Cheap Weekend Getaway Ideas

cheap weekend getaway ideas

With Memorial Day coming up, I thought it would be fitting to write about some cheap weekend getaway ideas. Because of many places of business being closed for this federal holiday, it makes for a great opportunity to take a mini-vacation. Your bank account may be unfortunately saying otherwise. Luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy a four-day weekend.

Cheap Getaway Ideas

Many of these suggestions can not only be planned last minute but on a budget as well.

Last Minute Planning = Last Minute Deals (Sometimes)

It is typically encouraged to plan your trips well in advance to ensure the best deals; however, you can certainly grab some last-minute deals by waiting to book your trip. Try GoLastMinute, which is a travel site that scours the internet for last-minute flight deals. Other common booking sites offer last minute deals as well, such as Expedia, where you can also find hotel and cruise deals. Sometimes it pays to procrastinate.

Book an AirBnB

You don’t necessarily have to fly somewhere to stay in a cool location. Many sweet spots are just a reasonable drive away, and if you have one in mind, you can save money by renting someone else’s home. AirBnB has become an increasingly popular option for tourists traveling on a dime, but you can book an entire vacation home as well through HomeAway. Stay in the mountains in Asheville, North Carolina, visit the Florida Keys, or even rent a home in Paris for your trip. Plus, with these options, you can save money on going out to eat every night by purchasing your own groceries.

Getaway Locations

No matter what part of the states you are in, there are great (and cheap) places that are only a drive away from your location. Here are a few suggestions:

If you’re in the East Coast, consider staying in Atlanta, Georgia; Asheville, North Carolina; Burlington, Vermont; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Dewey Beach, Delaware.

  • Atlanta, Georgia: Along with its awesome barbecue, Atlanta does not charge for you to visit one of its most historic landmarks, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park. With hotel rates as low as $39.94 over Memorial Day Weekend, you may want to add this to your list.
  • Asheville, North Carolina: I just visited Asheville last spring, and it was not only affordable, but one of my favorite locations to date. Parking is not much fun, but you can walk just about anywhere downtown that you want to go. Plus, you can go kayaking right on the French Broad River outside of town.
  • Burlington, Vermont: If you’re the outdoorsy type, Burlington will not let you down. Vermont is really popular in the fall season, so now may be a good time to visit when tourism is slower.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The City of Brotherly Love is the host of the famous Rocky stair climb scene at the Rodin Museum, which has a mere suggested $8 entry fee. Take advantage of public transportation to save on gas and parking fees, and visit some of the mircrobrews that host complimentary tours on Saturdays like the Yards Brewing Company.
  • Dewey Beach, Delaware: Dewey Beach is adjacent to Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach but is the cheapest option of the two. Hitting it before the big beach season will help you save on hotel options as well. You can, though, try HomeAway and rent someone’s house for the weekend for potentially less. If you’re hoping to go to a beach over Memorial Day Weekend, this is a great option.

For West Coast dwellers, you’ll find  Portland, Oregon; San Antonio, Texas; Carmel Beach, California; Catalina Island, California; and Scottsdale, Arizona are some of the great spots for you to visit during Memorial Day weekend.

  • Portland, Oregon. Portland consists of a vibe that combines an outdoor feel to an urban area. You can visit the International Rose Test Garden, take some distillery or brewery tours, hit up a gallery walk, and more. Not to mention, they have some awesome flea markets you won’t want to miss.
  • San Antonio, Texas: San Antonio is full of free attractions, like the Alamo and their Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. Market Square and the Japanese Tea Gardens are also attractions you can visit without spending a dime.
  • Carmel Beach, California: Drive down Highway 1 to see the rocky beach at Carmel Beach. Visit the small town full of boutiques and restaurants, do an art tour, surf, paddleboard, or go camping. This gem of a spot makes for a one of the many great cheap weekend getaway ideas without hurting your wallet.
  • Catalina Island, California: Believe it or not, now may be an ideal time to travel to Catalina Island right before the busy summer season starts. You may find the best rates during the week, though, instead of the weekend. You can book an average-rated hotel at a little more than $80, according to HotelPlanner. If you miss your chance to visit it now, the fall would be another time to visit due to the lack of crowds.
  • Scottsdale, Arizona: From parks to the arts district, you won’t be bored visiting Scottsdale. Check out this list of ten free things to do here.

Other Ideas

Of course, you could drive to the nearest body of water, National Park, or state park and camp out for the weekend as well, which is always cheap to do. You could also become a tourist of your own area by trying a restaurant you have not had a chance to go to yet or do a tour of the area hosted by your local tourist bureau.

What cheap weekend getaway ideas would you add to the list?

Put Your Debt on a Diet: Financial Resolutions in 2017

financial resolutions

With a new year comes new goals. And although it is important to want to be a healthier person, it is also important to make some financial resolutions.

If you could make your financial situation better, would you? Of course, the answer is yes. The problem is, though, that many do not realize the solution is right under their nose. You might feel that without more income, you cannot resolve your bills. But, that is not necessarily the case. When we want to shed weight, we go on a diet and create a plan to do so. The same goes for your debt. Creating a well thought-out budget can do wonders for your debt. Lose some pounds on your bills and put your debt on a diet by eliminating some unnecessary expenses.

Continue reading

Save Money by Planning for the Holidays Now

save money by planning for the holidays nowYou can save money by planning for the holidays now.

Thanksgiving has sadly come and gone, and Christmas will be here before we know it. In 2016, the estimated average Christmas spending is $831, according to the Gallup Poll. This does not include money put toward holiday parties or traveling expenses. Just because the average U.S. consumer plans to spend more than $800 on Christmas gifts does not mean you have to. Although December 25 is less than a month away, there are many opportunities where you can save money by planning for the holidays now.

Online Tips

When shopping online, there are quite a few ways to get even more discounts. Here are just a few:

  • Discount Codes. Discount codes can be found all over the internet. Freeshipping.com will give you promotional codes for free shipping and coupons, and a slew of discounts can be found on RetailMeNot.com as well. Personally, I like to use the Chrome browser extension Honey, which does all the sale searching for you as you are on any given retail site.
  • Social Media. If you know your gift receiver loves a certain store, follow the company on social media. Retailers are often sharing exclusive specials and updates on their Facebook and Twitter pages, providing valuable information to followers everywhere.
  • Check reviews. Don’t waste money on junk by not looking at reviews first. You can grab a great deal on any computer, but it may not last as long as another at a similar price. ConsumerReports.com or simply checking reviews on Google or Amazon will help show you what will be worth your money as well as a nice gift.

Leave yourself out of it

As you shop, you will likely find items you would love to have for yourself. Stay focused and dedicate your December shopping to gifts for others only. Besides, if the item is a “must-have,” you can put some of that Christmas money toward the inevitable big sales after the holiday season.

Avoid store credit cards

Don’t fall for the “15% off your total purchase”specials when you sign up for the store’s credit card that day. While you may save money that day, these often come with higher interest rates, causing you to spend more in the long run. Instead, find out if any of your existing credit cards provide any cash back deals when shopping during the Christmas season.

Decide a gift budget ahead of time

Before you do any Christmas shopping, make a plan. Write out who you plan to buy gifts for and how much you are able to spend on each individual. Make sure to add up the numbers before continuing so that you can evaluate your totals. Then, adjust as you need to. Having a number in place will keep you in check as you shop.

Shop with a purpose

Don’t buy a gift just to buy a gift. Similarly, don’t purchase multiple gifts just so the receiver has multiple gifts to open from you. This is a surefire way to waste money. I know I would much rather get one meaningful gift than several items that are nice but have little use in my life. Purchase things that your loved ones will actually enjoy, not trinkets that will take up space.

Consider buying for groups

Buying for couples or a family instead of each individual can also save you money while allowing you to give something more meaningful. A game a family can play together or a household item for a couple are a couple examples of purchases that go much farther while also saving you money.

When you put your mind to it, it is not hard to save money by planning for the holidays now. And remember, those who truly love you will be more worried about spending time with you than what you bought them for Christmas. Sometimes, a well-thought out card with a meaningful letter speaks more to the individuals than anything you could buy them at the store. Keep that in mind and try not to stress out too much when shopping this season.

Is there anything you would add to this list that may help our readers save money over the holidays?