We are going on vacation this weekend, baby free! We are going to miss Little Man a lot (he will be staying with my parents) but we are really excited about the chance to get away, relax and reconnect to just us! I am really looking forward to the hot tub! I haven't been able to properly enjoy a hot tub for a while. The last time we stayed at a hotel Little Man was 4 mo old and we didn't want to keep him in the pool room with all that chlorine for long so we only swam about 10 minutes each night. The one before that I was pregnant and of course hot tubs are out then. I am really looking forward to it! We are also looking forward to the chance to sightsee and do vacation without working around a nap schedule! I am still nursing and need to keep my supply up so I will be pumping every four hours, but it shouldn't be as interruptive (I think I just made up that word :) as working around a baby :).
We are hoping to go on a bigger vacation sometime next year (hopefully to Florida) so we are saving up for that, so I didn't want to use too much of our vacation budget this weekend, but we really need a vacation and some time for ourselves. So we are doing this vacation on somewhat of a budget (well actually everything we do is on a budget, but you know what I mean :). So here ate a few of my tips for doing vacation on a budget.
- Decide where you are going. Pick a place that you know there will be things to do, if you can find a place with lots of free places to go that is great for your budget! Also when you know where you want to go it is easier to find a great deal. It is easier to do research for one area than just a great deal.
- Find a good deal on the hotel. There are a couple ways to do this. Decide what type of accomodations you would like for your vacation. We love bed and breakfasts, hotels, condos, etc. Sometimes I specifically want to stay in a bed and breakfast so I look specifically for b&bs in the area. Bed and Breakfast .com is a good resource. If you are staying for a while then it is nice to have a kitchen available to you so staying in a condo or rented house is nice. VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) is great for those. For this weekend away we just wanted a short weekend so we decided to do a hotel. Priceline is a great resource for hotels because you can actually bid on hotels so it can fit into your budget. I pricelined this vacation and was actually get 2 nights at a 3.5 star hotel for under $100 including taxes! Now you cannot always get that exact deal but if you are willing to be flexible on exactly where you stay and possibly when you stay you can get a great deal! (Just keep trying, you will get rejected a couple times, just keep entering different things and eventually you will get approved) I have gotten several vacations for $40-$70 per night. (This is not sponsored, I just love these sites :)
- Take your own food. If we are going for a week we usually take food for lunch (and breakfast if it is not included) and eat out for suppers (although you can take food for supper too, if you need to). We have an eating out spot in our budget so this area technically does not fall under the vacation budget so this weekend we are taking food for breakfast and snacks and eating out for lunch and supper (we would have taken food for lunches but we didn't want to take a cooler and we are going to IKEA one of the days (yes one of the reasons we picked this vacation spot is because we want to go to IKEA and Trader Joe, we haven't been to either and we want to) and we heard that we had to eat there because they have good food. We are taking a cooler for leftovers and we may eat some of them for lunch if we have any)
- Decide whether you are going to drive or fly and find a good deal on it. If you are driving you can see if you can take advantage of any money off gas deals. For instance Walmart offers 10 cents off per gallon if you use one of their gift cards at a gas station associated with walmart. If you are flying make sure you find a good deal on it. There are tons of sites that offer good deals on flights including priceline above, so I am not going to list them all, just google it :). One airline that offers cheap flights that doesn't advertise on discount vacation sites is Southwest. They run only in the United States so if you are flying domestically see if you can get a better deal there.
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