Oregon on a Budget

How I planned a Budget Friendly Girls Getaway for my daughter and I

I don’t plan every trip as a Budget Trip, but I always try to make smart choices.  When I am planning Budget Travel, I try to save money on the biggest costs (hotel/air/car rental) so that we can spend more on the fun stuff like eating out, adventures and wine tasting.  And the best part is that for this trip we didn’t have to sacrifice quality to do that. We took the same flights we would have and stayed in very nice hotels.

 

Breaking down the costs on our 4 Day Trip to Portland Oregon for 2

Airfare

I planned my airfare strategy early on this year by applying for the Southwest Credit Card and taking advantage of a 1 Year Companion Pass sign up Bonus. I set my daughter, Maggie, as my Companion (after this trip I will change it to my husband).   Closer to the trip, I converted earnings I had in my Rebate Apps (Ibotta & Fetch) into  3 – $25 Southwest Gift Cards that I could use to reduce airfare and airline fee costs.

I snagged a flight on Southwest for                $175.50

Maggie used my Companion Pass                   $   5.60

My Return Ticket                                               $130.00

(The return ticket was originally $180 but I used 2 – $25 Southwest Gift Cards that I redeemed from my Rebate Apps to reduce the cost to $130)

Maggie used my Companion Pass                   $    5.60

My Early Bird Check-In $25 one way for me. Paid with Amex Gold Card and received full Reimbursement from the Airline Fee Credit Benefit                  $0

Maggie’s Early Bird Check-In $25 one way for Maggie.  Paid with a $25 Gift Card that I redeemed from my Rebate Apps                                                    $0

Total Round Trip Airfare for 2          ………………………………………………………….$316.70

 

Southwest Points earned flight miles                              1,754

Southwest Points earned credit card                                633

Total Points Earned……………………………………………………………………………………2,387

Hotel

I had Hyatt hotel points earned 2 years ago that were getting ready to expire if I didn’t use them soon.  Even though I didn’t have enough points to cover the full hotel cost, choosing to use the Points + Cash rate allowed me to reduce the Hyatt hotel cost by 50%.  I also had plenty of IHG points that I was happy to part with for one additional night at a very nice hotel outside the city.

Hyatt House for 3 nights   

Points + Cash rate of  6,000 points + $100 cash/night                          $344 (includes Taxes)

Parking $39 for 1 night at hotel and 2 nights at a local lot for $18        $75

Holiday Inn Hillsboro for 1 night

Reward Night Stay                                                                                                    $0

Total Hotel & Parking Cost………………………………………………………………..$419

 

IHG Points Used                                                                 25,000 points

Hyatt Points Used                                                              18,000 points

Total Points Redeemed………………………………………………………………………43,000 points

 

Hyatt Points Earned                                                               919 points

 

Car Rental

Car rentals are always difficult decisions for me.  I really tend to overthink them.  I have a few select companies that I have Loyalty accounts with and try to avoid the companies that are not very trustworthy or reliable.  For this trip I kept finding prices of $150 or more for Alamo, even when I tried to book with my Loyalty or through the Southwest Rapid Rewards site.  That’s when I remembered Joe at Your Mileage May Vary talking about the Autoslash website.  Since it is free, I took a chance and plugged in my information.  About 30 minutes later they sent me a quote with 3 options that were 50% cheaper than the best deals I was finding.  I used Autoslash to find a great deal at Alamo through Priceline

Car Rental at Alamo with Unlimited Miles for 4 days      $ 75.00

I also saved approximately $11 per day on rental insurance by using a credit card with included car rental coverage benefits.  Estimated savings over 4 day rental $44.

Total Car Rental Costs…………………………………………………………………………..$75.00

 

Total Travel Costs for 4 Day Trip to Portland, OR for 2…..$810

By utilizing a variety of different methods, we ended up saving over 50% off of our travel costs for Hotel, Air and Car Rental.

  • Southwest Companion Pass for Airfare
  • Points for Hotel Stays
  • Gift Cards Earned from Rebate Apps to Offset Costs
  • Credit Card Reimbursement for Airline Fees
  • Autoslash for great Car Rental Deals
  • Credit Card Car Rental Protection Coverage

Total Estimated Savings………………………………………………..$919

 

Being familiar with my credit card benefits helps me to utilize them more frequently.  Using those benefits like the Companion Pass, Airline Fee Credit and the Car Rental Protection Coverage, also helps me to feel like I am offsetting some of my Annual Fees.It’s also great to have a pool of hotel points to draw from when you need to.

Saving money on this trip allowed us to see and do more things while in Oregon and it also means I can travel more throughout the year!

 

Dream, Plan, SAVE, Adventure!