Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds
Old 04-07-2007, 09:30 AM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 211
Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds

We've got a lot of fulltime travelers here, so I thought you might know of some good places. DH is finishing up the new version of the software that his company sells, which they are launching in mid-may. as those of you in software development know, this time in a project comes with much wailing, gnashing of teeth, and overtime. As soon as the project launches, I am kidnapping him for a one-week, low-stress vacation. After considering some pricier ideas, our frugal gene kicked in and we decided on a road trip. The idea is to rent a car (or just take mine, not sure on that--my car runs fine but also has 125K miles on it), drive about a thousand miles or so from home (northeastern OK), set up camp in a nice b&b or rental and explore the local area and/or strike out from there for day trips to interesting spots on the map. We don't want to do anything too scheduled, but we also want to go somewhere where we can find lots of stuff to do (or sleep in till noon without guilt, for that matter). We're contemplating the southwest (specifically arizona and new mexico), but I'm open to other ideas.

Suggestions?
__________________

__________________
OKLibrarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds
Old 04-07-2007, 12:20 PM   #2
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 925
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds

I'm definitely not a vagabond yet; but, when I get this kind of urge, I generally head to Mexico. I discovered quite a while back that I can generally vacation more cheaply there than I can in most of the USA (especially since I am usually looking for a warm beach location for my vacation).

Lately, I have been heading to Puerto Vallarta for most vacations. It is fairly cheap to get there and stay there; and, it has mountains rising up out of the ocean. The only real downside for me is the water clarity. (I like to snorkel and dive; but, this is definitely not the best area for that kind of activity.) Puerto Vallarta is a large enough city to have plenty of shopping and clubs if that is your thing; but, you can also find plenty of nearly deserted beaches on both sides of the city as well as trails along the beach and up into the hills on the south side of the the city.

If you have any Spanish, I'm sure that would enhance your experience. Sadly, I've never taken the time to learn much more than please, thank you, and excuse me. But, that has never been much of a problem for me in Mexico (looking for wood to knock on now).

My accommodations have ranged from youth hostels to all inclusive beach resorts. And, my expenses generally range between $25-$80 per day including transportation (flying from the Midwest). My secret is that I don't really care where I spend the week as long as it's warm and beach front; so, I just watch the last minute deals flying out of my home airport from places like www.worryfreevacations.com (which happens to be my current personal favorite; but, there are many others; and, I am not affiliated in any way). Sometimes I just use their cheap air fair and stay at a hostel or local hotel. Other times, I use their package deals which are hard to beat for a cheap, low-stress, one week vacation.

Happy trails to you.
__________________

__________________
If there's one thing in my life that's missing; It's the time I spend alone
Sailing on the cool and bright clear waters; There's lots of those friendly people
Showin me ways to go; And I never want to lose your inspiration
CoolChange is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds
Old 04-07-2007, 12:55 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds

A couple of years ago, we rented this place: http://www.vrbo.com/37663

Incredible place, designed and built by an artist/architect, and a steal at that price. It is south of Taos. We found the area to be charming and interesting, and very low key. Having a house of your own to retire to (compete with views, kitchen, fireplace, etc.) was great.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds
Old 04-07-2007, 01:20 PM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds

Quote:
Originally Posted by OKLibrarian
We don't want to do anything too scheduled, but we also want to go somewhere where we can find lots of stuff to do (or sleep in till noon without guilt, for that matter). We're contemplating the southwest (specifically arizona and new mexico), but I'm open to other ideas.
Spouse and I were in San Antonio last month to see the world's largest mulch fire to carry her luggage to a conference meet REWahoo. Riverwalk is a nice unscheduled place to explore, the Alamo was fascinating (more for the people around it than for the objects) and we had a good time eating Tex-Mex...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds
Old 04-07-2007, 04:14 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,183
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds

Since you are talking summer that means you can get 4 & 5 star resorts in Phoenix metro at bargain prices! If you want I can check some of the summer rates for you. It seems like 100 to 125 a night gets you a top notch experience and the summer rates on the golf courses are excellent as well. PM me once you have dates if intrested! Also, there are some great day trips out of Phoenix.
__________________
crazy connie is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds
Old 04-07-2007, 04:20 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,115
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy connie
Since you are talking summer...in Phoenix... It seems like 100 to 125 a night ...
Connie, are you talking temperature or price?

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds
Old 04-07-2007, 07:13 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,183
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Connie, are you talking temperature or price?

BOTH!!! Hottest temp on record was 122 and that is HOT. Resort rates 250 to 500 a night from 10/1 to 3/31 easy and cut way down when it is 100 plus degrees.
__________________
crazy connie is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds
Old 04-07-2007, 07:27 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,199
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds

Be sure to think carefully about what it is that you like about trips. For me, I know that it's about the food (eating at interesting new restaurants or having fun picnics) and doing something (like surfing) rather than general sightseeing.

I used to think that staying in a nice hotel, and reading or relaxing is an important part of a trip, and it's nice, but you can do that better at home. Once we stayed at a quaint lodge in the mountains, but the lights were too dim for reading (40 watts), there was constant noise from the phone at the front desk, and in the cozy common room with the big fireplace, there was always a TV on!! From then on, we never view the hotel as an important attraction.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds
Old 04-07-2007, 07:29 PM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 160
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds

There are certainly lots of places for you to go......actually Mexico sounds nice.....

BUT.....you are talking a WEEK.....and you're talking about DRIVING to somewhere 1,000 miles away? You'll spend the best part of your week driving, fighting traffic, and eating indifferent meals on the road.

If you have only a week, either drive somewhere very close by, or only waste two of your precious days, one there and one back, and fly.

My heart hurts at the very idea of driving two thousand miles in a week, not even counting any "relaxing" time in between the drives.

Of course, we are vagabonds, and in our world, about a hundred miles is the ideal amount to travel in a day. :-) That leaves us time to start out at the crack of nine, stop at various and sundry interesting things, (yard sales, volunteer fire company pancake breakfasts, etc.), stop for lunch, pull off and take a nap, and still get to our destination early enough to take a nice walk before dinner.

Please.....slow these vacation plans down or your "vacation" will feel much like the high powered, stressful time you're taking a vacation to get away from.....

JMHO.....LooseChickens
__________________
loosechickens is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds
Old 04-07-2007, 08:20 PM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 211
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds

Wow! lots of good suggestions. In order...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolChange
I'm definitely not a vagabond yet; but, when I get this kind of urge, I generally head to Mexico.
Love to, and DH actually speaks tolerable spanish, but he doesn't have a passport. (yeah I know, that's on the to-do list). Next year, quite possibly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
A couple of years ago, we rented this place: http://www.vrbo.com/37663
ooh! Pretty! I was tentatively thinking of a vacation rental, but didn't realize you could get something that big for those rates...could be fun to live in a mansion for a week <G>

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Spouse and I were in San Antonio last month
hmm...I've heard good things about san antonio, but never made it that far south on a trip (we seem to always wind up at galveston).

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy connie
Since you are talking summer that means you can get 4 & 5 star resorts in Phoenix metro at bargain prices!
not sure we want to schlep quite that far...And neither of us are golfers (though I'm actually taking lessons right now--the word for it is abysmal but I hope to improve)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Be sure to think carefully about what it is that you like about trips.
I'm with you, we want a decent place to stay but we may not spend all that much time there. The things we tend to like best are eating and exploring new environs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by loosechickens

BUT.....you are talking a WEEK.....and you're talking about DRIVING to somewhere 1,000 miles away? You'll spend the best part of your week driving, fighting traffic, and eating indifferent meals on the road.


Please.....slow these vacation plans down or your "vacation" will feel much like the high powered, stressful time you're taking a vacation to get away from.....
Point taken. however...

A: a thousand miles is the MAXIMUM we were interested in. the current front-runner is Santa Fe, which is 600 miles and change. we're also pondering Memphis, which is about 400.

B: I kinda said a week for convenience's sake, it's actually 9 days when you add in the weekends on either side.

However, your post and the rest have us talking again about what we actually want out of this week--I'm okay if a little pooped from a big project I just wrapped up, but DH is so darned tired and stressed I just want him to have some time away to recover. I'm almost wondering if we even need to leave town to accomplish that. lots to ponder. :-)
__________________
OKLibrarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds
Old 04-07-2007, 08:33 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,386
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds

It's getting on toward summer, but some of the nice resorts in Scottsdale like the Camelback Inn sound like just what you need.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is online now   Reply With Quote
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds
Old 04-07-2007, 08:37 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,115
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds

Quote:
Originally Posted by OKLibrarian
hmm...I've heard good things about san antonio, but never made it that far south on a trip (we seem to always wind up at galveston).
That reminds me...as a librarian do you get silly questions from people, like "Which is further south, Galveston or San Antonio?"

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds
Old 04-07-2007, 09:06 PM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 249
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds

Just read through the thread really quick, but here's my take: the OP is part of a typical (Egad!) still working (and too damned hard, from the tone of it) couple who has only a week off. Tough bill. I second the suggestion that you fly, not drive, and enjoy your sparse days off. "Vagabond", to me, implies a lot more freedom, the only the truly retired (or real bums) can enjoy. Even a FIRE person myself, who can take or leave his relationship (prefer to leave it frequnetly nowadays ) can't travel all the time...but I'm working on it. Been to Mexico 4 times in 2 years. This year: Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica. I love the solo-travel, backpacker (e.g. cheap) type of trip. Mexico is great for that. D.R. is claimed to be a bit pricier, but Mexico you can do quite cheaply. But if you are the married-couple, a/c room and so forth, well, it'll cost you a bit more. Heck, enjoy it, but don't you dare call yourself a vagabond! You are insulting those of us sleeping ten to a room sharing it with Euro-trash and U.S. college students.
__________________
I've got nothing against an honest day's work, provided that someone else does it.
pedorrero is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds
Old 04-08-2007, 07:34 AM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5,072
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds

We recently went to Zion Utah, Bryce canyon, Grand canyon, sedona AZ. It is a nice trip. THe expense really depends on the food and accomodations you choose. If you camp and buy food at a store... the cost will be low. If you stay in motels and eat in restuarants, they will be a higer (obviously).

If oyu intend to stay in motels... make reservations. You will be getting there before peak season... but it is better to be safe than sorry.
__________________
chinaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds
Old 04-08-2007, 10:53 AM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Goonie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North-Central Illinois
Posts: 3,198
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds

Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaco
We recently went to Zion Utah, Bryce canyon, Grand canyon, sedona AZ. It is a nice trip. THe expense really depends on the food and accomodations you choose. If you camp and buy food at a store... the cost will be low. If you stay in motels and eat in restuarants, they will be a higer (obviously).

If oyu intend to stay in motels... make reservations. You will be getting there before peak season... but it is better to be safe than sorry.
We did the same last September, plus the Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, and Arches (and Rocky Mtn. Nat'l Park on our way home to IL). It was absolutely one of the best trips we've done! Took 723 pix along the way! LOVE the Nat'l Parks!!!

And like Nords said, San Antonio is a nice, relaxing place to drop anchor for some R&R, also. We went there a little over a year ago and thoroughly enjoyed meandering around. Stayed at the Menger Hotel and wandered across the street to the Alamo several times. Also wandered the Riverwalk a lot too, it's a great place to "people watch", relax, and enjoy a cool elixir (and eat!). LOTS of great food. Lots of thing to do. Trolley tours of the city, and of the Missions....carriage rides (especially nice in the late evening).

Happy Trails!!!
goonie
__________________
Goonie is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds
Old 04-10-2007, 09:09 PM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 211
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
That reminds me...as a librarian do you get silly questions from people, like "Which is further south, Galveston or San Antonio?"

*sigh*--I only glanced at the map when making that post, saw houston was a bit north of SA and forgot that Galveston is a bit further down the coast. Blame the geography teachers when I was a kid, they were a bit vague on things south of the Red River. :-) San antonio is further away than galveston, but I admit they're about a wash.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pedorrero
Just read through the thread really quick, but here's my take: the OP is part of a typical (Egad!) still working (and too damned hard, from the tone of it) couple who has only a week off. Tough bill. I second the suggestion that you fly, not drive, and enjoy your sparse days off. "Vagabond", to me, implies a lot more freedom, the only the truly retired (or real bums) can enjoy. Even a FIRE person myself, who can take or leave his relationship (prefer to leave it frequnetly nowadays ) can't travel all the time...but I'm working on it. Been to Mexico 4 times in 2 years. This year: Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica. I love the solo-travel, backpacker (e.g. cheap) type of trip. Mexico is great for that. D.R. is claimed to be a bit pricier, but Mexico you can do quite cheaply. But if you are the married-couple, a/c room and so forth, well, it'll cost you a bit more. Heck, enjoy it, but don't you dare call yourself a vagabond! You are insulting those of us sleeping ten to a room sharing it with Euro-trash and U.S. college students.
I am sorry--I guess it's just fond memories of when I was sleeping 10 to a room with euro-trash--I keep telling myself this career thing is just a temporary fundraising stop and I'll be back out there with my backpack while I'm still young enough to tote it!

Back to the point, the current frontrunners are San Antonio (if we go there, we'll probably fly) and Santa fe. However, we may just pull out of the apartment complex, hang a right/left turn onto route 66, and just drive at whatever pace feels right till it's time to turn around and head for home. Thanks for all the suggestions. :-)
__________________
OKLibrarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds
Old 04-11-2007, 08:07 AM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds

Quote:
Originally Posted by OKLibrarian
Santa fe.
FWIW, we found Taos to be a lot more pleasant and relaxed than Santa Fe (which has a bad sprawl problem).
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds
Old 04-11-2007, 08:14 AM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
FWIW, we found Taos to be a lot more pleasant and relaxed than Santa Fe (which has a bad sprawl problem).
Very true - Taos is what Santa Fe was 25 years ago
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds
Old 04-11-2007, 09:01 AM   #19
Recycles dryer sheets
LeatherneckPA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Williamsport
Posts: 489
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds

DW and I take one week a year together and go somewhere, and we usually do it for under $1000, all inclusive.

We strap the tent and sleeping bags to the back of the motorcycle. We stay in state park campgrounds. We cook most of our own dinners on the grills provided in all state parks. Steak dinners, baked potatoes, fresh corn on the cob for about $5 per serving. Breakfast and lunch are usually grocery store fixings bought the day before. We eat LOTS of local produce. And we tour all kinds of great sites, pretty much for free or cheap.

Just pick an area (Pike's Peak, Yellowstone, Bryce, Canyon Nat'l Parks spring to mind) and get the AAA tour book for that area. More to do than you can possibly cover in 9 days.
__________________
"Iron" Mike - Semper Fi
Jack of all trades; Master of none.
LeatherneckPA is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds
Old 04-11-2007, 10:14 AM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 5,720
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
Re: Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds

If you get to San Antonio, consider swinging through Carlsbad Caverns and Sante Fe. Both are worth the extra drive. And take 2 weeks so you can really enjoy the destinations. One week is best for the all-inclusive air trip to a single destination.
__________________

__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things? ebisky Life after FIRE 32 03-16-2006 04:28 PM
Vacation Ideas? brewer12345 Life after FIRE 21 11-14-2004 08:17 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:07 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.