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Cost Breakdown

The purpose of the information on this page is to explain the costs of the trip.

The total cost of the trip is $317 (estimated at 10 people going; read below for details), plus up to $105 in alcohol*/miscellaneous expenditures.

Q: Is the money refundable?
A: Your deposit is 100% refundable according to our Florida 2004 Refund Policy and the dates posted on the calendar.


Total cost: $1250

If 10 people go, the cost breaks down to $125 per person. The purpose of the housing deposit being $120 is to cover most of the housing costs.

On June 6, the remainder of your housing payment is due. This will vary, depending on how many people have signed up.

To determine remainder of housing payment due, use this easy formula:
($1250 / # of people signed up) - $120 = Housing Payment Due.

We expect to have 10 people signed up by the time the housing is due (with a pretty substantial waiting list). If 10 people sign up, it is clear that this amount will be only $5, but we want you to keep in mind that if we do not reach our expectations, the remainder of your housing payment can end up being as much as $88 (estimated at six people going).

Q: If we are not leaving until mid-August, why do I have to pay the remainder of my housing so early?
A: We have to pay the remainder of the rent to the owners of the property by June 6. Also, we expect that the list of people going will be fairly stable by then.

Q: What if more people sign up after I pay the remainder of my housing?
A: The difference will be refunded to you in cash on the day we leave for Sarasota (August 9, 2004).

Q: What if someone backs out during the refund period (and no one is on the waiting list to replace them)?
A: The difference will be due in cash by August 7 (two days before we leave for Sarasota), along with your gas money payment.


Since the house we are staying in has 2 full kitchens and a barbeque grill, we will be going to the grocery store (& Sam's Club!) to purchase food.

Think about how much food/beverage (non-alcoholic) you consume in a day. Unless you are eating out, it probably comes out to less than $10 per day in food. Therefore, we are estimating that each person will be eating about $10 in food per day (including the time we are on the road). Therefore, we are estimating the total cost of food to be $90 per person.

Food money will be collected as food is purchased, not before we leave for Chicago.

Q: What if I have special dietary needs (e.g. I am a vegetarian)?
A: We respect that some people may have certain dietary needs. However, since it would be difficult to accommodate every individual's specific dietary requests into food purchasing decisions, those who want or require specific foods should purchase them themselves while we are at the grocery store in Sarasota.

Gas/Travel Expenses

According to Microsoft Streets and Trips, the house in Sarasota is 1255 miles from Chicago. That comes out to 2510 miles roundtrip. To include all the miscellaneous driving around, let's estimate it at 2700 miles. Estimating gas mileage for worst-case (for instance, let's say we're driving an Expedition or some other big SUV) let's say each vehicle gets 15/mpg on the highway. Using Streets & Trips, the cost per car comes out to $310. Add an oil change (gotta get it changed every 3000 miles!), and it comes out to about $340 per car.

Holy crap that's a lot of money - I'm sure that's what you're thinking! But again, we're shooting for 10 people going (and people on a waiting list). If 10 people go, we will have to take three cars. That's $1020 total in gas. Divide $1020 by 10, and you get $102 per person.

As with the housing expenses, this is an estimate! However, in the worst case, we would only have six people in two cars, and that comes out to $113 per person. But, again, we anticipate having 10 people signed up for the trip, so it shouldn't even be a problem.

The gas money is due two days before we leave, on August 7.

NOTE: Those who are driving should get their oil changed BEFORE WE LEAVE FOR SARASOTA. The oil change money pays for the oil change that will be necessary after we return from Sarasota.

Q: What if I am driving? Do I still need to turn in gas money?
A: Yes. The purpose of collecting the gas money before we leave is to ensure that everyone turns in the same amount of money.

Q: Fifteen miles per gallon? Most cars get way more than that on the highway. What's the deal with estimating it that low?
A: The reason we are estimating the gas mileage so low is to protect the owners of the car. We don't want them to be short-changed on gas money (they are doing us all a favor by driving!). If in fact their vehicle does get better gas mileage than 15 mpg, then they will have a little extra change in their pocket. But, again, they're doing us a favor so it shouldn't even be a big deal.

Q: I'm driving. When do I get gas money? What if I need to fill up?
A: The owner of each car will get $155 in gas money before we leave for Sarasota. The owner of each car will also get $155 in gas money before we leave for Chicago. Lastly, the owner of each car will get $30 for an oil change once we return back to Chicago. Remember that the payments of $155 includes money for the miscellaneous driving around that we will do in Sarasota as described above!

Other Expenses/Alcohol*

We estimate that each person will want to bring up to $105 to cover alcohol* and other miscellaneous expenses they may incur while on vacation. Depending on circumstances (for instance, if you are planning on eating out, shopping, going jetskiing, stopping at Disney World, etc), you may want to bring more. It is entirely up to you.

The Paypal Service Charged - Explained

Paypal is free to use if you are the sender of the money. However, if you are receiving money on Paypal, Paypal takes 2.9% + $0.30.

The service charge is $3.89. Take $120 + $3.89 and you get $123.89. Subtract 2.9% of $123.89 (subtract $3.59), and you get $120.30. Subtract the additional $0.30 and you get $120, the deposit.

Because this is a service charge, it is non-refundable. Furthermore, it is not included as part of your "additional housing payment" (see above).

Q: Why would I want to use Paypal?
A: The best reason to use Paypal is if you want to use your credit card to secure your deposit. Paypal is very easy to use, so we thought it would be nice to offer it to you as a method of payment. For instance, let's say you do not have the cash for the deposit right now but you really want to go to Florida. But space is filling up fast! Well, you can charge the deposit to your credit card, guaranteeing yourself a spot for the trip.

Q: How do I get a Paypal account?
A: Go to and click "Sign Up" at the top. You want a personal account in the US.

Have more questions? Contact us.


* - We (The Castulucci Family and Castulucci Family Travel Services) do not endorse underage or irresponsible drinking. Alcohol consumption is at your own risk. We can not be held responsible for any legal or medical matters. Furthermore, we assume every person consuming alcohol is of legal age to do so, medically able to do so, and responsible enough to do so. Do not drink if you are not of legal age or not medically capable. Drink responsibly.