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How to (Not) Save Money on Vacation

Updated on April 13, 2012
A wedding guest just told that the open bar was closed.
A wedding guest just told that the open bar was closed.
A beautiful view of a train as it rumbles within feet of my hotel room. Lovely at 3 a.m.
A beautiful view of a train as it rumbles within feet of my hotel room. Lovely at 3 a.m.
Shirt, tie and coat all in place. Too bad I had to buy new ones on the fly.
Shirt, tie and coat all in place. Too bad I had to buy new ones on the fly.
After a fancy dinner, nothing rounds out a nice bachelor party like lots of beer.
After a fancy dinner, nothing rounds out a nice bachelor party like lots of beer.

One of my old college buddies recently did me the great honor of asking if I would be his best man. Since I rather like this particular college buddy, and since he promised an open bar at the reception, I heartedly accepted.

Now, my little family is a bit cash-strapped at the moment, so we set out for Los Angeles with every intention of doing this vacation in an efficient, and cost-effective manner. What we ended up doing reads a bit like a comedy of errors. So, for the edification and amusement of others, I would like to share a few tips about how (NOT) to save money on an L.A. wedding vacation!

  1. Definitely lose your purse at the airport
    It may seem trivial, but the thrills and excitement of losing your purse - containing your wallet, cell phone, and boarding passes - is easily on par with any ride at Disneyland. Missing your first flight will ensure costly rerouting fees, which is super fun. If you are forced to fly to a different airport, then you can experience the added joy of your rental car costs DOUBLING, since you're picking up and dropping off in different locations. There are health benefits too! Your spouse will help avoid deep vein thrombosis by scampering around the airport in hopes of finding the purse.
  2. Try to awkwardly shoe-horn in a visit with nearby family
    By ensuring that you have a trivial amount of time with loved ones, you can feel much, much better about the hours of extra driving (and associated fuel costs) during your vacation.
  3. Be sure to forget your luggage during said visit with family
    Nothing makes hours of SoCal freeway traffic more enjoyable, than realizing that your entire suitcase of clothing is now hours away. You can save on eye drops, by quietly weeping during your drive!
  4. Plan a bachelor party somewhere with a strict dress code
    This ensures that the evening will be expensive, and also that you will need to...
  5. Go shopping for all the things you needed in your suitcase
    Who doesn't like shopping! Well, maybe you do, since you're trying to save cash, and everything you buy is just a duplicate for what was in that suitcase you forgot. Weep some more to keep those eyes moist. SoCal can be a bit arid.
  6. Stay at a hotel you can't sleep in
    Why pay good money just to lie somewhere unconcious, when you can (unknowingly) get a room right next to a major Amtrak line, and have hours of extra awake vacation time. Enjoy the hourly wail of the train whistle, while your entire room shakes like it's the big one.
  7. Splurge on a nice hotel
    It is a wonderful convenience to be able to walk/stumble to your room from the reception. Also, no trains. Bonus points if you paid extra for the "Romance Package" of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries for you and your spouse. Be sure to check in mid-day and then go out for a few hours, so the champagne will be tepid, and the strawberries mushy by the time you actually get to enjoy them!

But I digress. In spite of our many misadventures, it was an amazingly fun vacation. We reunited with a ton of old friends, and got to make a few new ones. I can say that even if you are unlucky enough to follow all of our travel tips, if your friends and family are anything like ours, your trip will still be completely worth it!


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    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      This hub was a knee slapper from beginning to end! I'm guessing you and your family will NEVER forget this wedding. lol!

      As for leaving things behind, I **almost** flew off to London from Chicago-O'Hare without my passport after setting it down at a security checkpoint, but luckily an airline employee tracked me down before time to board. Years earlier, while changing planes in Denver on a domestic flight from Las Vegas to Wichita, ALL my luggage (5 pieces) was put on a flight to Minneapolis while I watched from inside the terminal! It was sent on to me the next afternoon, but I had to go out and purchase a new outfit for the dressy function I was attending the next morning, before my bags caught up with me. After that, I learned to pack very light. I only take what fits in a carry-on and nothing more, even for overseas flights!

      Voted up and hilarious (okay, funnnnnny)! ;D

    • profile image

      Megan Haggstrom 6 years ago

      You were, however, simply divine as a best man and made a toast worth remembering. You are a gem and I'm so glad you were there to get Ben through the rough patches! Cheers to YOU!

    • glenn wallace profile image

      glenn wallace 6 years ago

      We did indeed. The shuttle drivers were quite helpful in helping us track it down, and returning it without a thing missing.

    • profile image

      Aunt cheryl 6 years ago

      Did you ever get the purse back???

    • profile image

      Arlene V. Poma 6 years ago

      I get a good laugh whenever I see Gareth. I feel (and look) that way whenever I check my ATM balances.

    • glenn wallace profile image

      glenn wallace 6 years ago

      Yeah, the lead photo is courtesy of Gareth, who was invaluable fun throughout the week.

    • ladysonoma profile image

      ladysonoma 6 years ago

      You can save on eye drops by weepung was my favorite line. The worse thing i did was lose my passport in the Dunlin terminal. I was escorted to their customs office. Surprisingly, they just sent me home without delay. Hopefully because i still had my California drivers license. Thank god it was still valid, as id been in the country nearly a year, lol. Three months is the max!

      Oh and great face! Lol! Sorry for typos. Im on a tablet.

    • glenn wallace profile image

      glenn wallace 6 years ago

      I almost added the amusement park in there Haggie, but that last ride was just so dang epic, and getting to hang out with you all was so much fun, that day was entirely worth the money IMO.

      Though, after the park closed we waited in line for nearly an hour trying to get our free admission upgrades to season passes. As it looked like more than an hour more to get into the ticket office, we opted to just take off. So,sigh, we would have been better off getting on that last coaster with you.

    • profile image

      Arlene V. Poma 6 years ago

      VOTED UP. I absolutely love that first illustration, and your Hub has a lot of good (but humorous) points. Train? What train? I live in a neighborhood with a train, so that's no big deal. I'm glad you had a happy ending to all of this.

    • profile image

      haggie 6 years ago

      And don't forget to pay $100 for admission into a theme park so late in the day (and after driving over an hour to get there) that you only get to enjoy three rides before closing time! (And that goes for you too, Gareth.) Inefficient use of $ or not, it was still great merging with your group late in the day! =)

    • profile image

      Gareth D 6 years ago

      You are clearly too much of a gentleman to mention: making the ultimate best man sacrifice of covering the entire cost of the reception on your credit card because the venue wouldn't accept the grooms personal cheque!

    • hinazille profile image

      CONSCIOUSNINJA 6 years ago from Planet Earth

      great How-Not-To guide!

    • profile image

      Clara 6 years ago

      Ohhhhh man, what a misadventure! Glad it was fun despite the enormous expense!!!


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