Vacation Deflation: Our Aruba Trip Derailed

Vacation Deflation Our Aruba Trip Derailed - picture of passenger jet taking off in sunset

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Apparently, I’m just too cheap to go to Aruba.

I’ve spent the past few months planning the honeymoon we never had.  We have been married for almost 7 years, and haven’t really gone on a fancy honeymoon type trip; I have spent months and months researching places to go and where to stay.  I had finally settled on traveling to Aruba in April 2013 and found a super awesome deal at  For about $1,700.00, my husband and I could fly there for 7 nights and stay at the Holiday Inn Resort in Aruba.  We had no other choices because only the Holiday Inn was in our price range.  The pictures on their website looked beautiful, and I found mostly favorable reviews on

After months of planning, I finally logged on a few days ago to book and pay for our trip.  I made it all the way through to the last page of the purchase where I would enter my credit card information.  It was there in the fine print that I found that there is an extra $45/day resort charge.  WHAT?!?!?!  $45 per day for 7 days is a lot of money to us.  This really bothered me, so I decided to sleep on it until the next day.

Overnight, I made my peace with the resort fee and decided to go ahead and book our trip anyways.  Somehow, by the next day the trip had gone up an additional $300!  I found this to be seriously crazy and decided that it must not be meant for us to go to Aruba right now.  At this point, the trip was going to cost almost $2,300 and that didn’t include any food, drinks, or entertainment.

So, we went back to the drawing board and started researching less expensive locations.  After doing a little research, we finally decided on going to the Occidental Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  For about $2,700, we get two round-trip flights, an all-inclusive plan including food, alcohol, snacks, and most entertainment.  We also get an upgrade to their luxury Royal Club.  I’m sure we will spend a little more than that since we want to do some excursions and there are casinos everywhere – where my husband will want to play craps for hours and hours at a time.  We are going in February and I seriously cannot wait!

I had planned on splurging on this trip, but – in the end – I just could not pull the trigger on a trip as expensive as the one to Aruba.  Vacation should be relaxing and I didn’t want to go and resent every dollar I spent.  Instead, I’m thrilled with the vacation that we chose and feel very lucky that I am able to afford to go on vacation at all.  It appears that all the hard work we’ve put into budgeting and reducing our debt is starting to pay off…and it feels good!

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  1. When we got married we had no money. We drew a circle around our wedding site that was a day’s drive away and ended up in Canada for our honeymoon.

    Most of our vacations these days are to rural nowhere to visit family (this can get expensive with kids) or are combined with business trips, so lodging and my flight are free, we just have to pay for DH and DC.

    1. We didn’t have any money either. Greg had been a student forever when we got married so he had some junky old furniture and $2000 in credit card debt. We went to my in-laws in Minnesota for our honeymoon. Hahahaha!!!! It’s finally about time to go somewhere after 7 years of marriage. I cannot wait!

  2. Good to hear that you found a vacation in your price range. I probably would’ve changed my mind about the Aruba trip too, just on principal alone. Like why advertise one price only to try to sneak in some random daily charge? I’m sure you’ll have a good time in Dominican Republic too.

    1. I think we will! I have pretty low expectations in general so whenever something is remotely nice I am impressed! We have stayed at some pretty cheap dumps before! = )

  3. I hate when they throw stuff like that at you at checkout! So glad you found something better, though! I hope you guys have an amazing time, and enjoy the anticipation! (Looking forward to it is one of my favorite parts of taking the trip. A long endorphin rush.)

    1. I totally agree! I love planning trips then counting down to them. I love vacation! This is our first trip out of the country so I’m super excited! I need to learn a little spanish before we go!

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