Our trip to Disney (our first family trip in what seems like ages) has me thinking. I’ll get to that in a minute. Did I ever mention how the Disney trip came about? At some point last year, Chris’s stock at his work became vested and he cashed it in for a bunch (a bunch in our world, at least) of money. We promptly paid off the credit cards, bought a few small splurges, and set aside the money for a trip to Disney. Well, we were just talking the other day about our taxes and more stock stuff that’s coming up. We were getting a pretty large refund. (Honestly, I know we’re loaning the government money and all, but I rather like getting a big, fat check back at the end of the year. If we’d had it all along, we’d spend it on stupid little shit. This way, we can think of big shit to buy!) Anyway, it was going to be enough to cover our credit cards and have some left over. Chris is could get more stuff from the stock sales. So, we were just kind of daydreaming about traveling places and where we’d like to go as a family. We came up with quite few places, but we didn’t even have a jumping off point for how much it would actually cost to go to these places. I haven’t been on an airplane since Chris worked for a Delta subsidiary and got free (or cheap? I can’t remember) standby flights. Before that, any trips I took where with groups and someone else organized it and all I had to do was fork over the money.
So today, armed with a fresh Excel spreadsheet, I started trying to figure out some prices. I have a small list of places we’d like to visit and I’m trying to figure out a rough estimate about how much we’re talking about. Most of the places, the only other major money we’d be spending would be on food ‘cause no where else is like Disney. So, I was just looking at hotel and airfare. I also wanted to look at travel time. I’d scanned a few things at Expedia the other day and they give you flight lengths. I looked at Orbitz today and they don’t give you flight time, but takeoff and landing time…with time zones to consider. It started to make my brain hurt. We also don’t have any particular time of year to think about going, so we’re open. Also, we’re open to general areas too. For instance: a beach in the Caribbean. We’re open. We don’t really care which one. But at travel sights I even have to pick which airport I want to fly into and frankly I could care less about that. It’s more about where I can go for cheaper. Here’s what I wonder if any of you (2 or 3 people) know: Where should I start? How can I find out the best times to take a trip where we can spend less money? Even something as simple as driving down to Destin or Gulf Shores was a pain in the ass because none of the sights I was looking at let me search by “beach front’ which is a must when you’re going to the beach.
Since that’s a whole bunch of mess, I’ll tell you some of the places (or general areas) we were musing about, wondering on prices: London, Toronto, Hawaii, Washington DC, “a beach in the Caribbean” (we’re not picky), and a beach in the Gulf (we’ve done Gulf Shores before and would prefer somewhere with a little more shopping and dining, but not as awful as PCB).
Let me also say, that mostly this is just dreaming for now. We (mostly me) would like to know what kind of general figure we’re looking at should we decide on another vacation. We probably wouldn’t do anything this year since we just did our big Disney thing. And I know prices change a lot, but where should I look to get some good ideas?
Help me <insert name here>. You’re my only hope.