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Budgeting for holiday to the US


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#26 JomoMum

Posted 13 June 2019 - 01:15 PM

Thank you so much everyone, this is all really helpful!

We will have an 18month old and 8 year old, so feeding them and getting them about will be big considerations.

#27 born.a.girl

Posted 13 June 2019 - 03:02 PM

Make sure you take a few plastic bowls, and some camping cutlery.  Even with just a fridge for milk, you can accommodate a cereal breakfast in the room. Sometimes it's nice to go out but you don't want to be obliged to do that first thing in the morning, every day. Even with no fridge, long life milk serves the same purpose, but then you do have to use it all or waste it.


We also take a very small chopping board and a little serrated knife.  It's surprising how often we used them.

#28 molinero

Posted 13 June 2019 - 04:05 PM

If you go in 18 months it may be winter time over there - so prepare a budget for some proper winter clothes if heading to places like NY.

I find this website quite useful for getting a basic idea of holiday budgeting reality. Select your country, budget range, home currency and number of ppl:

https://www.budgetyo...ates-of-america

As per Born a Girl's suggestion, I never travel without a swiss army knife. It's done everything from open wine bottles in Spain to peel potatoes in NZ.

Make sure your travel insurance is very very good. A friend was in a car accident in the USA and required surgery. You can imagine how expensive that would be in the USA if she didn't have good insurance.

It's also hard to know what the Aussie dollar will do over the next year. I would follow the exchange rates closely, and possibly purchase/lock in some USA currency soon if the forecasts say AUD is going to dip much further.

#29 Dahlia

Posted 14 June 2019 - 03:41 PM

We did two months over at the east coast of USA and I think all in all it cost us around $30K. That was including flights, attractions (e.g. Disneyworld, Kennedy space museum other museums etc..), car hire, food and accommodation and a 4 night cruise out of Miami. We did around 7000 kms travelling from NYC up to Maine, across to Detroit, down through the Appalachian mountians, down to Florida and then up the coast through to Washington and then back into NYC. US dollar was alot better back in 2014. As others had said, tipping is painful and adds up. Another thing we didn't factor in was road tolls on the main highways. Unfortunately Florida is full of them. Not quite sure about the Route 66 highways.  What we did....
  • Prebook Disney tickets.
  • Stayed in cabins in KOA campsites (Big 4 equivalent) and joined their membership to get discounts. We bought pillows, sleeping bags, cooking gear, esky, camp stove etc from Walmart for around $150 or so. Some of the cabins in KOAs are fully self contained, others have a basic kitchen with no bedding, others have no bedding or kitchen. Most we paid was around $120 - 130 US a night (e.g. Washington DC) however on average around $80 US or so. Basic cabins can be quite cheap at around $60 US. Good facilities for kids to stretch their legs too. There are probably other 'caravan' parks too. e.g. Good Sam. We just found it easier with KOA as we knew what to expect.
  • Did the occasional hotel room which included breakky ~ $100 US. Again join their rewards program
  • Usually ate breakfast and dinner at the cabin and lunch on the road. Trip advisor is your best friend to find the cheap places. Usually diners (not the big chains) off the beaten track. We often ate like kings for around $20 - $30 for the family however get used to hot dogs and hamburgers, ribs, BBQ brisket and deep fried. Some of the burgers were fantastic though. The more expensive meals are usually the more healthier ones.
  • Get off the beaten track. Small towns are great to see and are usually cheap to eat at when you find local diners.
  • Take a whole heap of maggi sachet packet mixes for stews, pasta etc...... I had planned to use these while over there however found they had nothing like that at all. In the supermarkets it was either ready made freezer meals or everything from scratch. Although they do have some amazing BBQ rubs for ribs and steaks.
Enjoy!  Would love to do Route 66 at some stage.

#30 overlytired

Posted 14 June 2019 - 09:52 PM

View PostDahlia, on 14 June 2019 - 03:41 PM, said:

We did around 7000 kms travelling from NYC up to Maine, across to Detroit, down through the Appalachian mountians, down to Florida and then up the coast through to Washington and then back into NYC. US dollar was alot better back in 2014. As others had said, tipping is painful and adds up. Another thing we didn't factor in was road tolls on the main highways. Unfortunately Florida is full of them.

Toll roads can always be avoided. The alternative options will usually be a crowded interstate (vs the toll bypass – eg I4 and I95 are free but I75 is a toll road), or a possibly longer non-interstate highway (vs the interstate). Sometimes you'll have toll lanes running somewhat parallel to the interstate, or Google will tell you to take those lanes but won't mention it's a toll (I've experienced this in the DC area), so do be aware of where you're being routed if relying on GPS (you can also set it to avoid tolls).

Edited to fix typo.

Edited by overlytired, 14 June 2019 - 09:53 PM.





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