What a crazy year it has been since our son got recruited in the Army, it all started on September of last year and so far we have done as much as we can to be there with him for his family day and Graduation.

So how can you plan a road trip that is many miles and states away on a budget, in a few days and in places we have never traveled to.


We started to check how long it takes to travel from Fl to Arizona and saw without stops it takes over 32 hours which that is not realistic to make that trip without any stops so right away I created a Vacation Planner where I included the time difference and location were we can rest, book a hotel and then be on our way.

Click to view or download vacation planner printable

vacation planner day 1-5

vacation planner day 6-10







The day before around 5:30 we stopped at the car rental to pick up the car we rented for the time away which was a total of 8 days, because we booked it early (and you don’t get charged until the day you pick up the car) we were able to save a lot of money.  When we checked a few days before our reservation date we saw how much the price had gone up with many other companies as well.

Amount we paid     Price a week before      Amount we Saved
$107.77                    $342.00                             $234.23

In Addition we saved even more because they ran out of the cars we booked they instead offered us a mini van which the price is a little bit more. So it worked out for us. We got a new mini van all for the price of a standard car.


Day 1 – We left at 4am and arrived to Naval Aviation Museum (Pensacola, FL) which is an hr difference so we gained an hour jejej.. (love that part of the trip too)

Naval Aviation Museum (Pensacola, FL)

USS Alabama Battleship

Holiday Inn (Mobile, Alabama)


Naval Aviation Museum (Pensacola, FL) – FREE + Donation





What an experience while we were there we got to hear the jets doing there thing jejje.. you can go outside and see the show. The Naval Aviation Museum is FREE but you can give a donation a few steps after you are inside the museum.

We enjoyed our time there.


20160412_161924203_iOSFrom Naval Aviation Museum to USS Alabama Battleship the drive was about an hour an a half away, by the time we finished at the museum it was almost lunch time so we decided to get a quick bite at Chick Fil A using our $50 gift card.  (Weeks before our trip we saw in the Raise app some good deals for Chick Fil A gift cards we ended up paying $38.75 for a $50 gift card savings off $11.25 (which we used the gift card for the whole trip)


USS Alabama Battleship  – $77.00

What a view as soon as you start pulling up by the entrance, there were a few charges at this location but it was very much worth it.

  • Tickets Battleship and Submarine – $45.00 (for 3 people)
  • Aviation Ride  – $10.00 (for 2 people)
  • 5 Pictures with different backgrounds – $22.00

There was so many steps but is optional, you can install there app and it can guide you which tour you can take so we took the whole tour, the app lets you know what you are seeing


The tour was pretty good and you can go at your own pace, you get to go inside most of the areas and rooms inside the battleship going as deep to even see were the weapons were at. The weather was perfect windy and cool.  While there we learned of a new movie that is coming up for this summer that was filmed inside the battleship and some areas in Alabama which stars one of my favorite actors Nicolas Cage.


This was inside the submarine which was a good experience since a veteran was inside answering questions and sharing his experiences











Right after we drove to our Hotel Holiday Inn in Mobile Alabama which the rate was $103.73 but with the points we got free when we mailed the envelopes for the IHG Promotion we didn’t pay anything for the Hotel and for Breakfast the next morning.  Win win jejeje..

20160413_111640589_iOSI was impressed with how quick it was to check in, there was no issue since the reservation was made and paid for just using points. They asked for ID and Credit card and right away we had our key and access to the gym, pool and snacks they had available.  The room was 2 queen size beds and it was extremely comfortable.  I love they had some small shampoo, conditioner, lotion all from bath and body works which is one of the fragrance my kids use so it worked out. Overall we had a good day and since we track our distance, time difference and hour to spent on both locations we got to the hotel right on schedule so right after we looked for a place to eat and stopped at the local mall. Which we got some Chick Fil A once again ejjeje.


Overall this was our day total

                                   Amount we paid     Price a week before      Amount we Saved
Car Rental                         $107.77                    $342.00                             $234.23
Naval Aviation Museum   $0.00                        $0.00                                 $0.00
USS Alabama Battleship  $77.00                      $0.00                                 $0.00
Meals/Dining                    $38.75                      $50.00                                $11.25
Holiday Inn Mobile AL     $0.00                        $103.73                              $103.73
Gasoline                           $44.20                      $0.00                                  $0.00



Expected Amount      $616.93

Amount Saved          ($349.21)

Actual Amount Paid   $267.72