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Old 10-13-2014, 06:28 PM   #121
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Sengsational, you had to switch hotels each night? Sounds rough!

Off season (past Sept 1), and especially during the week, you can get some awesome deals on NC beach hotels. Sometimes you can call and negotiate a great rate, especially if you're doing so at the last minute in the evening and they have many empty rooms. Although $75 total per night isn't bad at all.
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Old 10-13-2014, 06:40 PM   #122
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Spent a week in Amsterdam ... about $10K all-in for family of four, including air (almost $8k of the total right there). Home trade worked out very well.
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Old 10-13-2014, 06:45 PM   #123
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Stayed in San Diego for a few nights in Mission Bay. The most expensive part of the trip was Fogo De Chao Brazillian Steakhouse but I didn't have to pay for that as our dinner guests picked up the check. Got a deal with US Airways where I received 2 companion tix for $99...but buddy was so ecstatic he tipped me when he repaid his ticket. Hard to really tally it but Airfare - 300 -CarRemtal - Free (they forgot to charge me), Hotel (Free, again they forgot to charge me), lunch and dinner - $50, activities- $90 Wild Animal Park.

Looks like we got away with about $440 give or take.

We were also in the middle of a police chase on the 5. Some guy robbed a WF and crashed his car...I hear they use dye packs these days...when will they learn.

The trip before that was New Zealand and the exchange rate was terrible. Both islands cost us $3500/person. A delayed honeymoon.

The next trip I am taking is to visit family down south on frequent fliers for $28 ticket, and I snagged a $50 rental car with a free $20/gas coupon. Staying with friends and fam for a few days so this one will likely cost under $300.

Then me and the DH are going somewhere in the Carribean in January for her Babymoon trip. We are taking inexpensive suggestions. Freq fliers are banked for US Air, United, Delta and Southwest so airlines are prob covered... Any ideas on cheap Caribbean accommodations, please PM me.
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Old 10-13-2014, 06:49 PM   #124
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Spent a week in Amsterdam ... about $10K all-in for family of four, including air (almost $8k of the total right there). Home trade worked out very well.
Me and three of my close buddies high-tailed it to Amsterdam back in 1999. We all lied to our folks and told them we were checking out each of the other guys prospective college campuses.

Carlson Wagonlit was running a special, buy 1 $199 round-trip ticket and receive another one for $199, but the catch was you needed to buy the 2 tickets via iceland air. IT WAS MEANT TO BE RIGHT? I had to borrow $100 from my sis for spending money and we stayed in the RLD bulldog hostel for like $12/night and $1 for a hot shower.

Best DAMN TRIP of my life. We were 17 and 18. I almost died out there nearly getting nailed by a trolly. I also caused a gentlemen to simultaneously ding his bicycle bell and lock up his breaks as I stumbled in front of him.

Buddies were all over the RLD and its offerings. Even saw the russian KGB roughing a feller up out there. Awesome pastries but it coulda been the munchies.
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Old 10-13-2014, 09:35 PM   #125
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Me and three of my close buddies high-tailed it to Amsterdam back in 1999.
OK, so past trips...

Back in 1985 (!) I was fresh out of college and my college buddies wanted to meet somewhere and do some skiing now that we were out of college and spread across the country). Where to meet? Colorado? Vermont? California?

Well, it turned out that Italy was cheaper at the time because the Lira was in the dumps. Also TWA was running a promotion with Polaroid - buy a camera and get 25% off airfare. I bought a cheap Polaroid for someone for christmas and got the deal. (Found this reference to it via a google search

Palm Beach Daily News - Google News Archive Search

So we all flew to Milan, piled into two (teeny Fiat) rental cars and drove up into the alps (Cervinia). We rented a condo for 6 days and experienced the best skiing ever. Skiing down the other side of the Matterhorn into Switzerland one day was fun too. We fixed a lot of our own food in the condo, but really enjoyed the really inexpensive Italian restaurants too. We wrapped it up with a tourist day in Milan (saw da Vinci's Last Supper being restored) before we flew home. Did I mention the Lira was CHEAP at the time.

Total cost was under $1000. For a week skiing in the alps including airfare from San Jose, California.

A pretty sweet deal.
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:21 PM   #126
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Sengsational, you had to switch hotels each night? Sounds rough!

Off season (past Sept 1), and especially during the week, you can get some awesome deals on NC beach hotels. Sometimes you can call and negotiate a great rate, especially if you're doing so at the last minute in the evening and they have many empty rooms. Although $75 total per night isn't bad at all.
Yeah, we did switch hotels, which was a small pain in the neck. My attempts at negotiation were not successful; when I couldn't extend at the same price, the best they'd give me was over $100....I guess I need to figure out what the tricks are to getting them to come down. Usually, though, the desk clerk seems like they don't have much authority to make a deal.
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Old 10-16-2014, 01:07 PM   #127
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sengsational, take a look at betterbidding.com. It is community driven and you can get a pretty good idea of what you should bid & what hotel you may get.
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Old 10-16-2014, 09:52 PM   #128
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We just drove from Portland, Oregon (my spouse, 17 year old dog and I) to Banff and Jasper Canada. We were gone for 13 days. We brought the majority of our own food, but didn't include it in our cost of the trip since we would have had to eat if we stayed at home. We spent about $2,280.

Lodging cost about $1,290 and gasoline was around $350.

I would highly recommend going there, especially in the Fall. The hotel rates are pretty inexpensive and the crowds are gone. It is so beautiful up there and the wildlife is incredible. We saw 5 black bear, 1 moose, dozens of elk, many white tailed deer and 1 MEADBH
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:46 AM   #129
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We "budget" for extras when we travel (by "budget" I mean if there is something expected or unexpected that we want to do and it costs more, we just do it and don't care what it costs, without going overly crazy about it). We rationalize it by saying we can't go back in time and add that foofoo drink at sunset on our ship balcony, or that tour of the Paris catacombs that scared the crap out of our then 8- and 10-year-old kids, in ten years when we think we can afford it better. So far so good, no regrets.

Next year we have three big trips planned, two to Europe and one to Hawaii. I might have to modify this philosophy at some point . Or not.
I actually get this, and I wish I could subscribe to it, but I find my automatic LBYM mentality kicks in and I struggle to deviate from what we had originally budgeted. Also, because we budget annually, I know exactly what that extra spend is going to do to our remaining travel numbers, and I'm generally reluctant to beef up the numbers for one trip if it means I'll have less for another.

I know, way too much thinking!

On the other hand, I do so much research ahead of time, I rarely find myself in situations where an unforeseen opportunity arises, your Paris catacombs tour being a perfect example. We'll be in Paris for 9 days next spring, and I've already tagged and budgeted for several tours, those glorious catacombs among them.
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Old 10-28-2014, 04:31 PM   #130
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Went to Avignon, Lyon and Paris for 9 days. Rented a car for 3 days around Avignon, took the TGV between Avignon and Lyon and Lyon and Paris.

Total was about $2650 for land costs.

Airfare was about $1700.
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Old 10-28-2014, 04:41 PM   #131
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I just completed a 2 week trip to Arizona, Utah, and Nevada, where I completed the rim to rim hike at Grand Canyon and camped at a few other national and state parks. The trip including airfare, rental car, and sundries was about $2,000.

It was awesome, by the way.


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Old 10-28-2014, 04:43 PM   #132
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Our most recent RV trek through some Canadian provinces cost $7K. It last 7 weeks, and covered 9K miles.
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Old 10-28-2014, 07:53 PM   #133
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12 day road trip from Minnesota down to California and back (with scenic stops all along the way).
About $1500, $3 for fuel ;-)
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Old 10-28-2014, 07:58 PM   #134
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I ran the RV genset intermittently during the trip, though I had a solar panel on top. The genset fed off the same gas tank, so I do not know how much it drew, but I am sure it was more than $3 of gas just for that generator.
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:03 PM   #135
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Stayed in San Diego for a few nights in Mission Bay. The most expensive part of the trip was Fogo De Chao Brazillian Steakhouse but I didn't have to pay for that as our dinner guests picked up the check. Got a deal with US Airways where I received 2 companion tix for $99...but buddy was so ecstatic he tipped me when he repaid his ticket. Hard to really tally it but Airfare - 300 -CarRemtal - Free (they forgot to charge me), Hotel (Free, again they forgot to charge me), lunch and dinner - $50, activities- $90 Wild Animal Park.

Looks like we got away with about $440 give or take.
I was checking some hotels on booking.com. A lot of the downtown hotels appear to be around $200 a night and up, presumably because they were close to the Gaslamp area?

Then up the coast, those close to the coast were high, despite poor ratings.

When you got up to around Carlsbad, prices seemed better, though that's not really the best base for visiting San Diego?
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:54 PM   #136
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I was checking some hotels on booking.com. A lot of the downtown hotels appear to be around $200 a night and up, presumably because they were close to the Gaslamp area?

Then up the coast, those close to the coast were high, despite poor ratings.

When you got up to around Carlsbad, prices seemed better, though that's not really the best base for visiting San Diego?
Not if you want to really focus on seeing San Diego, vs the San Diego coastline. Did you check the Mission Valley area? There are a lot of budget minded chains located there, and it's a great location for seeing San Diego.

EDIT: Also, be sure to check Goldstar.com for some great half price entertainment in San Diego, particularly on harbor cruises. Which are well worth seeing, BTW, as you cruise though and around San Diego Naval Base.
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:19 PM   #137
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... the wildlife is incredible. We saw 5 black bear, 1 moose, dozens of elk, many white tailed deer and 1 MEADBH
Wow! I did not know Meadbh was such a wild woman, judging from her posts.

PS. When making a trip to the same places you mentioned a couple of years ago, I did not see the other animals you saw, but saw a lot of these mountain goats.

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Old 10-29-2014, 06:54 AM   #138
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Our most recent trip was a long (4 days/3 nights) weekend in Singapore...to meet up with our son at the tail end of his business trip.

Airfare (from our base in Manila) was $250 x 2 = $500 (for a 3&1/2 hour flight on Singapore Air in coach)

Hotel was $180/nite X 4 (in the same 5 star as our son) = $600 (including taxes

Means (for 3, including 2 high end) = $300

Taxis, subway, admissions (Asian history museum, aquarium, etc.) $200 for 3

About $1600 all in.....

Previous Trip a month earlier: 4 days in Mynamar; 5 days in Chiang Mai

Airfare from Manila on Thai Airlines (business class) free (me using miles/wife on business), except for $25 in taxes and $125 for wife's round trip from Bangkok to Chiangmai (not covered by employer)

Shangra La Hotel (5*)in Yangon: 2 nights @ $200/night; 2 nights covered by wife's employer = $400

Meridien Hotel (4*+) in Chiangmai $35/night + 2000 points ($135 if fully paid) = $175

Taxis, etc. $100
food $600 (including 3 high end meals & 3 upscale)
bar hopping ($100)
sightseeing (no more than $200, including private car & driver for 1 day in Chiangmai, elephant tour, temples, circular train, etc.

Again, about $1600 all in for 9 days & nights.....
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Old 10-29-2014, 04:03 PM   #139
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I spent $5000 for my 10 day trip to Brazil last month. A good portion of that was airfare, both international and domestic in both countries. Hotel costs and taxi fare was shared by my daughter and son-in-law. We did stay at his mother's house for a few days so that helped too.


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Old 11-01-2014, 04:29 PM   #140
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One of the best source of travel deals to China is from China Spree. chinaspree.com. We went on one of their 2 week tours for less than $3000 per person - price includes RT from SFO, 4 star hotels (Sheratons and Marriots), all breakfasts (international buffet i.e., American, Chinese, Korean, sections), almost all lunches, almost all dinners, all sightseeing, all entrance fees including a Tang Dynasty show and an Acrobat show. Planning on repeating next year as we got a one year multiple entry visa.


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