Planning a Vacation Without Spending a Ton of Money

Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography

We’re leaving tomorrow at 5am (yikes) for a road trip down to Orlando, Florida. I’m excited and nervous about the trip. I’ve cleaned the apartment several times this week and when I get home this evening, I’ll do a once over and leave it alone. 

Handling a Car Rental for the Trip

We’re picking up a rental car for the trip.  We saved about $90 using Priceline’s bid option and we got a ‘name brand’ rental place. After last year’s problem with roadside assistance, I checked with my car insurance company to see what is covered with rentals.  Our policy will transfer all our liability and collusion coverage. 

Packing for a Road Trip

I’m trying to pack fairly light so, I have I’m bring some capri pants, regular pants, a few shirts, and a dress. I twittered some of my buddies to see their suggestions. 

I usually fit everything in one suitcase, but I want to reduce ironing at the hotel. I found some tips on properly packing your bags for a vacation.

  1. Pack clothing using the time-honored “roll” technique. Lay two or three items on top of one another, smooth to flatten, and roll them up like you would a sleeping bag to save space and prevent wrinkles. For added wrinkle insurance, place a sheet of heavy tissue or packing paper between items of clothing before rolling.
  2. Pack sweaters and underwear in reusable compression bags, which can create up to 75% more space in your luggage. (They lock in odors, so they also work for storing dirty laundry, but make sure they are dry.)
  3. Enclose toiletry containers in airtight plastic bags to prevent contents from spilling into your suitcase in the event of a leak. Wrap socks or pajamas around breakable items to cushion them.

Source WikiHow

We’re loading up the car tonight, so when we leave at 5am, as zombies, we can just locked the apartment and start driving. 

Finding a Good Hotel Cheap

We used Priceline again to bid on a nice hotel and ended up saving around $60/night. We got a nice place for the price of Days Inn. We happened to reserve a nice spot in the middle of everything, but we were fine with driving a bit more to get a good deal. 

Dining Out Inexpensively

We have breakfast included with our hotel. Our plan is to eat out for dinner and eat the leftovers the next day for lunch. It worked pretty well last year. We checked and the hotel has a kitchenette included, which is great. 

We’re bringing the laptop, so we’ll check reviews for value (quality of food and service). I’m taking a big cooler for when we’re hanging at the beach to cut down on expensive impulse eats. 

Do you have any suggestions on good places to at in Orlando? Please tweet me!

Souvenir Shopping For Friends and Family

Getting some gifts for friends and family is usually a part of our trips. We just want our loved ones to know we’re thinking about them. For our friends out of state, we’re mailing a package to a mutual contact, saving on some postage.

Last year I did an unofficial price comparison on Disney Souvenirs:

I bought a Small Donald Duck doll for $5 plus tax(6%). The next day we went back to Disney World and I kept an eye out for a comparable doll. I didn’t have to find a comparable doll. I found the exact same doll, for $13 after taxes. (Disney seems to have a standardized price on dolls based on size.)I don’t know the wholesale price of that doll, but I’ll use Wal-Mart’s price since they claim to have the lowest price. 

Be sure to look around before you just impulsively buy something. Besides, you don’t want to clutter up your friends places with knick-knacks. 

Have Fun!

I’m going down to celebrate our 2 year anniversary, so I’m going to have fun no matter what we do.  It’s a happy occasion and I want to enjoy it. Enjoy your weekend!

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