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Wednesday, November 23

Bahamas or Bust

I've barely been home this month, yet I'm about to head out on a cruise.  We leave early Friday morning.  I'm hoping to avoid most of the Black Friday insanity by hitting the Interstate around 4 AM or so.

Unlike my Vegas vacations, I won't be posting an itemized budget for this trip.  We got an amazing deal on the cruise - 5 nights for $199 per person plus taxes and tips.  I found out I can apply my onboard credit toward tips so the total cost of the cruise should be under $600, and I've already paid for it.

I plan to limit my gambling as well as my other spending.  I think I'll budget around $300 above and beyond the cost of the cruise itself.  We are driving to Port Canaveral.  Friday night I am using my Hilton Honors points for a free room at a Hampton Inn near Orlando.  On the way home I am mystery shopping an Embassy Suites, so that hotel stay will also be free.  That leaves gas and a couple of meals en route to take care of.

This will probably be the last vacation we take for a while.  I need to turn my focus toward debt reduction instead of spending all my extra cash on vacations.  More than likely I will limit our vacations in 2012 to mystery shopping trips as well as my annual pilgrimage in May to Omaha to see Warren Buffett.  If I get some really good comps from my last Vegas trip I might go back out there next year.  I'll just have to be more disciplined.  I've even thought about doing a cross-country mystery shopping marathon.  I've taken several long road trips but never driven around the United States.  It would be neat to plan out a route that lasts several weeks if I could find enough hotels, gas stations and restaurants to shop along the way to make the trip worthwhile.


  1. Oh how I hate you! :) note the sarcasism and jealousy?

  2. I like the idea of a mystery shopping road trip across the United States. It would be cool to do a shop in all of the lower 48 except Nevada. And maybe there is a way around their requirements. I'm putting this on my might-do list for next summer.

  3. @Marilyn - come on down. I'll sneak you in my bag.

    @Andy - what I was thinking to get around Nevada's rules was to just use casino comps to stop over there. I do know there are some really remote gas stations on the Arizona side of Hoover Dam that get heavily commissioned due to their location (I did one for $40 once) so if I traveled from say Phoenix to Vegas I could probably rack up some $$$ on the way to make up for lost income going through Nevada.

  4. Please don't put me in a carry-on!