2016 Travels and Experiences on A Budget

2016 Travels and Experiences on a Budget

2016 Travels and Experiences on a Budget

2016 just started, but would you believe our 2016 calendar is nearly filled up? On this post, we share our 2016 Travels and Experiences on a Budget. Who says you have to live like a backpacker in order to travel more? And who says you have to leave your hometown just to explore and experience more? We try to break the misconception that you’ll have to travel outside your hometown to experience new things, and we try to prove that yes, there are amazing things right at your own backyard! Through the use of credit card points, miles, and various deals, we show you how to travel luxuriously and have extraordinary experiences without breaking the bank. This also ties to our philosophy that your travel budget can be higher than normal and also show the Real Cost of Travel.

Every destination we go to will have links that will show you how we managed to go there on points & miles, the hotels we stayed in, and how much we roughly spent throughout our goal of 2016 travels on a budget.


Note: Our travel budget for the whole of 2016 is $3,500 per person, potentially less. This is a megapost filled with Excel tables – and will be updated a lot as the year progresses.

January 2016

DateActivity/DescriptionPoints UsedCash PaidLinks/Comments
Jan 1-3, 2016, Friday - SundayOrlando, Florida Weekend Getaway6,000 SPG Points (AMEX SPG)
$30 Groupon Gift Card (Discover)
$333.89 for two peopleOrlando Travel Breakdown
Jan 9, 2016, SaturdayAnastasia State Park Entrance Fee$8 per car
Jan 9, 2016, SaturdaySt Augustine Pier Entrance$2 for two people
Jan 10, 2016, SundayGala of the Royal Horses, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena$33 Groupon Bucks (Discover Card)$10 for parking
Jan 15-18, Friday-MondayNew York City$153 Barclaycard Arrival Points/Cash Back$404.10New York Travel Costs
Jan 23, SaturdayPet Photography WorkshopCompletely Free
Jan 24, SundayAAA Travel Show, Embassy Suites, Jacksonville FL Completely Free - and I get books which I can use for future travels!
Jan 30-31, Saturday - SundayOrlando, Florida Weekend (part 2) $236.95A weekend at Holiday Inn Club Vacations
Total January 20166,000 SPG Points

$63 Groupon Gift Card from Discover

$153 Barclaycard Arrival Points Cash Back
A list of travel, adventure & experience related expenses for January 2016.

February 2016

DateActivity/DescriptionPoints UsedCash PaidLinks/Comments
February 6, 2016, SaturdayOrnament Painting Class$17.60 (via Groupon)
February 12, 2016Gas to Sarasota$18
February 13, 2016, SaturdayMini Golf, Sarasota$20 (via Groupon)
February 14, 2016, SundayThe Lion King Show, Tampa, Florida$214.50
February 20-24, Saturday - WednesdayMontego Bay, Jamaica2 Free Hyatt Nights
18,000 BA Avios
$232.12 Barclaycard Arrival+
$25 AirBnB credit
$513.95See the breakdown & full post
February 27, 2016, SaturdayPainting Class at Bottle & Bottega Studio$20 (via Groupon)
February 28, 2016Marineland Swim with the Dolphins$179
Total2 Free Hyatt Nights
18,000 British Airways Avios
$232.12 Barclaycard Arrival+ Points
$25 AirBnB Credit
A list of travel, adventure & experience related expenses for February 2016.


  • Mar 6, Sunday:  Big River Show at the Alhambra Jacksonville
  • Mar 12, Saturday: Two Hour Kayaking at Guana River.
    • Used a Groupon ($36 paid out in cash)
  • Mar 24-28, Thursday – Monday:  Dallas, Texas


  • April 2, Saturday: Hang Glide Fernandina Beach (Discovery Flight).
    • Used a Groupon ($87 paid in cash)
  • April 9, Saturday: Disney Frozen on Ice
    • $30 – Ticket via TicketMaster (used a coupon)
    • $10 – Expected parking fee
  • April 15-18, Friday – Monday: Memphis, Tennessee
  • April 22-24, Friday – Sunday: Gainesville, Florida


  • May 8, Sunday: Blithe Spirit at Alhambra Jacksonville
  • May 21 – 24, Saturday – Tuesday: Miami, Florida
  • May 27, Friday: Rehearsal Dinner
  • May 28, Saturday: We’re getting married! 
  • May 29, Sunday: Cape Coral/Naples


  • June 4-5, Saturday – Sunday: Copa America Orlando, Florida
  • June 19- July 3: Euros 2016


  • July 17, Sunday: Disney Fairytale Surprise at Alhambra Jacksonville


  • August 12-15, Friday – Monday: Richmond, Virginia


If you’ve noticed, there’s no plans yet for certain months (ie they seem so barren). Over the course of 2016, we’ll keep updating this post as the list goes longer and longer. Of course, we’ll also update this post with cost  breakdowns of all our travels, so you too can replicate it! This also goes to show that there are some weekends that we’re not doing anything. Like any other person, sometimes we just want to stay at home and do nothing: wake up late, watch TV, read, and basically not really be productive. That is our way of recharging from all these experiences, but we might also be in the background, preparing new articles for you to enjoy and at the same time researching where else to go (or reading up on blogs and books that will enrich our life).


Here’s to more travels & experiences that we’ll experience this year (and the next, and the next) – life is not about stuff, it’s about everyday experiences!

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Ruby Escalona

Ruby is a financial wizard, who aims to be FI ASAP! While working on her full time job, she's busy doing side hustles like AirBnB-ing their room, travel hacking her way around the world, and freelance writing. On the little spare time she has, she travels, reads books, plans, writes, or hangs around with Rosie, her little fur-baby. You can visit her old website at Ruby Loves Adventure or follow her on Instagram , Twitter & Facebook.


  1. Pingback: A budget trip to New York City — A Journey We Love

  2. This is amazing, Ruby! Thinking if I should create a personal tracker that’s similar to this. Very excited to read all about your 2016 travels.

    • It’s up to you, are you comfortable sharing your expenses online and can you track the costs per trip? If so, then go for it! 🙂

      We’re currently in Orlando so another expense post will be up on our blog. After that, we’ll have time for some trip reviews 🙂

      Thanks for visiting!

  3. I`m so looking forward to this! Especially the photos from May! Congratulations, wishing you a fabulous married life ^_^

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