Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mish Mash

A health look back on 2009 revealed no lost of work due to sick days. That's good considering I work around lots of people in tight surroundings. D and I cooked even more in '09 than '08 and this year, even more.

The list of things we buy pre-made is in the single digits. I really want to get even stronger this year. It is so easy to lose conditioning that strengthening has to be a weekly event just to maintain.

On a different note, we are taking a little chance this year by getting our snow tires off our vehicles this and next week. I only drove my car 4 times this winter and I am thinking I may not even bother putting them on next winter -- which will probably mean a killer winter... : )

To answer a question from "I'd rather be sailing" back a couple of weeks ago -- regarding how I handle travel related costs and if I travel scaled back too since D and I tend not to indulge in what most people consider "everyday" stuff such as monthly cell phone plans, cable etc.

The short answer is not really but everyone's sliding scale is different. My budget for a solo European/overseas trip a week to 10 days is $3000 and under. Some may think the amount is peanuts while others may say they can go away for over a month with that money. Depending on the destination, how the money gets distributed changes.

For example, if I was going to Nice, I would be eating most of it away. In Iceland, most of it went to my accommodations and excursions with very basic eating. In Paris I'd spend on food, museums and galleries in equal increments. You get the idea -- the total amount stays the same.

To round out how we live, we may not pay for cable but we have a 96" projector to watch movies we take out from the library or rent. D did pay for cable while we were out west last year with his bonus money.

As for cell phones, we have a pay as you go and it is only used for emergencies so that costs us $15 every 4 months. Our world phone cost us $150 which came with 100 minutes which never expires.

Ever since we started renting apartments, we have actually saved money while travelling. It is amazing how being able to make your own breakfast can save. Plus I've come to really like not hearing housekeeping staff moving at 8:30am.

Most of the apartments we've rented have been in places we would have a hard time affording to buy so it is treat to stay in such nice and much larger accommodations vs a hotel.

Back in my hotel days, my preference leaned to the Fairmont group. They tended to be in great locations with buildings that frequently have a lot of character. It appeals to my architectural side. But, at easily $200+ a night, it eats up my budget quickly.

When I am wanting a quick long weekend getaway and am craving room service, that is where I like to turn. I haven't gone on one of these for years -- which means I haven't been as burnt out as I used to be -- a great thing!

To fund our vacations, we do have a modest travel account. It is not nearly enough. We count on my extra income, tax refunds, bonuses, dream account and allowance. Even in a lean year, I can still count on one solo trip a year.


  1. I never thought about renting apartments. I guess it's something to think about if I'll be staying in one location for a week.

    I like the Fairmont group as well. They usually have beautiful old buildings. =)

  2. Hi Sandra!

    If D didn't talk me into it 4 years ago, I wouldn't have considered it either.

    For fun, here is the link to the site we used for our first apartment rental in Nice. We like to stay in the Port area.