Flight and car booked for Madeira…Spend! Spend! Spend!…Ouch!

Our view from the salon (living room) looking into the center, open-air courtyard while writing each day. It’s cloudy today.

We’re at a point that the money will be flying out the window between now and the end of August. 

Yesterday, we spent US $795 for one-way airline tickets for two from Marrakech, Morocco to Funchal, Madeira which much to our delight,  is only a six-hour flight including a layover. We’d budgeted US $800 for this flight when we booked the house almost two years ago and yesterday paid US $795.

Thu May/15/2014


Total travel time:

5 h 55 m

custom air icon Marrakech Lisbon 1 h 35 m
Terminal 1
TAP Portugal  243
Operated by
Economy / Coach

2 h 35 m
custom air icon Lisbon Funchal 1 h 45 m
TAP Portugal  1639
Economy / Coach

Most likely we won’t arrive at the house until well after midnight with the necessity of driving up the steep unfamiliar roads. This particular flight with TAP Airlines was our only option from Marrakech. 

As for the car rental, we’ve learned our lessons in our past travels. In order to avoid paying the entire two and a half month rental in advance plus the “excess” they charge to hold on the car, over $5000, as in the past, we booked one month at a time. 

If the car rental company won’t renew the rental for this same monthly amount, we’ll order another car close to the end of the first car rental period for the next month, dropping off the first car and picking up the second car.  It will be necessary to do this for one more time for the last two weeks of our two and a half month stay. The Funchal, Madeira airport is no more than 30 minutes from the rental house making this back and forth no big deal.

Here are the details for the first rental car:

Car: Alamo Rent A Car, Funchal, Portugal (FNC)
Driver: Thomas Lyman
Base price: €439.92
Taxes & Fees: €182.18

Car total: €622.10

Car Economy
Pick up: Thu 05/15/14
10:30 PM0
Funchal, Portugal (FNC)
Drop off: Sat 06/14/14
10:30 PM
Funchal, Portugal (FNC)

The car rental is shown in Euros, not US dollars, which results in US $859.49 for one month. By the end of our two and a half month stay, we’ll have spent $2149 for the car rental for which we’d budgeted $2900 which included fuel, leaving us on target in this area as well. 

The next item we have to pay is the balance of our rent for Madeira which is in the US $2000 range. In June, we’ll pay for one of two upcoming cruises, US $3497 (cruise begins on August 31, 2014) and the second on US $3216 on July 1 (cruise begins on September 23, 2014). Many more outlays follow in August and there on which we’ll share later.

A part of the reality of traveling these days is the necessity of paying well in advance of receiving the product or service when attempting to get the “best deals.”

My dinner last night, a mixed grill with an extra side of veggies. 

Although most hotels don’t require advance payment unless booked through online services. (We book most of our flight, hotels, and cars via Expedia.com on our website.  Feel free to do the same at any time. We make a small token when any of our readers click our links, which help offset the cost of maintaining our website. No pressure. But, it doesn’t cost you an extra penny to use them).

Based on some great rates we received on a few of our future hotel bookings, we chose to pay a few in advance, such as the hotel stays upcoming in the next five months for Vancouver, BC; Boston, MA, and Paris, France. Booking these hotels are required as stopping points while we await the cruises.

The only hotel we haven’t paid in advance is in London on August 16, 2014, for the above-mentioned total of US $3216 (for a period of two weeks). London is pricey. Also, at the beginning of May, we’ll have another outlay of US $4500 for more tickets for our kids to Hawaii with only one more to go down the road.

All in all, we’ll be paying out $1000’s over the next four months, all of which we’ve budgeted. Undoubtedly, we must carefully watch our spending over the next several months.

Tom’s dinner, a grilled filet mignon with a side of mushroom gravy and three circles of mashed potatoes. Notice the lack of vegetables. That’s my guy!

I’d hope to purchase a new camera now to be included in our box of supplies being sent to Madeira next week. Based on these bigger expenses at this time, I’ve decided to wait until after some of these expenses are paid and behind us. Tom encouraged me to buy it now. But, my practical nature prohibits me from doing so.

Most likely, when we arrive in Boston on September 21, 2014, we’ll head out to purchase a new camera and two new laptops.  Tom’s screen is cracked and continues to crack as a result of a hinge problem. Mine? Well, we know the problems there! A cheap HP with a bad keyboard and other issues.

Yes, we cringe over this big expense that seems to come all at once. Living as carefully as possible, when all is said and done, we stay on track with our budget.

Today, we’ll stay in for another evening of Madame Zahra’s fine food, minus spices, continuing our comprehensive planning, and budgeting. And of course, a little bit of Gin playing is definitely in order, especially with me in the lead, a rare occurrence. Perhaps, I’ll be the winner in Morocco, logging my first “country win” with only 26 days to go.

Photo from one year ago today, April 19, 2013:

The excursion offered that day was a visit to this cruise line owned beach in Turks and Caicos. There was no way we were interested in baking in the sun for three or four hours, paying for lawn chairs and umbrellas when we had the ship’s pools almost to ourselves. For details from this date, please click here.

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