Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dream vacation....(for under 100 bucks)

My wife and I rarely get away from the kids. It's not that we want to get away from them, but sometimes you need time alone. So we have been talking up our 10 year anniversary this summer for quite a while. We are leaving the kids with Grandparents, and taking a week for ourselves. We agreed that no expense should be spared as these opportunities don't come up often.
Fast forward to a few months ago. We were discussing where we should go....Hawaii?? Too expensive. Orlando?? Too expensive. A cruise?? Too expensive. Just staying the week with the kids at the grandparents house?? Now we're on to something here.

Well, we decided on Southern California. The beach....nice restaurants....traffic. Beautiful.

I took it upon myself to become our official travel agent for the trip. I was in charge of getting everything ready from the plane tickets to the daily activities. In hindsight, this was probably not a good thing. You see, I wanted a dream vacation...on a misers budget.
Let's go over the itinerary, and see if I still get credit for planning a fun trip even with the "extenuating circumstances."

Airplane tickets--I joined every fare alert/fare consolidator/fare compare web-site out there....to travel an hour and half west to California. I pored over gallons of data and price history charts in order to find the best deal. Literally thousands of dollars of work hours have been lost in this search. I even have us flying into an alternate airport (Long Beach) because it was 60 dollars cheaper per flight than LAX. We are flying on the illustrious "Jet Blue" airlines for our journey.

Event tickets--We discussed some things that we would do...and I went on the hunt for tickets to these events. Craigslist, eBay, Stub hub, and my bookie were all searched for the best deal. Results are as follows:

Disney tickets:: Check--purchased "California resident" tickets off eBay.

Magic mountain:: Purchased off their web-site....but they are running a 2 for 1 special right now.

Angels vs. Red Sox:: I was fairly upset as Angels vs. Devil Rays would have been 11 bucks a ticket. The Red Sox are in high demand, and the prices are much higher, and the game is sold out. I scored half decent seats off eBay. I mentioned our 10 year anniversary to the seller, and he threw in a book he wrote about baseball as a gift. I'm such a lurp. (On a side note, I will probably mention our "10 year anniversary" to every retail establishment in Orange County. I'm sure that we'll score free crap somewhere)

"Wicked" theater tickets:: This was a big ticket item as the "upper crust" of society can fork out quite a bit of cash to go see the Wizard of Oz 2.0. I watched some tickets on eBay, and when he dropped the price, I bought them lickety split. Oh yes...they are in the upper Mezzanine of the Pantages theater. Who needs "orchestra" seats. We'll just bring a telescope.

Rental car--Yet again, dozens of web-sites were travelled and searched looking for the best deal. I was fairly happy to receive a 5% discount with my Costco card.

Lastly I will discuss our hotel stay. You would think that an average husband--wanting to impress his wife--would go all out in this department. Flowers upon arrival, hot tub with champagne, rose petals on the bed. I, on the other hand---turned to Priceline. Nothing says "I love you" than bidding on an unknown hotel in an unknown location. Luckily we scored the Hyatt in Garden Grove which appears to be fairly nice. I sure hope so as they charge 15 dollars to park your car in their lot.

After all this...our bases are covered, and we'll have a great time. But I wonder if it is going too far if we go out to dinner, and I pull out my "entertainment coupon book" to get a free dessert with the purchase of 2 adult entrees. Well---it's either that, or Wendy's with the Edward's.


Nobody is cheaper than these guys. Tipping is completely optional there.


damon said...

See now, if you would have picked Tampa, Rays baseball tickets go as low as $6 each AND you get a hot dog.

Take that California!

MeatWad said...

..and after all the crap you gave me on my last anniversary trip. We have a name for people like you where I work and it isn't miser, is Meisner. If you pull out that entertainment book or any other coupon at any dinner, your wife should throttle you..and not in a good way. I also hope you remember to tip before the discounts you cheap bastard.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

So, is that you in the picture? Or John Edwards?

Well, now you have to tell us how the anniversary trip went when you get back.

- Margaret

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

oops, I just realized what you said on the last line. Now I feel dumb. Sheesh!

Drowsey Monkey said...

LOL ... pulling out the coupon book when dating is lame, when married ... definite foreplay :)

Enjoy :)

Daniel said...

I see a potential new lucrative career for you and your travel reseach quiz over at Budget Travel.

Excellent trip you have planned there. I hope your wife is excited about the anniversary baseball game.

As for Wendy's, I say go with this proven and successful tradition. Yum - spicy chicken number 6 combo!

The Hypocritical One said...

damon: Perhaps tickets are 6 bucks because I couldn't name one player on the Rays.

meatwad: Tipping put me through school...I have no problem tipping 20% after my wife and I share a 6 dollar meal with a free appetizer card.

Nanny: I am completely financially, physically, and politically different than Edwards. Although we both enjoy dipping our fries in our frosties.

Daniel: Did you say lucrative career? I just got 6 e-mails about lucrative careers this morning. And 14 about my--ahem--manhood.

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