Money Talk Monday: Spring break on a budget
“Spring break is around the corner and I really want to get out of town, but just can’t afford it! I could really use a vacation, but the cost of travel plus a hotel plus food and all that other stuff adds up. Do you have any recommendations for a fun but affordable spring break?”
Sure! Act like a tourist in Amarillo. Most of us live in a town or city and never see what the tourists see. For little to no money – you could:
- Go out to the Big Texan and have a soda and look around.
- Visit the Cadillac Ranch.
- Take a picnic lunch and a flying disc and go over to the flying disc course in Thompson Park. While you’re out there, take an hour to visit the Amarillo Zoo.
- Take a picnic lunch and head to Palo Duro Canyon. Have lunch and do some hiking – take plenty of water with you! If you have bikes, take them too.
- Spend a day at the Discovery Center, the Botanical Gardens and feed the ducks at Medi Park.
- Check out the shops on Sixth Street.
- If the weather is expected to be bad, pick up your favorite TV series at Hastings, pick up some pastries and popcorn and stay in your pajamas all day.
If you have a little money – maybe around $150 – you could do a road trip to Lubbock.
If you’re over 21, there is the Llano Estacado Winery that has daily free tours.
For $13.50, you can get a combo ticket at the Omni Science Spectrum. They currently have a Da Vinci special exhibit and “Flying Monsters” is at the theater.
Lubbock is only two hours away. You could drive down and back in one day or get a hotel for one night, but make sure it includes breakfast, an indoor pool and hot tub!
You can check hotwire.com, priceline.com, expedia.com or travelocity.com for rates. Before you book on one of those sites, be sure you understand their cancellation policy and DO check the hotel’s own website – make sure they are not having a special there!
For around $300, you could do a couple of nights in Albuquerque, Santa Fe or Oklahoma City.
Again, hotel with breakfast, indoor pool and hot tub to get you started. If your room has a fridge, hit a grocery store or carry snacks and beverages with you.
For free, you can go hiking and walk around Old Town or, for a small fee, Bandelier National Monument ($12.00 per car load) is outside of Santa Fe. Two cities have zoos and botanical gardens. If you eat a big breakfast, snack for lunch and an early dinner, it shouldn’t be too expensive.
Check out tripadvisor,com for recommendations on what to do and for restaurants and hotels.
Whatever you decide to do, turn off your phone, if you can. After all, you’re on vacation! Decompress and disconnect for a little bit.
Hope this helps! Enjoy and stay safe!