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  1. #1
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    Default Cheap vacation ideas for broke college student?

    My mother deserves a vacation and I am trying to take her on one for Christmas. Ideally I would like to go Dec 26-29 but am flexable (as long as we are home for Christmas Eve/Christmas).

    I was looking at a cruise but it's one of the more expensive times to go. However, I can get a nice one for incredibly cheap if I go the week before Christmas. I'm working with my mom's supervisor to see if I can take off that week for her. I should know tomorrow. If that's the case then I will be booking a cruise for then. Although she probably won't be too happy about having to take a week off...

    If that doesn't work out, then I'm back to square one. I thought of Savannah, GA but hotels are super expensive unless I book 20 mins or so outside of there, but that's going to cost a good amount of money to take a taxi in and out every day.

    Lexington, KY was another idea but I've heard it gets pretty cold there in the winter and I'm trying to stick to somewhere not freezing. However, I did find a bed and breakfast that got great reviews just outside of Lexington so should this cruise fall through, I may consider that.

    She doesn't enjoy hiking, walking around parks, etc. She does like shopping.

    Any other ideas? I'm trying to keep cost less than $600 (with the exception being a cruise).
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"



  2. #2
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    Does she like city things like theatre, art galleries, boutiques? Local artisans? You could do a road trip, figure out some places along the way that will be interesting. You can save money by staying at youth hostels, friends, relatives etc.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  3. #3
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    Vegas is cheap to get to, hotels are nice but cheap, and there's a crap ton of shopping.

    You can get to Vegas on a direct (cheap) flight from danged near anywhere. You could maybe get tickets to a show, and otherwise eat, shop, etc.

    I personally don't LOVE Vegas like some, but I've had a good time there. And it's cheap.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuddyRoo View Post
    Vegas is cheap to get to, hotels are nice but cheap, and there's a crap ton of shopping.

    You can get to Vegas on a direct (cheap) flight from danged near anywhere. You could maybe get tickets to a show, and otherwise eat, shop, etc.

    I personally don't LOVE Vegas like some, but I've had a good time there. And it's cheap.
    She LOVES Vegas. Me... I never found it that impressive but I could deal since I know she'd love to go there again. However, I looked at flights and for that time it looks like I'd be spending about $300-$500/person. Am I just not looking in the right places? I always hear of places advertising super cheap flights but I haven't been able to find any.
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"



  5. #5
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    You must never go there, Simba.
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BuddyRoo View Post
    Vegas is cheap to get to, hotels are nice but cheap, and there's a crap ton of shopping.

    You can get to Vegas on a direct (cheap) flight from danged near anywhere. You could maybe get tickets to a show, and otherwise eat, shop, etc.

    I personally don't LOVE Vegas like some, but I've had a good time there. And it's cheap.
    Eh, I too remembered Vegas as being pretty cheap, but I went this last summer and my god was it pricey! Food was absolutely ridiculously expensive. Prices had definitely gone up since my last trip that direction... After my experience this summer, I no longer consider it a "cheap" vacation.
    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
    -George Morris



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blugal View Post
    Does she like city things like theatre, art galleries, boutiques? Local artisans? You could do a road trip, figure out some places along the way that will be interesting. You can save money by staying at youth hostels, friends, relatives etc.
    She enjoys some cities (loved New Orleans... but that's quite a drive from NoVA, although I suppose we could make a roadtrip out of it depending on how expensive hotels are) and likes the right type of museum (ie: the Newseum, Crime Museum, etc in DC she likes, but isn't that big of a fan of the Smithsonian history museums). She does like shopping, especially hand crafted artsy things or antiques.

    I don't need a 5 star hotel, but don't want one where I wake up with a roach crawling across my head (thank-you for that, Army lodging...)
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"



  7. #7
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    If you do Vegas, look at flight/hotel combos from the airlines. I haven't been in several years, but the last time we went we booked through the airline and did one of their flight/hotel combos and basically just paid what we would have for just the flights but got four nights in a nice hotel too. I think the hotels cut deals with the airlines to get people to Vegas, where the hotels hope people will drop tons of money in their casinos.

    Going around Christmas might up your prices, though, since those are generally expensive times to fly no matter where you go.



  8. #8
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    What about Amtrak down to Savannah or Florida.
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  9. #9
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    May. 13, 2005
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    I'd suggest asking your mom where she wants to go.... and go from there.....



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noodles View Post
    I'd suggest asking your mom where she wants to go.... and go from there.....
    Well, I'm trying to keep it a surprise. And honestly, knowing her she would probably refuse to tell me where she wants to go because she has already gotten suspicious once and gave me an angry earful of how I better not be spending that much money on her yada yada yada. But she deserves a vacation.

    We'll see whether I can get those days off for her. She NEVER takes a day off so her supervisor said that they'd love for her to, but that they have to check to see what that time period looks like.
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"



  11. #11
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    Jan. 27, 2004
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    Charleston, SC? It's been a while, but I did Charleston and the surrounding area as a cheap spring break one year in college and thought it was lovely.

    Here's a link to their visitor's bureau: http://www.charlestoncvb.com/visitors/
    ---------------------------



  12. #12
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    Feb. 25, 2011
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    I love the idea of Savannah, just hearing about all the beautiful architecture, antique stores and fun shopping. Here's a cheap condo that seems to be in a good location:
    http://www.vacationrentals.com/vacat...l#reviews-jump


    FWIW, being on vacation is fun, period. Wherever you go, as long as you have decent lodgings and fun companions will be fun because you will be away from home and responsibilities. So if money is a problem, stay closer to home to save money, but far enough to get away from it all.

    I'm not familiar with your area, but I have a friend who loves antique stores and raves about how much fun she has shopping and antiquing in Tennesee.

    North Carolina antiques; these came up in a search and sound like fun:
    http://www.visitnc.com/journeys/arti...ique-road-trip
    http://www.antiquesofcameron.com/

    Shopping in South Carolina brought up this:
    http://www.streetadvisor.com/charles...-charleston-sc

    If she likes more upscale shopping and vacationing, here's one (may not be the best deal, just one of the first I looked at) condo at Hilton Head, SC from Vacationrentals.com. $95 a night for three nights would be cheaper than a cruise, even with eating out.



  13. #13
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    Cape May? Not sure how far you are. Baltimore, DC?



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteyPie View Post
    I love the idea of Savannah, just hearing about all the beautiful architecture, antique stores and fun shopping. Here's a cheap condo that seems to be in a good location:
    http://www.vacationrentals.com/vacat...l#reviews-jump


    FWIW, being on vacation is fun, period. Wherever you go, as long as you have decent lodgings and fun companions will be fun because you will be away from home and responsibilities. So if money is a problem, stay closer to home to save money, but far enough to get away from it all.

    I'm not familiar with your area, but I have a friend who loves antique stores and raves about how much fun she has shopping and antiquing in Tennesee.

    North Carolina antiques; these came up in a search and sound like fun:
    http://www.visitnc.com/journeys/arti...ique-road-trip
    http://www.antiquesofcameron.com/

    Shopping in South Carolina brought up this:
    http://www.streetadvisor.com/charles...-charleston-sc

    If she likes more upscale shopping and vacationing, here's one (may not be the best deal, just one of the first I looked at) condo at Hilton Head, SC from Vacationrentals.com. $95 a night for three nights would be cheaper than a cruise, even with eating out.
    I'll check those areas out, thanks. She really want's a vacaition mostly to get away from home for a few days (I don't blame her) so I'm sure anywhere we go will be appreciated/relaxing for her.

    Quote Originally Posted by magicteetango View Post
    Cape May? Not sure how far you are. Baltimore, DC?
    DC is about 35 minutes from us and Baltimore is about 90 mins... both of which she's been to many times so I'm inclined to go elsewhere. Cape May is up near NJ, correct? Probably too cold at that time of year.

    I'm really not trying to be picky! But I know she's going to be miserable if I take her up north and there's always the worry that bad weather will come through on our way home.
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"



  15. #15
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    If your mom is a senior, look for senior citizen discounts on hotels.



  16. #16
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    My parents love Charleston, SC



  17. #17
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    PeteyPie's post reminded me - you can look for places that rent by the week or 5 days; the price is often equivalent to two nights' stay at a hotel. I did that when I traveled, and much preferred staying in one place and doing day trips. It really allowed a level of relaxation that constantly being on the road doesn't.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  18. #18
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    Oct. 6, 2002
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    I love, love, love Newport RI. It's not going to be WARM that time of year, but it's beautiful.

    Another idea is Atlanta. Shopping galore, great food, inexpensive (comparatively) and the weather should be warmish.
    ~Veronica
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  19. #19
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    We loved Bar Harbor, Maine. Went there for our honeymoon last year around Labor Day. My MIL and FIL just did a cruise and stopped in Bar Harbor last week and loved it. Might be a little chilly during your time frame, but Acadia Nat'l Park was beautiful.

    I know you said your mom isn't into hiking and such, but you can see a lot of the pretty coastline through the park via car or by parking and walking across the main road. Lots of shopping, restaurants, etc. THere was an awesome improv comedy club there that we ended up going to twice! This Cuban restaurant we went to was fabulous (pricey though) and I just can't say enough good things about the people, the area, etc.

    But it might be cold.

    Typically you can get some cheaper flights on Air Tran down to FL. Orlando certianly has shopping (not my bag, but hey...)

    If you wanted to head more West, Chicago is fun. And again, you should be able to get a reasonable flight. Minneapolis is also fun downtown and they have the tunnels so you don't have to be outside when it's cold.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  20. #20
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    I'd also check out Aiken, SC. It would be a long drive from NoVa but no longer than Savannah. It should be cheaper too, and there's a great main street which seemed to have a fair amount of antique-y type shops. You could possibly combine that with Charleston too.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey



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