So, I just came back from Miami. It was so fun spending time with some close girlfriends. It was something we had never done before and by the end of it, we were already planning the next one. We are all single moms and it was great being able to get away to let loose a little bit. When you are the only person in the household bringing in income, you have to constantly be on "work mode". The success of the household depends on it. Anyway, enough of that, let's get into my money lessons from the trip:
I love Google Flights! I used it to book our plane tickets and it is indispensable. The ease of finding cheap tickets is awesome. We actually chose our dates around ticket prices to get the best deal possible at the time. Round-trip ticket = $204.99 + $50 bag fees = $254.99
Miami is EXPENSIVE!
Living in North Carolina, I am used to a very low cost of living. I am talking $4 to $5 for a fast food meal. When I saw the food prices down there, I almost passed out. We ended up spending at least $20 every meal! Don't get me wrong, the food was delicious! It gave us a chance to try some restaurants that we don't have in NC. We went to a Cuban restaurant that was amazing. I can finally say that I've been to Senor Frogs although we missed the "Drag Brunch" which might have been pretty fun. The surprise was our very own hotel! The food was great! We didn't discover it until our last day but more on the hotel in a minute. Being a foodie, I do spend for good food. This alone took up the majority of the budget (behind flight) but it was well worth it! Cost (food & drinks) = $143.40
Luckily, our hotel was right on the beach so we could walk to the beach which is where we spent the majority of our time. Also, the hotel was very centrally located (on Collins Ave & a couple of blocks from Ocean Drive). We could walk to stores, food, and the liquor store was right across the street! LOL! We used Uber for all destinations that were outside of walking distance. Cost = $133.09/4 = $33.27
Our Home Away From Home
The hotel was gorgeous! I found the deal on Priceline. Because my DC hotel (Things I Learned From My DC Trip) went so well using the Express Deals feature, I did it again! I will never book a hotel another way again! We were beachfront right on Collins Avenue just a walk away from the nightlife on Ocean Drive. The hotel had stewards that took our bags so we didn't have to lift a finger. The pool area had a bar and towel attendants. The beach had towel attendants to set up our beach chairs, umbrellas, and towels. There was an onsite restaurant and gym. We loved it! Cost = $115 a night x 4 nights = $460/4 = $115 + $25 resort fee = Grand Total $140
Most of our entertainment came from the beach and the pool. Being able to enjoy the waves and the sun was what we mainly wanted to accomplish. Fortunately, both of those options are FREE! We also found a Groupon for a party boat tour of the rich and famous which was only $53.74 after using a Groupon in-app coupon that took off $12 (#winning). All of the nightlife was free for ladies so we only paid for drinks which wasn't much because we pre-gamed (liquor store across the street from the hotel, remember?) We went in on a huge bottle that lasted the whole trip! Total cost = about $50
Great Time, Great People
Miami was awesome! I ended up spending a total of about $367 (not including plane) which was only $17 over my budgeted estimate so I would consider that a win! Plus, the memories I made with my closest friends was priceless. I can't wait until the next girls' trip!
Have you been to Miami? What was your experience? Did you go over budget or were you on target?