Author Topic: Frugal Vacation Plans  (Read 1465 times)

neo von retorch

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Frugal Vacation Plans
« on: October 18, 2018, 12:58:09 PM »
Here I am, asking how to spend my money!

More seriously, here are my constraints:
  • As a contractor, I'll have to swallow some income loss for weekdays taken off
  • Spouse has Raynaud's - we'd really prefer to go somewhere warm
  • Our closest airport is PHL, though we could probably do Newark or Baltimore if driving there saved us money and/or a layover
We would love...
  • An all-inclusive island resort
Whoa, that's not very mustachian! Maybe could we have...
  • Warm weather
  • Great views (i.e. beautiful natural things to look at)
  • Minimal "work" to survive / eat food
What do you think? What can we do without spending $20k at Jade Mountain (plus flights)?

Cranky

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Re: Frugal Vacation Plans
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2018, 01:17:29 PM »
I think Florida is the traditional answer there!

LifeHappens

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Re: Frugal Vacation Plans
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2018, 01:23:20 PM »
I think Florida is the traditional answer there!
That would probably be a cheap-ish option. When do you want to travel? Between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a pretty low cost time to travel either to Florida or the Caribbean. You might try some of the discount sites like CheapCaribbean and see what an all-inclusive + air package would cost you.

haypug16

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Re: Frugal Vacation Plans
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2018, 01:24:21 PM »
I'd agree with Florida, maybe the Keys? You could even drive there to save on airfare. I've done the drive from Boston to Disney with Mr Pug a couple times.

Cranky

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Re: Frugal Vacation Plans
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2018, 01:25:44 PM »
And seriously, I have no idea as to what you want to do or how much you want to spend, but here’s my fantasy fall/winter break with my dh:

I’d get on the train to Florida - get a sleeper, it’s a long trip, but it includes meals, and I love the train. Rent a car in Florida and drive to Sanibel Island. Pick up breakfast and lunch food before crossing the bridge.

Stay in the Seahorse Cottages - very nice place. There’s a teensy pool and bikes to ride. Eat dinner out. Walk on the beach. Go to the nature center.

neo von retorch

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Re: Frugal Vacation Plans
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2018, 02:01:47 PM »
I drove to Northern Florida once. It's easily 15-16 hours of driving. Southern Florida... oof! Not my idea of vacation. (I mean, sure, if we had a huge excess of time and it wasn't costing me income - i.e. later in life - we could mosey on down at a leisurely place, stopping early and often.)

I think the Seahorse Cottages look cute - I'm not sure I'd fly 1000 miles to stay there. But Sanibel has come up several times now, so we are considering the area! I actually really like the train idea; not sure if I could get my spouse on board. But time is precious - a day of travel costs me enough in lost income that I can probably do better on a flight.

I've never been beyond St. Augustine, so I know very little about Florida. I don't want to feel too much like a tourist, or like I'm surrounded by tourist. I know that's a tricky balance to find any time you travel, and especially if you want to feel a bit pampered.

Yes - we'll probably want to travel just before/after Thanksgiving, if it works with whatever affordable plan we come up with. I'll have to check out CheapCarribean as well. Thank you!

ruraljuror

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Re: Frugal Vacation Plans
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2018, 08:55:58 PM »
I highly recommend Cozumel, Mexico. Safe, inexpensive and great all-inclusive options.

Freedomin5

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Re: Frugal Vacation Plans
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2018, 03:42:32 AM »
If you’re not picky about location, can you look for last minute deals during the off-season? We’ve found four-day deals for less than $500 per person, all-inclusive, to Cuba and the Dominican Republic. This was a while back though so not sure what prices are like now.

Unique User

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Re: Frugal Vacation Plans
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2018, 07:02:00 AM »
If you’re not picky about location, can you look for last minute deals during the off-season? We’ve found four-day deals for less than $500 per person, all-inclusive, to Cuba and the Dominican Republic. This was a while back though so not sure what prices are like now.

+1  We found a last minute five day deal for $750 each including airfare at an all-inclusive place in the Dominican Republic.  Then we realized our passports had just expired so can't speak to the location. 

neo von retorch

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Re: Frugal Vacation Plans
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2018, 07:22:04 AM »
How do you find those "last minute deals"?

Freedomin5

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Re: Frugal Vacation Plans
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2018, 07:50:17 AM »
How do you find those "last minute deals"?

There are several websites that focus specifically on last minute vacation packages and kind of serve as a clearinghouse for resorts. The jingle I remember most from my adolescence is "Sell Off Vacations.com!" A quick search on the internet tells me that they are still in business.

https://www.selloffvacations.com/Last-minute-vacations.asp

But there is also:

https://www.lastminutetravel.com/
https://www.lastminute.com/
https://www.itravel2000.com/last-minute-vacations
https://www.golastminute.com/category/packages/ - $825 for 5 nights in Hawaii (Waikiki), $589 for 5 nights in Cancun, $419 for 5 nights in Vallarta, $369 for 4 nights in Cabo

I'm sure all of the above sites have similar deals.

The major travel websites also have last minute vacations:

www.expedia.com - Expedia is showing a $675/pp for a five-day package to the Dominican Republic, which means that the last minute vacations could possible be even cheaper.
www.orbitz.com
www.priceline.com - Priceline used to do that thing where you bid a price for a hidden package at a certain star level, but you couldn't actually find out the name of the hotel until you accepted the package.
https://www.travelzoo.com/collection/last-minute/ - E.g. on travel zoo, there's a $349 4-night Bahamas cruise

Happy vacation hunting!