Guess what twerps? I’m going away for Memorial Day for the first time ever ever! For someone who travels a fairly decent amount, I have surprisingly never gone away for Memorial Day before for several reasons. 1. I didn’t know where to go. I was never big on the whole Miami for Memorial Day thing. 2. I had no one to go with. Though I am getting a lot more comfortable with solo travel (I took my first solo trip to San Fran last year) and 3. It is expensive and I am all about that budget life!
However two of my closest friends wanted to take a trip for 2018 because we didn’t get to take one in 2017 (babies, school and life kinda just got in the way). When we lined up our calendars to figure out when we would make that trip, Memorial Day seemed to work perfectly. Then we had to figure out where we were going to go and how much it was going to cost us. That was undoubtedly the hardest part (and… it wasn’t even all that hard). Be ready to be wowed by the not so secret but still under used to travel during Memorial Day Weekend for less than 200 dollars.
How To Travel During Memorial Day Weekend For Less Than 200 Dollars
1. Use Google Flights: I don’t know why anyone tries to book flights ever without consulting Google Flights. Before I book any flights anywhere, I take a look at the following; Google Flights, Google Matrix, Hopper, and Airfare Watch Dog. Google Flights when paired together with any of the other apps/sites mentioned will help you get the best deals on air fare. Hopper specially (I think Airfare Watch Dog as well) will help you figure out if you should purchase your ticket now, wait for a possible price drop, or look at dates that are more cost efficient (this latter option is only possible if your dates are flexible).
When we were simply in the planning phase, we also used Google Flights to figure out where exactly we wanted to go and where would be most efficient. We inputted the dates we wanted to travel, and looked at the map of the world. They showed us what fights looked like from New York to major cities across the globe. This way, if you have a set number or budget that you are working with, you can tell right away which locations are simply not going to fit.
2. Plan Early: This is one of the tips that should be common sense, but I know that vacation ideas can pop up last minute. Try to avoid planning and booking your trip last minute. A good common practice is to try and book your trip at least three months in advanced. We booked our Memorial Day excursions back in February and I booked my trip to Cuba back in December. With both trips I was able to save major coin because time was on my side.
3. Drive If You Can: Now… as you’ll see when I share all my journey via vlog with you in a few weeks (Kwesi is totally making me FYI) we are driving to Montreal for three main reasons. The first reason is absolutely cost. We were torn between two locations when we finally settled on Montreal as our Memorial Day Weekend destination. It was either pay 500 dollars for a flight to Mexico plus another 3-400 dollars for hotel, or spend less than 200 dollars for the entire trip. (I know that we’ll still have to pay for gas, food, and activities but at least we’re starting off at a much lower price point than 800 dollars.) We decided to drive because flights to Montreal were about 2-300 dollars plus we’d have to book a hotel or Air BNB. Instead we split the cost of a rental car which came out to about 60.00 dollars a person opposed to the 300 dollar flight. If it is fiscally more responsible to drive to your location, take a road trip and call it a day (don’t forget to calculate the cost of tolls and gas into your budget).
The third reason we chose to drive to Montreal is also to cut on travel costs as well. Instead of paying for cabs, UBERS, or public transportation we are going to take the same route we took when we went to Chicago. This isn’t always the best choice in cities that don’t have a lot of parking opportunity, so I’ll let you know if this actually worked out in our benefit.
4. Air BNB: I stayed in an AIR BNB for the first time this year when I went to Cuba. I had a great experience and my pockets were thankful. Because of that I’ll be staying in two more Air BNB’s this year. We went with an Air BNB for Montreal obviously because it was more cost efficient After we split the cost of the Air BNB (which was about 70 per person) I was overjoyed to realize I’ve only paid about 140 dollars for a Memorial Day Weekend trip. If you are not big on staying at Air BNB’s you want to look at staying in hotels that are slightly out side of the city or closer to the airport as they are usually cheaper than the hotels that are in the center of the city (be aware though… you will have to cover travel in and out of the city).
5. Stay Local/ Domestic: I think many times people get caught up in going really far our extravagant for Memorial Day Weekend. When I told people I was going to Montreal, some were excited, but most kind of laughed and asked why. When you go to the big touristy Memorial Day stops (like Miami) you will have to pay for that particularly experience. However if you are simply looking for a fun get away with you friends that will always lead to a dope experience, consider staying local or domestic. I know what your’e thinking: Montreal is neither local or domestic to New York Melissa! And you would be right… however what I really mean is pick a location you can take the bus to, a train, or drive to. I’ve driven up and down the east coast of the United States and I’ve loved every moment of it. It may not be Mexico or Europe, but the experience is what you make of it. Plus we’ll be stopping/spending 24 hours in Vermont so we are absolutely getting a 2 for 1 deal for our trip. I am thrilled about that because 1)more bang for my buck and 2) I get to scratch one more state off of my 50 state bucketlist. (and I get to visit the Ben and Jerry’s factory YAAAS).
What are your plans for this Memorial Day Weekend? Share them with me in the comments below! And don’t forget to follow Millennial In Debt for more millennial hilarity and my random travels around the world!
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Hey there! I’m Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I’m busy teaching the future of society.