Saturday, January 26, 2013

Future Collage & Recon Vacation

Right now I'm thinking of...

... where I'll end and what my budget will be in 2 years when I move.

I was also looking at travel... Since I have an open plan (read: no plan) for my next vacation, I hired William Shatner to find me a nice vacation package somewhere in Chicago, and the cheapest came to $2,600 for 10 days; hotel, rental car and flights. Sorry, Will. That won't do.

I leisurely played with the settings and decided to change the dates... and location. I found a hotel in the heart of where I want to move to, a suburb about 30mi from Chicago. The hotel happens to belong to the same chain I work, so I get my pick of $219~$379/ni rooms for $39~$79/ni. A 5 day stay for a mere $200 before taxes.

I can't fight with flights a lot (maybe I could borrow Michelle's discount for a few days...). However, I've noticed my credit card will sometimes display a bit of a cheaper rate. Pair that up with to track the flight prices, and time is on my side. That $370 flight can be snatched for $300 at the right time, and I'm not in any hurry. Best prices to buy tickets are on Tuesdays between 1pm and 4:30pm, if you ever wondered.

I've never rented a car before, but since my company has several frequent fliers, I've learned a few things. Did you know that if your employer has corporate accounts with car rental places, some extend discounts (between 5-15% the rate) to employees, even if the company's not being billed for it? I've also picked up all the good tips, like leave the tank full or pay upwards $35/gal of gas, keep your receipts, over-book instead of under-book (so if you think you'll need the car between 5-10 days, book it for 12; you can return it early and get your money back, penalty free, but extensions will cost you).

All in all, this imaginary 'recon' vacation to explore the area I'd move would cost me about $800 plus food. That's not bad at all.

At the end of the day, I close all the websites, and I feel smugly satisfied with myself. Ah, it will be a nice, lazy weekend. Hope yours is as well!

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