cream. Most of our activities involved walking, swimming and just hanging out. My mom (and aunts) also chipped in for a lot of our food – thanks, everyone!!
When traveling, budgeting is the most important thing you can do. We actually budgeted $500 for gas, food and miscellaneous items and only spent about $300 of that. It’s easy to overspend on vacation so having a budget in place is necessary. Whether you’re budget is $50 a day or $500 a day, just know in advance how much money you’re able to spend. This really helps keep things in check when on vacation and makes it so you don’t come home with no money.
Next up…Arizona!!!!!! (And yes, we will be flying there 😉 )