Thursday, September 8, 2016

When Saving Money Costs Money – A Labor Day Tale

What started out as a carefully thought out effort to save money did not turn out that way.

Hub and I spent Labor Day weekend plus a couple of days in south Florida. Family beckoned and Grandsitters R Us heeded the call. My son and his wife were traveling to New York for a wedding.

We flew down Friday afternoon. Son and wife never flew to New York, but we fulfilled our grandsitting duties.

And spent oodles of money.

Hermine, a storm threatening the east coast, disrupted plans. Precarious predictions worried the parents, thinking their plane might be delayed or cancelled. If successfully arriving in New York, they feared being stranded. They scrapped the trip.

However, not allowing a grandsitting opportunity to pass, the couple booked an upscale beach resort closer to home.

Hub and I survived the Labor Day weekend. Laboring.

We scheduled our flight home for Wednesday evening, two days after Labor Day, because it was cheap. (Round trip for two = $176, taxes and tight seats-nothing else-included.)

Cheap is good.

Usually.

We could have stayed with the kids the extra two days. They are all in school, the youngest a kindergartener. What would Grandma and Grandpa do all day?

I suggested a mini-vacation. Before hub overthought the idea I found a hotel in Fort Lauderdale at a great rate that included breakfast. We left Tuesday morning after saying goodbyes as the kids left for school.

One water taxi stop was
Margaritaville, with enough time
for a rest room detour and to
purchase a frozen Margarita
for our excursion.
Hub was happy!

 We spent a day languishing on a water taxi plying the waters around the city seeing the sights – mainly multi-million dollar homes and mega-million dollar yachts.

Wednesday morning we slept late, then lingered over breakfast. We walked along the Riverfront and toured the historical museum. I wanted to stroll along Las Olas Boulevard, an upscale shopping and restaurant district, but our meandering did not last long, the heat forcing us into air-conditioned indoor splendor the rest of the day.

The upshot of our minivacation vs. early flight home-

We saved a couple of hundred dollars on airfare flying home Wednesday night rather than anytime Tuesday or early Wednesday.

We spent more (quite a bit more) on the hotel, water taxi, museum admissions, and meals.

I think of our minivacation as a way of supporting the economy. Spirit Air receives plenty of our money. By spreading the cash around–hotel, restaurants, attractions–more people received the benefit of our largesse.

 
We spotted iguana along the riverfront.
Unfortunately next trip hub insists we purchase tickets whatever the price and fly home when our visit is over, or stay the additional time–for free–with family. 
Flip Flops, ideal spot along the intercoastal waterway
for lunch, another water taxi stop.

4 comments:

  1. There is no cheap way to travel is what I have found. Since my last flight, on a Delta plane the day of that computer crash, I am suffering a mild PTSD around the whole idea of flying.

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    1. My sympathy. I am not fond of flying nowadays, but do want to go places.

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  2. We just returned from a month-long trip where we stayed in Airbnbs predominately.For the most part, we enjoyed it, but after all the fees, I wondered just how much we saved. Trying to balance saving money with convenience can be challenging. Loved "Before hub overthought the idea..."!!

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    1. We like airbnbs because we can get a place with a kitchen and space to relax - more homey than a hotel room.

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