At this point, the Spring 2017 semester is about 5 weeks
in and is definitely in full swing. Classes have piled on the assignments, campus jobs, internships and athletics have all kicked into gear, and to top it off most students haven’t been home since winter break. So this is where I say “Yay for President’s Day!” If you think about it, President’s Day is like the Columbus Day of the spring. It is more or less the first time students go home since the start of the semester and it’s that long weekend that may be just the break they need to get ready for another few weeks before the next time off.
This year I have decided that this long weekend is going to be more than just a break at home, it is going to be a long weekend getaway in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. And using these steps below, I’ll be going for under $300.
First… Location, Location, Location!
Although hotels, and flights, rack up their prices during holiday weekends, if you pick an off-season location, those price differences aren’t as drastic. The Cape in the winter is gorgeous, but it isn’t beach season in February so hotels drop prices to make their destination more attractive during its less favorable months. Hence, why coastal destinations, are perfect for inexpensive travel this time of year.
So you’ve chosen the best place for your getaway, but now you need to find hotels are open. I do this using two search engines. One is Google, of course. I simply search “something like, “year round hotels in Cape Cod.” Google gives you a map listing the open places and you can see where they are located, to be able to pick just where you want to be. Once I find one I like, I set out to sites like hotels.com to find the best deals.
If you’re the resort type like me, sometimes hotels offer meal packages with your stay which seems expensive, but you’re actually getting more for your money. This is exactly what I did for my President’s Day trip, a room for two nights,
plus three meals included. That’s what I call thrifty.
Third… Planning everything else!
So you have your place, and your hotel, now the means of getting there and eating. Because President’s Day is a long weekend, I chose to keep my destination within driving distance to save a lot of money. Sure gas isn’t cheap, but that’s where apps and websites come in handy. Packing is easy for short trips, but remember a bathing suit. Most year round hotels have indoor pools and spas which are the best part.
Finally, the food. On most long-term trips I opt for a suite (or a fire if I’m camping, but more on that in the future). Though cooking doesn’t sound very relaxing, a box of pasta for dinner, and cereal for breakfast is worth the money you save versus eating out, especially for more than two to three nights in a row. Not only do you save overpaying for dishes, but there is no gratuity charge or higher tax. The tax on a $10 supermarket purchase is significantly less than a $32 meal.
Of course though, if going away just isn’t the best plan, then make home your vacation! Aside from spending time with friends and family, make your home state an adventure. Go to a restaurant you’ve never been to, drive through a town you’ve never seen, or even take a day trip to the coast or a lake just for a stroll. The smallest change of scenery can make you feel like you’re in a whole other world.
So, if you do your research, as monotonous as it can be, you’ll find that turning this weekend, and other long weekends like it, into a relaxing mini vacation isn’t as daunting and unrealistic as it seems. Staying at home, or heading out for an overnight adventure are completely doable, and they provide the break us students need in a great, unique way!