August 8, 2013

Vacation Budget Planning

In January, we'll be flying to California to visit my dad and his wife.  We'll be gone for 8 days.  I like to overestimate on our budget for vacations.  That way if we over spend, I'm not stressed when I'm supposed to be relaxing.  We're in the process of paying off the airfare and I'm trying to figure out how much money to save up for the rest of the trip.   We'll hopefully be staying in a time share with my parents so lodging won't cost us anything and we'll all fit in their vehicle so we don't have to worry about transportation costs either. 

Its hard coming up with a budget for this vacation because I really don't know the area we'll be staying in.  My dad told me we'll probably stay around the San Diego area and we'll have about an hour drive to Disneyland.  Disneyland is the only place that I want to make sure we absolutely go to.  Other than that, I'm flexible.  So I picked some things that sounded fun and figured that's a good way to estimate some entertainment expense even if we don't do these particular things.  Rounding up to include parking fees, I'm going to estimate $1100 for entertainment expenses. 

Here's some things I would like to do and the cost for our family:

San Diego Zoo - $156
Science Center with Show - $62
Disneyland, 2 days - ($674 - $300 in Disney Rewards Dollars) $374
Queen Mary and Aquarium Ticket - $122
Wine Tour (for me and hubs) - $300
Total - $1014

8 days x $100 per day for food = $800
Entertainment = $1100
Misc. and souvenirs = $300

Grand Total = $2200

If we stay in a timeshare we'll be able to buy food at the store and eat in our room.  I also always pack a gallon size Ziploc bag with tons of different snacks from home and easy food like oatmeal packets, fruit snacks, granola bars, raisons etc.  It doesn't take up too much room and usually by the end of the trip we've eaten through most of it.  But I'm sure we'll eat out at least once per day, since part of the fun of vacation is trying new restaurants.  And I know I'll earn more Disney Rewards in the next 5 months as I put everything on our Disney Card and then pay off the balance each month.

Vacations seem to be getting more and more expensive as the kids get older.  This will be the first vacation where we've had to pay for airfare for all 4 of us.

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