DH and the kids’ late summer trip made me think we’d already done all our holiday planning, but we actually hadn’t done any at all.
By the time I noticed that we hadn’t made any Christmas plans, the cost of plane tickets to visit DH’s family alone was going to be ~$2K, and there would still be plenty of driving on both ends of the trip and non-ideal travel dates. So we decided to drive. My car gets good mileage and it wasn’t so bad last year. I’m looking forward to the next Dispatcher book. And the next Andrea Vernon. I think someone kidnapped the Big Axe at the end of last year’s car trip.
So we contacted DH’s mom and DH and his mom talked with his siblings to figure out what would work best with everyone’s plans and schedules. They decided to see the cousins near where the cousins live rather than near where DH’s parents live. So basically we would drive in to DH’s parents, then we would all drive to an AirBNB in his brother’s town. DH’s sister would come for a day. Last year DH’s brother hosted, but this year DH’s brother’s wife is getting surgery so we will probably get catering.
Then DH and his mom looked at AirBNB schedules. They (mostly DH) decided on 2 nights in DH’s brother’s town ending on Christmas Eve (most places were already booked on Christmas, and the place we stayed last year is $500/night with a 3 night minimum now!) DH’s mom is really worried about crime, so that let out a lot of the downtown Airbnb. We found a place about a 20 min drive from DH’s brother’s place in a surrounding small town for ~$300/night, so $600 total.
So the plan is, drive to DH’s parents’. Spend the night. Drive to DH’s brother’s town, check into an AirBNB. Spend the night. Either host Christmas there or spend a day there and go to DH’s brother’s the next day after checking out. Drive back to DH’s parents’. Spend the night and either the next day or drive home that day. But plans may change– the nice thing about driving instead of flying is the flexibility. (The bad thing is that it takes a full day and then some to drive. But DC1 needs highway practice!)
Gas was ~$100 round trip last time. It will probably be a little more this time but not too much more.
I’m a little worried about catsitting– the person we used last year has moved to another state and the person we used last summer wasn’t available last Christmas. It’s hard finding people around at Christmas, and our cat does not like being away from us for long periods of time (back when we had two cats, she seemed fine, but now she seems a little traumatized even when we do get a cat sitter).
The other expense will be our portion of the catering bill, though I’m not entirely sure what’s going to happen there. (One of the cousins has peanut allergies so they have to be careful.) But I feel like my part in planning here is done.
But, all in all, not so bad price-wise.
Have you made winter break travel plans?