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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cruising Around America

One of my fantasies in life is to retire and travel around the US in my RV. I just love the idea that your house travels with you and you get to see all sorts of amazing places. I thought I should get some practice in before I get rid of all my wordly pocessions and become a nomad.

I think the best course of action is to take a vacation in a RV. Since I am no way prepared to purchase and maintain one at this point it leaves me with only one option...Renting!

I checked out Cruise America and found their hot deals section. They are offering a promotion that is a win win for both you and  them. They are offering a fantastic deal for a one-way rental. You get an amazing discounted price and they get to move the RV's to where they need them. The one that really picqued my interest was the one way rental from Phoenix, AZ to Virginia. They are offering a 9 day rental of their large unit for $12/day and 3000 free miles. That is such an amazing deal.

I priced out a one way ticket from Boston to Phoenix on Expedia and it was only $170 a person. Not too shabby. I think once you get back to Virginia it would be fun to take the train back. The return location is in the DC area so it would be a really fun way to end your trip. A train ticket from Amtrak would be $70 a person.

According to Mapquest it is aproximately 2,350 miles from Phoenix to Manassas, VA. If you figure you will get 10 miles per gallon and it is $4/gallon it would cost you $940 for gas. This is assuming you were driving straight through which would defeat the fun of doing the roadtrip. I would probably budget $1200 for gas so you can do side trips.

Camping accomodations is completely up to personal preference. I spent several summers working at the Mount Rushmore KOA and I am completely biased. I think KOA's are fantastic and have so much to offer. If you purchase their KOA card then you will get 10% off at all your stays with them. The card quickly pays for itself if you have a big trip planned. There is such a variation from upscale campgrounds to staying at the Walmart parking lot. You just need to find what is in your price range and what you are comfortable with.

I think with a little research this could be an amazing trip!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer Plans

We have a big trip planned in October. We are going down to Florida for a week for Disney and Beach fun. I have been having a great time researching and plannning this trip. I will be posting shortly with some of our great plans.

However, I have reached my breaking point with the heat and decided to take a week of this summer. I just put in for the week of July 30th - August 3rd. Because my budget is the dictator this will be a Staycation. I am really started to get excited about the plans we are making.

We were originally going to go to Water Country as the big ending to the Vacation Week but boy have their prices gotten high. They want $37.99 for each adult (Riley being 14 would be considered an adult) and Gabrian would be a reduced price. I started checking around and have seen signs for Canobie Lake Park. This place looks awesome. It has rides and a water park. Riley and I will only be $32 each (and I am pretty sure I have seen coupons out there) and Gabrian will be free. I have debated about trying to find a room up there for after the park or drive home afterwards. A room would be really relaxing but I hate to spend the money. I haven't been able to find any super cheap rooms. I may try bidding on Priceline to see if I can get a deal. The worst that will happen is that they reject my bid.

I am trying to not get carried away with my planning and overextend us. I have a tendency to do that. I get super excited about all the things we can be doing and never give us any downtime. Which completely defeats the point of the vacation. I am going to try and find a balance.

I know on Monday I want to do something with Riley. This is the day that Gabrian goes to see his Dad so it would give Riley a chance to do stuff with just me. I am debating about what we should do. One thought is to go the beach. It would be so fun for me to be at the beach and not watching a 3 year old. We could finish the day with a nice seafood dinner. The only thing about this is that Gabrian loves the beach so that means we would have to go back another day that week and I am not sure how excited Riley would be to go twice that week. Or we could go to the movies and see something that we like. I would love to go to the Casino but am guessing that Riley would not be that thrilled. We also could do a day in Boston but I am afraid that will get too expensive. I am definitely leaning towards a Beach day.

One day I want to take Gabrian to the Providence Children's Museum. It only costs $8.50 a person and they have free parking. Gabrian will have a ball there. I love how he is getting old enough to really start getting into things. I will have to research if there is anything else to do in Providence that is affordable while we are there.

I think one evening we will go miniature golfing and ice cream. I think Gabrian is finally able to handle it. I really stink at it so he can't be much worse than me. I was thinking about Mulligan's Island but OMG they are expensive. Riley and I would be $10 each and Gabrian would be $8.  I found Adventure Land in RI. This is a futher drive for me but the price is slightly better at $7 for Riley and myself and $6 for Gabrian. They also have quite a few other activities that the boys would enjoy. I think I am leaning towards Adventure Land. We could have a nice relaxing day at the house and then head out in the evening. We could even plan on having dinner down by the water.

I am really looking forward to this week off. I will continue to plan and post once my plans are finalized.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Introductions

My name is Megan and my passion in life is traveling. I have been struggling lately with trying to find a hobby. I have come to the realization in life that researching and creating vacations is what I enjoy to do. I have now officially bored my entire family with my trip talk and find myself turning to the internet to share with people that enjoy it as much as myself.

Since at this point in my life, money is virtually non-existent I have to be very budget oriented when planning my vacations. Which is A-OK with me because I love the hunt of a bargain and all the little details that go into planning a trip. I find it is my mission in life to find the best deal out there when it is in regards to travel.

My goal with this site is to put together itiniaries of vacation (of wherever catches my fancy at the moment or if there is a request from anyone) and also share my current vacation plans with you. In addition post trip reports of the places I have been to. I also will share budget saving tips of the trips that I put together.

This is me on our way to our Cruise on NCL last November. I was in the shuttle on our way to the ship. We found a great deal at Hampton Inn and Suites in Tampa. We arrived the night before and were able to leave the car at the hotel the entire week while on the cruise. They provided a shuttle to drop us off and pick us up when we came back. This was fantastic because we avoided having to pay for parking while we were gone.

Here are my boys in Honduras at one of our Port of Calls on the Cruise. The older one is Riley and the younger one is Gabrian. We have never booked one of the excursions offered through the Cruise ships. They are very expensive and with research you can find local companies offering the same or better excursions at a fraction of the price. If you do the research then you will find a reputable company that you know is safe to use. We often prefer to do no excursion and see as much of the local enviroment as possible (sometimes it can be difficult near a cruise port since it is tourist driven.

At this port we chose to just walk when we got off the ship. Initially you had to get through the people trying to sell items to the passengers but not too far off we were able to walk through and get to the town and see the locals going about their day to day life. It was so interesting just to see everything. We found an awesome restaurant that was right on the water and the prices were fantastic. It was a fantastic day.

Up Next....I will share some plans about our upcoming Disney Trip.