LOW TO NOLA – PLANNING SAVINGS

Pyra-Danny is travelling solo again! Last week I aired out my frustrations of travelling alone as a young lady- here’s a follow up of HOW I plan to save money while on vacation.

DECIDING THE DESTINATION

3.5 day vacation? Here I go! But where?

With driving costs often lower than flying I searched for destinations near my Floridian home. Savannah… Jacksonville… Atlanta… been there. Then once I decided to combine my decision of driving to my target then flying back, this allowed me to seek further locations yet still return in a timely manner. I settled on virgin territory for me– New Orleans.

TRANSPORTATION

The decision to drive one way and fly back meant I needed a rental car.

Floridian deals ahead! One-way car rentals are mad cheap right now as the agencies try to push away all the rental cars that have accumulated in the state during the winter months from visiting northerners. Example: Through Priceline I secured an economy car for $7 a day (not counting service fees or taxes)

For my return trip I bear a loyalty to Southwest Airlines… and its free, first check-in luggage (necessary for a junk carrier like me). More money saved!

HOUSING

Hotels in my price range (<$80) are often generic, two star places. I love privacy, but I’ll sacrifice when pitted against savings and traveler surroundings. That’s why I’ve decided on a six-bed, dorm-style hostel. Just like hotels, I’ve read and compared reviews on NOLA hostels and settled on one of the highest rated. For only $40/night I’ll be in a historic building with homemade breakfast, kitchen, and WiFi.

Housing from the past
[Left] This hostel from Ft. Lauderdale was a party place. See the Beer box left in the corner? [Right] But this AirBnB in Chicago had an awesome view and location.
For the next night I’m paying more for privacy by staying at a NOLA resident’s AirBnB behind their house. The quirky photos, description and location captured me—naturally it has a kitchen and WiFi as well. At $80 a night it’s still way cheaper than any hotel near the French Quarter.

FOOD

Eating Huckleberry Ice Cream
A small grocery store near Yellowstone Nat’l Park sold Huckleberry Ice Cream Bars… Huckleberry products are EVERYWHERE there.

If you already plan to conquer iconic restaurants (I’m looking at YOU Café Du Monde) not much can alleviate those food costs; just look out for possible specials on their website or coupons in a city brochure. It’s rare to see a Groupon or LivingSocial deal etc.  If their lunch menu is cheaper—go for it!

With my stomach constantly wanting nourishment, buying convenience food often can add up. That’s why grocery stores are always in the plan. Besides, local supermarkets are like subtler tours into an area’s culture… I’ve found unique items there in addition to my lower-cost snacks.

I’ve been a solo traveler before and I’m ready to do it again. Stay tuned for my upcoming road trip to the Big Easy.

Holla to all my lady travellers who are both local explorers and afar. Holla to anyone who’s been to New Orleans. Share your experiences, thoughts, and tips below so we can all learn from you!

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