How We Saved Money On Our Vacation.

As you are reading this, my wife and I are away on a week long driving trip through the Grand Canyon, Sedona, AZ and Santa Fe, NM. While this was not a cheap vacation by any means, we did manage to save a lot of money by booking our hotels well in advance using such sites as Travelocity, TripAdvisor and Kayak. TripAdvisor was probably of the most help because it has reviews and recommendations from the people that have been there…from hotels to sightseeing tours to car rental services. We took our beloved Mini on this trip, but for the hotels we booked this was a lifesaver as there were a few places we looked at and considered…that is until we read reviews on TripAdvisor. Good thing we checked!

We were also well prepared for the long drives in the car by planning ahead some meals and snacks before we left. We usually go to the drugstore and pick up snacks and drinks before we leave and putting them in a cooler with some ice packs, thus savings us from spending $100 before we even get to our first destination. This can come in especially helpful when you realize you are in the middle of the desert and there is NO WHERE to get something to eat!

Before we left I also made sure to check all of our fluids in the car and inflate the tires to the proper amount. This will save us some money on gasoline, as we are probably going to end up driving 2000 miles on this trip and every penny will help.

We also notified our credit card companies that we were going on this trip because I once had a case where I went on vacation and tried to check in to a hotel, only to find out there was a hold placed on my credit card because they thought it was stolen. I guess charging things in different states all in the same day is a red flag, so it is best to advise them you are going on a trip so nothing will get rejected or placed on hold. And while on the subject of credit cards, we will surely be using our dividends card for all hotels, food, gas and anything else so that we can recoup some of our expenses when we get back. Nothing like getting a check back from the credit card to help pay off the bill from your vacation…from money you already spent.

Once we are back, I will be sure to share some of the pictures from our trip. We have been looking forward to this for a long time and I am looking forward to finally seeing the Grand Canyon in person!

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Comments (3)

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  1. tanyetta says:

    great post. we’re gearing up for a ‘we’re so happy dad’s home’ trip.

    we’re thinking of palm springs or the snow! 🙂

  2. Kevin Robinson says:

    Sounds like a great trip. You guys did the right thing and did your research ahead of time. TripAdvisor, I agree is a great place to get information with all the reviews that have available. But when it comes to booking my travel, I’ve always a been a bigger fan of Sidestep.com. They have a lot more content and IMO (and based on what I’ve experienced) usually can find better fares than Kayak and Travelocity (There are a lot of problems I have with Travelocity too numerous to list here). Sidestep has been a virtual one-stop shop for my travels recently. You don’t even have to go to another web site for travel guides and hotel reviews. They’re all right there. Check it out next time you are planning a trip. At any rate, I hope you enjoy your vacation.

  3. david says:

    So far so good! We are in Santa Fe NM now and it just incredible. And the hotel (thanks to TripAdvisor) is wonderful. Sidestep is always a good bet too….thanks Kevin!

    Tanyetta – Palm Springs – Its a great place!