Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Two-Day Getaway Redux

It was just about a year ago that I wrote about our two-day vacation trip and the lodging expenses incurred therein. Since the Wife, daughter, and I just returned from this summer's Two-Day Getaway, I figure it's worth sitting down to see how the money flows came out this year.

Quicken and Excel tell the story like so:

Expenses for Two-Day Getaway

This Summer 2008 trip took us from our home base in Norman, Oklahoma, up northeast to Tulsa via I-44. We left Saturday (noonish), and returned Monday at around 5pm. Lodging consisted of two nights in a Holiday Inn Express. Activities included visiting the Philbrook Museum of Art, the Oklahoma Aquarium, a bit of geocaching ... all topped off by a somewhat scenic return via Route 66 and a hunger-busting visit to Pops Gas & Grille.

Yup, vacationing away from home is still pricey — though it's not the gas that drained our wallets. Short of camping outdoors or sleeping in your car — neither of which appeal to me all that much — I'm not sure how much one can really slice the lodging expenses. Priceline discounts tend to average $8 to $15 per night, which ain't bad ... but it's not bargain-basement, either. (Much like last year, we booked straight through Holiday Inn.)

On the other hand, food and dining expenses can be mitigated. Take-along lunches and sandwich picnics could've zapped a decent chunk of the $159 we spent over Saturday/Sunday/Monday. We elected not to do this, however, as our household budget has been (thankfully) flexible lately. And since I take sandwich lunches to work two or three days per week ... well, practicing the same discipline during a mini-vacation isn't a task I relish.


— Posted by Michael @ 9:07 AM


We recently had a similar experience… here’s a quick recap of our local 3-day getaway, Memorial Day Weekend 2008:

- Room, 1 bedroom studio w/kitchen, resort, 3 nights = $367
- Golf, 18 holes w/Cart (me) = $59
- New golf cap (me) = $20
- Day Spa (wife) = $70
- Clothing purchases (wife) = $115
- Groceries, snacks and breakfast items for 2 mornings = $35
- Lunch (Taco Bell) = $17
- Dining out (gift certificate) = $100
- Fuel $42

Total Out-Of-Pocket = $725

Yep, this was an expensive little trip, but it was all paid for in advance out of our Freedom Account; (shameless plug warning) the same Excel spreadsheet found on this website (yes, we use it faithfully). Once again, our Freedom Account gave us the freedom to take this trip without worrying about the expense. When our credit card bill came in the next month, we simply transferred the money to our checking account and paid the bill! You gotta love that. I know we do.

Anonymous ExcelGeek
, at 7:00 AM, July 17, 2008  

Thanks for the comparison, ExcelGeek! It's nice to know our expenses weren't too far out of the ordinary. I enjoy getting away as much as the next person, but it seems as though even the little two-day excursions hit the $1k mark way too quickly.

For curious souls, ExcelGeek's Freedom Account spreadsheet really is worth a look.


Maybe, you should try to do on weekdays. Lodging charges always on higher side during weekends and it will skyrocketed during public holidays.

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