1. Plan a Vacation

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So far in this unit, you have researched long-term financial commitments, housing options, and car loans.

You have also developed a monthly budget that might incorporate those expenses.

In this activity, you will imagine that you are taking a vacation Taking a trip requires making a LOT of decisions.

A spreadsheet can help you collect, organize, and compare all of the information.

To plan your vacation, you will first decide on a place to go.

You will create a spreadsheet to estimate and track all of the expenses you will have on the trip.

Then, you will research transportation, lodging, food, and entertainment costs.

Then add these to your spreadsheet.

To make your task more challenging, you will be assigned a maximum budget amount that you cannot exceed.

Try to spend all the money.

You should not have more than 50 dollars remaining at the end of your trip.

To determine your budget, click the link on this page.

You'll be assigned a budget amount anywhere from 500 to 3,000 dollars.

It might be difficult to imagine spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars in one week.

But spreadsheets can help you keep track of the many costs involved in a trip.

And the skills you will learn here about budgeting, saving, and organizing data also apply to all kinds of travel, business trips, “stay-cations,” and international vacations.

Each time you make a decision about lodging, transportation, food, or entertainment, you will subtract the costs from your budget.

You will keep track of all your expenditures in your spreadsheet.

You’ve gotten lots of practice with spreadsheets in this unit, but this activity is different.

Instead of showing you how to construct your spreadsheet step by step, the optional videos in this unit will give you tips and suggestions for research and for setting up your sheet.

But YOU will set up the sheet, insert formulas, and choose how to visualize your data.

In each row, list one thing you will spend money on.

In the columns, list costs, categories, and other important information.

Use mathematical calculations and spreadsheet formulas to create a summary table and a chart to visualize your expenditures.

When you finish, your spreadsheet will look similar to, but not exactly like these.

To get started, open a new spreadsheet in Google Sheets.

Name the spreadsheet Click the link on this page to receive a budget amount.

Then, brainstorm with a classmate to decide where you’d like to go on vacation.

You might want to see the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone National Park.

Maybe you want to hit the beaches in Florida or Hawaii.

Perhaps you would prefer a famous amusement park.

Or maybe you want to see a play on Broadway.

Choose any location that interests you while keeping your budget in mind.

Once you have decided on a location, add it to the name of your spreadsheet.

Now, it’s your turn Go to sheets.google.com/create to open a new spreadsheet.

Name the spreadsheet “Click the budget amount link on the webpage to automatically generate your budget amount Talk with a classmate about possible locations for your budget.

Add the location to your spreadsheet name.

Then, move on to the next video to get suggestions for setting up your spreadsheet.


  1. Go to sheets.google.com/create to open a new spreadsheet.
  2. Name the spreadsheet "Vacation Budget."
  3. Click the budget amount link on the webpage.
  4. Talk with your classmate.
  5. Add the location to your spreadsheet name.