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Episode 153: Spring is coming, time for a break

How to make Spring Break cheaper with Mak & G
Episode 153: Spring is coming, time for a break


This “Money With Mak and G” podcast episode, Mak & G talk about different ways to save money on a vacation, how much people spend on Spring Break, and some of the best places in Washington DC that they’re looking forward to seeing.

Spring Break is here and it’s time for the best school trip ever, a trip to Washington DC.

Mak & G are happy they’ve saved a bit of extra cash and are looking at the different things they will need to buy for the trip.

We talk about how to budget for a holiday, the average cost of Spring Break, and how to save money on your vacation…

“Tracking flights and getting notifications when prices drop or rise is pretty important. Do your work.”Mak

Time Stamps:
00:48 – What to plan when booking a holiday.
01:18 – What you need money for when on holiday.
01:38 – How flying early can save you money.
01:59 – How much people spend in Washington DC.
02:14 – The US Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
02:34 – The most common dollar bills and how long bills last.
03:10 – How much over budget the Lincoln Memorial was.
03:47 – The best places to go in Washington DC.
04:15 – Where the Ides of March comes from.
05:02 – How to save money on Spring Break.
06:25 – The average cost of a trip.
06:40 – Where in Florida is the most popular place for spring break.

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MAKWelcome back to the podcast Grant. Nice to have you back.  But, I must admit that dad and I had fun a couple of weeks ago talking about Presidents. I learned a few things. Hope you had a listen.

GRANT:(sarcastically) Yeah, sure.  In between my frequent trips to re-live my lunch, I made sure to listen.  But, I am glad that you and dad took over.  Thanks for making it happen for me.

MAK:  No problem.  For all our listeners, don’t forget to tell your friends and share the podcast.  I know dad is working hard on a lot of stuff, and we want to grow, so we can help more people learn about money.

GRANT: Got that right!  You know when I was sick, I could only think about one thing.. getting outside and getting going.  This weekend it hit 70 and it was sunny.  All I could think about was Spring Break!!!

MAK:  Me too!! It is March, and I’m so excited because we have Spring Break as well as our class trip to Washington DC. Dad just booked a few days in Orlando with Glenn and the twins.

GRANT: I think those annual passes to Sea World and Aquatica are going to really pay off.  

MAK:  We’ll get real sunshine, jumping killer whales, roller coasters, water slides, and possibly that water ski training facility.  Maybe a dive too. I know mom and dad had to hustle to get it all done.

GRANT:  First, they discussed the budget. Then, it’s which days, finding the right flights, rental car, hotels, Oreo and lots of other decisions.  I’m so glad I put some money in my budget to cover extras.

MAK:  Me too.  Not exactly sure what I need, but it’s always fun having some walking around money.

GRANT: Yep, enough for a drink or food, a gift, and, just in case, get us back to the hotel if lost. 

MAK: Good point. We’re going to see and do a lot, good thing our school made a budget for DC.

GRANT: But it did come at a cost.  We have to be at the airport by 4AM!!! I know that has to save money. Who wants to get up that early to take such an early flight. Picking “off” times can be cheaper

MAK:  Well, we didn’t have a choice.  Setting the budget and working within the guidelines is key. It definitely takes a bit of planning. For DC, we must’ve gotten the kid discount. But, it can be expensive. 

GRANT: An average 7 day trip to DC is about 2 grand for one person.  If you count flights, hotels, food, entrance fees, and more.  You have to budget it since there are some really cool places.

MAK: Plus, you can overspend so easily if you’re not watching things. I know dad would love to tour the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing in DC.  You can actually see millions of dollars being printed as you walk along the gallery overlooking the production floor.

GRANT: Funny enough, when it’s open it’s free.  I guess they don’t need to take any money when they can print as much as they like. However, due to the pandemic, it said it’s closed. Bummer.

MAK:  I read the $1 bill is the most common bill in your wallet at 31%, followed by the 100 at 26%.

GRANT: I’d like to see a few more hundreds in MY wallet! They actually shred about $100 Billion of bills a year when they get old. A hundred lasts about 15 years while the 50 stays alive only 4 years.

MAK: The 20 is retired after 8 years, but it’s surprising to me that the $1 bill lasts 6. I would’ve thought it was used more, crunched up, twisted, exchanged, sat on, and just abused more. George takes a beating and keeps on ticking, I guess.

GRANT: I came across some other info about DC because we’re going to all these great places. This may not be a shocker but it seems like the US government may not be able to budget very well.

MAK:  That seems right. The Lincoln Memorial was budgeted for $2 million, and cost a mere 50% more to finish at $3 million over 100 years ago. It was refurbished 5 years ago for around $20 million

GRANT: If you want to reflect, the reflecting pool was originally built almost 100 years ago, and was redone for $34 million a decade ago.  So, there is some serious money in the monuments we’ll see.

MAK:  Good thing they have the Bureau of Engraving and Printing right down the street!!

GRANT: Nice one, they can just print more. How about we name some of the places we can go:

           MAK: United States Capitol and Capitol Hill

           GRANT: National Mall and Veterans Memorial

           MAK: The White House

           GRANT: Washington Monument

MAK:  And more. We’re going to have a lot of fun. Do you remember when dad said that the “White House” in Argentina is a “Pink House” called the Casa Rosada? I didn’t believe him and looked it up.

GRANT: It’s true and it’s where Juan and Evita Peron addressed the masses in the late ’40s and early ’50s.

           MAK/GRANT: Don’t cry for me Argentina!!  

MAKMarch always makes me think of the saying “Beware the Ides of March”? Did you know it was made famous by William Shakespeare?  That’s the guy who wrote: “To Be or Not to be”.

GRANT: Yep, so what’s the question. The “Ides” of March was really a reference to the first new moon of a specific month. It had a pretty big reference to money too. It was time to settle your debts.

MAKI know.  It included the seven days preceding the “Ides”. Debtors who could not pay their debts considered the Ides to be unlucky because they were thrown into prison or forced into slavery.

GRANT: Ouch. That wouldn’t be fun. It wasn’t very lucky for Julius Caesar either.  “Et tu Brute?”

MAK:  You got that one right. But it can be very lucky if you plan Spring Break well, with your current finances in mind.  You can always make it affordable and you don’t need a 5-star hotel. 

GRANT: We’ll stay at Glenn’s in Orlando which saves money, take cheap flights in off-hours by being flexible and we can use the $200 we earned from our new credit card. We’re checking off all the boxes.

MAK: That’s what it takes, but it can be hectic. We have to remind dad to relax, as it sometimes pushes him to the edge. His friend Jason had a great situation when on vacation skiing at Big Sky.

GRANT: It was crazy, he was looking at Air BnB and found a condo for $17,000 for a week to share with several families.  He decided they’d stay in Bozeman, at a hotel an hour away to cut costs.

MAKThey’d drive an hour each way. The families would save about $11,000 in Bozeman. Just for fun, he checked Air BnB 3 days before they left, and the price on the condo dropped by over $10,000

GRANT: So, they canceled their hotels and took the condo right on the ski slopes.  I guess when you’re committed to going, you may have a last-minute option. But, for someone to decide to go last minute requires changing their plans and arranging flights in little time. In this case 3 days. Which isn’t possible for most people. So the owner reduced the price a ton and Jason got a great deal.

MAK:  Supply and Demand.  Demand dropped off when it was that close.  That’s why tracking flights, and getting notifications when prices drop or rise is pretty important. Do you work!

GRANT: There are some surveys that say 2022 Spring Break travel will reach levels prior to COVID, so if you haven’t pulled the trigger, it’s time to get on it.  The average cost of a trip is up.

MAK:  Domestic trips are around 7 ½ days at $4,800 with international trips over 11 days and $5,100

GRANT: It’s so good to see people traveling. And, several locations in Florida are in the top 10.

MAK: Like Orlando, Miami and Destin beach.  People are looking for a bit of sunshine for sure.

GRANT: Don’t forget to wear your sunscreen while getting plenty of Vitamin D!

MAK:  It always makes you feel a bit better and a little tan makes you look better, doesn’t it? 

GRANT: It sure does. And best to be safe while having fun!

MAK: Great stuff.  I think it’s time to say goodbye. We’ll see you next week for more…..

GRANT/MAK: Money with Mak & G. Bye!

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