Vacation Spending: My 2 Weeks in New England and Mexico

2-weeks-vacationI’m happy to be back again after some more great travels! While this was a nice 2-week break, it was really more of a relaxing trip versus a sightseeing adventure like my trip to Spain earlier this year. Here’s how I kept spending down to a comfortable level while still enjoying awesome food and visiting great locations.


Week 1: Camping in New Hampshire and Maine for 6 days


NH = $20.50

Maine = $28.00

Wood = $15.50


Gas = $49.26


Lighthouse visit = $3.00


Food and drink = $54.39

Groceries = $13.40

Other = $24.00

Total = $208.05  or $41.61 per night

Favorite memories and experiences from Week 1:

1) This was probably the worst part of the trip, but it rained for about 30 hours straight while we were camping. Needless to say, we were soaked on the 2nd night and never dried out after that.

2) We got to have some great craft beers and visit a couple breweries, too, which is always a highlight for me.

3) Camping rocks! I love being outdoors, and it’s a bargain to tent camp at most places. We cooked over the fire a couple of times, too, which always makes it more fun.

What I would change from Week 1:

1) We probably went a bit crazy eating out at places that weren’t really worth their cost. Some of the spots we visited charge a premium due to their popularity with tourists, so we paid the price for that.

Week 2: Cancun, Mexico for 6 days


Condo rental = $120.00

Flight =$441.35

Ground transportation

Buses and Cabs = $44.00

Car rental = $28.00


Snorkeling = $30.00

Ruins (Chichen Itza) = $12.00


Food and drink (groceries) = $61.00

Eating out and drinks = $119.84

Total = $856.24 or $142.72 per night

Favorite memories and experiences for Week 2:

1) We accidentally stayed in the wrong condo for the first night! It’s a long story, but, due to an email mix-up, we spent the first 24 hours hanging out in someone’s condo that we weren’t supposed to be in! Oops!

2) The pool for our condo was literally ON the beach, and we had it all to ourselves the whole week!

3) The food was awesome and it was really cheap, too! We spent an average of around $13 a meal, and that included one drink and tip! We definitely didn’t go to any of the lame, touristy places and I’m really glad we didn’t. Luckily we were about 30 minutes south of Cancun, so where we were was a much less popular area that gave us a more authentic experience.

4) The airfare was almost half of the cost of the entire trip, making the rest of it pretty cheap.

5) I got to hang out with 5 awesome friends AND it saved a ton of money because we shared one condo. While the condo wasn’t ideal for 6 people, I definitely didn’t mind sharing the little space we had.

What I would change for Week 2:

1) That $441 flight was expensive! I think we should’ve booked earlier than we did, especially knowing so far in advance we were going on this trip. I know this isn’t breaking news or anything, but I’ll definitely be more mindful of it in the future.

2) We thought we would save money by renting a car to visit Chichen Itza for a day, but I don’t think we actually saved much and it ended up being a much bigger headache than taking a tour bus!

3) It is a little touristy in general in Mexico. It wasn’t my ideal trip for sightseeing, but it was great to relax nonetheless (and we did well avoiding getting ripped off).


Overall, it was a pretty damn awesome 2 weeks of vacation! While I’m sure it’s not the cheapest vacation I could envision, I think it was a great value as I only spent just over $1,000 total on destinations, a huge chunk of which was the $450 in airfare. Overall, including days off where I was back home or with family, I spent less than $100 a day. In all I’m really glad I got to take the time off while switching positions between my jobs, as I probably won’t have this long of a period off again until Summer 2012.


  1. I’d love to camp in Maine. I’m really enjoying the site 🙂

    —Amy Schiele

  2. I’d love to camp in Maine. I’m really enjoying the site! 🙂

    —Amy Schiele

  3. Hunter @ Financially Consumed says

    You’ll never forget that rainy camping adventure. Welcome back, although I’m sure you would still rather be travelling.

  4. Camping, craft beer and cooking over the campfire.  In New England, no less. Great stuff!

  5. Sounds wonderful!  We love to rent a condo & cook for ourselves some of the time.  Glad you got to relax with friends.  Camping in Maine?  Awesome!  There are some terrific parks there.  Great job overall in keeping expenses down & the fun factor up!

  6. Looks like you had a blast and kept expenses manageable!  

  7. Did you rent a car in Cancun? We used on of those tour companies and didn’t like it that much. Next time we might rent a car. Looks like you did very well with expenses.

    • Yes, we rented a car, and it was not a fun experience. We got lost, almost ran out of gas, rode down roads under construction, and basically doubled the travel time that we expected. I think we spent about 7 hours driving and 2 hours at our destination! Maybe there’s pros and cons to both sides, but I don’t think anyone in our group is excited for driving in Mexico next time!

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