Traveling on a budget

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Patron
Best Affordable Destinations in the USA

1st place: Yellowstone (bull####; Yellowstone lodging is extraordinarily expensive in the tourist season, which is the only time it's accessible)
3rd place: Washington, DC :)lmao:)
9th place: Key West :)lmao:)

Most of the destinations on this list are ridiculously expensive and not budget-friendly unless you're Bill Gates. In each expanded listing, they go on to recommend that you go in off-season and stay in a hostel or tent to keep costs down. :lol: Because, yeah, that's everyone's idea of a great vacation. Yellowstone, they go as far as to recommend that you bring your own food. :lol:

I'm always looking for a destination deal, which to me means we can get a decent size room or cottage with a full kitchen for under $2000/mo, or we can get a campsite in an amenity filled resort for under $1200/mo. $200 per night for a basic room is NOT cheap digs. Off- or shoulder-season is a great way to save money; Myrtle Beach in October, for example, is pretty much the perfect time to be there. DC, however, has no real "off" season, unless you count the middle of winter when it's breathtakingly cold and the sane people in DC are vacationing somewhere warm.

PRO TIP: when planning your vacation, consider campground cottages. Many campgrounds have terrific cabins and cottages, fully equipped with a kitchen including utensils and cookware, for extremely reasonable prices. Plus the campground will have a laundry, a pool, activities, and many other amenities that a hotel doesn't have, and it's also in a much better environment.

PRO TIP: when comparing hotel prices, do some math. If a hotel offers a only meager breakfast, that's still worth money. If they offer a full hot breakfast, that's worth at least $5 per person per day. If it is a Sonesta or Homewood Suites that offers not only hot breakfast, but an afternoon light buffet and drinks - SCORE! Full kitchens also jack up the value of accommodations without increasing the price a whole lot. We very rarely stay anywhere that doesn't have at least a mini-fridge and microwave. Part of the fun of travel is the local chow, but you *will* get tired of eating in restaurants for every meal, even if it's only for a week.

PRO TIP: if your hotel has a breakfast room, use it. There will be a grocery store somewhere near where you're staying. If you're lucky, it will be a Whole Foods or some other multi-faceted market. When you've had enough of restaurants, go to the grocery store, pick up a rotisserie chicken and make salads at the bar. Come back and eat it in your hotel's breakfast room while you watch TV. I have an aversion to eating in my hotel room unless it's a suite, so Monello and I will grab food (tamales and beer in Vicksburg, for example) and have dinner back at the hotel. Just clean up your mess and throw away your trash after.

I'll post more tips as I think of them.
 

lovinmaryland

Well-Known Member
a tip I've learned traveling w/ children...who lets face it are always hungry or wanting a snack! If your hotel has breakfast even if its just a continental breakfast they typically have fruit (bananas and apples usually) and yogurts of some type. I'll typically take a piece of fruit & yogurt per kid/person for a snack later on in the day when we're site seeing or when we get back to the room. Also places like Homewood Suites offer "breakfast to go" bags that are usually filled w/ a water bottle, fruit, and some type of quick breakfast item like pop tarts or granola bars. We usually grab one of those when we head out for the day.

A tip I've learned from my cousin who works room service/concierge at The Jefferson in Richmond...if your hotel has an on site restaurant its typically also the room service food, you can save big $ by ordering from their kids menu. When we were in Savannah and stayed at the Embassy Suites their on site restaurant was a French Fusion restaurant and the options for kids menu items were salmon, steak, a burger, and chicken tenders. The first night we opted for 2 orders of salmon & the daily veggie which was roasted asparagus...holy crap! This was some serious gourmet ####!! And bonus it was only $8 each kids meal!!! The portion size was a normal adult portion also. We would have paid 3x that amount if we had ordered from the adult menu. So now when we go out of town we typically eat the local cuisine for lunch and come back and have room service if they've got it, otherwise we do like you guys and make something for dinner.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Patron
a tip I've learned traveling w/ children...who lets face it are always hungry or wanting a snack! If your hotel has breakfast even if its just a continental breakfast they typically have fruit (bananas and apples usually) and yogurts of some type. I'll typically take a piece of fruit & yogurt per kid/person for a snack later on in the day when we're site seeing or when we get back to the room. Also places like Homewood Suites offer "breakfast to go" bags that are usually filled w/ a water bottle, fruit, and some type of quick breakfast item like pop tarts or granola bars. We usually grab one of those when we head out for the day.
We do this, too. Monello will grab a yogurt and fruit to keep in our mini-fridge for snacking later, or a muffin or something. :yay:
 

Chris0nllyn

Well-Known Member
Make friends in different areas. That way you can stay with them and they can show you around.

We stayed in Germany for a week and only spent something like $200 for the week for both of us.
 
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