Author Topic: Recommendations for prepping for vacation Oct 2019  (Read 1010 times)


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Recommendations for prepping for vacation Oct 2019
« on: July 24, 2018, 04:42:23 PM »
Would appreciate the MMM community's input on how to financially prepare for a wedding trip now, which is scheduled to occur in October 2019.

Spouse's youngest brother is newly engaged & is planning his wedding in mid October 2019. He's planning on moving & having the wedding in Pensacola, Florida.

Spouse and I plan on driving from our house in Lincoln, Nebraska to Pensacola, Florida. Drive time is approximately 2 days, with stops in St Louis going there & Nashville driving back.

We have a 3.5 year old son who will 4 years & 9 months old at the time of the wedding.

Brother in law & his fiancee want everyone to stay in the same hotel block, although they haven't selected it or even moved to the area yet. They will do so in February 2019.

For the drive down, we plan on driving to St Louis after work & school (3 pm) & we'll stay with a cousin of mine in St Louis for the night. We will drive down to Pensacola Florida the next day. For the drive home, we'll swing through Nashville & stay with another cousin of mine, then spend the next day driving back to Lincoln, Nebraska.

We are planning 3 days of driving, total: half of a day down to St Louis, a full day down to Pensacola, a bit more than half of a day to Nashville, then a full day home to Nebraska. The plan in staying with cousins is to visit relatives whom I really like & haven't seen in awhile & also, to minimize lodging costs. Costs might be $75 in treating cousins and their families to dinner & gas down (2006 Toyota Camry that gets 25 mpg combined with city & highway driving). Gas usage will be 93 gallons according to the calculator, so I'll round up to 100 gallons.

Travel: 100 gallons of gas at whatever the rate is in Oct 2019 + $75 in meal costs for cousins in St Louis & Nashville

Lodging at the wedding: I'm inclined to go Airbnb once the engaged couple determine where they want to have their wedding. My reason for this is that we plan to stay for 6 nights, making it a longer vacation and leaving enough time for son to enjoy the ocean (this will be his first trip). However, we may need to do the hotel room block for at least 2 of the 6 nights, just to make things easier for the engaged couple. Son & husband are in the wedding party.


What would you suggest as a way to reduce lodging costs for 6 nights? We don't have a travel rewards credit card, because we don't like to fly & we mostly tent camp or stay with family members on vacation.

Suggestions for an estimated cost for a 12 day total vacation (driving 3 days, 8 work days & 4 weekend days)? It's spouse and I, along with our son, who'll be 4.75 years old at the time. We love nature & hiking. We'd prefer to cook for ourselves instead of going out to eat whenever possible.

Travel costs are projected to be somewhere between $400-$500.

Thanks in advance for your help!

« Last Edit: July 24, 2018, 04:44:16 PM by Teachstache »


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Re: Recommendations for prepping for vacation Oct 2019
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2018, 07:59:07 PM »
Check AirBnB now for costs. Food? Well, if you are there with family, you will be out with them. Just look at your current normal meal costs for the other meals. I love the Air Bnb concept just for the access to a kitchen and a good way to offset higher food costs. They may want everyone at the hotel though, which will likely increase your costs. You may end up splitting where you stay to offset costs.

You have over a year to prepare and save. Plenty of time. You don't need much prep work, as you already tackled the logistical portion. That is always the hardest.

Or you can do it the smart way and just send the spouse :) 


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Re: Recommendations for prepping for vacation Oct 2019
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2018, 09:59:14 AM »
Yes, for the wedding days, you'll want to be in the hotel with everyone else.

Otherwise? Get creative. Go to the next (and cheaper) town over. Whatever.

Look into travel points, discounted gift cards, etc.


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Re: Recommendations for prepping for vacation Oct 2019
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2018, 12:51:37 PM »
Have you made a long road trip with your child before? It may take longer than you are planning, because kids really do need to stop and run around.

We have driven from Ohio to Tampa quite a few times over the years, which seems to be about the same distance. Now that everyone involved is an adult, 2 days is fine, but when the kids were little we broke it into 3 days, though it was more like 2.5 days. They just couldn't take much more than that in the car.

Start squirreling away things for him to do in the car. Stickers, action figures, stuff like that. Screen time will eventually wear thin.

I don't know what the AirBnB situation is like in Pensacola. Have you taken a preliminary look at prices? We have never found them to be cheaper, for a family, than a modest chain motel, but you might snag a deal. I think you need to factor in more money for food - even buying groceries and making sandwiches is more expensive when you are traveling, and you may not have much of a kitchen available.


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Re: Recommendations for prepping for vacation Oct 2019
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2018, 08:04:56 PM »
Thanks, all, for the feedback. Turns out that the engaged couple has decided to stay in Nebraska for the next couple of years (less than a mile from our house, actually!). I'm no longer holding my breath about them doing a destination wedding in Florida. It may happen, but given their current plans, I suspect that any wedding would take place closer to their current home in Nebraska.


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Re: Recommendations for prepping for vacation Oct 2019
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2018, 08:09:53 PM »
Grab the Barclay Arrival+ card, pay for the lodging on the card, reimburse up to $660 using the points from the sign up bonus ($5k total spend).  If that spend is too much you can try for Capital One Venture.  Spend $3k and you'll have $560 toward travel.

Edit: just read that last comment, I'll leave my card recommendation up for other readers
« Last Edit: August 22, 2018, 08:12:35 PM by kpd905 »

Capt j-rod

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Re: Recommendations for prepping for vacation Oct 2019
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2018, 08:39:42 PM »
I know this will be shunned, but I have a few items that I budget for. Vacations like the one you describe is one of them. Don't get me wrong, I don't eat lobster every night and drink fancy drinks with umbrellas. Save some extra money and for a week revert back to some ass-hattery living for five days. Watch the fund deplete at a rapid rate and live like the other consumer sukkas do every day. It is a culture shock every time we do it. It will literally re-inforce all of your mustachian ways and remind you why we do what we do. My family camps for our vacations. We have a trailer and plan our trips carefully. They mostly revolve around state and national forests, museums, and canoeing. We always take 1 or 2 days to go into a tourist trap town, eat ice cream, go to a nice-ish restaurant and get the kids a shirt or small toy. Those 2 days usually cost the same as the other 4 or 5 on the trip. The wife and I think back to the days that this was every day on every trip and it reminds us that what we are doing is right for us and getting us to where we want to finish. FYI our extravagant day usually costs about $100-150. The other days literally cost about $20 LOL


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Re: Recommendations for prepping for vacation Oct 2019
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2018, 11:57:27 AM »
A travel rewards card could really help with the trip.  IHG currently has a card with a 100,000 point bonus for spending 4K in 3 months.  Annual fee of $89 is not waived.  If you keep the card a second year, you get a free night after renewing.  IHG hotel groups covers a wide variety of hotel chains including Crown Plazas, Intercontinentals and Holiday Inns.  Holiday Inn Express are great hotels for road trips.  They seem to be everywhere, especially near freeways and have a free breakfast.

There are also flexible points cards (e.g., Sapphire, ThankYou) but they require a bit more time to figure how to best use but I don't think you are interested in.  Hotel cards are easy - you can check their website and easily see points rather than cash to see how far 100.000 would get you.