After nearly three, vacation-free years, we took an entire week off and went all out! In fact, we spent more than the $500 we intended. Oops! Our vacation cost $638.41. 🙂 Let’s break it down, since that’s what we do in personal finance. Oh yeah!
Since we decided to make this a road trip, we spent $78.39 on three tanks of gas. Pretty straightforward. We managed to achieve 31.4 miles per gallon, which is a record for our Volvo. Bonus points for filling up in Virginia where gas was a little cheaper.
We spent $34 for lodging one night–a night at a KOA in Virginia. Other than that, we spent nothing on lodging. This fact was the impetus for this whole trip.
Several months ago, Garrett received a “deal” from a well-known hotel chain to come to Gatlinburg for free in exchange for our attendance at a timeshare meeting. If you own a timeshare that you love, I’d like to hear more about it. Based on our four-hour experience, it is not for us. But they came through and we ended up paying nothing for lodging.
We paid our cat sitters $140 total for seven daily trips to our home. Some are horrified that we pay anything for the care of our cats, which is absolutely nuts. Boarding our cats is an expensive, stressful experience for everyone involved. I’m happy to pay a friend to come to our home to care for our fur babies.
And the rest of our money went to food,$386.02. We struggle with what to eat while we’re on vacation, so we ended up spending more than we intended. However, we managed to avoid most of the foods that trouble me most by spending slightly more. To control some of the expense, we packed fruit, nuts, carrots, and Soylent for the trails, which is where we enjoyed our packed lunch.
Spending time on hiking trails and hanging out with friends costs nothing. It’s funny what they say but the best things in life are truly free. We went to the Biltmore winery for free. We hiked Cades Cove for free. We hiked Sugarlands for free. And we had a blast. If you’ve ever been to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, you know how much money you could drop nightly if you went out to dinner and then to a show. We’re not into the shows, and even if we were, our days spent hiking are so exhausting that we’re in bed by 8 p.m. Haha.
If you’ve ever been to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, you know how much money you could drop nightly if you went out to dinner and then to a show. We’re not into the shows, and even if we were, our days spent hiking are so exhausting that we’re in bed by 8 p.m. HA!