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Tuesdays I share a picture from our week that inspired me to write a post.
My husband and I had been trying to get away for a few nights and a few days for months. We had failed twice to get our getaway off the ground and were getting discouraged, but when we saw a 4 day weekend in my husband’s work schedule we decided to give it one more try.
One way we normally save money on getaways
Normally in good weather we like to hitch up our camping trailer to the truck and go camping just the 2 of us. We don’t rough it at all our Craiglist found trailer has air conditioning, a queen size bed, running water and a TV/DVD combo. We also camp just outside of a major center so we can go into town to enjoy a few meals out.
This saves us a considerable amount of money on accommodations and food.
I will share a few more ways to save money on a getaway for 2 in just a minute but I want to talk about where we splurge first.
Where we splurge on getaways
This time our getaway landed on a long weekend and campgrounds are just too crowded for these two introverts on long weekends.
So we opted for our favorite winter getaway location. Now being that I said we camp to save money you are probably thinking a splurge for us is standard hotel room. Nope. What we love about the trailer is that we bring a screened in room with us so that my night owl husband has somewhere to read at night and get his introvert tank filled while my early bird self sleeps, and I an early bird can have my introvert tank filled in the morning while my night owl husband sleeps.
An average hotel room doesn’t allow for that type of space unless you roll the office chair in the bathroom (yes we have tried, not fun). You could also send the awake person to the lobby while the other sleeps but then you have to make polite conversation with strangers, which doesn’t really create the right environment for filling the introvert tank so that you can spend the day with your spouse and not be cranky.
Our solution; one bedroom suite hotel rooms.The last two times we have stayed at one at the Staybridge Suites but there are others available. These rooms do cost more than your standard hotel room but not as much as you might think. A standard room in a decent hotel in our area for instance costs around $79 a night where as these one bedroom suites usually run us $120 a night.
The extra $40 a night spent gets us a living room completely separate from the bedroom. When an early bird marries a night owl this living space is a huge marriage saver.
The living room might be a marriage saver but the kitchen off the living area is a money saver. It easily makes up for at least 1/2 of the extra money on the room due to the fact that we eat dinner in. We could save more money and eat lunch in but it is a getaway.
We also save money on entertainment because the room is so cozy that we don’t want to go out much, instead preferring to hang out and enjoy cable (we only have Netflix and antenna TV at home) read books, and take long afternoon naps.
The Staybridge we stayed at also had a great workout room and swimming pool for working out.
Breakfast was included and it consisted of a wide variety of foods, from fresh fruit and yogurt to make your own waffles and cold cereal.
To my husband and I these features make the $40 more we spend on the room well worth the splurge.
4 ways we do save on our weekend getaways
1. We pack our own entertainment
On the first day of our trip my husband and I treated our renovating selves to a 1 hr walk through an historic part of town, critiquing the homes and explaining to each other what we would do to the homes if they were ours.
The second day we took a walk around a local park walking hand in hand and testing out the trail for what we wanted to try the next day.
The third day we broke out our long neglected rollerblades. For years they have sat in our attic untouched yet my husband could not bare to let me give them away. We decided we needed to take action and got them new wheels and took them on our trip. We had a blast rollerblading for 3 miles.
The rest of the weekend we read side by side, watched TV together, and took a few long naps. Cost of our activities was zero, since we have needed those new rollerblade wheels for years and will now get a lot more use out of our yard sale found rollerblades.
2. We use daily deal or coupons for eating out
This trip we actually didn’t use either a single coupon or a daily deal but that is odd for us. Normally at least 1 meal is paid for by a daily deal or coupon.
3. We eat lunch out and dinner in
At most of the restaurants that we like to eat at as a couple lunch is several dollars cheaper per person than dinner so we go out for lunch and stay in for dinner. The foodl in the photo above we bought the first day and it lasted us 3 meals. (the picture was taken after the first one was eaten)
4. We book the hotel through a point program or a site where we can get cash back
The one bedroom suites are not always available for booking off a discounted hotel site, but if they are and Swagbucks or another point or cashback site is offering a deal for booking through that particular discount booking site, you can bet we book it through them so we can get either points towards a free gift card or cash back.
We also join the hotel point programs if they have one, although we rarely stay in hotels enough to be able to cash in the points.
These are just a few ways we saved money on our recent couples getaway and one way we splurged. Curious, in what areas do you and your partner splurge on your getaways and in what areas do you save money?
For a list of 52 different websites, apps, and stores our thrifty family uses to help us keep our expenses low, click here to visit our Thrifty Tools Resource Page.