Living in SoCal equates to many worthwhile weekend getaway spots. According to the Traveler Sentiment Index, 68% of U.S. adults plan to take at least one overnight leisure trip in the next 6 months, which is up 7% since 2015.
The price of gas, airfare, and even accommodations due to apps like HotelTonight and Airbnb, have drastically shifted people’s attitudes towards traveling more frequently. With that being said, there are still some influential factors that are deterring people from wanting to travel. Among the highest being, credit card debt, anticipation of losing one’s job, and unexpected emergency costs.
I personally have weighed traveling as a high priority in my life. I’ve become quite the master of finding last minute deals and travel bargains. When you’ve caught the wanderlust bug and still need to effectively manage your finances, there’s no other option except to become creatively savvy. The reason I’m able to travel as frequently as I do, is because not only do I prioritize it, but I cut costs elsewhere to ensure that I can do so. I’m also fortunate enough to be able to tie in travel with producing income!
…I realized that I was able to enjoy a beautiful weekend away for under $120.00.
This past weekend, I traveled to Santa Barbara with my boyfriend. It was only a 1.5-hour drive since the LA freeway was strangely untouched by a myriad of cars; an early win in the day! My overstuffed clutch consisted of my favorite essentials: hand sanitizer, burt’s bees chapstick, and ‘kind bars’ for morning fuel. I always find when traveling overnight, an easy shortcut to avoid an unnecessary cost, is to bring protein packed snack bars!
Traveling with a partner has many wonderful perks – but if we’re talking strictly finance, the leading one is undoubtedly the advantage of being able to split costs. Using HotelTonight allowed for both of us to pay $65 each for the hotel accommodation. After settling in, we made our way to Arroyo Burro Beach to catch the sunset. Free parking all day – another win! The sunset was one of the most vibrant ones I’ve seen in a long while.
For good eats, I’ve developed a method of checking Instagram geotags and then confirming the ratings on Yelp. We found this deliciously healthy little spot right around the corner called, Mesa Verde. With the average plate costing around $12.00 – it certainly didn’t hurt our wallets.
The following day we spent the bulk of the afternoon at the Old Mission in Santa Barbara. It is the tenth of twenty-one missions founded by Spanish Franciscans in 1786. The admission fee to explore the grounds of this wildly beautiful and historic landmark, is only $9.00. The grounds include a parish (that is still very much active), a museum, a cemetery and mausoleum, and many acres of lush and charmingly landscaped gardens.
After exploring the mission, we grabbed an acai bowl and headed back to LA. After calculating all of the costs in the car, I realized that I was able to enjoy a beautiful weekend away for under $120.00. Let this serve as a reminder that you can travel and enjoy a weekend getaway, without having to break the bank!