I took a trip to Virgina with my mom and she’s frugal like me. We felt like we were spending too much money, but when we added everything up after the trip, we realized we each spent under $1,000 on our four-day trip. Below is a breakdown of what I spent while traveling to Virginia with my mom. My hope is that by sharing this, it will give you some ideas for budget-friendly travels.
I Have a Spending Aversion
Before I get into the details of what I spent traveling to Virgina, I should mention that I have an aversion to spending. It’s not that I don’t spend; it’s that I worked hard over the years to pay off debts, and now I avoid anything that costs money and I view as unnecessary.
I have to remind myself the same lessons I share on this blog – that frugal is not the same as cheap and having a budget is having a plan. While planning to travel, I told myself I would not worry about the cost (within reason) and focus on having a good time. Reflecting on the trip, I was able to do this, but still come out ahead.
That being said, I am also a nature lover and many things in nature are free to behold. It helps when traveling to soak in the natural surroundings.
What I Spent on Vacation by Category
Let’s look at what I spent on my trip. I hope this gives you some ideas for budget-smart traveling.
I spent $488.45 on travel expenses on my trip. Let’s break this down:
|Car Rental (5 days)||$111.25|
|Boats (I live on an island)||$20.00|
Lessons Learned: Traveling with a friend or family member can help you reduce overall costs by splitting expenses like hotel rooms and car rentals in half. Getting discounts by using booking services like Priceline or Expedia works out well, as long as you don’t need to cancel your reservations for any reason.
Food & Coffee
I spent $232.59 on my trip to Virgina on food and coffee. Breaking this down further:
I work at home, so I usually brew a pot of coffee in the morning and it ends up costing me less than $1 per cup. I didn’t have this option while traveling since our hotel didn’t have a coffee pot, so I bought coffee instead. I wouldn’t do this every day, since small expenses like coffee can add up to surprising amounts over time. But while traveling, I made an exception. I also drank some free (but not very tasty) coffee the hotel made some mornings.
Lessons Learned: It’s okay to spend more money on restaurants and coffee while on vacation. Be reasonable about it and save dinner leftovers in the hotel fridge for lunch the next day. Drink free coffee if your accommodations offer it.
Some people differ on this view, but my perspective on accommodations is that a hotel room is a place to sleep. While traveling, I don’t spend much time in the hotel room, so I really don’t care much about the experience at the hotel. I tend to look for budget hotels that are inexpensive, and that’s what I did for this trip.
Together, my mom and I spent $334.12, or $167.06 each, on four nights at a Days Inn. We got a room with two queen beds and if you divide $167.06 by 4 (the numbers of nights), we each spent $83.53 per night at the hotel. For a place to sleep (again, we didn’t spend much time there otherwise), that was reasonable for us.
Lessons Learned: Choose accommodations that suit you without breaking the bank. Really consider how much time you plan to spend in your accommodations and whether a massive nightly rate is worth it for that time.
As far as activities go, we spent almost nothing, but still got to enjoy Virgina. Many of the activities we did – like hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Shenandoah Park – cost little to nothing to do. We set out to have a nature-filled trip and did just that. There’s a lot of natural beauty in the world that doesn’t need to cost money to take in.
The highlight of our trip and what drew us to Virginia in the first place was visiting the Luray Caverns, an underground system of caves that’s the largest in the eastern US. The passes for us to enter were fairly inexpensive and allowed us to also see some of the partner attractions:
- Car and Carriage Museum
- The Garden Maze
- Toy Town Junction
- Luray Valley Museum
Unlock Wallet-Friendly Adventures
Embark on a wallet-friendly adventure and unlock the secrets of budget-friendly travel. With careful planing and frugal choices, you can experience the wonders of our world without draining your bank account. Whether you’re exploring nature’s splendor, savoring local cuisine, or delving into fascinating history and attractions, my journey proves that memorable trips don’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Start planning your cost-conscious adventure and create unforgettable memories with people you love without compromising your financial goals!