Thursday, February 28, 2008

We are back!

What a fun weekend! It's always good to get away and amazing how the stress just melts as soon as you get into the car . . . I promised a few tips on how we saved money so here we go.

We love to travel and do it a lot, so a few years ago I bought some Fairfield timeshare points on ebay. I bought 105K for pennies compared to what they sell for at the resorts. I then break it up and deposit it into RCI for multiple weeks - I can easily get three weeks a year. The trick is we don't go to Hawaii or anyplace hard to trade into, but for this time in our life it's perfect. So, I got us a two bedroom at Boyne for about $300 for the week. This enabled us to bring my parents along - free babysitting and gave us plenty of room along with a full kitchen.

We typically ate out once a day and ate breakfast and lunch in the condo. Mostly because it's tough to eat out three meals a day with a preschooler and a baby and also because we wanted to get going on our activities and didn't want to take the time for a restaurant meal. The bonus is our food costs were very low.

When we arrived we looked at the prices for skiing and took advantage of the best times - this enabled us to ski for $29 each from 12 - 4:30 on Sunday (unbelievable and actually $26 when we got our AAA discount) and $30 Tuesday morning from 9:00 - 1:00. We were able to take our daughter skiing for $14 (ski rental) as Boyne has one lift that is free for everyone!!! She spent several happy hours learning to ski with us. We did splurge for one official lesson for her that was $50, but we wanted to make sure she learned some actual techniques.

The rest of our entertainment consisted of movies and popcorn in the room, a few hours of gambling at the nearby casino (nickles and pennies only of course) and some window shopping. While we were skiing, my parents and the kids took advantage of the many activities at the clubhouse - most were free and a few cost only $1. We figured out that the total trip - gas, condo, food, entertainment was around $700. In the old days our ski trips would run into the thousands, so this was quite a bargain!

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