My girlfriend and I are going on a 5 day cruise Halloween week. The cruise won’t be Halloween themed although I assume that their will be some type of Halloween festivities. It will be the first cruise for both my girlfriend and me. It will also be my girlfriend’s first time out of the country. I think it will be a lot of fun. Although I have had a lot of time away from home hiking it has been a long time since I’ve had a real vacation so I’m really looking forward to this trip.
This plan came about after my mother inquired whether we would want to go on a Christmas week cruise. We could afford the Christmas week cruise, but the airfare basically doubled the cost of the trip. One of the drawbacks of living in the middle of the country is that it is a long way to any ocean ports. Driving would take about 13 hours which is more than I like driving and wouldn’t have given us much spare time before or after the trip. We decided that the trip just wouldn’t work for us.
However, when researching cruise prices I noticed that cruise prices for the end of this month were less than half of what they were for Christmas week. The savings allowed us to book the cruise and buy round-trip air for less than the price of just the cruise for Christmas week. The cruise and airfare together are only costing us about $550 each. There will be more expenses such as gratuities, airport parking, airport shuttle, and activities which will add another $200 or so. It will still be a fairly cheap vacation.
Even though the trip is fairly cheap it will make it quite a bit harder to meet my goals of saving 50% of my income and keeping my expenses below $1274 a month. I still have some bonus money from my travel rewards card that I will use to pay for part of the trip. I want to pay for the trip out of money earned rather than dipping into my savings. My current plan is to ramp up my mystery shopping and selling stuff this month in order to pay for the rest of the trip. That will be a challenge since I haven’t come close to earning that much from these sources. I’ll keep you updated on my progress.
Do you have any tips on saving money on a cruise or any other tips to make the cruise more enjoyable?