Last year my husband and I took a vacation to Hawaii. It was our 5 year wedding anniversary and since we never had a honeymoon, we did a combination anniversary celebration/honeymoon trip. It was great. We had a great week of fun and relaxation. Did I mention we went on our own without our daughter? Yup, we sure did. ;)
This year, though, we wanted to take a trip that included her. We felt pretty bad after the trip last year when she saw the pictures and kept asking if she could go up the mountain with us. But, adding an extra person to the trip means one more airplane ticket to pay for, one more bed in the hotel room, and one more person to feed. All of this in a year where job security is uncertain and the economy isn't doing great.
How are we getting around it?
Well, first off, we are going with my extended family. That means, we're splitting the cost of the trip amongst 3 families. So, we rented a house and split the cost. We also shared the cost of the rental car with one other household. Already, these steps are saving us money.
For the airfare, we monitored flight costs religiously for about a month. When it seemed like the cost wouldn't go down any more and the dates were getting too close to keep waiting, we went for it and booked our flights. Of course, we're flying coach.
Once we're actually on our trip, we'll continue to save money by going to the local supermarket and stocking up on food and drinks. Since we're renting a house and not staying at a hotel, we have access to a full refrigerator and stove. We'll be able to save money on breakfast every day, snacks for the kids, and maybe even lunch. I imagine there will be days when we can pack up sandwiches for everyone and take them on the road with us.
Our destination also has many opportunities for free or very cheap outings. Sightseeing around the capital, hiking up waterfalls, beach days, and local parks will all help us save on entertainment while we're on our trip.
I'm excited for our vacation this year for many reasons. But, knowing that I am also not going to spend a fortune will help me enjoy it even more.
Oh! And where are we going? To my birthplace, Puerto Rico.