Budget Travels: Planning Calvin’s 1st Birthday. ROAD TRIP:).

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(Calvin in his play pen)

My family is planning a road trip to CA for Calvin’s 1st Birthday. The main reason is we want to celebrate a double birthday with my Father in Law. My husband has a few vacation days left and we figure we will use them to go to him. He actually flies out to visit my brother in law’s daughter (his granddaughter) the same month. So having him fly out twice is tiring. I know most seniors don’t want to accept the fact that they are a little more worn down. He keeps telling us he doesn’t mind flying to us instead of us driving to him. Yet we reminded him we want to do this. CA  in our opinion probably has more family friendly things to do instead of NV. Plus my son is almost at that walking stage and to be honest my Father In Law’s house is big enough for his curious mind and active body to be entertained for hours.

What will cost us money is renting a car. We use to take my husband’s car but it is old. 2001 Honda Civic. We are literally trying to drive it until it falls apart and I know it is at that stage. Except we don’t have the money to buy a car. We do, but we would like to save a big down payment before we do. Unfortunately his car is only good for getting around town and not for driving state to state. My car is too small and doesn’t have cruise control for trips like that (We try to pack everything we need for Calvin instead of buying stuff there). So now we decided for every road trip that will take more than 3 hours, we will rent a car.

We rented an SUV last Christmas from Hertz through AAA.com. Our car rental experience was a so so experience so we are renting a Minivan through dollar rent a car through AAA.com. Let’s hope we have a better experience. You see Hertz knowingly rented us a recalled SUV (Hyundai Santa Fe). Driving a recalled car is no biggie because even our current cars have recalls. Except that this recall affected the gas tank. It wouldn’t let us fill the tank all the way. At first my husband just traded the car in without double checking the receipt. I noticed the charge for gas and told him to talk to the car rental place about it. They said it’s because we traded the car in. Of course after telling them” why should we pay for gas on a recalled SUV that was having that problem?” they gave us a full refund. I’m not sure if they normally give out refunds, or if it’s because we rented through AAA. Still we wanted to try other options. Let’s hope the dollar rent a car is better.

I still haven’t plan out an itinerary but I want to go to Julian CA to just walk around and enjoy their famous apple pie. We still don’t know if we want to go to the zoo. It’s a short trip and planning things to do around my son’s naps isn’t exactly fun. Going on a vacation with a baby isn’t exactly a calm vacation but we feel it’s worth it to enjoy more time with Grandpa. I can’t believe my sweet baby is turning 1 already. It makes me all teary eyed just thinking about it.

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