Vacation Planning Update!

>> April 03, 2009

Ok. A couple of quick vacation planning updates.

California Trip:

I purchased 2 more Shell $25 gift cards using Walgreens RR and gift cards, bringing my gas savings to $105. I also received $16 in Orajel rebates. In addition, I earned another $39 in Disney Rewards, so we have $270 in disney rewards ($20 more than I planned).

I am going reshuffle our gift card funds to balance out the extra disney money I have. I haven't actually purchased the disney GCs with our safeway gift cards yet, so really I have $106.41 in safeway gift cards. Since I have $20 extra in our Disney Rewards, I think I will just use the safeway gift cards to purchase another $80 in disney gift cards, leaving me with $26.41 in safeway funds. I can use safeway gift cards at Vons (in California). Therefore, I can say we are done with our gift card funds for our trip. I only need to come up with another $231.40 in cash. Unfortunately I think we will be a little short, however, I will do my best to figure something out, so that our trip doesn't cost us anything "extra" out of our budget.

Here is our updated list.

Type - $Needed- $Have- $Still Need

Gas- $100- $105- $5 Overage!
Cash- $436.40- $205- $231.40

Disney GC- $100- $80- $0 (because we have an extra $20 in disney rewards already)

Disney Rwds- $250- $270- $20 Overage! (using it to make up the $20 in disney

GC that we are short)

Safeway GC - $30- $26.41- $0 (I think we will make do with the $26.41)

Total still needed is..... $231.40

New York Trip Update:
I found an awesome coupon code for Hertz on slickdeals, but I am not sure if I am supposed to use it or not. Sometimes you can find awesome coupons on the web, but I prefer to know the source whenever possible. Anyway, I did make a reservation for a 1 day intermediate car using the coupon for $34.01.

I plan on watching for other coupon codes and making a back up reservation in case there is a problem when we arrive. Generally, car reservations do no require credit card or pre-payment.

In addition, I came across a Nathan's Hotdog coupon, B1G1 for $0.05. Usually restaurant coupons are only good for a few months at most, but this one is good all year. You can find it here. Also here is a list of locations honoring the coupon here. Once we get a better idea of our travel plans, I can figure out which locations are convenient for us. We plan on eating cheap and NY hotdogs will definitely be at least one meal while we are there, this coupon works great for us!


Precious April 5, 2009 at 1:32 PM  

I so enjoy reading your budgeting and planning for all your trips so please keep posting about them. I applaud how cheaply you do things. You are the Queen of Travel Tips!

kc April 5, 2009 at 4:10 PM  

Hi precious! Thanks for the encouragement. I am always exploring cheap travel ideas and open to any new ones that you might have. :-)

auntcarrie4 April 6, 2009 at 11:54 AM  

Just curious if you have spelled out somewhere about how you are doing getting/rolling all the giftcards for your trip?

kc April 6, 2009 at 5:20 PM  

Generally speaking, the gift cards are from RX transfers or bought using RR/walgreens rebate gift cards. Although sometimes I am able to accumulate $10 (or other largish value) on a safeway promo and buy gift cards that way as well. I also participate in this like swagbucks (if you don't there is a link on the right side of my blog to join), my points, etc.

I may need to write another "refesher" on my vacation budget and plans for new readers, but if you search by travel, you can come up with a list of past posts as well.

Does that help? Let me know if you have any more specific questions.

Carrie April 8, 2009 at 11:52 PM  

Thanks for the answer! So....if I got a GC from Safeway or somewhere else that was running their promos for new/trans prescriptions, you can use those to buy the GC they sell for all the other stores, up by the counters?

kc April 9, 2009 at 7:36 AM  

Great Question,

Actually Safeway is the best store to do this at. I also use my Walgreens ESR gift card to buy gift cards as well. Our albertsons USED to let you do this as well, but ever since the stimulus thingy a year or so ago.. when some grocery stores gave an en extra 10% to cash the check in the store, they have stopped letting you buy gift cards using a their gift card.

Safeway GC are golden though, they have a large selection including Southwest airlines, disney, gas cards and some hotel. So I would concentrate on those gift cards if possible.

Unfortunately for me, safeway is my least fave stores.

Carrie April 14, 2009 at 4:01 PM  

Did you say you could use Walgreen's RR for GC too?

Carrie April 14, 2009 at 4:02 PM  

So you can use Walgreen's RR to buy GC for other stuff?

kc April 14, 2009 at 4:10 PM  

I think it depends on the RR each time, they have adjusted the wording on each one. However, they are MQs, that will work as long as you don't go negative and have the right number of items, i.e. 4 Qs + 2 RRs= needs 6 items. So its definitely a YMMV on the wording and cashiers.

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