Author Topic: Mustachian Vacations  (Read 7623 times)

angelagrace

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Mustachian Vacations
« on: July 17, 2014, 12:52:47 PM »
Hi Mustachians,

My husband and I would like to go on a week-long vacation but hotels are so expensive :(. We were considering Hawaii or somewhere in the Pacific Northwest (drive-able for us). So, enter MMM ideas.

We want it to be a getaway and not be staying with other people if possible--we'd like some alone time. Any ideas for frugal accommodations? Has anyone house-sat before for someone you don't know? (Seems kind of scary). We'd rather not break the bank but I'd like to use my week off from work for something relaxing and fun!

TIA!

unseenstache

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2014, 01:40:11 PM »
Not extremely mustachian....but when we honeymooned in Hawai'i we rented a condo for considerably cheaper than staying in a hotel.   
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 01:41:46 PM by unseenstache »

Trudie

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2014, 01:50:09 PM »
Try homeaway.com or vrbo.com or tripadvisor.com for condo and carriage house rentals.  It often saves you money because you can cook at home.

Explore cabin rentals in national parks.

Any possibilities to do a home exchange with someone you know?

Many colleges and universities will rent empty dorms in the summer.  You can check online and also just call a school and ask them.  Sometimes they have alternate housing (like guesthouses) for rent also.  The worst case scenario is that you have to share bathrooms.  My husband works for a college, so sometimes if I mention that it opens doors.

livingthedream

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2014, 01:50:40 PM »
There's many beautiful places to camp in the PNW. AirBnb is also an option. I would 2nd the condo idea as usually being cheaper than a hotel especially when you can make most of your own meals.

Roots&Wings

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2014, 02:18:50 PM »
Great suggestions so far!  While I haven't done this personally, there are also 'extended stay hotels' like Value Place where you can rent a hotel room/suite with kitchenette for a couple hundred dollars per week.  The quality seems to vary (Trip Advisor rankings seem to be in the 3-4 star range depending on location).  Plus it might not be overly relaxing staying in a budget hotel environment for a week. 

I've also been happy doing vacation cottage rentals through vrbo.com, but the prices will vary (as will the responsiveness/helpfulness of the owner).

yyc-phil

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2014, 02:40:34 PM »
Camping is cheap, and fun. You save a lot of money that would otherwise be wasted on a hotel/B&B/apartment. You can also cut on cost by having simple breakfasts and lunches which allows you to spend a little more for a nice dinner every night.

I never house-sat for vacation but I house-sit (I should say pet-sit because pets are the main reason people need a house-sitter) most of the time in Yellowknife where I work. The odd time between house-sitting gig, i just crash at my office, which is equipped with a nice comfy pull-out couch and full washroom. House-sitting saves me a ton of money because I don't have to pay rent, and people I house-sit for are so thankful that they never fail to give me a little cash envelope (despite the fact that I clearly state on my ad that I do not expect to receive payment). House-sitting also comes with the bonus of free food for most of the duration of my stay. and the money I save from not having to pay rent is more than enough to pay for my air ticket to go home once a month.

Mrs. Frugalwoods

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2014, 02:52:48 PM »
I'll second the Airbnb recommendations--definitely cheaper than a hotel and if it includes a kitchen, all the better! Hawaii is expensive but amazing. We went a few years ago and loved it, but, it was a long, expensive flight and the island we were on (Kauai) wasn't very walk-able so we were tethered to our rental car. However, almost every activity we did was free or very cheap--we hiked, snorkeled, swam, kayaked, etc! Tons of outdoor pursuits! And, we stayed in a condo with a kitchen, which saved us big time in the food category.

angelagrace

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2014, 05:33:59 PM »
Thank you all for the recommendations!!!

I hadn't thought about VRBO and Homeaway--I found a place on VRBO for $524 for 6 nights including a full kitchen, nice furnishings, AC, TV, internet, and an ocean view! Half the price, if that, of most hotels that weren't even as nice. We really like having a kitchen to a) save costs on most meals, b) eat healthier, and c) my husband is deathly allergic to shellfish and most beachy restaurants are death threats for him, lol.

Got fairly good deals on flights too-- $599 a piece from WA.

Now all that's left is to find a tiny and cheap rental car!

We might pay to check a bag and stock it full of liquor--I've heard everything is more expensive there. Is liquor the same or is it worth bringing it in a checked bag? (Speaking of which, I recently saw a brilliant idea online for all you Mustachians out there--bring a few airline bottles (the 1 oz kind) of liquor in your carry on "liquids" bag, and add them to your free soda on the plane for a cheap good time ;) )

We are splurging a bit with this trip but we have found great deals and we are excited to take one last big trip before getting pregnant, woo!

Goldielocks

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2014, 05:47:22 PM »
Okay,  I have to say it.

 we are excited to take one last big trip before getting pregnant, woo!

FACEPUNCH.


This is definitely not MMM.      Luxuries are for AFTER you have accumulated your stash, or you will never get there.  You will wake up one day and wonder where the last 8 years went, and Hawaii vs PNW driving vacation will not seem like a big life changing difference anymore.

AND  -- PK (post kids) there are a thousand more reasons why this type of thinking will sink your FI goals faster than a dead man with concrete shoes.  (my son's suggestion for description)

angelagrace

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2014, 05:58:36 PM »
Okay, goldielocks, no need to be rude. That is your opinion.

We have no debt, just our mortgage which we are working on paying off, and we already have some investments. We live really frugally throughout the year and have fairly high income compared to our spending, so our budget includes one vacation this year :). It's important to us to enjoy life and enjoy a frugal vacation while we can before we have a newborn baby.

I'm a believer that you can follow a lot of the MMM principles at your own pace--yes, I'd like to semi-retire early (read: work part time), maybe at 45 or 50, and I have plenty of time to get there since we just turned 27 and are in a much better financial situation at our age than most people! But hey, I don't answer to you :)

Thanks for all the advice everyone! Any advice on rental car deals? Costco seems to be pretty good, but I've never rented a car before (that wasn't paid for by my company) so I don't know if there are some super deals out there I'm missing.

yyc-phil

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2014, 06:13:19 PM »
Okay, goldielocks, no need to be rude. That is your opinion.


I don't think there was any intentional rudeness in goldielocks' comment. You will see over time that facepunches are frequent on this forum. In fact, I personally expect and demand to be facepunched whenever I see a glimpse of my old anti-mustachian self coming back to me...

angelagrace

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2014, 06:27:46 PM »
Okay, goldielocks, no need to be rude. That is your opinion.


I don't think there was any intentional rudeness in goldielocks' comment. You will see over time that facepunches are frequent on this forum. In fact, I personally expect and demand to be facepunched whenever I see a glimpse of my old anti-mustachian self coming back to me...

Sounds good, I'm new around here, so I probably misunderstood the sentiment. :)

I am pretty excited though that even though we are "splurging" (which, by the way, MMM himself admits to doing in certain categories of life), I managed to save over $700 from the best deals travel agents and Costcotravel could offer! Victory!

We usually do more of the free camping type vacations but this one will be extravagant for us. Also, ykphil, I'm amazed at your ability to be what most people would call "homeless" and still thrive, haha! Way to go with the free housing!

Goldielocks

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2014, 09:27:05 PM »
Okay, goldielocks, no need to be rude. That is your opinion.

We have no debt, just our mortgage which we are working on paying off, and we already have some investments. We live really frugally throughout the year and have fairly high income compared to our spending, so our budget includes one vacation this year :). It's important to us to enjoy life and enjoy a frugal vacation while we can before we have a newborn baby.

I'm a believer that you can follow a lot of the MMM principles at your own pace--yes, I'd like to semi-retire early (read: work part time), maybe at 45 or 50, and I have plenty of time to get there since we just turned 27 and are in a much better financial situation at our age than most people! But hey, I don't answer to you :)

Thanks for all the advice everyone! Any advice on rental car deals? Costco seems to be pretty good, but I've never rented a car before (that wasn't paid for by my company) so I don't know if there are some super deals out there I'm missing.

The facepunch was because I did the exact same thing, Hawaii vacation "alone" because it would be our last before trying to get pregnant--  with the exact same reasoning about 15 years ago.   I woke up about 6 years ago to MMM.  Having kids can do a number on you, with the parental emotional blinders to the real costs of money versus your kids "needs", and no sleep and all. When I woke up, I did not have FU money, hated my job, and regretted a LOT of spending decisions like this.   It has taken a lot of work to get to where we are now, and still far to go.

I wish someone had said the equivalent of "FACE PUNCH" to me at the time, rather than just kudos on "saving" on our vacation...  How was I saving by spending $3000?


MMMdude

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2014, 09:39:46 PM »
Don't let the facepunches get to you lol

I think no matter how frugal one is, vacations should be taken at minimum once a year.  it's great to get away and recharge the batteries and sounds like you did awesome on finding a cheaper accommodation that works for you and looks like decent deal on flight.

Contrast to my buddy who went to Hawaii for two weeks.  He also used Airbnb but got a luxury place at $2000 per week for one week and another one for the other week at nearly $2000 as well.  $4000 just for 2 weeks accommodation.  Crazy.

surfhb

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2014, 09:43:30 PM »
There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a vacation as long as you have set your goals and keep to them.   

Personally, Id rather FIRE 10 years later at 55 then retire at 45 if it means I will be able to enjoy myself once in a while.    I really think many folks have taken this site the wrong way.     Its not about retiring as soon as possible....

BTW....use AirBnB!    Instead of renting a entire place to yourself, try renting a room.    I went to Germany this way and had the best time since our hosts knew the best areas to go and see.     Took them to dinner one night and had the best time ever!
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 09:50:44 PM by surfhb »

JustTrying

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2014, 10:22:01 PM »
I agree with camping, but I feel like that's a pretty obvious option that you would have thought of already if you are into camping. If not, I think airBNB is a good option, and I've also had a lot of luck with bidding on priceline - once it was 10 euro more for hubs and I to stay in a 5 star hotel instead of sharing a room with 12 at a hostel! You can get really good deals on priceline, but you have to be willing to bid low and just try again the next day if it doesn't work out!

unseenstache

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2014, 07:46:43 AM »
This is the #1 way my wife has bought into the MMM lifestyle.  We do not like stuff, have very few needs, are young and have a high savings rate and assets.  But she greatly enjoys new experiences.  So we prefer to go on a fun vacation every year.    We still do it much cheaper than usual.  Not staying in fancy hotels, using high rewards CC's for all of our purchases each month, packing lunches, etc...  I hope you enjoy your vacation!! 

angelagrace

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2014, 10:27:16 AM »
Thank you all! Yes, I'm like a lot of you--happy to live frugally throughout the year and eat my fair share of rice and beans (delicious!) but I do really value travel and seeing new places, and getting to have neat experiences with the hubs. Some of my favorite memories are travelling adventures.

I definitely am using the high rewards CC too :D We have over $500 of rewards credit to use toward this trip, which I forgot to mention, so really we are only spending about $1350 for flights, nice accommodations, and a "luxury" rental car (it was cheaper than the economy... figure that out... it said "Sentra or similar" so that works for me--the one car we own at home, haha!)

I enjoyed reading MMM's post about his Hawaii trip and plan to eat like a local while there (I LOVE avocados).

Don't let the facepunches get to you lol

Contrast to my buddy who went to Hawaii for two weeks.  He also used Airbnb but got a luxury place at $2000 per week for one week and another one for the other week at nearly $2000 as well.  $4000 just for 2 weeks accommodation.  Crazy.

^^^It's crazy how most people do this in Hawaii. It's very easy to drop thousands on accommodations but I had made up my mind there HAD to be another way!

I think we will also do a small camping trip in the meantime (going to Hawaii this fall).

The facepunch was because I did the exact same thing, Hawaii vacation "alone" because it would be our last before trying to get pregnant--  with the exact same reasoning about 15 years ago.   I woke up about 6 years ago to MMM.  Having kids can do a number on you, with the parental emotional blinders to the real costs of money versus your kids "needs", and no sleep and all. When I woke up, I did not have FU money, hated my job, and regretted a LOT of spending decisions like this.   It has taken a lot of work to get to where we are now, and still far to go.
^^^I am already thinking of ways to NOT spend money on our newborn when the time comes, haha! I'd like to think that makes me a good mom in the MMM community :). It's really amazing how much "stuff" people buy you at baby showers, if you just think to ask for the stuff you really need. But I definitely understand that the emotional blinders are on a bit--it's hard to say no to a tiny pair of converse sneakers. Even if we've still got a ways to go, at least we're all headed in the right direction, unlike most of America!

ivyhedge

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2014, 10:40:40 AM »
There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a vacation as long as you have set your goals and keep to them.   

Personally, Id rather FIRE 10 years later at 55 then retire at 45 if it means I will be able to enjoy myself once in a while.    I really think many folks have taken this site the wrong way.     Its not about retiring as soon as possible....

BTW....use AirBnB!    Instead of renting a entire place to yourself, try renting a room.    I went to Germany this way and had the best time since our hosts knew the best areas to go and see.     Took them to dinner one night and had the best time ever!


Surf's words are wise. Add Bogleheads to your reading list for a read less biased toward spending reductions as paramount over all else. And then prioritize what's important to you; spending for items and experiences that you enjoy is excellent, if it works for your wallet. Just don't delude yourself. (Also, AirBnB, and regular BnBs, can be great! We have visited many all over the US and in Europe.)

Trudie

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2014, 11:05:23 AM »
Life is a balancing act, and I agree with the poster who said that they'd rather work a few extra years to have certain experiences along the way, than achieve FIRE a few years earlier.  We all have to strike a balance between money, time, and health -- not only our own, but those of our significant others, children, and anyone else we may be responsible for.  Retiring ASAP isn't the goal for everyone here.

jawisco

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2014, 11:17:09 AM »
If your trip is months away, you might sign up for credit card with bonus and use bonus on rental car...

Either way - have a great trip!

galliver

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2014, 11:36:17 AM »
I don't know how helpful this will be...but my bf's roommate's parents just got "invited" to stay at a timeshare in Hawaii for $200 (maybe $300?) for a week, as long as they attend the timeshare company's presentation. They aren't part of the timeshare yet, this is "just" a marketing gimmick, and it sounds like there's no commitment to join. Unfortunately I have no idea how to wrangle such invitations; perhaps "requesting information" on their website with a junk email address?

Also probably won't work for a trip that's coming up, but might for future vacations?

angelagrace

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2014, 12:20:17 PM »
I don't know how helpful this will be...but my bf's roommate's parents just got "invited" to stay at a timeshare in Hawaii for $200 (maybe $300?) for a week, as long as they attend the timeshare company's presentation. They aren't part of the timeshare yet, this is "just" a marketing gimmick, and it sounds like there's no commitment to join. Unfortunately I have no idea how to wrangle such invitations; perhaps "requesting information" on their website with a junk email address?

Also probably won't work for a trip that's coming up, but might for future vacations?

^^My parents did this once and said they basically will NOT let you leave the presentation until you agree to buy something. My dad had to say NO NO NO so many times. I've not done it myself so I'm not sure how it is but from what they said the salespeople are VERY aggressive, so just be aware! But thanks for the idea!

galliver

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #23 on: July 18, 2014, 12:30:03 PM »
I don't know how helpful this will be...but my bf's roommate's parents just got "invited" to stay at a timeshare in Hawaii for $200 (maybe $300?) for a week, as long as they attend the timeshare company's presentation. They aren't part of the timeshare yet, this is "just" a marketing gimmick, and it sounds like there's no commitment to join. Unfortunately I have no idea how to wrangle such invitations; perhaps "requesting information" on their website with a junk email address?

Also probably won't work for a trip that's coming up, but might for future vacations?

^^My parents did this once and said they basically will NOT let you leave the presentation until you agree to buy something. My dad had to say NO NO NO so many times. I've not done it myself so I'm not sure how it is but from what they said the salespeople are VERY aggressive, so just be aware! But thanks for the idea!

Yeah, I think it's pretty clear that Constant Vigilance! is required to check the fine print, refuse salespeople, etc...I could imagine they would be very aggressive if they're practically giving away their product to get people to come to the sales pitch! But if someone has the willpower and personality  to undertake these things I could imagine it being something to take advantage of and feel clever about. :)

Jane

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Re: Mustachian Vacations
« Reply #24 on: July 18, 2014, 12:33:26 PM »
I'm not a big traveler myself, however, I've taken many trips for next to nothing with reward points. I flew to Hawaii from the east coast for free, plus had a few nights there in a fancy Marriott on points, I just flew to Atlanta using miles and stayed 2 of the 3 nights on points this past month, and I'm flying to CA in a couple months using a US Air companion ticket (not free, but cheaper) and staying 5 nights at a Marriott using points. I've taken a few other trips using mostly miles/points on top of these.

If you aren't opposed to opening and closing credit cards, you can rack up a lot of points and miles that way. I don't know if this is looked down upon here, but it's worked well for me. I of course don't keep a balance on the cards and I close them before paying the annual fee. If you are a big traveler, some of the cards might even be worth it with their annual fees. Do either of you travel for work? That's another good way to accumulate points.

This guy has a lot of great tips: http://www.noobtraveler.com/