Saturday, October 24, 2015

How a Four Day/Three Night Trip Cost Less Than $300.00 Including Gas and Meals!

My husband and I just had a four day/three night trip for less than $300.00 total, including the cost of the gas to get there! This is something I do on a regular basis and anyone can do it with a little planning.

First, I prepare a travel folder. This does take some time. I usually spend about 4 hours on preparing a travel folder every trip we go on. This was was a little easier because we decided to not do a whole lot but to just take it easy.

First, I did a search on for a hotel. I decided to look for one that had an indoor swimming pool, hot tub and breakfast all for a great price. I didn't choose the city first but looked at a few cities and did some price checking. I found one hotel that the price looked right but it didn't look nice at all. So, I kept looking until I found a real nice Econolodge on Trivago. Here is the breakdown of the prices Wed night $47.99/Thurs night $47.99/Fri night $55.99/Taxes $23.56 for a total of $175.53 on the hotel. This hotel also had a mini-refrigerator and microwave in the room which I count as a great bonus so all meals don't have to be eaten out.
For lunch the first day, we ate before we left the house. Then later on, had an ice cream snack on the road. This time of year I have a birthday so I use birthday coupons from restaurants to save money. You have to sign up for these deals. I usually use a separate email account for these so I don't get so much spam. One of these was a buy one get one free blizzard from Dairy Queen.
I also had a gift card that my daughter gave me and so these blizzards cost me $0.00. If I get gift cards, I tend to save them for vacations.

I had a coupon for supper that night at a nice supper club. I have mixed reviews for The only reason I bought coupons from them is that I got an awesome deal a few years ago where I could get $25.00 coupons for $2.00 each and they never expire and they can also be exchanged so I bought $40.00 worth! We have had many very nice meals with these at places that were not just nice as far as food, but atmosphere and experience. However, this one was a dud. We went to the supper club and when we walked in, there was a sign that said they were no longer taking coupons but the place looked nice and was quite busy and reasonably priced so we decided to stay. No one greeted us or seated us, so eventually we seated ourselves. Two couples came in after we did and they were brought drinks. No one, however, came up to our table. After sitting there for about 10 or 15 minutes, we decided to leave. No one even noticed! At this point, it was getting late and my system was not wanting food as much so we got something off the dollar menu at Burger King. This cost $6.67. This was quite disappointing but we knew we had a couple more days to eat well.

Every day, the breakfast at the hotel was decent. And every day it was free!

For lunch the second day, we decided to eat at Golden Corral. Lunch at Golden Corral is a fair amount less than dinner so we went for lunch for this reason. We love Golden Corral and there is not one where we live so if we find one where we vacation we always go. Golden Corral has a club sign up and you can get a Buy one Get one free for your birthday, but I didn't know this until after my birthday. I did get a free beverage coupon for signing up. We walked to the restaurant but I forgot the coupon so I didn't even get to use it! But, we almost always get water at restaurants and so we just did the usual. We usually squeeze lemon into our water. When we were there, my husband noticed that they have little to-go boxes that you can fill on your way out (after meal purchase) for $1.99 each. We got two of them to put into the refrigerator for lunch the next day so the total for this meal plus to go boxes was $22.22. We were still full at supper since we ate about 2:00 so we popped some popcorn around supper time and went for a hot tub and swim.

These to go boxes fit an amazing amount of food in them so for lunch the next day we had a plate full of food and we still had some left to take home. Here is our lunch in the hotel room heated by the microwave.
We went to an amazing historical place and that cost $5.00 each for a total of $10.00.
For supper that night, we went to Red Lobster. My sister had given us a $25.00 gift certificate (thanks, Sis!) and I had a $4.00 off two entrees coupon. Red Lobster has this really great 4 course meal with Soup/Salad/Entree/Dessert plus all you can eat biscuits for $16.99. My husband and I both ordered this so with the gift certificate and coupon it cost us $6.48 plus tips!

(Sorry, I took a bite before I took the photo!)

We spent the rest of the evening relaxing.

The hotel had a pool table and exercise room so after breakfast the fourth morning, we played a game of pool and used the weight room. We also used the hot tub and swam before packing to leave.

On the way home, we stopped at Old Country Buffet as I had a Buy One Get One Free Coupon for the buffet for my birthday. Lunch is always less and so the buffet cost $8.96 total.

Gas for the trip was about $62.00. This would have been less had I driven my Prius (which gets about 50 MPG) but my husband wanted to take his truck because there was a tractor implement he wanted to buy where we were vacationing and his truck gets 19 MPG.

So, all told, this trip cost less than $300.00, was a great time, with great food and very relaxing. Plus, we have plenty of leftovers for tomorrow!

Happy Savings!


  1. Incredible, really you are! Give yourself a big pat on the back friend for some pretty amazing leg work in order to have such a fun, relaxed, and cheap vacation! :)

    1. ~simply frugalynne~October 25, 2015 at 7:29 AM

      Thank you, my friend! Next time, Starbucks! :)

    2. Ah yes... we love the sweet stuff, don't we... LOL!