I'm 27 & This Is How Much I Spent On My First Trip Away From My Baby

Welcome to Travel Diaries, a Refinery29 series where we tag along as real women embark on trips around the world and track their travel expenses down to the last cent. Here, we offer a detailed, intimate account of when, where, and how our peers spend their vacation days and disposable income: all the meals, adventures, indulgences, setbacks, and surprises.
This week's travel diary: A 27-year-old business analyst goes to Puerto Rico with her husband on her first trip without her newborn daughter.
For questions, feedback, or if you're interested in tracking your travel expenses during an upcoming trip email us at traveldiary@refinery29.com.
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Age: 27
Occupation: Business Analyst
Salary: $49,000
Annual Number Of Vacation Days: 22 days
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Trip Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Trip Length: 6 days
Travel Companion: Husband
Travel Companion Salary: $58,000
Travel Companion Number of Vacation Days: 26 days
Transportation
Costs: Flights for me and my husband from Minneapolis to Ft. Lauderdale and from Ft. Lauderdale to SJU. Tickets cost $298 each.
When did you book? Do you think you got a good deal?
I booked my flight in February and it was a good deal. I searched and booked through google flights.
Total: $596
Accommodations
Cost: Airbnb. I created a basic itinerary and decided on Miramar because it was close to a lot of the places I wanted to go. I went through hotels.com but couldn’t find anything affordable. Airbnb had more options and better prices in Miramar. The Airbnb had great reviews and was spacious so we decided on that one.
Total: $431
Miscellaneous pre-vacation spending:
Clothes
- A swimsuit for me and swim trunks for husband at Old Navy: $45.95
- Two coverups, jean shorts, and Jungalow bag at Target: $70.00
- Shorts and a sarong at H&M: $22
- Shorts, pants, a crop top, and a shirt at JCPenney: $62
- A fanny pack from Puma: $15
- Earrings from Target: $12
- A dress and a jumpsuit from Prettylittlething: $56
Baby items
- bags for milk: $14.99
- microsteam bags: $4.79
- Babyganics wipes : $3.79
Other
- Toiletries: $2
- Alka Seltzer - $4.29
- Hair (faux locs) my sister puts them in for me: $21
- Nail polish: $6.99
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Day care: $404 a week. This week she went two and a half days.
Total: $744.80
Do you have credit card debt as a result of booking this vacation? If so, how much? Yes, $200.

Day One

7:30 a.m. – Baby girl wakes up to feed and we cuddle after. She just turned five months and it's been a great experience.
8:00 a.m. – I get out of bed and wash my face, brush my teeth, and moisturize. My husband takes the baby and gets her ready for daycare.
9:00 a.m. – My husband drops the baby off at daycare (half day) and I start work. I have been working from home since July last year.
11:00 a.m. – I am trying to clean up before we get the baby from daycare. I start laundry, pump milk, and eat broccoli for breakfast. (I am trying to finish all the food in the fridge before our flight tonight.)
1:30 p.m. – My husband goes to pick the baby up from daycare so we can get her ready for my mom. My mom will be taking care of her during our trip. I take my lunch during this time and use it to pump and eat leftover pasta.
3:00 p.m. – My mom arrives to pick up the baby. I give her an overview of everything we packed and she comments that I packed too much for the baby (She laughs at my list. Better to be prepared is my motto.)
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5:30 p.m. – I log off work and spend time cuddling with the baby before they leave. My husband packs the car up for my mom and I cry when they leave. First time away from the baby and it's harder than I thought.
6:30 p.m. – I finally finish packing and my husband now wants to go shopping for stuff for himself. He heads out and I make the bed and relax. I make a smoothie that has frozen mango, frozen peaches, and a banana with almond milk. I also boil two eggs to eat with the smoothie.
8:00 p.m. – I shower and pump. My husband orders an Uber for the Minneapolis airport. We are leaving early for the airport even though our flight is at 12.30am. TSA closes at 10:00 p.m. and we want to just be on the safe side. $26
10:00 p.m. – We are sitting at our gate and I download some podcasts (“The Friendzone”, “My Favorite Murder,” and “The Casey Crew”) to listen to from Spotify. I also download a few movies from Netflix to watch offline (District 9 and Someone Great). I can't believe I am turning 28 in a few days. I mull over this for awhile.
Total: $26.00

Day Two

12:30 a.m. – We depart for Fort Lauderdale and I pump during the flight while watching Gina Rodriguez's new movie on Netflix. Pumping on the plane is super strange and thank goodness all the lights are dimmed. The movie is very relatable except for the drugs and I love DeWanda Wise’s character.
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5:00 a.m. – We arrive in Fort Lauderdale for our 5 hour layover. (Note: flights to Puerto Rico and the surrounding regions suck from Minnesota with long flight times and long layovers).
7:00 a.m. – I struggle to find a pumping space at the airport but I finally find one that uses a cool app called Mamava. The app finds nursing pods and you unlock it using the app. When I downloaded it, I could see all the pods within the airport. After nursing, I get a turkey club tostini and latte from Einstein’s Bros. $13
11:00 a.m. –We board for San Juan but the copilot is late. We sit and wait while the main pilot makes out with his girlfriend. I also pump once we take off.
2:30 p.m. – We finally arrive in San Juan, take a taxi to our Airbnb in Miramar, which is about 20 minutes away. The views while we were about to land were gorgeous and I can’t wait to get to the beach. The ride to our Airbnb is underwhelming and it makes me more anxious to get to the beach. Our Airbnb is an apartment with huge windows and also has two bathrooms (needed because my husband spends ages in the bathroom). $25
5:00 p.m. – We are settled in, pumped, and I drink most of the wine that our host left for us. I order an Uber to Kiosko El Boricua in Carolina ($16.63). We get alcapurrias, pinchos, and empanadas ($15). I also get a sangria and my husband gets two Medalla’s, which is a local beer ($10). This place was highly recommended in a Facebook travel group (Girls Love Travel) and I also read great reviews on Google. Not really a fan of the food but the drink is really good. We head to the beach across the road from the kiosk. I am tipsy at this point so I just sing and dance while my husband laughs at me. I swear I have become a lightweight after the baby. $41.63
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7.30p.m. – We take an Uber ($9.47) to Supermax, a grocery store, where we buy water, alcohol, and fruits for the house ($80). We take an Uber ($4.20) back home after shopping. $93.67
9:00 p.m. – We prepare to go out bar hopping but I fall asleep while pumping. Hubby puts me to bed and promises to wake me up and in 2 hours we’ll head out. He doesn't because he falls asleep too.
Total: $173.30

Day Three

2:00 a.m. – Startled awake and I spend a few seconds trying to figure out where I am. I pump and chug water. I go to sleep after.
6.30 a.m. – I wake up and pump.
10:00 a.m. – I wake up, pump, and shower. I wake my husband up and rush him to shower since he annoyingly takes a long time in the bathroom. I wash and sterilize the pumping stuff while he showers.
11.15 a.m. – We head out to Old San Juan. Our Uber driver gives us tips and tells us we should start at El Morro, otherwise we will be walking uphill ($7.96). She drops us at El Morro and as we walk to the entrance we admire the ocean views and all the kites being flown. We pay to enter El Morro ($14). We spend over an hour at El Morro and head out to the city. $21.96
2:30pm – We walk through the streets of Old San Juan and we realize we haven't eaten today. We decide to go to La Princesa Gastropub, which was highly recommended on TripAdvisor.
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3:30 p.m. – We pass a wood maker on the street near the restaurant who we end up paying to make a sign for our daughter's room. He also suggests we ditch La Princesa Gastropub and head to Manolin Restaurant for authentic Puerto Rican food. We head to Manolin's while he carves the sign. $40
4:45 p.m. – The food at Manolin's is so good ($42). I get mofongo with chicken and my husband gets mofongo with chicken, chicken soup, and rice and beans. We basically inhale the food. We tend to forget to eat 'till we are starving during vacations. We head back to grab the sign and on the way we stop at various shops and buy some souvenirs. I buy a bracelet for my sister and also two small paintings of El Morro and the San Juan gate. We collect shot glasses when we travel so we buy a 3-pack and plan to give one to a friend ($27). $69
5:30 p.m. – The sign is gorgeous and I can't believe he does it so fast. I tip him. $5
6:00 p.m. – We walk around down El Paseo de la Princesa and take pictures in front of the prettiest water fountain. I order an Uber and we go home so I can pump and rest. $7.19
8:00 p.m. – We leave for a popular street called Ashford Ave. using Uber ($5.10). It is filled with bars and shopping. Our first stop is at the casino since we both have never been to a casino and perfect time to try one. We play a slot machine, lose $20, and moonwalk out of there. $25.10
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9:30 p.m. – We stop at a bar close by and my husband excitedly gets 5 beers for $14 and I just get fries and a water ($3). The group at the bar are regulars and they start doing karaoke. My husband loves karaoke and live music so he is very amped and keeps hooting. We tip before we leave. $21
10:30 a.m. – We walk around and stop at a souvenir shop where my husband buys sunglasses ($12.99). We get an Uber to go home ($4.26). I pump and shower. I am exhausted but my husband is super excited about the nightlife in San Suan. I drink rumchata before we leave. $17.25
12:00 a.m – Get an Uber to La Placita ($4.37). Its filled with clubs all next to each other and it's packed. I get 2 rum and Cokes during the time we are there and my husband at this point is wasted and dancing. He gets 3 beers and he pays for our drinks ($30). $34.37
1:45 a.m – Uber home ($3.90) after getting food (pinchos and alcapurrias) on a street stand ($6.80). We get home and I eat the pinchos and fries before going to bed. I also pump before heading back to bed but I barely get 2 ounces. $10.70
4:00 a.m. – Wake up and pump. At this time, I promise myself to never travel without my baby. Pumping sucks. Immediately head back to sleep after.
Total: $251.57

Day Four

11:00 a.m. – We take an Uber to Enterprise to rent a car ($3.70). We weren't planning on renting a car but we have decided we want to go see the rainforest and check out other beaches. Enterprise has no cars available but they suggest a local car rental company. They send a driver to get us and us we wait I grab an iced latte from Starbucks next door ($5.50). $9.20
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12:00 p.m. – We get a car and we head home to pick our stuff ($65). We stop by Supermax and buy chips, a ham sandwich for me, and yellow rice and fish for my husband ($18). We drive 45 minutes out to El Yunque rain forest. It’s really beautiful and we drive almost all the way up. We stop and take pictures at the Coco Waterfall. I use a manual pump to pump in the car as we head to the beach (my hand cramps and I cry inside). $83
3:00 p.m. – We arrive at Luquillo Beach and it's filled with people and the music is blasting. We get in the water and enjoy the music and the views.
5:00 p.m. – We head to Seven Seas Beach but it's not as nice as Luquillo. I sit at the beach while my husband goes in by himself. We stop at a restaurant by the beach and we get fried red snapper with yellow rice and beans and also mofongo with beef. We share and the food is delicious. We order fries to eat on the drive back. $48
7:00 p.m. – We get home and watch TV while we rest. My husband pregames hard, takes several shots of Dewar’s. I pump before drinking Dewar’s mixed with mango juice.
12:00 a.m. – We get an Uber to La Factoria ($7.27). It was highly recommended and I see why. The street itself is filled with lots of bars and it's packed. La Factoria has 8 rooms and it's very unassuming from the outside with no sign. I get a rum and Coke and walk around checking out the different rooms. We end up bar hopping (I have two more rum and cokes and he has five Medalla’s throughout) and again my husband realizes he can't hang like he used to ($30.27). The great thing about partying so far is that we haven’t had to pay any cover at all these places we have been. $37.54
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2:30 a.m. – My husband is falling asleep and we decide to head home using Uber. I pump and go to bed. I make sure to drink lots of water, I cannot afford a hangover. $8.64
Total: $187.38

Day Five

7:00 a.m. – I wake up and you guessed it, pump again.
10:00 a.m. – I am awake and I pump. My husband has a hangover and is refusing to wake up. He finally gets up and showers. We drive to Bebo’s Café for lunch. We get fried cassava with chicken for the appetizer and I get mofongo with pork and fries. The appetizer is really good but the mofongo is really dry and I choke twice before leaving it alone and I just eat my fries. $47
11:30 a.m. – We stop at a little shop across Bebo’s and I buy a bag for my mom, a frame for my niece, a cool ashtray even though I don't smoke. I also buy ziplock bags, 2 little ice cream containers, 2 candy bars for my siblings and two Spanish fairy tale books for myself. $72
12:15 p.m. – We walk to Ocean Park Beach and it's perfect. We get in for a bit. Thank goodness we had our swimsuits in our bags since this was not planned. We didn’t know Ocean Beach was walking distance from Bebo’s.
1:30 p.m. – Change out of our swimsuits and go to drop the car. We stop to put gas. They provide a driver to drop us back to our Airbnb. $17
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2:30 p.m. – I pump and then we walk to Condado Beach. The walk is awesome and we stop to the admire boats and also some teenagers are jumping off a bridge into the water. We get to Condado Beach and I get a coconut with rum as we sit on the sand ($7). There is a Denny's nearby and my husband goes to get a burger since he hasn't really liked the food here ($15). $22
4:00 p.m. – We take an Uber to Escambrón Beach. The beaches here are very lively and I people watch while my husband goes in. $4.10
6:00 p.m. – We take an Uber ($4.87) to Chocobar in Old San Juan. The place is really nice with an emphasis on chocolate. We order 2 choco-burgers to go. While we wait. I also get a tamarind mimosa (no taste of tamarind whatsoever) and a churro with chocolate sauce ($42). $46.87
6:45 p.m – After we get our food to go, we walk around a bit and appreciate the city. I also buy a hammock and a coffee mug for my mom in a nearby shop. $32
8:00 p.m. – We take another Uber back to the rental. My husband opens his burger and gets mad when he notices there is a chocolate sauce on it. I laugh for a good 2 minutes while he complains. I pump and then eat. The chocolate sauce can't even be tasted. $8.51
10:30 p.m. – We talked about going to bed early so we can be well-rested but here we are 3 episodes into a new series on Netflix called Bonded. Highly recommend this show, its so funny but the girl who plays the main lead doesn’t fit the role so much. Finally head to bed at 2:00 a.m (Facepalm). IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!!
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Total: $249.47

Day Six

9:30 a.m. – I pumped twice during the night. I wake up to my husband packing and cleaning up before we check out. I try and eat all the leftovers in the fridge because I hate wasting food.
10:15 a.m. – I pump, then shower, clean, and pack my nursing bag. I have never traveled with breast milk so I decided to save the TSA instructions onto my phone in case anyone brings it up. It really sucks to be leaving on the day of my birthday. We wanted to go to the beach before leaving but we have so many bags and we are just tired.
11:30 a.m. – Our Uber gets here for the airport and immediately as he pulls out of the parking lot I realize that something is wrong with the driver. He misses two exists. Drives between lanes. The car smells like urine and he drives really slow on the highway. $8.84
12:00 p.m. – We go through TSA easily, I made sure all the milk was frozen and I have 5 frozen gel packs to keep it frozen. The pump is considered a medical device so it was pretty easy and I wasn’t searched like I thought I could be. We buy a Puerto Rican rum at Duty Free. $27
1:30 p.m. – We sit by our gate and I go on the Uber app and leave a review. I immediately received an email from Uber and I schedule a call for the next day. I usually feel bad when I leave bad reviews which has only happened like once before but this man should not be driving people.
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2:30 p.m. – My husband sees a lady with a Popeye's bag and goes crazy. He runs to the next terminal and gets fried chicken, mashed potatoes, chicken bites, and a biscuit ($16). I grab a chai latte from a coffee shop next to our gate and eat the chicken bites ($4.30). $20.30
4:30 p.m. – Take off for Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We watch one of my favorite movies, District 9 on Netflix (You can download movies to watch offline on Netflix. I highly recommend using this feature). The movie makes me cry as usual and my husband ends up loving it.
7:00 p.m. – We arrive in Fort Lauderdale and I go grab a tostini from Einstein Bros. Sadly, I have to settle for the Italian chicken because they are out of bacon for the turkey club. I also get a buffalo chicken tostini for my husband and a bagel with avocado to share. I also buy a bottle of water since I can't find anywhere to refill my water bottle. $24
9:00 p.m. – We finally board to get back home. I try to pump but I can't seem to get suction so I have to sit there while leaking because my breast pads are in our checked bag. I listen to one of my favorite podcasts, The Friendzone while I edit my travel diary. When we land, I notice that the bag holding my milk is wet, some of the bags at the top have defrosted.
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1:00 a.m. – We order an Uber home and I am flabbergasted at the price for a 20-minute ride. It makes sense though, being 1 in the morning but still, my heart hurts. My husband sings “Happy Birthday” to me when we get home. I am so happy and can’t wait to see my baby in the morning. $46.20
Total: $99.34
How did you prepare for this trip?
Facebook travel groups, travel websites (Lonely Planet and blog posts), and travel apps (TripIt, Flio, and Sygic). I love planning and I go all out with my research.
Did you use credit card points/miles to pay for parts of this trip? If so, please explain further.
No but in the near future after paying off some debt I plan to get a credit card that offers better perks.
What was your favorite part of the trip?
My favorite part of the trip was definitely roaming around Old San Juan. The history can be felt and it is really beautiful. So much to see and definitely definitely wish could do one more day there. I would tell anyone to just put there phone away and get lost in the city.
What was the best meal or food you ate while you were there?
Mofongo with chicken at Manolin Restaurant.
Is there a tourist trap you wish you had avoided?
No. I really try to go out of my way and do extensive research using the travel groups I am in, Lonely Planet, TripAdvisor and Instagram tags.
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What advice would you give someone who is traveling to the same location?
Rent a car for at least a day and leave San Juan for El Yunque Forest and Luquillo Beach.
Is there anything about your trip you would do differently in retrospect?
I could have definitely rented a car earlier in the day and also for 2 days. I missed out on going to Flamenco Beach (top 10 beaches in the world) because of this.
Would you stay at your hotel/airbnb again?
Yes. The location was great. Uber's cost less than $5 most of the time and we could walk to many prime locations (Condado beach, the pier, etc.).
Where were you located in the specific city and would you recommend staying in that part of town?
Miramar and yes I would highly recommend it. It was close to everything and yet so quiet.
Is there anything you wished you had time to do, but didn’t?
Yes, Flamenco beach, a catamaran ride, and the Bacardi Rum Factory tour.
Do you feel like you were there for the right length of time?
I would stay a day longer if I had the chance.
Travel Diaries is meant to reflect individual women's experiences and does not necessarily reflect Refinery29's point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior.
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