When trying to set a budget goal for a trip, you should begin by looking at these 4 Categories You Will Spend Money On:
In my ‘Budget Breakdown’ posts, I will look at my trip and the costs I spent within these 4 categories to help give you an idea of roughly how much I spent on a trip.
My goal with a budget breakdown is to help you think about the things you may need to consider for your trip’s budget, so you can effectively save and feel good about your next trip!
I was looking at last minute weekend getaways in the southwest for an upcoming 3 day weekend. And when I say last minute, I mean I had forgotten that I had a long weekend, and ended up booking Thursday night, leaving on Friday.
A good time to take weekend getaways is when it is already a 3 day weekend, because then I am already off from work and don’t need to use a PTO day.
So I decided Thursday that I wanted to go away for the weekend and ended up booking a campsite at Death Valley National Park!
I booked the campsite at Fiddler’s Campground at the Oasis Death Valley.
The campsite itself is a primitive campsite … and basically just a large parking lot. There are no bells or whistles to it – and warning, half of it has no shade.BUT, the nights in October, when i was there, got cool & comfortable to sleep, there are flush toilets (a plus – many of the toilets around Death Valley are just pit toilets), and we were given keycard access to the pool at The Ranch at Death Valley. There were even showers at the pool that we could use, so I would definitely go back.
Accommodations Total: $97
Death Valley National Park was 5.5 hours from Flagstaff, AZ and I said “I can do that” and drove it. It was a little on the long side … I was definitely tired after the drive. BUT, it was doable. I was able to get out of work early on Friday, and left Flagstaff around 1pm. I then left Death Valley around 3pm on Monday and got home around 9:30pm (mostly because I drove through a snowstorm that slowed my drive …). I was a little tired at work Tuesday – but again, totally doable for me and completely worth it.
I then had my car to drive all around Death Valley. I wish I had been a little more intentional with my drive around … I didn’t really have a plan – I just went with it over the weekend. If I had been more intentional, I probably could have saved on some gas (gas in Death Valley was over $6/gallon). But I wasn’t intentional and drove around with no real plan and it cost me … literally … in gas money.
Transportation Total: $175
I did bring 3 gallons of water. It is recommended that you drink a gallon of water a day in Death Valley, so I made sure to have lots of water.
Then, I was camping, so I did try to eat as much of my own food as possible. The plan was to eat all of my own food during the day and splurge at the restaurants at night. However, I personally ended up not being a huge fan of the buffett at The Ranch (could be because we were technically out of season – not sure if that was normal), so I only ate there once. And then the night I had reservations at The Oasis, they lost power so the restaurant closed.
This ended up saving me money – so WOOHOO – but if you wanted to eat out once a day, the food costs would probably be more (especially if you end up eating at The Oasis).
Food Total: $70
I didn’t spend any money on activities.
I was then in the park for the weekend, so everything was either a site or hike within the park, or some pool time which was part of my camping fee. Therefore, I didn’t pay anything extra for activities.
Activities Total: $0
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