San Fran: Day 2 – How I Budget My Vacation

This trip to San Francisco has been a dream trip of mine.  I have been planning this trip since Binks first went to San Francisco and said he wanted to move there eventually.  That was 3 years ago.

Just like my wedding, all dreams come with a price, and this girl has to budget her dreams.  I’ll be gone from May 12th – May 18th and that means a lot of hotels, a lot of eating out, a lot of gas, a lot of excursions and a lot of miscellaneous.

Tip 1: Save on hotels.

During this trip, I’ll stay at 4 hotels.  In total, I have paid $120.  How?  Well, when I had my dream wedding (at a Marriott), I accumulated a lot of rewards points that I used up for this vacation.  Every hotel night has been ‘paid for’ by my Marriott points.  The only hotel I have paid for is my hotel at Monterey.

And, I used Priceline for that.  Priceline is my best friend when I don’t have points saved up.

Tip 2:  Book hotels that offer free breakfasts. 

Especially when breakfasts include delicious oatmeal with toppings for a waffle bar.  I loved this bowl with some chocolate chips, strawberry sauce, walnuts and a banana.  Delicious!!

Tip 3:  Balance overspending with left over breakfast.

That title makes no sense.  I know.  On day 1, we ate out for breakfast (at the airport), lunch (Boudin), and dinner (Firenze at Night).  We spent more than we expected to spend.

So, in an attempt to balance out that damage to the wallet, I made some lunch with breakfast items.  Meet my lunch for Day 2.

My favorite sandwich – the pb&j, with half a muffin that I shared with Binks.

Tip 4:  Pack snacks.

Tip 5:  Take advantage of natural (free) sights to see.

Meet my close encounter with death – the Twin Peaks.

I climbed up one and thought, I’m going to die – either of loss of breath or the wind blowing me onto the road below.  But, just looking at the second Twin made me think, I had to conquer that beast.  Once, I did, the view was worth a million bucks.

Mind you, we splurge on things here and there, but it’s all about the balance to ensure that we aren’t left with nothing when we get back to reality.

What do you do to save money on trips?  What do you splurge on?

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10 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Cookies, Vacation

10 responses to “San Fran: Day 2 – How I Budget My Vacation

  1. Excellent tips!!!!! Just what I need as the cildren and I are travelling and going to the expensive capital of Germany, Berlin next month. I was thinking about packing some non perishables for breakfast!

  2. Wow—what great ideas for budgeting on a trip. We love our hotel points 🙂

    I sometimes save money on food while traveling by keeping enough food in the room so we can eat in one or two meals a day. Depends on where we are though! We tend to splurge on a few meals when we’re traveling.

  3. oops…

    I love your tips! Billy and I find ways to be frugal while traveling, too. We are fortunate enough to have complimentary accommodations many places we travel because of our connections with travel writing/marketing hotels. We go to grocery stores and buy things to have picnic lunches rather than eating at restaurants, and we splurge on dinners!

  4. Awesome tips! I definitely save money when I travel by bringing a few staple breakfast items and keep them in the mini fridge.

  5. I’m definitely one to bring snacks. Next week for Vegas, I’m stocking up on nutrition bars as to avoid spending $5 on an english muffin in the hotel…

  6. Wow, that view from Twin Peaks is absolutely gorgeous! I like to try to find a friend to crash with and if not, find a place on Hotels.com preferably with a kitchen so I can buy my own groceries and eat two meals there instead of spending money on eating out. I like to go out for lunch instead of dinner because it tends to be cheaper as well. I can go on and on about what I do to save money but that will bore you.

    Hope you’re having a fabulous time 🙂

  7. the scenes are beautiful!!!

  8. I love SF 🙂 I want to move back there one day…. my parents live about 40 minutes East and I miss it so bad. You’re killing this trip btw 🙂 That’s awesome you’ve racked up so many hotel points!

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