Travel fund plans foiled
Current travel fund: $254
Projected August spending: $250+ (hotel and campsite paid for, gas, food and fun not paid for)
Projected August contribution: $100
Projected balance post trip: $100
September – Dec contribution: $400 (just enough for a ticket home!)
See, I had a pretty good plan going, I was going to have exactly the amount I needed to get through the year on my current travel budget. Yes, it would go temporarily negative, since the holiday ticket would be bought before December, but still. It was going to work out.
Suddenly my mom tells me my grandma is 80 this year, and it is “kind of mandatory” that I come home to celebrate in September. Now I don’t need to buy just any plane ticket, but a plane ticket to a po-dunk town which only has just 2 airline options. A cursory search turned up at $1000+. Um, no thanks.
My sister lives in a major city which is still 500 miles away. I figured I could tag along with them and get a ticket for about $250, or even under $200 on a lucky day. She informed me they are taking the train. I could do the same, which would be another $125. Total cost, $375 + a lot of train.
I could fly into my home city and ride with my parents, which is about 250 miles away. Total cost, probably $425 + 4-5 hours in the car, each way. On the plus side, I’d probably be able to see a couple friends at home and make it into a little bit longer of a trip.
I also can fly from Vegas to a town about 40 miles away from my grandparents for a low price of $217, and my parents could pick me up on the way. The flight leaves at 6:30 am and I don’t live in Las Vegas, I live in L.A. A round trip bus between the two cities could be had for about $70 (plus getting to/from union station), and a cheap hotel on a random weeknight could be had for $40 (the bus would get in the day before). Total cost, about $320 + one extra day in Vegas. Lots of traveling. Or I could drive, but then I’d have to pay to park somewhere. This is the cheapest option, but involves a lot of travel time. Is it worth it? Probably not.
Maybe I can work something out where my parents would help me? Or am I too old for that? I don’t know, I probably shouldn’t. They aren’t exactly flush with money anyway.
If I do better searching, I can probably find a ticket right to where my grandparents live for around $525. I tagged a few using yapta.com (which has improved since the last time I logged in), and I’ll get emails if prices drop. When I go home for Christmas, it’ll probably be at least $400 there as well. I probably could get out of this, but it seems like I should go. It seems selfish/miserly to say I can’t afford to celebrate my grandparents when I have well over $10k sitting there.