Vacation on a Budget – Part 3 – Remaining Expenses

This is part 3 in a series about vacationing on a budget.

As a quick recap, our budget for the entire trip was $2,400. We broke it down into the following categories:

  • $1,200 for lodging (50%)
  • $300 for gas (12.5%)
  • $400 for food, groceries, supplies (16.7%)
  • $500 for activities (20.8%)

As I covered in part 2, we spent $1,188.84 out of our budgeted $1,200 for lodging.


It is about 519 miles from our home in the Nashville area to Tybee Island. When you add driving around the Savannah area, as well as some sight seeing in Atlanta on our way back, we easily put about 1,300 miles on our Honda Pilot. The Pilot gets about 21 miles to the gallon on the hightway, and gas prices ranged from about $3.19 to $3.79 on our trip. We ended up spending $322.23 on fuel for the trip.

We had been warned that Savannah and Tybee had very few free parking spaces. By staying close to the ocean, we avoided paying a meter every time we wanted to chill out on the sand. On our longest day in Savannah, we were able to park for free at the guided trolly tour’s main stop. In total, we only spent $10 on parking

When we got back to Nashville, we took the Pilot to a car wash to get rid of sand and other gunk – $7

Total vechile expenses : $339.23 (out of $300 budgeted)


We wanted to spend more time at the beach on this trip, as our kids are finally getting to the age that they can enjoy playing in the water and in the sand. The beaches near our rental were free. We did do a few touristy things in Savannah and Atlanta, including:

  • Sightseeing trolley tour: $59.38
  • Savannah Train Museaum: $25.00
  • World of Coke : $40

Total for sightseeing: $124.38 (out of $500 budgeted)

Food, Snacks and other supplies

So far everything category I have listed has been under-budget. The one area that we did go a little over budget was on food and groceries. Since we had not spent as much on touristy activities than we had planned, we were able to shift our priorities and have some nicer meals out (as nice as having 3 kids under 5 with us can be). We spent $224.80 on dining out, including fast food while in transit, and several nicer sitdown restaraunts.

Our rental had a full kitchen, so we ate most of our meals in. We had steaks one night, hamburgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches. We cooked pancakes, eggs, and had cereal for our breakfasts. Had we planned a bit better, we could have saved $10-20 on not having to buy some staples such as ketchup, mustard, sugar, etc. We ended up bringing some left over condiments home with us.

We also bought a few items to use on our trip. Several months before we left, we pikced up a beach umbrella, a folding wagon, and some other beach supplies at Sams Club.

Total for groceries and supplies: $588.98 (out of $400 budgeted)

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