|The boy on our vacation from last year|
I posted the other day about things I want to do on vacation, and I thought I’d try adding up the costs of my whole vacation. We still haven’t decided if we want to go to Hawaii or the St. Thomas, but I’ve looked and they both generally have the same costs for food, water sports, hotels, and so on.
This vacation continues to keep on creeping up in cost. We’ve done some of the things on my water sports list, but I would really like to go on an all day kayak-hiking-snorkeling trip. We decided that this trip will also be around 5 to 6 days, which also increases the cost of the trip.
We already asked my sister to watch our house and our dogs, and she agreed just to stay at our house while we’re gone. This will definitely save a lot of money and will make me feel better about where the dogs go and if our house is safe. We’ve separated the dogs before and had separate people watch them, but I always feel horrible for doing this. It’s just too much for us to bring both dogs over to someone’s house because then the dog sitter’s would most likely have way too many pets.
I’ve been pricing a bunch of hotels and I’ve really taken into account what all of you said in my past hotel post. A lot of you said that you would never pay more than $200 for a hotel, and that you generally pay around $100. I’ve been looking at hotels and if I use Priceline (or if I call the hotel directly), then I can probably get a decent hotel for around $100. So this will most likely be $500 altogether because I’m definitely going to shoot for under $100 a night.
Food: I’m not sure how much we’ll spend on food. If we find a hotel with a full kitchen, then I’m guessing that we will probably cook some and make some food in the room. I’m hoping to spend no more then $400 on food and alcohol over the 5 days, this includes while stuck at the airport and while also actually on vacation. I’m guessing that $400 might be a lot for 2 people, but I’d rather overestimate than underestimate. How much do you usually spend on food while on vacation?
- Kayak-Hike-Snorkel all day trip – $160 person (includes food)
- Kiteboarding – $200
- Stand up paddleboard – $100
- Jet Skiing – $50
I know some might think this is a little wasteful, but we usually don’t spend a ton on vacations and I really want to enjoy this vacation. We most likely won’t be doing all of the activities on the list above because of course I want to spend most of my time relaxing on the beach.
We’ve also thought about just buying a book and doing all of the wandering ourselves and renting the things that we need, so that we could save a ton of money. I’ve looked and we can rent a kayak for around $50 all day long and most hotels rent snorkeling things for free. And a paddle board costs around $40 to rent (without a tour guide). All of this would save a ton of money. We’re hoping to spend no more than $400 on activities.
So far I have around $900 saved up from the extra income that I’ve been making. I also have a vacation fund and that will pay for the rest. Since I have all of it saved, I’m not too too worried about paying for the vacation. Also, I should remind everyone (just in case I have anyone who missed my other posts), but I get airfare for almost free through retirement benefits from my dad, and we also usually don’t rent a car. We usually just walk everywhere or take a taxi. So that also saves money.
The estimated grand total of the vacation that we will be taking (with a little buffer):
I would say that’s not too bad for a 5-6 day vacation on the beach. Of course I’ll do whatever else I can to lower my cost. And if we limited our activities then we would probably only be spending around $1,000 for the vacation. I think it really just depends on how much more extra income I’ll make until the end of March. And there will most likely be other costs that come up also, but I haven’t really thought about everything too too much.
And yes I have thought about how we will be buying a car for the BF within the next couple of weeks. This has all been factored in and he’s just going to use his tax return refund for most of this, so we won’t be seeing a huge dent in our goals because of this.
Of course we could spend this money on other things, and I know some people will probably not like my decision of going on a vacation when we I have student loan debt and a mortgage, but I do need to have fun. I have a set plan to pay off my debt and I save for my vacations separately, so it’s not like I’m missing any payments. I’m paying extra on my debt every month and I need to have fun! This is a lot of money though, so of course I want to lower it as much as possible, but still have a good time.
What else would you recommend while we’re on vacation? And how much do you usually spend on your vacations?
My friend is a pet sitter, I'd go that route if you can find someone reliable. I'm not a fan of Kennels personally, but that just because of a bad experience we had when I was a kid. Your vacation sounds awesome!
Jana @ Daily Money S says
I think your vacation budget is great. If you're spending the money on things you really want to, and you're planning and budgeting for it, then there's no need to explain how much you've chosen to spend. I personally think vacations are extremely important and quite frankly, $1500 for a 5-6 vacation at the beach is excellent! Have fun on your trip!
Live Simply- Live We says
I think you are spending a reasonable amt. on your vacay. You are so busy and work really hard, so I think going on a trip is needed. You guys are making your payments and not behind, so rock out what you want. And have fun!
Lekker Leven Met Min says
We have quite a lot of pets, so we try to find a housesitter. We've also decided upon our holiday 🙂 We want to make a trip to the US, west coast to east coast, and we'll probably have to save up about €3,000 each, which should cover the plane tickets, rental car and gas, hotels, food, entrance fees and some uncontrolled shopping. Saving starts today!
Mrs. Baker says
We usually leave our dogs at our vet. I hate leaving them anywhere but it has worked fine. Now I'm wanting to go to the beach real bad 🙂 Happy V-day!
Dwell in possibility says
We have a lady come over everyday and feed our cats and clean their litter. Our guys couldn't handle a kennel.About the hotel, I didn't respond to the post about that. I'm a spendthrift, I guess, but $200 a night for a hotel on an island??? That's not that bad. Sure, if you can find a nice hotel for less, do that, but I wouldn't cheap out too badly. That can be a big mistake. I think your budget looks good, overall. We usually budget $3000 for a trip like yours (we don't get free airfare). Anything farther or longer, and we budget at least $5000. We have the same attitude you do – best to have too much than too little. Hope you have a wonderful time on your dream vacay!-Rhonda
You have a good money head on your shoulders so I say GO AND ENJOY your vacation. I don't like to pay too much for a hotel, but you don't want to be in cheap yucky one because you won't enjoy it and then what's the point of a vacation.I don't think doing a water sport is a waste, that is what vacation is about, enjoying life. You have been looking forward to this vacation for awhile, so live life and enjoy. I know you are saving and trying to pay off loans, but you deserve fun. That's my 2 cents….haha see what I did there?!?!Happy valentine's day girlie! xoxo
Lane R says
I think $1500 sounds very reasonable (actually inexpensive, for $1500 sign me up!) for a trip to either of those two places. If you choose St. Thomas you must make a day trip to St. Johns. We had a friend that lived there and we visited him a few years ago, such a nice, relaxing place. Lucky that you get free airfare. That is the killer for us most of the time.
I don't think $1500 is a lot for a vacation like this at all!! Usually it's that much per person depending on when you wanna go. kudos to you for doing it fun but cheaper 🙂 Sooooo you wanna help me plan my vacation?? 😉
Courtney B says
No way…. that is amazing! Our Hawaii trip has already cost us a little over $3000. Ah! That is for 7 nights and 8 days, hotel, flight, and rental car. Pretty much we're going to costco and buying all of our food and being beach bums all week so we don't spend much more money, haha!
I have a cat and I have offered my friend to stay at my place for free while she takes care of my cat. My friend is a single hardworking phd student. It is a win-win situation for all of us: my cat is not moved and stays in the comfort of her home, my friend stays in my appartment which is much more comfortable than her student housing and much closer to her work place and last but not least I go on holiday in peace because not only my cat is in the hands of someone I trust but also my plants and my appartment! 😀
That is awesome! When we go on our trip this summer, we're giving a key to the guy's mom so that way our cat can stay at home–he'll be much happier that way. And I'm so jealous of your free airfare!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying life regardless of how many student loans you have! Shame on whoever thinks down upon you for that. I think your budget is pretty realistic. Honestly I spend the most on activities and food/drink while on vacation. But I've been pretty lucky to get cheap places to stay that end up being pretty nice.
The key to spending money for me is to make sure I get enough value out of it to overwhelm the value I would get from reducing debt.And making sure there is a big glass of whiskey involved.
Jenna Hughes says
happy valentine's day!! !http://underthefluorescents.blogspot.com/
CeCe @Frugalista Mar says
Our honeymoon was basically free because of our time share and credit card points that paid for airfare…that woulda cost us a fortune! But, when we went to SF for a weekend getaway we ended up spending a ton on hotel and it was the cheapest we could find-$180 per night!! It just adds up. Yes, there are other things you could spend the money on but what are you gonna do? Do nothing and buy nothing until your loans are paid off? You do need to enjoy life and you spend in moderation so I think it's just fine.
Looks like you have a plan!! Wish I was as thrifty as you!!
We are taking our 2nd cruise in March because it is/was cheaper to us than flying somewhere. BUT if you can get away with $1500, that is awesome! This will be our first vacay with our dog and we're lucky that we can drop her off at my parents and we won't have to board her and pay for that.
Newlyweds on a Budge says
$1500 sounds like a bargain. And honestly, I think people who are all gung-ho about paying off debt and forgo vacations because of it…well, they just make me a little queasy. I'm doing the same thing as you–saving for a vacation separately, and our trip will cost a lot more than yours ($1100 on airfare alone!)
John | Married (with says
Great deal! We are going to Europe and I'm expecting to spend $5000. Ouch.Travel is one area I do not skimp on. Costs have gone up so much in the last 2-3 years it's almost becoming prohibitive.
I have a mortgage, student loans, an auto loan and I NEVER feel bad about spending money on vacation. I'm super serious about getting out of debt, but working everyday ONLY for that just isn't okay. You need interests, hobbies, fun and VACATION! So I think it's completely fine to save up money for vacation, even when you have other debts.We're not picky at all about hotels so we usually use the Priceline name your own price thing. We've had REALLY good luck with it in the past. It's kind of exciting waiting to see what hotel you're going to get :)I think you've got a good plan in place so far. It's especially awesome you get to fly for almost free!
That is pretty good considering how long you will be there. I usually save money buy stocking up on the free continetal breakfast food. I have it for lunch too. Haha!
Kris @ Simple Island says
If you decide on Hawaii, hit me up. Some places/people I know are cheaper than what you've been quoted. Also look into vrbo.com (vacation rentals by owner). You can get a great room across from the beach with its own kitchen for about $100. The thing that will kill you in Hawaii is the rental car. That's usually our biggest expense when we go to a neighbor island.
Your vacation sounds totally reasonable in my opinion. I'm thinking about spending that for a trip to New York City for myself.
I think you're doing awesome with the budget. The whole point of vacation is to relax….so nothing you're doing is overboard. I'm a huge proponent of traveling while you're young and have your health, too. Sounds like Kris is a great person to know!
typically we board our dogs. But now that we have 5 in the house… We dont' all go on vacay at the same time. There are 7 of us here, so it doesn't work out with our schedules to all be gone at the same time anyway. Someday, when we have money for a real vacation, I hope it calms down enough so that we can board them again and enjoy a real trip.
Laura Vanderkam says
The awesome thing about planning the whole vacation and looking around for deals and the like is that you're getting a mini happiness boost every time you think about it. So it's like stretching the vacation out! Spend some serious time looking at photos afterwards and that will stretch it out the other direction too.
Miss T @ Prairie Eco says
I think your trip sounds very reasonable and inexpensive. I personally have had to spend more. When it comes to your pets I would ask a friend, someone you can trust. You don't want to be worrying about them the whole time you're gone. If someone can recommend a trust worthy kennel that would also be an option.
That seems like a great price for a nice vacation like that! The hubby and I are currently trying to plan something for our one year anniversary, but we're not sure yet what we want to do!
I think your price estimate sounds good for a nice vacation. That even includes all your activities. I say don't worry about your loans this time. Go and enjoy yourselves. You're right, we all need a little fun sometimes 🙂
Girl Makes Cents says
Sounds pretty good! Enjoy your time. Do as much as you can while there because vacations don't happen very often!
You know you are doing awesome when it comes to your finances, I know you are doing awesome so you have no need to justify this vacation.Go an enjoy yourself.I can't help you much when it comes to vacation, be it cost or pet sitting as I've never had a "real vacation" as yet. When my turn comes around I will be looking to you for advice.
Enjoy your vacation and be safe! (: <a href="http://www.nmephotoblog.blogspot.com” target=”_blank”>www.nmephotoblog.blogspot.com
Could you do restaurant.com certificates for any places where you'll be going? Also, some of the fancier places may have timeshare tours in exchange for activities, etc. $1500 doesn't sound SO bad for the type of places your considering. Hawaii is not cheap by any means. Have fun!
Michelle P says
I looked at restaurant.com, and for the places that we're thinking about going, there are a couple of good places to eat. Definitely going to buy some before we go!
That is a pretty good deal of a price. I'm so jealous 🙂
Melissa Wilson says
In the past when I've gone away, I usually leave my cat with my parents. She likes them, and they don't mind, and she has their whole house to roam around in, so it's a decent set up. I've had people cat sit at my apartment, too, which is good, too. I don't think my cat cares, as long as I don't leave her with strangers. Though one time, my friend stayed in my apartment and catsat while I was away for two weeks, and my cat HATED her for it. She loved her before, but then immediately associated my friend with my disappearance. This was almost two years ago and she still won't deign to be in the same room as my friend. Thankfully, this hasn't happened any of the times I left her with my parents!
Michelle P says
Thanks everyone! I love everyone's ideas and when it gets closer to the date and we have more plans set in stone, I'll definitely update everyone.
to be honest, i have never ever been on a real vacation. i have to tend to what seems like never-ending family matters and being laid off makes it that much more impossible. but you two have the time of your life and show us photos 🙂 happy valentines day!xo jamie
$1500 is really good! I was recently looking into a trip to Hawaii and the hotel and flight alone already puts me up around $1500 (if we stayed at the Marriott in Waikiki). I haven't even tried to factor in food/activities because that would just make me sad. You're lucky you can save on airfare!
Sounds like a great vacation budget. I'm totally jealous of your trip! 😉
Shannon @ Bungalow96 says
That sounds pretty awesome for a vacation! I always worry about what to do with my pets. I hate leaving them alone for extended periods of time.
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