My wife and I enjoy traveling from time to time. Since we really didn’t go anywhere last year since Baby Beagle was just a newborn, we were looking at options for something to do this year. Initially, we had thought about going somewhere in Michigan along a lake, renting a cottage or something along those lines.
However, my in-laws brought up a trip that they were planning, and that changed our plans. My wife and her family had gone down to the Tampa Bay area (Maderia Beach / John’s Pass) a few times over the years. They hadn’t gone for a couple of years but mentioned that they were going to plan a trip this year. My wife got to talking to my in-laws and soon we started looking into doing that. They know the area and have had wonderful times down there.
We’re going to go in late spring.
There was some back and forth on:
- Whether to go – Initially, my in-laws weren’t 100% sure that they were going. We were interested but only when everybody had committed did we finally make the final decision to make that our big trip for 2010
- Where to say – My in-laws and family had always stayed at a particular hotel along the beach. We looked into that, but they came up with the idea of splitting the costs of a two bedroom condo. The place that they found looked nice, is on the water, and is actually cheaper than a hotel would have been.
- How to get there – We had talked about driving. My in-laws drive pretty much straight through (it’s an 18 hour or so drive) but we had concerns about sticking Baby Beagle in the backseat for that long. Even if we drove overnight and he slept through, the waking hours would leave a lot of time for him to be confined in the backseat and we knew the trip would be further extended with more frequent stops to take care of his feeding and changing schedule, and just to give him time to avoid being cooped up. When we looked at some flights, we found that the extra cost to fly was only about $100 versus what we would have paid in gas costs. Those are using today’s gas prices, so the difference would probably be negligable by the time it was all said and done. So, we have decided to fly.
My in-laws are going to take most of our luggage while they drive, so we won’t have to pay the excessive luggage fees that are now the industry standard. We might have to check Baby Beagle’s car seat, but we’re not sure of that. We want to take his stroller and car seat. The website says tha they don’t charge, but it’s vague as to whether that’s just for the first item or if we can take both at no charge. Even so, one item charge wouldn’t be too horrible considering. Everything else we’re taking will either go with my in-laws or be put as carry-ons.
So, right now, we have estimated the following costs:
- Our share of the condo for one week – $400
- Two round trip airline tickets (Baby Beagle will sit on our laps since he’s under two) – $359
- Boarding of our two cats (they can’t come) – $144
We’ll have some additional costs for food and activities once we get down there, but right now it’s shaping up to be a pretty reasonable trip for what is hopefully a great week of fun in the sun!