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Old 01-20-2012, 07:32 PM   #21
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30 day New Zealand trip + "bonus day" in Fiji
December 2006, with my girl friend at the time


She wanted to stay at hostels. I had never stayed at a hostel, so I was up for it (mixed bag - some were great, some were so-so....and at one, I had a personal experience with bed bugs! Good thing I have a good sense of humor!)

We rented a car and drove all around both the North and South Islands, staying 2 days in each city/town. It was a pretty good time. We cooked most of our own food, but did go out to eat a few times. We paid for a few activities like hiking a glacier, 2 kayaking trips, dolphin watch cruise/lunch, one or two admissions to a national park, but also did a lot of inexpensive sight-seeing (which is pretty easy to do in NZ!).

We ended up buying our plane tickets with a 24 hour layover in Fiji on the way home, so we were able to spend the day there, and took a day trip on a boat to an island, with a meal and lounging on the beach.

Including the car rental (a compact), gas, airplane tickets, hostel lodging, all activities (including the day in Fiji), and all meals, it averaged to $101/day, per person.

We could have saved an additional $300/person on the airline tickets if we could have left 2 weeks sooner, but she was in school and couldn't leave that soon.
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:34 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
Thanks for sharing your data Lsbcal.

I'm intrigued by how much more expensive Hawaii was per day compared to Europe. Was this due to the airfares amortized over twice as many days, or was were the costs once in Hawaii just more expensive than Europe? I would have expected the opposite.
...
Hi Audrey, I think that the amortization had something to do with it. Also in Europe we did a lot of advanced reservations in reasonably priced hotels as read about in Rick Steve's travel book. Note we flew from the West Coast. I really spent a lot of planning time on the trip.

In Hawaii we went with higher quality hotels and the food there is pretty expensive. Maybe the locals have it figured out but we still have not. If we go back to Hawaii (have been there maybe 4 times over the years) we would drop down at least 1/2 level in room type. Maybe a condo would work out better. We both find that we cannot economize too much on hotels/motels because dingy digs leave us feeling like we messed up on the vacation. However, we do not really feel comfortable with luxury, just want "nice".
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:35 PM   #23
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I focus more on the total cost than the per day cost .We usually do two nice trips and maybe one short get away . I also travel at least twice a year to visit my daughter SIL and grandson and while I am not crazy about flying there is no way I 'd skip these trips . We tend to enjoy boutique hotels and funky small restaurants . I do make a budget for the trips and amazingly usually come under it . I do use Hot Wire , Priceline and any other discount I can find .
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:15 PM   #24
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When we traveled by air, either to domestic or foreign locations, we never really had a budget. The airfare of course was already known, as most of the time it was an impromptu thing when my wife stumbled across a good deal on the Web. After she booked the flight, it was then my job to fill in the itinerary, looking for things to do, where to stay. I used venere dot com often. We tended to stay in touristy hotels, and ate at neighborhood restaurants. That was about as cheap as one could get, and we only added up everything afterwards to see what it cost.

The nice thing about being LBYM is that one never has to have a budget.

The thing we miss the most was when my wife was still working, she would get special hotel deals through her megacorp contacts. For example, we stayed in the Marriott on Champs-Élysées in Paris for a reasonable price, which I cannot even remember. Just walked out of the hotel, and one saw the Arc de Triomphe.

Just now looked it up, and found out that the lowest room ran from $460 to $600, depending on the season. Gosh, we certainly did not pay that!
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:45 PM   #25
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I try to keep Vacation costs around 1/3 Flights/Transportation, 1/3 Lodging, 1/3 food and everything else. If we go frugal, we stay longer. If we want fancy, it's a shorter trip. We like to do a mixture of both.
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:55 PM   #26
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We try to spend as little as possible; typically, we select our travel based upon what deals are available. Most of the time we look for timeshare promotions in areas where we want to go and setup a long weekend or even a 7day/6night vacation.

Our costs are usually just gas, food, ~ $200 for lodging and giving ~2 hours of our time to listen to their sales pitch; as long as you can say no it's not a bad deal. Part of the promotion usually involves refunding your lodging costs and giving additional perks such as tickets to a show, $100, park passes, etc... By doing this we've been to The Smokies, Vermont, Arizona, Upstate New York, Hilton Head and Asheville.

We learned about this type of travel ~3 years ago and have really enjoyed it. We typically use the major hotel chains/vacation clubs-their sales tactic isn't as bad and they'll usually give up after a couple tries. Most companies have a one time travel per every 6-months/1-year.

This method of travel has saved us a lot of money over the last 3 years or so; while allowing us to visit amazing areas of the country. We feel a couple hours of our vacation is def worth the price of lodging. And no we have not purchased a timeshare property; they don't really work for us, but some people do like them, each their own.
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:38 PM   #27
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Note that if your annual expenses are, say $50,000, then you spend $137/day. Of course many of those expenses (car insurance) continue while you are on vacation.
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:13 PM   #28
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Wow! Come to think of it, by just trekking around the countryside with my little motorhome and staying in campgrounds, the travel expenses already add up to someone's total cost of living, on a per-day basis. Yet, my RV'ing costs do not include other normal living expenses like vehicle insurance, health insurance, vehicle and home maintenance, etc...

I guess there is really no cheap travel, unless one lives the life of a perpetual traveler. I know some people can do that really frugally, but I'll admit they have skills that I don't. I now realize that people who can afford the travel costs, any travel at all, above their normal living expenses are truly blessed.
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:41 PM   #29
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...(snip)...
This method of travel has saved us a lot of money over the last 3 years or so; while allowing us to visit amazing areas of the country. We feel a couple hours of our vacation is def worth the price of lodging. And no we have not purchased a timeshare property; they don't really work for us, but some people do like them, each their own.
How do you find these deals?

BTW, we were solicited for a Hawaii timeshare and so took it in. Really didn't enjoy the sales pitch. You can see that the costs (posted above, forgot about that timeshare deal) for that trip were not cheap. But did stay at the Sheraton.
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Old 01-21-2012, 12:19 AM   #30
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How do you find these deals?

BTW, we were solicited for a Hawaii timeshare and so took it in. Really didn't enjoy the sales pitch. You can see that the costs (posted above, forgot about that timeshare deal) for that trip were not cheap. But did stay at the Sheraton.
We usually find deals with Holiday Inn vacation club, Westgate, Blue-Green, Marriott and Westin properties.

My experience started out with Holiday Inn-I travel a lot for work-one day I was booking a room and they said I was 'selected' for a promotion, I listened to the promotion- a 4day/3night stay in Gatlinburg, TN @ $199. We had a year to use the promotion, the sales presentation lasted ~2 hours, afterward we received $100 cash and since we went within 6 months we also got the additional $99 back as well. Basically, our lodging was free, our only costs were fuel and food- I love Subway; gas that's another story.

Recently, we sat through a ~2 hour presentation, here in Columbus, and received a 8day/7night vacation (we selected Stowe, Vt in October) and another 4day/3night vacation (still haven't selected location) have a year to use both. We also were able to pick a 'gift' for coming to the presentation- we selected an android tablet.

I will say that the presentations are designed to be high pressure and they lay on the charm. Properties usually only allow you to do one presentation a year, but once you're on anyone of the lists, everyone calls. Once we started travelling this way we found out there's a sub-culture out there that only travel this way, with many websites dedicated to discussing all the current promotions and companies out there, it's a whole different way to travel.

I do have to say another way we travel is through hotel points, specifically through thier point stretcher programs. Most hotels have the standard point system, but hotels also offer rooms, in certain areas, for minimal points, these deals usually change every 1 or 2 months depending on season and demand. For example, I like to stay with Holiday Inn; here's their points break website showing current deals:
http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/pc/...intbreaks.html
All the major hotels have similar programs.
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Old 01-21-2012, 12:55 AM   #31
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Our travels usually run $130-$180 per day. We have a hybrid car that runs on fumes, which keeps expenses low, our meals are usually of the packed-sandwiches-on-the- road, so costs are low. We don't really enjoy spending much on lodging while on the road. A clean bed and shower is enough. Sightseeing and hiking and park fees don't run very much.

We were on one cruise. Our favorite time was when the ship was racing a storm in rough seas. We spent the entire night walking marveling at the power of a distant hurricane. Other than that, it was one big food fest. It was fun for one time, but not our thing.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:09 PM   #32
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Same for me. I travel too much....
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:29 PM   #33
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In round numbers, $175-250.
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Old 01-22-2012, 04:09 PM   #34
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We used to run pretty high daily budget around $300-400 per day when vacationing abroad (shorter trips to spendy countries), but our recent vacations have been in the USA and according to Quicken we spend pretty consistent $200 per day during 8 day/7 night trips. No cost for flights included as they are always with FF miles, but parking at the airport, rental car charges, and dining are typically amongst the most expensive items. These recent trips we have used RCI timeshare exchanges, and I included the exchange fees and maintenance fees in the $200 (but not the initial $8500 for acquiring the time share fifteen years ago).
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