The Cost of an Eastern Sierra Weekend Getaway
Last weekend, my husband and I visited some of the most famous attractions along the Eastern Sierra Nevada (California). We did a 2 day road trip thru the famous U.S. 395 Highway.
You may ask: a road trip in 2 days? That is ridiculous.
Believe it or not, we did it and loved every second of it.
This blog is all about convincing you that it is not necessary to travel far in order to have a great adventure. Additionally, you don’t need huge buckets of money and unlimited amounts of time to have fun, discover and get out of the routine. It is easy to have a good time in 2 days (like our mini road trip proves). It doesn’t matter if your wonderful adventure takes place 30, 50 or even 300 miles from home.
In here, I am presenting the total cost of last weekend’s trip. I want to give you an idea of how much you can expect to spend on a similar trip. Moreover, I am presenting some ways to make your trip cheaper. This was a last moment jaunt. I didn’t plan a lot and made some errors. I am telling you what I did wrong and how you can use my mistakes to your advantage.
I invite you to read this post and the upcoming ones with more details about the road trip. It is surprising how much you can see in two days. And I am not even talking of what a great time we had with our travel mates.
Read on and let me know if you have had a similar adventure.
The trip started Friday at 6:00 a.m. At that moment, our group departed from Anaheim to Bishop (both cities in California). The general idea was to arrive to Bishop around 4 or 5 p.m. We stopped along the way to eat, stretch and visit some interesting spots. On Saturday, we visited the Rock Creek area and started to drive back home around 2:00 p.m.
Costs (based on two people traveling together)
There are about 268 miles between Los Angeles and Bishop. Let’s say we drove 300 miles each way for a total of 600 miles. Assuming we have a car that consumes 1 gallon of gas for every 30 miles, we will need 20 gallons of combustible for our road trip. Gas is about $4 dollars a gallon nowadays. Therefore, the gas cost is about $80 or $40 per person.
Motel Stay: $40 including tax
Day One Breakfast (Steak and Eggs): $8
Day One Late Lunch (Taco/Enchilada Combo): $10
Day One Snack (Gelato): $2
Day Two Breakfast (Cupcake and Tea): Free, included in lodging rate
Day Two Late Morning Snack (McDonalds Breakfast Burrito and Hot Chocolate): $3
Day Two Late Lunch (BBQ Style Sloppy Joe, Fries and Macaroni Salad): $9
Food Total: $32
Visit to Movie Museum: $5
Other activities (Visit to Ghost Town, Whitney Portal, Alabama Hills, Fish Hatchery and Rock Creek Area, Elk Sightseeing, Bishop
Galleries and Antique Shops): Free
Cookies and Macaroons from Schat’s Bakery: $5
Grand Total: $122
For $122, I was able to enjoy a weekend full of new places. I don’t consider this to be expensive if you take into consideration we are talking about California (one of the most expensive states). Well, if you want to decrease you spending level for a similar trip, take a look at the next section.
How to make the trip cheaper
– Avoid eating at restaurants
We ate in three restaurants (not the posh kind). This is not necessarily the best way to stretch your dollars. Consider other eating options. However, it is a good idea to eat a Denny’s type breakfast (eggs, hash brown, toast, bacon, sausage). If you fill up your belly in the morning, then you are probably end up eating a late lunch. This in turn will lead to a very small or nonexistent dinner (which saves you the most expensive meal of the day). This is what happened to me. I ate a good breakfast, had a late lunch and
then a small snack a couple of hours before bedtime. Result? More cash in my pocket!!
– Pack your own food
To save on food, bring a cooler with all your favorites inside. Think about sandwiches, fruit, chips, salsa, cheese strings, beef jerky, etc. Wow, I just want to go back to the road.
– Avoid filling up the gas tanks in deserted locations
Gas stations located far away from major cities tend to inflate their prices. Leave home with a full tank and avoid refilling in rest areas and other isolated locations.
– Check lodging options before leaving home
This was kind of an impromptu trip so we didn’t make lodging arrangements before parting (we asked around once in Bishop). To save money, compare prices online to get the best rate. We ended up paying $80 for a room but I am sure there were some motels offering rooms for $60 (cheaper rooms were taken due to the good weather).
– Bring discount cards
If you are enrolled in some type of association that provides travel discounts, make sure to bring proof. I am a member of AAA (American Automobile Association). Member have benefits like discounts on some attractions, restaurants and travel services.
Unfortunately, I forgot my card home and wasn’t able to claim a discount for my lodging. Bad, bad traveler.
– Make it a party
I have calculated all travel costs in terms of two people traveling together. On the other hand, it is possible to lower lodging and transportation costs by traveling with more people. For example, I estimated a $40 per person for gas. My husband and I only paid $25 per person for gas because we were traveling on a group of 8. Additionally, our motel room included two queen beds which may be ideal for more than two people.
Hopefully, this post can help you to notice how little you can spend to have some days away from home. Stay tuned ‘cause I this week (and the next one), I will be posting tons of photos and information on what to do in the Eastern Sierra area.
Have you been on a last minute adventure? How it went? Letme know in the comments section below.
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