Trip planning - the cost! | Organizing Made Fun: Trip planning - the cost!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Trip planning - the cost!

Last week, I shared with you about our annual family vacation to the snow!  We had a blast, but it took some planning. Here is one part of the planning. 

Part of planning a trip involves planning for the COST of the trip.  When you plan your vacation, for summer or winter or spring break, begin by being realistic about how much you can put away each paycheck.  If it's $100 or $10 that will determine how much you'll have to pay for your vacation and how long it will take to save up for it.

In order for us to save money, we try NOT to go during holiday peak, which ALWAYS costs more.  We also rent a house/cottage.  Our little cottage, The Green Gable Cottage, has various costs depending on the time of year or day of the week.  We chose to pull the kids out for only one day of school - since public school FROWNS on you taking kids out.  If you homeschool, then you can go at the best time - midweek rates are the cheapest!  Take advantage of that, truly!

Let me give you a break down of what we spent and how much we had to save and for how long:

Lodging {in our cottage four nights} - $550

Food {groceries} - $250 
                {includes firewood}

Food - $115
                {eating out our first night and way home}

Skiing - $340 
                 {this includes both kids in ski school, all our 
                   lift tickets, all our rental equipment}

Inter-tubing {all day} - $50

Misc. - $80

Gas - $80

Total = $1465 {approx.}

I saved $125 each pay check = 11 1/2 paychecks {6 mo.}

If it seems like a's really not.  If you think about the food alone, which I was really just buying regular groceries that I normally buy at home anyway that would cut my cost down since it's a weekly budget item anyway.  I also have an "entertainment" budget item that would have covered all our eating out twice.  So, technically, I spent $1100.  That is only 8 1/2 paychecks {or 4 months}. 

PLAN and organize what you'd like to do if you go on vacation.  Don't wait until the last minute and charge everything.  You can NOT possibly enjoy a vacation you can't afford.  We didn't used to ski.  That really DOES add a lot.  There are other things to do that are cheaper, but it's been a really fun thing for the family to enjoy together. So, I save up for it!

Here's my tips for getting a vacation paid in CASH! 

1.  Plan ahead 
    - {decide where you want to go}

2. Be realistic 
     - {$300 a night or $60 a night?}

3.  Find creative ways to save money 
     - {renting a house/condo saves money in the long run if you have a large family and can cook every meal - we made our own lunch and brought to the ski resort}.

4.  Find a destination that's reasonable.  
     -  if you can drive there versus flying

5.  Ask around.
     -  Ask friends if they have time shares that you can use or a great place they recommend in the area you want to vacation.

6.  Decide what's important to you
     -  Do you want Wi-Fi?  How about a washer/dryer?
     -  Do you want everyone to sleep in one room, or have mom and dad separate from the kids?

7.  Find cheaper ways to do things. 
     -  Find a hill to sled down instead of going intertubing {to our defense....the snow was nearly melted in the mtns.} 

8.  If you've never been there before, find many ideas of what you will do while you're there.  If you just want to hang out by the lake or do you want to ride horses, that will also determine how much you'll need.

Start planning for your summer vacation NOW!  You can have a wonderful time without the worry of spending too much!  Do you have a favorite place you go to year after year?  What is your next vacation spot?

Next week, I'm going to show you how to organize the packing {even I dread that word}! 

Linking to {see parties tab}:
Don't Waste Your Homemaking
3 Boy Barbarians:  Sweet Shot Tuesday

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