So as you may know, I won a trip to Arizona. It included 8 nights at 4 different resorts, most meals, a dinner show, a mini-cruise on a Steamboat, and LOTS of golf. I don't golf but my now ex-boyfriend was excited about that part.
See that there? EX-boyfriend. Needless to say, this trip didn't really end up the way I'd planned it. Originally, we booked it for mid-April (which was a little rough because that's high tourism season in AZ, and the dinner show and stupid Steamboat had CRAZY blackout dates), but we wanted to go during a nice time of year.
We broke up right before the trip. It's probably better that we didn't go and get frustrated with each other and regret it afterward. So I waited a few months and went on the trip with someone else, and it was amazing, but now I'm trying to figure out the cost and see how I came out. Red means money I spent. Green means money I got back or saved because of the sweepstakes.
Value of the whole prize: $4,145
Additional taxes owed upon acceptance: $200
Cost of original flight: $300
(Flight cancelled, refund: $150 in United credit, on my ex-boyfriend's credit card. Never going to use that.)
Groupon for Helicopter Tour: $199 (Spent $99)
(THIS ONE PISSES ME OFF. The Helicopter company, Sky Blue fucking Helicopters, did not have ANY flights when I re-booked my trip in June. Apparently, half their fleet was down for maintenance in the summer, and then they said they just weren't flying out at all. Period. If you offer a groupon that is valid through the summer, maybe TELL people that you don't fly during the summer! My ex gave me $100 for his part, at least. Now I have $199 Groupon Credit.)
Flight: Travel was not included in this package. My guest paid for the flights, and because of complications with United, had to re-book one flight and spent way too much. I paid $100 for our luggage, 2 bags there and back.
Hotels: We were not able to take full advantage of all 8 nights because of work. The hotels were cheaper because of the season- the package valued them higher.
2 Nights at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (Standard King room): $374
2 Nights at Zona Hotel and Suites (Suite): $330
Misc. expenses: The Fairmont (except for the room) was gorgeous but expensive! NOTHING was included. No free breakfast, no free wi-fi; a water bottle was $6. So I spent $143 on food, drinks and random things. I also went to the doctor while I was there, and spent a total of $50, but I don't think that's a typical vacation expense.
Food: $150 to La Hacienda at Fairmont Scottsdale (best Mexican food I've ever had!)
$40 for breakfast at Zona
$100 for dinner at Zona
Technically we could have used 2 dinners and breakfasts for free at Zona, but we spent one day at the Grand Canyon so we didn't take advantage of that offer. We didn't end up spending anything at Zona. Awesome!
So here's how I see it overall: the sweepstakes covered about $994 on the trip. I spent about $693 and have $199 in Groupon credit. If I had not run into problems, I would have spent $443, less if I didn't count what I didn't use as income. My wonderful guest covered A LOT on the trip as well. I really wish I could have taken advantage of more of the free stuff, but our time was constrained to 4 nights, and one whole day was taken up with the Grand Canyon, and a few hours flying to and from. I didn't keep exact calculation of my cash spending, a few bucks for a snack, a few bucks for a tip, a souvenir. I will definitely take a win with a grain of salt if it ever happens again, and I am hoping to refile the taxes with the actual value of the trip, but I have to look into how all that works. Overall, I really enjoyed it and the spending mistakes we made were somewhat unavoidable, but free hotel stays and awesome food were helpful in knocking off some of my bucket list items: travelling to the desert and seeing the Grand Canyon.
|Worth it? I think so.|
Picture of the Grand Canyon from my Instagram, megan7389