Daily Archives: May 11, 2010

What do you mean money doesn’t grow on trees?!?

We live pretty frugally here in Kcinnova’s World. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t take the occasional vacation — we just vacation in a less expensive way than many other people we know. It’s not the easiest goal to accomplish when you have a large family. Hotel room for 6 people? Feeding hungry teenagers? Purchasing special event tickets? It all adds up quickly.  So how do we do it?

One example is our spring break trip to New York City. We spent 3 days in The City, but much of what we did was free. Yes, we did plenty of walking and our lodging was less than $100 per night. (If you are military-lodging eligible, check out Fort Wadsworth.) We took along a knapsack full of snacks to keep the hungries at bay. But we also took in a show and treated ourselves to Chinese ice cream, New York-style pizza, and a couple of nice meals, so we do try for balance and we don’t scrimp on everything.  Sure, Phantom of the Opera would be better if you had awesome seats, but when all you can get is $26 spots to stand at the rail, it’s better than nothing! And it was only $156 total for all 6 of us.

I was dreaming this morning of going back to Wisconsin Dells this summer. It would be a great place to celebrate the end of the school year, Father’s Day, and high school graduation. And I just might have thought of it because there was an e-mail advertisement in my inbox from Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park. This is one of those places where a family of 6 can get a lot of bang for the buck. Yes, I did click on the link and do a little math… brain exercises and all that. 😉  We’ve stayed at Mt. Olympus twice before; I took the kids by myself when SuperDad was deployed and then we all went together 2 years ago. You might be wondering how a stay at this resort is a bargain for a family of six. Let me explain…

My brother & his family live rather far from here, but only a few hours from Mt. Olympus.  His family is wonderful and we love them dearly, but a 2 day break from one another isn’t a bad thing during a 10-day visit. The great thing about Mt. Olympus is that staying at the resort gives you free tickets to the theme park for every day you stay, including the day you check out! I plugged in my dream dates (June 21-22) and did the math for a Double Queen with Bunk Beds room at Hotel Rome. Sure, we could stay for free at my brother’s house and drive back and forth for 2 days, but the tickets for a family of 6 = $239.94, and we’d be so exhausted from our first day that we’d probably not get back in the car! By staying overnight at the resort, we get 2 days of tickets PLUS a comfortable night for all 6 of us for only $301.36 ($264.00 plus taxes).   That’s right, staying at Mt. Olympus overnight basically costs us $60, which is an incredible deal in and of itself… but let’s factor in commuting costs (gasoline, exhaustion) and convenience (the park is literally right outside your door) and don’t forget: falling into bed soon after the park closes and not waking up until right before it opens: PRICELESS.

This post is entirely my own opinion. Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park neither asked me to write it nor compensated me for it… although I would be happy to accept donations!