The Mystery Vacation: Changes Have Been Made

No, we're not going to New York
No, we’re not going to New York City

We are still going on the Mystery Vacation™ – that hasn’t changed. It’s still all paid for, non-refundable airline tickets purchased, etc.

But, a little over a week ago WenYu was awarded free airfare to attend one of the open houses for admitted students at Colorado College. She very much wants to go and check out the college before making a final decision, but she also doesn’t want to make such a big journey to an unknown place on her own. However, a trip for two to Colorado Springs, even a short one and with one airline ticket paid for, was not in this year’s family travel budget.

I could have taken money out of our savings to cover the cost of the trip, or used a credit card, but that’s not how I like or want to fund our travels. Trips are paid for out of funds saved from our regular income, after all bills and household expenses are covered. And, with a trip to Oahu planned for June and another trip to accompany WenYu to college coming up in the fall, this year’s travel budget was already maxed out.

All was not lost though. I realized there was some wiggle room in the Mystery Vacation™ budget because when I made hotel reservations, I booked two rooms for our stay so that Brett and I, and the girls, could each have our own rooms. I had also budgeted a generous daily amount to cover meals and other expenditures.

After crunching some numbers I found that if we all stayed in one room, and cut back our daily expenses by $50, we would have enough to cover costs for an extra trip to Colorado Springs. So, I asked the girls if they would mind sharing a room with their dad and me, and their answer was “No problem. How much time do we ever spend in the room anyway?” And, even with our daily budget cut by $50, we still will have more than enough to eat well, buy a few souvenirs if we want, and cover other miscellaneous expenses. All planned activities have already been paid for.

I made a quick phone call last Friday and changes were made to our reservation. We now have a large refund coming our way, and several hundred dollars have also been freed up in our travel savings. We may be a little more squeezed space-wise on the Mystery Vacation™, but it’s still all going to be very top quality, and a good time will be had by all.

Best of all (in my book, anyway), the destination remains a mystery – Brett and the girls still don’t know where we’re going!

I’ll be making reservations today for an April trip to Colorado Springs!

8 thoughts on “The Mystery Vacation: Changes Have Been Made

    1. I’m not so sure about that amazing. My plane ticket nearly wipes out all that I saved from making the changes. I was able to get great prices at the hotel and for the rental car though, so we should be able to squeak in under the wire, money-wise. I am so thankful the college is paying for WenYu’s ticket!


  1. I have been dying to know the destination for your Mystery Trip. Can’t wait to see where you wind up.


  2. It’s just another parenting expense made slightly more expensive cause you are flying over ocean, dramatically increasing the cost of a ticket. I would put this in the education category of the family budget not the travel category. And if she goes there it’s a bargain cause of her scholarship/financial package. But you worked it out. You may want to assume a larger education budget when your youngest has her turn. It’s going to be so weird having no school expenses or year round living expenses for the girls.


    1. One of the reasons we are trying to accumulate Hawaiian air miles is to help cover some of these upcoming travel expenses to and from college. I was appalled at how high the airfare was for this trip – there were no “cheap flights” (and nothing that wasn’t overnight) – and so grateful that CC is picking up the cost for WenYu’s ticket. She is very relieved and thankful that I am coming along with her though. CC will cover almost all of her meals there and some of mine. The travel agent did help me get a good price for a hotel room (which has a free breakfast), and the car rental is downright cheap so that helps keep expenses down too. But yes, this is an educational expense – we’re not doing any sightseeing on this trip. It’s all about the college.


  3. Why am I so excited about this mystery trip? I’m no going, haha! I just love travel, but hate not to be in control. I love the “idea” of surprises, but in actuality I really don’t like to be surprised. I always think I could have gotten a better deal, done more research, etc. my my my, what an awful ungrateful attitude I have. I guess I certainly have something to work on. Anyhow, I’m excited to see where you go.


    1. Well, you and I are alike: I like to be in control as well and do not like surprises. But my family does like to be surprised and they said they trusted me so this arrangement has worked out well. I honestly think they are going to be very, very happy with the destination and what I have planned for us. Brett loathes planning travel – he just likes to go!

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