Vacation Update

Our mini vacation was a success! On every level:  we’re feeling relaxed and refreshed, we had fun and we stayed under budget. We ended up doing loads more than anticipated and when friends in the city we were going to visit on Monday canceled we went to visit other friends who flew home for a family event and used the vacation funds for that visit.

First the figures:

Vacation Anticipated Actual
Eating out  $       250.00  $   194.35
Gas  $       250.00  $   122.76
Gift  $       210.00  $   213.18
Groceries  $         50.00  $     19.04
Hotel  $       450.00  $   440.70
Misc.  $         50.00  $     55.12
 $    1,260.00  $1,045.15

Though nice, these are just numbers. I was amazed at what we ended up doing for the cost.

Eating out

We allocated $50/day for this thinking we would eat one meal out per day. On our vacation we were able to eat at a few local places including visiting their fudgery and bringing home a pound of fudge to share. We also stopped at an Ice Cream parlour we heard does some crazy things! We shared that milkshake.

On Monday, we took lunch to the friends we were visiting and using our $50 budget were able to purchase a family meal deal at a local restaurant. As they have a toddler and were staying at her parents this was a great way to meet for lunch.

Gift

The gift came in a bit above budget but this is actually great. We had budgeted to give the couple $200 in a candy jar and a card. My parents came to visit Bunny twice a day to give her food and some love but I had forgotten to budget for a gift for them . I was able to find a store that sold local items and purchased them a bottle of salad dressing that a local restaurant made and sold. The card and jar came under budget which meant that for only $5 more my parents also got a thank you. As they’re trying to accumulate less stuff I’ve been trying to get them more consumables as gifts.

Groceries

We had a lot of ingredients at home so the groceries were really fruit, tuna and wraps.

We took: egg salad, ingredients for a curried tuna salad, bananas, apples, grapes, water, crackers, olives (forgot cheese at home)  and single serve snack packs of chips. In the end the hotel did an amazing continental breakfast (mmm Waffles!) so we had our egg salad for lunch most days.

Remember the picnic set I rediscovered during KonMari? It came again! We took it out whenever we went out and filled it with snacks. As we spent the Friday in a major town about an hour a way the car snacks were great and helped keep the budget down.

Misc.

This line came in handy right away! It was also used to purchase:

  • an umbrella
  • a book for me as a memento of the trip
  • Soap nuts (I’ve read about these on zero waste blogs and have been wanting to try them)
  • Tip at a restaurant
  • donate to a couple of musicians

Final Thoughts

I took a sheet of paper from the hotel stationary and jotted down any spending. This really helped me track how much we were spending in our categories and see if we were on track. We ended up taking a bit too much food as we weren’t anticipating a good breakfast and wanted to have items so we weren’t filling up on sugary muffins and cold cereal. The hotel however had scrambled eggs, bacon, fresh fruit, yogurt and waffles. It felt like a filling and well rounded breakfast.

I made use of the hotel gym everyday and was so glad I did. I came back feeling good rather than sluggish.

Water! The water was such a good idea as it kept us hydrated and feeling good. We paid $2 for a case of 24. If we were relying on the hotel a bottle would have been $2.

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9 thoughts on “Vacation Update

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