Wow! It’s September already
Where is the time going?
The summer is already over and the 2018-2019 school year has begun. By the way, I forgot to tell you all about my family vacation 2018!!
Back in May (on Mother’s day of all days) I was in a serious car accident. I suffered from a concussion, a laceration across my face, and now I have this beautiful scar :-). I say all this to say life has really been crazy, emotional, and unpredictable. I finally feel like I’m getting my life back on track.
But ANYwhoooooo on to the fun stuff. June 4 was a major milestone for my family. It was my twin boys sweet 16th birthday.
I took them on a Carnival Cruise to the Bahamas- Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, and Freeport.
Cruising is always a great idea to consider when booking a vacation for the family. The Room, most of the food, entertainment and drinks are all inclusive — YAY YAY!!!!
I can’t even begin to tell you how much food we ate OMG LOL ….
They have so many different options: Burgers, Salads, Asian, Pizza, Mexican, you name it, they had it! BUTTTTT everyone’s absolutely favorite was The Captain Dinner. This is where you will get top of the line customer service and fine dining. And again still all-inclusive!!!!!
We were aboard the Pride ship. It’s pretty much a huge floating hotel. It has 3 pools (one is a adult only), an entire waterpark, mini golf, basketball court, game room, “seaside” movie theater, nightly game shows, lip sync battles, and even a night club. (They even have a late night daycare for those of you with little children). I mean the list goes on. There’s no way you can be bored unless you are boring person HAHAHA!!!
Wait I’m not done, that was only on the ship. I have to tell you about the beautiful ocean. Grand Turk was the biggest of the island we visited but Half Moon Cay, the private island, is just breathe taking. I took so many pictures of the local flowers and trees (Check out my Instagram @theexpenspert page to see the pictures). The cruise line arranged an enormous buffet for lunch on the island that day as well.
We also did land excursion each day we were off the ship.
Horseback Ride and Swim Adventure: This was so stressful for me as a mother- LOL. I was in full-blown Mommy mood. Horses, water, and cliffs, oh my! It just gave me all types of anxiety but the boys had a blast!
String Ray Adventure: This was really cool. We got to interact with a Sting Rays, Starfish, Sea Cucumber and other sea life. We also were able to feed the Sting Rays, which I guess the one I was feeding was really excited because he nibbled on my finger as well -_- nothing major just a quick nip but totally worth the experience.
Dolphin Close Encounter: This was my favorite of all 3 excursions. The dolphins were so cool!!! They are really intelligent creators. They ‘’talked” so much trash HAHA! And did all sorts of tricks. My son,Andre, wasn’t feeling the dolphins at all. I guess he just like the land animals! LOL
Needless to say, we had a blast!!
Now how did I afford to do all of this? Here are the three steps I took:
Step 1: Set A Budget
Before you start to do any research, you should know:
- how much you want to spend
- what you can afford, the amount that will not put strain on your current budget
- how long you want to be on vacation
Step 2: Research and Plan
This should be done well in advance. I recommend a minimum of 6 months before the date you want to travel. I did all my research and planning way back in Oct 2017.
You should research:
- the location, the price, what the price includes, if the resort or hotel is all inclusive or if you need a meals and entertainment budget.
- What kind of transportation is near the location or do you need to include a rental car in your budget.
- the rating as well, always. The last thing you want is a crappy experience you could have avoided.
Before I go into the next step, here is why I stress the importance of having a good pay history and good budgeting skills. This is where it pays off. You can pretty much do everything you want to do (within reason) with a line of credit.
Step 3: Apply for a line of Credit
A lot of creditors will give you X amount of months of interest free payment depending on your credit history. I used PayPal credit and got 6 months same as cash (Interest Free). I was able to pay for everything with the line of credit and have my vacation completely paid off before we were even on board.
Again I cannot stress this enough, a line of credit/ credit cards/ loans are NOT free money!!!!! You have to pay for what you purchase. Its really that simple. If you don’t make your payment on time, you will not only put yourself in debt but also accrue interest.
So if your budgeting skills are where they need to be and your credit history is good, getting a line of credit is a great way to fund your trip. But if not that is why I started this blog. I want to help families like my own. I would love to help you to get you where you need to be so you and your family can enjoy all that life has to offer.
Download my SMB Family Vacation Budget Kit as a gift from me and start preparing for your 2019 family vacation today!