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Vacation Expenses and Deals

I've been relatively quiet online lately – we're heading back from an anniversary trip and I wanted to unplug and relax this time. I thought it'd be helpful to recap our trip expenses and highlight some deals we found. Hopefully it'll help you out with your next vacation.

Finding a Good Hotel Deal

While hunting for a place to stay at for our NYC trip, I noticed that prices were much higher than our vacation budget, so I started widening out our scope. After getting a tip, I decided to look into Newark for a place to stay. With a PATH station in Newark, it's cheap to get into the city ($1.75 each way).  We found a great deal on Hotel.com for the Ramada Plaza for around $40/night. It had free shuttle service from the airport and a NJ transit bus was close by ($1.50 fare).  The hotel was comfortable and had a 24 hour shop that was helpful for late night snacks.

Flying to Newark

We then went to search for some reasonable airfare. We used Priceline to book our flight and we were happy to get $160 round-trip tickets for each of us. I had saw some specials with JetBlue, but the dates just missed our trip's. It was my first time on Continental and their service was fine. While I wished my seat had a bit more room to move around, it wasn't a big deal on a short flight. My advice is to get a small bag of snacks becuase you only get mini-pretzels on the flight which was not satisfying for me.

Packing for the NYC Trip

We have no desire to pay for our luggage, so we packed well and kept it easy. We purposely left room because we wanted to do a little bit of shopping in the city. We picked a few things off of Canal St and Broadway. Next time I would've left the laptop at home and grabbed a netbook. It would've been much lighter and still covered all my needs for the trip.

Having Fun with Gowalla

I love to pick up tidbits about certain spots in the city. Before my phone decided to self destruct, I was using my Gowalla app to help tag some of the places we were visiting. Curious to see where I've been? Add me on Gowalla.

Thoughts on Vacations

This little getaway gave me some time to plan out some goals here on Couple Money. I'm also going to do a big Year End Review this week to recap the year in terms of our finances. I think it's kind of interesting to see what went right, what went wrong, and where we're going to go from here. I'd love to get you feedback and more importantly, hear about your triumphs and trials this past year.

Photo Credit: joiseyshowaa

About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

11 comments add your comment

  1. Glad you enjoyed your trip and found an affordable hotel by Newark airport — you were very close by, as I’m only a few towns away. Newark also has some insanely good Portuguese restaurants near Penn Station.

    • I will remember that for our next visit there; thanks for the tip! I love good good food:)

  2. You were in NY?! I am 20 mins outside the City, I would have bought you and hubby some drinks. Glad you had fun

    • Aw, man! I’ll be coming up again – I have plenty of family in the City to keep me visiting.

  3. Really enjoyed your tips as we are planning on traveling to New York as well in the next year. As it will be my first time there, what are you favorite addresses? No real “triumphs” to mention but I tried a travel agent back for our honeymoon and was happy with the service, although we might not have got the best deal ever. As we were planning the wedding on our own, I did not want us to worry about the trip as well.

    • I’m not sure if you like museums, but I would check ahead to see what exhibits are showing. There is a museum for everything in New York. For shopping I like Broadway and Canal St in Manhattan and for Queens Steinway has a ton of stores to check out.

      The most bang for your buck in food is Indian and Dominican restaurants. You can get appetizer, entrée, dessert, and a drink for about $12 at an Indian place in the East Village.

  4. We’re visiting it for 6 months in few weeks. have spent 6 months this year and we loved it. It’s true, outside Manhattan you can find way better deals when it comes to hotels, food, anything in the end. We left NYC from the Newark Airport, seemed super OK to us too.

    Glad you had great time. I love the ‘big apple” and can’t wait to spend half an year there again.