Seven Day Costa Rica Vaca On Your 52 Week Challenge Money

I have to say that you all have really liked the  Mason Jar Money Saving Challenge that I shared from Life As You Live it.  
Yay for everyone wanting to save money or just wanting to be able to take a vacation.  The benefit of having money in a jar as opposed to your bank account is that you don’t really feel like you have it – basically you will not be tempted to transfer it over and spend it.  
JUST KEEP YOUR HANDS OUT OF THE JAR!!!

A good friend of mine, Kim, asked me how I take vacations on $2,000 or less and honestly it is fairly easy if you keep everything budget friendly. 
 But instead of being on a budget budget lets look at a week long trip with two mason jars of money for two people.
That would be a total of $2,756 for airfare, accommodations, food, alcohol, travel, and activities.

For example: Costa Rica in February

Flights 
Washington DC to San Jose
(always try and book out of a major international airport to avoid a connection in one)
Currently: WAS > SJO with one stop in Panama $527
$527 x 2 = $1,054

Accommodations

From $125/night you can stay at this boutique hotel for six nights totaling: $750.  

What you get
 Finca is located in the south pacific coastal region of Costa Rica and places you among the tree tops in real tree houses owned privately by individuals. This is a residential treehouse community so the year round residents offer classes such as gardening, cooking and art.  Or you can go for a hike, swim in a waterfall, get a massage, practice yoga or sit back on your balcony and breathe in the pure vida air.


Food and Drink
And majority of the tree homes are equipped with kitchens but there is a community dining hall where food can be purchased.  
Breakfast: $8 pp
Lunch sack: $10 pp
Dinner: $18 pp
If you do not take advantage of their food program you should bring your own food before you arrive.
The property is serviced by potable spring water but any other drinks you should bring in with you.  

So lets say you wanted to take part in their meal plans, here is the break down.
Breakfast: 7 mornings x $8 = $56 x 2 people = $112
Lunch: 6 days x $10 = $60 x 2 people = $120
Dinner: 6 days x $18 = $108 x 2 people = $216
Total = $448 
In my opinion that is high but for others who are used to enjoying restaurants etc while on vacation it may seem low.  Whatever you are willing to spend on food is your prerogative.

Lets say we want to cut that cost in half: 
simply stop by a market or local store before you arrive and purchase food to prepare meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or partake in their fresh produce delivery system. 
This is Finca’s description of their delivery program:
“Residents and visitors to Finca Bellavista can now get farm-fresh produce hand-picked and delivered to their treehomes for a per-bag fee. Produce varies from day to day and week to week, but there’s always something yummy available. We are now featuring fresh beans & rice from neighboring farms, and eggs from our own hens. All of our grocery deliveries come in a reusable FBV grocery tote. We believe this is worth every penny, as our homegrown, delicious goods are supplied by employees that earn living fair wages and enjoy their work, food costs money to grow, and driving to/from the store has a carbon footprint to consider. It’s tough to beat fresh organic produce delivered to the doorstep!” 

My paid meal schedule would look like this:
Breakfast: 4 mornings x $8 = $32 x 2 = $64
Lunch: 3 days x $10 = 30 x 2 = $60
Dinner: 4 nights x $18 = $72 x 2 = $144  
Total: $268 + $100 personal food and drink
$368

Car Rental
It has to be a 4×4 because the last mile to the hotel is off road.  I searched on Poas Rent a Car and found a mid-size 4×4 for $240.  

Ok so far we are at:
Flights: $1,054
Hotel: $750
Food and drink: $368
Car rental: $240
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 
Total: $2,412

With a budget of $2,756 you can use the rest of the money on souvenirs, adventures or pampering yourself.

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