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My Vacation Spending in Boston, Newport, and Salem

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A few days ago, my girlfriend and I returned from vacation in Newport, Rhode Island and Boston and Salem, Massachusetts. I mentioned earlier I was dreading opening up Quicken and analyzing my receipts. The other night, I held my breath and took the plunge. Here are some of the results.

Two audio-tour tickets to the Marble House mansion in Newport: $22
Dinner for two with drinks outside a fancy restaurant on Newbury Street, called 29 Newbury: $78 (That’s the most I’ve spent on dinner in a long time!)
Two fourth-row tickets to see Blue Man Group: $143
Boston Duck Tours, two tickets: $57

View from the Top of the HubTwo tickets for the New England Aquarium, to see penguins, seals, and other aquatic animals: $38
Two tickets to tour the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which was as nice as everyone was saying: $24
Two expensive emergency umbrellas: $19
Lunch for two at the Cheers Faneuil Hall, the replica of the television set with less-than-mediocre food: $36

Drinks — just two drinks — at Top of the Hub, the 52nd floor of the Prudential Tower with a wonderful view of the city: $27
An unofficial tour of Harvard University: free
A ghost tour on the Freedom Trail at night, for my girlfriend and me: $36
Two tickets to a slightly disappointing tour of Fenway Park (I would have liked to see press rooms, production booths, etc.): $24

An interesting tour of Salem’s House of the Seven Gables, a Colonial mansion that inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne, for two: $24
Two tickets to a pathetic but somewhat informational tour of Salem Witch Village: $12
Hotel stay outside of Boston: $113 a night after a AAA discount
Public transportation for two for the week: $30

Other dinners and lunches (breakfasts were free at the hotel): $lots

Don’t get me wrong. I had a great time and I’m glad I chose to participate in almost all of these different events. While I know this makes me nothing more than a typical tourist, I do want to make the most of any place I visit. Before leaving for vacation, I knew I would be spending quite a bit of money. To pay for these expenses, I will use savings set aside for vacations and still have some left over for my next trip or some other future vacation. I’ll expect a cash back rebate for using my credit card to pay for almost all of the expenses, but that’s not very material.

It was very nice to get away for a week, but I returned to new projects and new responsibilities at my day job, and not much time to catch up on blogging. I’m all ready looking forward to getting away again. Isn’t that always the way?

Updated June 20, 2014 and originally published August 16, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Madame X

Sounds like you had a fun trip! Isn’t Salem wacky? :)

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avatar Kirk Walsh

We also just got back from Boston and did a lot of the tours that you did, but you may have been able to save some money by buying a Boston Go! card in advance. We did the Duck tour, Fenway, the Aquarium, and other stuff for about what you paid for just the Ducks and the Aquarium. Plus, there were discounts at a lot of restaurants.

If you’re touristing anywhere, I’d suggest at least looking at a Go! card (most major cities have them). They could save you quite a bit of money.

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avatar David

Wow, you did a lot. I grew up there and I don’t think I ever did half that stuff. Nice! Hope you had a good time.

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avatar Barb

If you’re interested in stadium tours in general, the tour of Camden Yards does let you into the press box and production booths. Well, at least it did a couple of years ago.

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avatar Angela

I could’ve given you the same tour as the Duck Tours and Salem for much cheaper. ;) I’ve done all those things (lifelong resident) but I guess I never really felt the sting of the costs because I’ve done them all spread out over time and not crammed into one vacation.

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avatar Modern Worker

Kudos on even taking the time to analyzing receipts, most people shy away from realizing how much they spend. Sounds like you had a great trip!

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avatar Mar

We just returned from a vacation in Ocean City, MD. I knew we had about $675 (after the hotel) for my daughter, her friend, and I to spend. I gave each of us $35 discretionary, don’t need to answer to anyone money and divided the rest into envelopes (300 for entertainment, 200 for food – we had a kitchen in our apartment and made most of our food but ate out a couple times and bought treats on the boardwalk on several nights – and 60 for the maids’ tip – they cleaned the apartment every day and do a fantastic job). Putting it into envelopes was great because even the two pre-teens could see that when an envelope was empty, that category was done. This was one of our cheaper and more fun vacations ever. All I know is we need more money for go-karts next year!

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