In May, Wes and I took an eight day road trip to Zion National Park, Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas, Joshua Tree National Park, and San Diego.
On this road trip, we did some sight seeing, climbed a little, and went on several fun hikes.
We were able to enjoy all of the national parks and national recreation areas for free due to our national park pass. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend you get one. The U.S. is full of amazing places to visit!
The total cost for our road trip was around $1,200.
We were able to have an adventurous, fun, relaxing, and luxurious vacation on this amount, which I am very happy about. We could have saved more money but we decided to splurge a little in some areas.
Below is a recap of our road trip:
The hotels we stayed at.
We planned on camping a decent amount on this trip but we weren’t able to. Many of the campgrounds we went to were full and didn’t have room, it was way too hot (90+), or there were thunderstorms.
This is what busted our budget a little, as we had to plan hotels at the last moment on a few days.
On some of the days I was cheap when it came to choosing what hotel we should stay at, and other times I was all about finding a nice hotel where we could truly have just a relaxing day at a hotel. I will be honest, I had a great business income month in April and I wanted to reward myself a little.
We used some points to earn a few free stays (one was on fight night in Las Vegas so you can only imagine how expensive it probably was without points!) and we also stayed at the Flamingo in Las Vegas for just $50 a night in order to save money on our road trip.
Then, other nights we chose nicer places so that we could enjoy a nice and relaxing day. There were two hotels that I really enjoyed on our trip, and they both turned out to be dog-friendly as well. Even though we didn’t have our dogs with us, I will keep them in mind for future trips as they were super nice!
The first place we loved that we stayed at was the La Quinta Resort. This isn’t the same as the chain of La Quintas, so don’t be mistaken! It’s a very nice and beautiful resort in La Quinta, California near Palm Springs.
This place was probably the nicest place I have ever stayed at and their prices weren’t too high either during our stay. The resort was large, the rooms were nice, there were several pools, the food was great, the customer service was wonderful, and more.
Me and Wes still can’t stop talking about this place and we both definitely want to go back one day.
We even had a private patio (pictured above) and there was a semi-private pool (the picture above is of the main pool, not the semi-private one) that we shared with just a few other guests, which was very nice. I felt very spoiled and lucky at this resort.
The other place we loved was the West Inn & Suites (the picture to the right is of their relaxing pool!).
The weather was bad when we were in San Diego so we didn’t get to do much except for hang out at the hotel. We walked on the beach for a little bit but it was very cold, windy, and rainy when we were there.
This hotel was great, especially for the price. I was a little surprised by how affordable it was due to the benefits that the hotel provided.
They had a free hot breakfast that was good (usually free hotel breakfasts aren’t that great, but this one was good), free wifi, free shuttles around the area, milk and cookies for free, the room we stayed in was nice (roomy, clean, and nicely decorated), we were just a few steps away from the beach, and more. The pool was very nice as well, but I didn’t get to enjoy it because of the weather.
Transportation was the biggest part of our travel budget. We spent around $400 on gas.
We could have saved money in this area but we took our Jeep Wrangler (it gets around 14-18 mpg) on the trip instead of our Subaru. We did this just in case we came across trailheads that we couldn’t get to in our low Subaru.
P.S. Gas in California is EXPENSIVE. I was missing my $2.50 a gallon price in Colorado while we were traveling. I cringed every time I saw a price above $4 per gallon! I know that gas prices where I live at one time hovered around $4, but they have dropped so much recently that it was just a shock to see a $2 per gallon price difference.
Food spending on our trip was a little out of control and I didn’t eat too healthy either. I always seem to find it hard to eat healthy meals on vacation. It is something I need to work on.
We spent around $350 on food. I had a Target gift card and I stocked up on about $100 worth of drinks and snacks before we left, and that is not included in the $350 amount.
My favorite place we ate at was Crossroads Cafe in Joshua Tree. We ate there last time we went to Joshua Tree and visited two more times on our road trip. Their food is amazing and I definitely recommend it if you are in the area.
Another yummy place we ate at (also a favorite!) was Adobe Grill at the La Quinta Resort we stayed at. It was delicious and the food was very fresh tasting. If you are staying at the resort, it is a must!
What trips do you have planned? How much do you think you will spend on trips in 2015? Do you like to splurge on vacations?
P.S. I included links above just for reference since this is a travel-related post and some of you might want to visit some of the same places.
Below are pictures from our road trip: