Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pennywise on the road

This isn't the old "$5 a Day" kind of trip. We're getting a few deals by booking ahead and traveling in the off-season, and that helps quite a bit.
But we had no idea that gas prices would skyrocket the way they have. Gas is always more expensive in summer's traveling season and near holidays, but wow. To be pennywise and hopefully not pound foolish, we looked for a few ways to cut the cost of traveling and make up for the $$$ we'll pour into the gas tank on my minivan.
Snacks: we're bringing a cooler and a small batch of road snacks. That way we'll pay regular grocery prices (and even save a few cents with coupons) instead of gas/convenience store mark-ups. I will make coffee in the hotel rooms to fill my travel mug whenever possible instead of (gulp) going to Starbucks.
Tolls: Husband looked into getting an I-Pass. The I-Pass works in several of the states we'll cross, and we can set one up as we enter Illinois. The I-Pass will get us a discounted toll rate and let us drive in the faster lanes so we don't have to stop at each toll. (Amigo calls it an "I-Pass Gas." Grrrr...teen boys!)
Packing: We do need one more suitcase. Luckily for me, my Kohls card had a major % off last weekend, so I used it on this expense. Now the laptop case -- I didn't see a decent one. I hope to find one at a discount store before we go.
When we reach the cottage, we'll buy food for the week. However, I am packing a box of basics so we don't get socked at the tiny market in Vacationland. We lived in a Wisconsin Vacationland town early in our life together; we have a good idea how these things work. Buy the specialties and perishables on-site; bring the cereal, coffee, and salt and pepper along.
We already have our passports, our bike rack, and more. I think we'll be ready. I sure hope so!

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