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The Budget Expands On Our Next Mini-Vacation

In a week or so my husband and I will venture off on another mini-vacation, this time to Florida. We plan to drive around quite a bit, so I booked four nights at three different hotels. On the first and last night of our trip we’ll stay in Marriott hotels. I’m unbelievably close to earning a free night with Marriott, so I decided to go ahead and book two nights with them.

Last week I ordered $400 in gift cards from the gifts.marriott.com site. Marriott is running a limited time promotion where you can earn Marriott reward points or a 10% bonus on all gift card purchases. As soon as I heard about the deal I decided to sign up. Since I’m going to spend the money either way, I might as well earn an additional 10%. My card arrived today with $440 loaded on it. The two Marriott rooms will cost somewhere between $420 and $460 combined after taxes and other hotel fees. The gift card should cover almost all of those expenses.

For the other two nights of our trip I booked a very pricey hotel room, which will cost us nearly double what the first two nights will cost us. I decided to book an oceanfront room in a very nice hotel that is ranked in the top ten at tripadvisor.com. After taxes and fees those two nights will cost us just over $700.

All told our hotel rooms will cost nearly $1100 for just four nights. That is definitely a lot of money. In fact, too many folks that is the equivalent of a month’s worth of rent or a monthly mortgage payment.

So how can One Frugal Girl justify such a large expense? Well, I figure that I pinch pennies day-after-day and year-after-year, to be able to splurge on things every so often. My husband and I haven’t taken a true vacation since our honeymoon over five years ago and if you divide $1100 by five years, you end up with $220 a year. $220 a year doesn’t sound nearly so bad as $1100 for four nights.

Am I justifying the cost of this trip? Certainly. Initially I’ll feel guilty for spending this much money on hotel rooms. In fact, when you add on the cost of the rental car, food, entertainment and other expenses this trip is definitely tipping the scales on our travel budget. But even frugal girls need to spend their money every once in awhile and I can’t imagine a better way to spend money than on a mini-vacation, alone, with the man I love.

Muttersome

Saturday 5th of December 2009

Couldn't agree with you more. You save for the things that matter. This is something that matters.

While you rightly point out that to many people, $1100 is the cost of a mortgage payment, it's also worth noting that to many other people, $1100 is how much they spend eating out for three months, or on coffee every day. I have always thought that you should be able to spend your money in whatever you want as long as it matters to you and you can afford to do so. To some people, it might be a new flat screen TV to watch games on with family; to you, it's a great vacation with your husband.

I hope you guys have a wonderful time!

Merveilleux

Saturday 5th of December 2009

Hotel rooms: $1100Memories: Priceless

:) It's always good to splurge sometimes.

Sense

Friday 4th of December 2009

Yup, kudos to you. I completely agree with your philosophy! That also is exactly why I am so careful in my day-to-day life: so that my vacations and off time can be absolutely fabulous!

I never feel guilty about spending money on traveling: the experiences and memories are so much more valuable to me than the 'things' that I could buy instead in my every day life.