How We Planned A Vacation On A Whim

Phew! What a week! I tell ya. We’ve decided we are four-day people. We spent four days away from home and we are READY to come home. Four days of sun, good eats, and lots of mid-day naps, and one delayed flight later – we’re ready to be back home to kiss our babies, and go back to our own bed! We had such an exciting week, that I can’t even fit it into one post. So I’ve decided to make it into two parts. Part 1: How we managed to plan a vacay on a whim and Part 2: All About New Smyrna Beach.

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If you know Kyle and I, you know that we were married quickly in December of 2010, and immediately following our shotgun style wedding, Kyle hopped on a plane and headed back to Washington, and I followed behind. No wedding ceremony, no honey moon. Two kids and eight years later, we REALLY needed some time to just be together, without being on a rushed date to a movie once in a blue moon. It was time. So we booked a place and bought some tickets on a whim and the rest is magical.

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It started with someone suggesting Airbnb.com. How I went all of these years thinking my ONLY options were crappy hotels at $200 a night, I’ll never know. Airbnb.com is set up to allow you to rent out the home of a “host”. Sometimes they are rooms, sometimes they’re entire houses. We rented out a tiny cottage. One bedroom, one bathroom and a fully equipped kitchen. It was roomier than a hotel, more quiet, and had everything we needed. This place quickly became our home away from home. The best part?? It was $63 a night. Yep. Read it again. SIXTYTHREE DOLLARS A NIGHT. I mean, are you kidding me?? We were across the street from New Smyrna Beach. We were minutes away from every thing we needed. Location was great. Room was great. We had the greatest time. Sounds great right? Well. If you sign up using this link, you get a $55 AirBnB credit to use for your trip! (Discalimer- I also receive a small credit to my account if you sign up and book a trip also. It’s a win win for everyone!) Here is my referral link: https://www.airbnb.com/c/brianac1591?currency=USD

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After we booked our hotel, for 4 nights, 5 day vacation, we had to book our method of transportation. We choose to fly because we weren’t bringing the kids. Next time however, we plan on driving. Driving a car full of people is cheaper than 4 plane tickets. But- for two tickets, there and back, with Frontier, we spent about $600. That included two checked bags, two carry ons, upgraded seats and priority boarding. Without all the fancy stuff? Our tickets would have only been about $400. That’s incredible pricing for round trip tickets. Frontier also offers free kid flights with their membership! We plan on looking into it for next year!

The rest boils down to simply saving money. We put every bit of cash, or change that we came into contact with into a jar. We had saved about $600 in cash alone (not counting what we put into savings.) from January to May. There’s obviously ALOT more to this method but the point is, find a way to save money and do it ASAP. We both worked our butts off too. Between overtime and side hustles, we had enough to enjoy ourselves without penny pinching.

Some ideas to make extra money:

  • Sell items on Facebook Market Place
  • Use EBay, Mercari or Poshmark to sell higher end items or collectibles
  • Use cash back apps like Ibotta to earn money back on things you’re purchasing anyway
  • Take clothes to a resell shop for quick cash
  • Have a yard sale

This stuff is pretty self explanatory. Message is- work hard, play harder. You can make anything happen!

We had a BLAST this trip and I can’t wait to write the next part of this post about how amazing this little hidden gem of a Florida town we stumbled upon!

Until then, I’ll be catching up on some much needed rest!

B.