Since we have been on a quick weekend vacation not long ago I’ve got planning and saving money when on a vacation on my brain. There were definitely a few things I did not plan for cost wise and hopefully this will help others not make the same mistakes.

Areas to Budget for

Flight Saved $200-$300 by booking 3 months ahead of time and doing weekly searches for fares for 2 months before finding a great fare.
Parking cost at the airport – $8/day open lot, $10/day garage.  Example of costs HERE
Car rental – Originally $30/day went down to $6/day using an online booking agent
Gas
Check luggage cost – last time I flew each person had one free check bag, this time it was $25 per bag, per person.  Luckily we only had bag to check.
Meals ~$10/person per meal
Hotel ~$65/day
Souvenirs/shopping
Forgotten items (advil, diapers, toothbrush, shampoo)

Tips on saving

Use a booking agent – hotwire, kayak

Book car, hotel and flight together.

Use Groupon ahead of time to save on meals

Carry-on vs. Check luggage or even mail home your luggage.

Unable to change flights when booked under hotwire or similar.  We tried to get a flight home sooner but we were unable to because of this.  I booked through hotwire without knowing what car rental company we had or times of the flights.  Saved us a few hundred dollars and kept life interesting.  Didn’t arrive home from the airport until 2am.

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