Friday, June 8, 2007

Want a cheap vacation? Don't look here!


I'm going to give you 5 rather pricey vacation destinations (and expensive hotels to match). According to Fox, they're vacations that don't cost a bundle. Not quite.

1. The Grand Hotel, Point Clear, Ala.


No offense to anyone living there, but I can't imagine why I would want to go to Alabama in the middle of the summer. Its hot, humid, and absolutely nothing there. But that won't stop you from spending over $250 and up per night at the Grand Hotel that apparently appeals to kids because of its "pool and large waterslide". Actually, the Super 8 probably has a pool too, and most kids aren't going to care either way.

2. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

I have to admit that as theme parks go, paying 75 cents for hot dogs and rides sounds like a pretty good deal. They recommend the Casa Blanca Inn, which they say is pricey but worth it because of the fireplace - just what I want in summertime - and a continental breakfast. Last I checked, a continental breakfast involved a prepackaged danish and coffee, certainly not worth the $165 and up per night price tag.

3. The Empress Hotel, Victoria, British Columbia

The Empress Hotel. That's right, an inexpensive vacation somehow involves staying at the Empress Hotel for $224 (US) and up every night.

4. Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Now we're talking. Camping runs free to $12/night. Finally Fox has a recommendation that I approve of. Forget the glitz and the merchandise and the licensed TV characters - take your kids out into nature and let them enjoy themselves free of consumerism and slick marketing ads.

5. Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, Mexico

This is where we see the difference between American hospitality and other cultures. Head down to Mexico (which of course will cost you a bit in airfare) and instead of $165 and a continental breakfast, you get the same beach front location, a gourmet breakfast, and happy hour drinks for $140 a night! If you include other costs this still is not a bargain bin vacation but I bet it will be a lot more fun swimming with whale sharks than listening to "Papa Doo Run Run" while riding a roller coaster.

We've planned our summer vacation. We are heading north to hill country and staying in an inexpensive hotel while touring the local wine vineyards for 2 days. Its not a week of camping, but you can bet Mickey won't be anywhere to be found.

1 comment:

Jim said...

I have only been on two vacations in my life. The first was going to Disney World when I was 10 years old, and we drove there. The drive is very rough when you're young just to sit there in the car and it took a day and a half to get there. That was fun and I got to see the ocean for the first time in my life.

The second one was my honeymoon about 14 years later. My wife and I saved money and applied it to a fully paid for week long vacation in Jamaica. We went through Sandals to get an all inclusive package, so everything was covered. The big firsts here was it was a first time me or my wife have ever been on a plane, and it was the first time either of us has been outside the country.

I do believe setting aside some money over a period of time does help. Maybe print a picture of where you're going with a chart of what has been saved to go there. That way it is a reminder that once the goal is reached, the reward will be to go there. The cheapest vacation I can think of though is taking a nap.