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Vacation cheap or expensive??

May 26th, 2007 at 05:42 pm

We are not a small family. We have 7 children. Our family does a great deal of vacationing, because we feel it is extremely important. My point can be made easily for most people. Think about your favorite vacation as a kid, now ....what did you get for Christmas that year? Isn't it amazing?? Its not about what gift you received, but whom you are with that creates lasting memories.

One of our vacations is a group event each year down to the beach. We share a 6 bedroom house with two other families that we have known for years. The house sleeps 18 comfortably and we generally have 21 people go. Please keep in mind that 9 of those are teenagers that could care less where they sleep. Most of the boys love sleeping on the decks listening to the ocean.

We eat unbeleivably delightful meals of red snapper, steaks, italian feasts, shrimp, etc. As a group, a great deal of wine drinking also happens.

The week is spent swimming, sand castle contests, volleyball games, kite flying, deep sea fishing, reading, cooking, and just relaxing.

Our family cost for our 8 days beach vacation totals for 9 people are:

One third of rental: 900.00
Gas for two vehicles: 380.00
Food split three ways: 241.00
Fort passes for day: 12.00 ( kids free )
Swimming: free
Volleyball: free
Kite flying: free
Touch football : free
Reading: free
Tour of USS Alabama and sub: free ( hubby Marine)
Collecting sea shells: free

So total comes to 1533.oo divided by 9 equals 170.34 a person.

The same vacation by one of the other families that went with us are:

One third split of rental 900.00
4 airline tickets: 1472.00
Rental car for week: 272.00
Food split for week: 241.00
Deep sea fishing for 4: 800.00
Wine/Alcohol for week for 4: 367.00
Krispy Kremes for all: 172.00
Ferry ride to USS Alabama: 24.00
Meal in Mobile one night for 2: 111.00
Movie rentals for week for one son: 36.00
Matching t-shirts for 4: 48.00

Total for same week vacation totals :
4443.00 divided by 4 equals 1110.75

We all had fun! But there is a huge difference in the cost. We drove for 10 hours there and back, they flew. They drink, we dont. You can find time and money for vacations, if you try. They are one of the most important things you can do for your family!

5 Responses to “Vacation cheap or expensive??”

  1. disneysteve Says:

    Excellent post!! So many people just don't understand that great vacations don't have to be terribly expensive. I'd much rather take 3 budget vacations each year than 1 luxury vacation.

    Our addiction is Walt Disney World. We go there at least once a year. So many people ask how we can afford to go that often. Then they tell us about their trip - stay at a moderate or deluxe Disney hotel, fly down, rent a car, eat at the fancy restaurants and the character meals every day, etc. Cost, $6,000 or more for the week.

    We drive down, rent a condo offsite, eat breakfast in our room, stick to the nicer counter service restaurants, carry water bottles (tap water). Cost, $2,000 for the week. So we can go for 3 trips for what they spend for one. No wonder we are able to go annually and they can't seem to manage it.

  2. nance Says:

    And, I bet they don't have any more fun that you and your family do!
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. nance Says:

    When I was a kid, my family could not afford to take vacations, but my grandfather bought a wooded acre on a lake in Michigan (we lived in Chicago) and built a log cabin himself. It was a wonderful place to go, and we would go for at least two weeks each summr. We kids got to go more often, when our parents had to work. We made our own fun. We swam, rowed the little boat, went fishing, built a rock garden, collected acorns for the chipmunks. My grandfather had a beat-up ancient truck he left there, and when we kids piled in the back and went to "The Bowery" that was down tree-lined sand roads to get groceries, gas, ice, etc., the owner would always tease us and yell, "Throw out the anchor"! Perhaps the truck's brakes were less than wonderful! Anyway, one day we kids got a small anchor and put it on a rope, and when he yelled "Throw out the anchor" we did! He thought it was hilarious, and we thought so too.
    Those "vacations" were so much fun, and we have great memories. The cabin didn't have electricity for years, so we used oil lamps, pumped water and carried it up a hill, and had to "flush" the toilet with a bucket of water, but we loved every minute of being there.
    You're right, I remember what I got for Christmas two years of my entire childhood, but I have lots of wonderful memories of what we called "Old Cottage Michigan".

  4. campfrugal Says:

    We do budget traveling as much as we can. I pack a cooler with all our food and a large plastic container with an electric fry pan, coffee pot, plates, cups, bowls, plasticware and napkins, salt, pepper, sugar and condiments. We also take a small propane grill. We usually drive two cars, but that is because we bring some toys with us like bikes, boat or motorcycles. We camp or find inexpensive motel/hotels with packages with perks like gas cards if you stay two consecutive nights. We are a family of 4 to 6, depending on whose going, and always have a memorable vacation. Thanks for bringing back some great memories.

  5. PauletteGoddard Says:

    I do it both ways. Vacationing in Vancouver is cheapish because we can rent a suite for $60 CDN a night, and either one meal is free or one taxi ride is free somewhere in the weekend. So I vacation about two-three times a year in Vancouver.

    This year we're doing our first and last BIG FAMILY VACATION ROADTRIP-A-RAMA. Rented convertible, coastal highway, classy B&Bs, glamma all the way. If I knew it were possible to rent camping equipment I might consider it, but it's more like "assume one of us will be dead in six months and get the most out of it we can."

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