Travelers – On a Tight Budget? Take a Cruise. Those gorgeous ships; they look so luxurious. But how many of us can afford such a glamourous vacation?
You might be surprised at the answer. When compared to other vacations that you plan yourself, cruising can be the best bargain around. When you factor in the cost of gas or airfare, three meals a day for, say, a week’s vacation, hotel rooms and entertainment, the tally for a road trip or even a trip by air to a chosen destination, is far higher than taking a cruise.
Think about it – just hotels alone are going to run you $100 or more a night, and that’s before taxes. Sure, you can save some by going with such discount sites as Priceline.com if you’re willing to gamble on location and quality. Priceline will give you a choice as far as star rating (i.e., 1 – 5 star ratings), and a general idea of the types of hotels that have such a rating. (To give you an idea — Hilton is generally four stars.) Sometimes, depending on where you’re going and the purpose of the trip, Priceline can be a great choice. But a week can be a long time if you wind up unhappy with your accommodations.
You could be enjoying a comfortable cabin, perhaps with a balcony where you can sunbathe in private … at a far lower weekly cost than that expensive hotel room! The cabins are small, but the beds are quite comfortable – and there is the added perk of those clever little towel animals.
Then, after you settle on accommodations for your road trip, you still have meals to consider. You can figure on $15.00 to $25.00 a day depending on how tight a budget you’re on. If you’re trying to shave off some expenses, you might try starting your day at McDonalds, or you could eat a late breakfast and early dinner and skip lunch all together. Keep some snacks in the car for in between.
You could enjoy breakfast at a generously stocked buffet full of culinary delights – ditto for lunch. For dinner, you might choose instead to enjoy a gourmet meal in a formal dining room where your personal waiter’s one desire is to please you and your palate. You might take your meal at a window overlooking a never-ending blue-green ocean, or outdoors where a gentle sea breeze keeps lifting your napkin off of your lap. SO annoying.
A cruise vacation will run you between $69 to $100+ a night for a basic cabin. Not such a savings from that hotel room, you say? Think again. That price includes all of your meals for the whole week, plus some pretty impressive entertainment. There are always specials also, so if you take a little time to browse the cruise sites online, or travel brokers, you could wind up with an exotic one-week vacation, including food and entertainment – and one Caribbean island paradise after another – for as little as $69.00-$89.00 per person.
See you at the Sail-Away party!