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Salt Lake City | Vacationing on a Budget, Part 3

Scott and I discussed this potential destination a little more this weekend.  Really, vacation planning is a huge hobby of mine, when the weather's too crappy to do anything else.  September still seems a long way off, but we are now in to March, which also doesn't seem possible.

I waited to do this one, because it's kind of a combination of a flight and road trip.  We decided we'd be gone a total of 10 days, including travel days.  Rather than using an Excel spreadsheet as I did with the Alaska / Charleston post, I created a "workbook" to include a rough itinerary and stops.

I made two tabs in the same spreadsheet, so I could use formulas to calculate the total price.  This one was a lot more challenging than the others, due to planning the route.  Hotel prices also vary greatly, and it's a trade off between being closer to the National Parks and being able to …eat.  If we do this, we may stay longer in Idaho Falls and explore south Yellowstone and Grand Teton.  Using that as our base location eliminates (or at least knocks down) the $275 per night cost of staying in Jackson Hole.  It's just an hour and a half away.

You can see that the column for the "gas price" is pretty much empty.  I recommend using Mapquest- you can put in your estimated city and highway mpg, and it will calculate your fuel costs.  It's based on current prices- which could be anywhere 6 months from now.  I was able to add stops to the trip, which gives us an overview of the area we'll be exploring.  We used the National Parks as "anchors" to an area.  Really with those alone, we know we will have plenty to do.  I will also research small towns and other attractions along this route.  Though, we'll be pretty happy just driving around looking at things. 

This is still going to be quite an expensive trip- the more I looked into it, the more I'm leaning toward waiting a bit to do.  Though, the hotel costs will be knocked down quite a bit with our hotel points.  We used the National Parks as "anchors" to an area.  Really with those alone, we know we will have plenty to do.  I will also research small towns and other attractions along this route. 

Next up, I will be compiling links, info, and more spreadsheets for each of our options.  It'll include attractions that we want to do, entrance fees and ticket prices, and more route planning!

 Linking with A Compass Rose, All Kinds of Things, Little Red Window, & Live Randomly Simple


  1. I am super impressed!!! I need to send my honeymoon info your way.....those spreadsheets are amazing!

  2. hahaha Neurotic is the word :) And it totally doesn't mean that it makes the decision any easier... Every time a create one and run it past the husband, he's like, "soooo you want to go here this year?" And I just have to say, "I don't know!!!"

  3. Biana Perez11:01:00 AM

    Girl you are a spreadsheet whiz....I can't even do half that! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

  4. The formulas make it so much easier- less room for error. Though it does take a little getting used to. Thankfully Excel, Google Sheets, and iSheets or whatever the Mac version is, are all pretty interchangeable.

  5. Whoa! This is more than I've ever planned for a trip, so props! That being said, I think traveling in the States is much different than in Europe and there are a lot more variables to consider—like how big this freakin' land is!

  6. so does this mean you've opted for visiting SLC?

  7. Very true! I think a lot of it is where you live, too. Because when I think about a European vacation- I think just being wherever would cut it. Living in Florida/ the states, I think about IF there were will be enough activities for us to visit one area for however long.

  8. Hahaha nope! Husband asked em that same thing, and I / we still haven't made up our minds!

  9. Sarah Frazer9:44:00 AM

    What a neat idea. I love this! Thanks for linking up with Tuesday Talk!

  10. Thanks! It's nice to be able to go back and edit the spreadsheets as we plan more, too!!

  11. Yeah, in the States, the interesting parts are few and FAAAAAR from each other!

  12. we tend to be more interested in the things that AREN'T such tourist attractions... which is why a lot of our vacations are usually spent just driving around! :P


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