Monday, July 4, 2011

Planning Our First Vacation as a Married Couple!

Yep, tomorrow we leave for FLORIDA and I JUST finished planning the trip this afternoon...procrastinate much?  Alas, if I had not waited to finalize the trip I would not have found that a dear friend of mine is going to be in Destin at the same time that we will be around, and thus we have now added a night/day in Destin to hang with Shanna and her fiance'! 

Another reason it took so long is that I didn't use a travel agent this time, thinking that this trip would be super easy to plan, since Florida is my hood home.  Apparently, I thought WRONG, but only have myself to blame, as I was the one I kept adding stops onto our itinerary.  At least I can say that it's going to be an action packed trip and probably at least a lil' bit epic ;)

Itinerary for La Tour de Florida:

7.4- O-Town!
7.5- Island Of Adventures
(Specifically the Harry Potter Park!)

7.6- Oakhill to see my Momma-In-Law
7.7- Saint Augustine- My most-favoritist (just made that into a new word) place!

7.8- Destin and Shanna's Birthday!
7.9- P'Town all the way!!
Home Sweet Home:

The remainder of the trip will be in my lovely home town and will be full of good food, good fun, beach time, tubing, friends and family!  Needless to say I am excited!

Obviously, this isn't the cheapest vacation ever, but I managed to cut a lot of corners and beat the system!  Yet ANOTHER reason that the trip took a while to plan, is that I shopped for low prices and discounts.  I didn't just settle for anything and kept digging till I found what I deemed the best deals.  Yes, it was a lot of stress- some might have thrown in the towel and said the stress wasn't worth the savings, but I think I saved us over $1,000, so I'm pretty sure that it was worth it to me. 
Wanna know how to save on vacations?  Firstly, book all that you can ahead of time to lock in good prices.  Some sites allow you to book and not pay right away, so then you can even hold out for a better deal.  Make sure you search all the travel sites (,,, etc.) to see who has the best deals, lowest insurance prices and best promotional discounts.  You can even go to sites such as to search for promo codes, and if you are booking multiple tickets- book them seperately so that you can use the coupon code each time vs. only one time.  Lump in your hotel and your rental car if you can to get the best package savings and nowadays you can even add all your activities in as well!  I booked my rental car seperate, since I didn't book it till today (whoops!), but I used my AAA hookup perks to book it at a great rate. 
That brings us to the trip itself- this is where you want to set a budget for yourself, so that you don't get spend happy and remember things like parking fees, food, beverages, shopping, miscellaneous expenditures, etc.  My two BEST ways to save on all this:
Invest in one of these and you'll save up to $50, by not buying tons of water and beverages, plus it's way more convenient and GREEN!

And # 2 -bring snacks!! 
I made up trail mix, brought fruit snacks, cereal and healthy-ish candy.  Everytime you would have reached for some greasy chips in the check out line, you can thank me for bringing better options and saving you $$ at the same time!

I will miss y'all while I'm gone and can't wait to catch up when I get back! For now I'm off to have some FUN in the SUN!

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