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How much do you budget per day for family of four?

How much do you budget per day for family of four?

Old Jul 19th, 2004, 11:53 AM
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 219
How much do you budget per day for family of four?

Just wondering what the average family budgets for vacation (seperate from lodging) each day.

We're doing the first time ever "big" family vacation this summer. (myself, hubby, and two daughters, 13 and 11). Flying to Las Vegas, renting a car and driving to Grand Canyon, then Sedona, then back to Vegas. We plan to pack a cooler for breakfasts and some lunches, but will have dinner out each night. Plan to do some fun sightseeing type stuff, but trying to limit spending.

Any of you who have done similar type trip, what did you end up spending per day? Did you go over what you estimated? Any tips or hints for us?

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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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My family of four usually averages $150 while driving not including lodging. We do an in car cooler and grocery shop for fruit, sandwiches, etc. for the majority of days and eat dinner out. We often do an attraction per day. Things like a horse back ride or float trip or museum or cave or what have you. Some days are more and some less but that is the weekly average with 2 teens.
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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 01:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I think placeu2 is right on the money with $150 per day for food, but excursions in Sedona like the Pink Jeep or Hummer tour (I prefer the Hummer) will probably blow your budget for that day.
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Old Jul 20th, 2004, 02:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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I'd like to make a suggestion regarding your travel plans: I originally planned the same itinerary as you, flying into Vegas, then driving to GC & Sedona - then back to Vegas. However, I changed our plans due to ALL of the driving to and from Vegas! Instead (a $300 fee to change, but WELL WORTH IT), we flew into Phoenix and rented a car, driving to Sedona (2 hrs). Then after 2 nights drove to GC (2 1/2 hrs.) After 2 nights there we drove to Vegas (5 1/2 hrs). I will say that in addition to the extra charge for switching destinations with the plane, we also incurred a higher fee to rent a car - picking it up in Phoenix & dropping it off in Vegas... but saving that 5 1/2 hour drive (very long and although interesting for a while, gets boring)!
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Old Jul 20th, 2004, 04:22 AM
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I'm glad to hear $150 Placeu2. Thats the number we had in mind as well. I'm happy thats do-able. I just hope we can find decent food in Las Vegas for a reasonable price.

Postal, I'm sure you're right about the jeep tour blowing the budget for the day....I still want to do it, but hubby not so convinced. We'll see when we get there. Did you do jeep or hummer?

Lpowmacbac, thanks for the suggestion. I looked into that as well, but all the extra charges made us stick with the original plan. I know it will be some hours in the car, but NOTHING near what it would be, had we decided to drive from home (Ohio) out to Arizona, so I"m ok with it.

Thanks for the help everyone. Only 18 days til we leave!!!!
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Old Jul 20th, 2004, 04:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,597
I've done both Pink Jeep and Hummer and preferred the Hummer because it wasn't as hard on my back. The Hummer can go places the Jeep can't, believe it or not! (It's called the Jeep Eater Tour)
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Old Jul 21st, 2004, 11:03 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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I am just adding one more example for a family of four--everyone is different, I'm sure. I would say $150 is pretty tight. Possible if you don't eat breakfast or lunch out, but still pretty close.

In Vegas, you can find some reasonably-priced buffets (for a buffet with some variety and different foods, The Palms), but keep in mind beverages are often additional, and wine or other drinks more.

In Sedona, we found some nice, less-expensive family restaurants, but we can often spend closer to $100 just on dinner, even if it is a "moderately priced" restaurant--if each person orders a full meal and a drink, and if you order an appetizer, include tip and tax, etc. We usually save money on breakfast doing exactly what you are suggesting--trips to the grocery store. That way you get fresh fruit too, so that's a bonus. Most convenient if you can find a hotel with a small fridge--cereal and milk.

The good news is the hikes in the GC are free, as are the lovely hikes in the red rocks in Sedona. Well, actually, I think you need to pay something for a pass (or was it parking?), but it wasn't that significant.

Have a great trip--I am just gently cautioning that we usually go over what we estimate when we call it that close.

Oh, I almost forgot, my biggest tip after our latest vacation: split meals at restaurants! The portions are just larger and larger, it seems, and even two people with a good appetite can usually split a salad and a dinner entree at a "moderately priced" restaurant these days. My pick for Sedona--The Cowboy Club. Very southwest and generous portions. Try the fried cactus!
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