G-man and I learn something new each time we go on vacation....and remember....for us, vacation is going to visit our parents.
1) Vacation....yeah right! We spend more time running around than relaxing.
2) The money we spend to go visit them....we could actually have a VACATION, vs what we get.
3) Now that my parents moved 400 miles further away, we can't do a combo visit anymore. It is too tiring.
We drove just under 2,000 miles in a week. Estimated time in the car: 39 hrs. And that is just for the travel time to and from, and a few hrs for "day trip" stuff....not the running around we did for our parents!! Out of the 9 days we were gone, we spent almost 1/5 of it just in the car. Not cool. Never mind the gas and tolls, and the wear and tear on our bodies.
A huge shout out to our children, who really were awesome travelers. Yeah, they bickered a bit. But they are almost 8. That is what kids do. For the most part, they rested, watched movies or played Leapster, or read. Thanks kids....this could have been way worse.....so thanks for behaving!
In the future, we decided we will probably do 2 trips, for about a week each. That way we actually get to visit and relax some. We only got 3.5 days per parent, and we were back in the car for a long drive. I need a vacation from our vacation now. I think by splitting it up, it will work better. A little more in gas, but at least we can chill out a little.
Packing food. Worked GREAT for the first leg of the trip. We stopped at a rest stop and ate our sandwiches. The kids loved the picnic. We spent very little on the road for food. HOWEVER....it was costly buying the food before hand. Mostly because G-man bought the perishable stuff, and dropped almost $40 on that alone!!! We were able to freeze the extra lunch meat he bought, but alot of the fruit and such got pitched. I am curious to crunch the numbers to compare what we would have spent buying food on the road, vs packing stuff.
And notice...I said it worked for the first leg of the trip. Driving from my parents to my mother-in-law, and then driving home....we bought as we went. We had some little snack stuff in the car, and the kids' water bottles....so I guess that helped. But for actual meals....we stopped and got something. (as a side note....my body is so overloaded from salt and grease, I haven't felt good for days).
Cats. I have mentioned that in the past we have boarded our cats....which was $$$. By doing our trip a little earlier in the season, we were able to leave them home, and found a neighbor who was willing to feed them. And water our plants. Came home to happy cats (albeit, hungry for cuddles!) and plants that grew a ton while we were gone. We are paying the neighbor $80 for this...vs the $1000 we have spent in the past. Worked like a charm!!!!
Will be back later to expand on our vacation.....including G-man's first adventure into Dave Ramsey world, the unexpected expenses (about $500!) and how things went with my talk with Mom and Dad.