Author Topic: help me plan a get away  (Read 3680 times)

partgypsy

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help me plan a get away
« on: September 04, 2015, 12:06:48 PM »
Hello as you may have read in other thread, our household will have tight spending for the next couple years.
However, it will be our 20th anniversary this spring. I always assumed we would go on a big trip for this landmark, like a cruise or a trip to Europe to celebrate this (even have the passports). AND, I was really looking forward to this because we have opposite schedules, and we also have not gone on any couple vacations or trips (or really in the last year much in the way of dates since the kids came 12 years ago. It is also especially hard because of a (long story) no longer have an anniversary ring.
Part of me knows and understand that this is not a good time for a nice trip. But at the same time, I also know part of me will be disappointed if that date rolls on and past, and I don't get the chance to have some time, alone and as a partner with him.
I live in the Southeast. If anyone knows of a good, possibly long weekend? trip that is both romantic and reasonable in cost I would like to hear it. I like B & B's but he doesn't. 

NeverLost

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Re: help me plan a get away
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2015, 12:48:30 PM »
I don't have any suggestions for you but just wanted to say I understand!  We celebrated our 10 year anniversary a little over a year ago and the plan was always to go back to Jamaica, where we were married.  We settled on a nice restaurant in town however it was really bittersweet since we'd talked about that trip for years! I hope you are able to find something!  Try groupon!

CheapskateWife

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Re: help me plan a get away
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2015, 12:55:24 PM »
How about just arranging for someone to take the kids off your hands for a long weekend...surprise him with a well planned out "touristy" tour of a large town nearby.  Maybe even a hotel room, lovely dinner out, candles, and don't go home!  Find a place with a hot tub or in room jacuzzi...splurge on a couples massage or something else like that.  Stroll through a grownup art museum or go see a show/concert.  Make it all about just the two of you.

cripzychiken

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Re: help me plan a get away
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2015, 01:28:02 PM »
With the anniversary still multiple months out, you can look into credit card churning.  Doing 1 or 2 of these can get you free hotel nights or even flights.  This will let you go somewhere nice without really killing the budget.  It does take some time and planning though to do it properly and not get hit with fees.

As for more places to go - the Southeast is pretty big.  A good location for someone in Arkansas wouldn't be the same for someone is North Carolina, even though both are "in the Southeast".

Lastly, what would you want to do - camping in the shadow of the Great Smokies, visiting a small beach, old city, big city... there's lots of options, but they are all pretty useless unless we know a rough outline of what you guys like and where-ish you live.

If it was me - I'd probably look into a hotel-based credit card churning session, and then drive somewhere upto 6 hours away (SO and my personal max distance without fighting) and spend a couple of days/nights there.  Look for a place that is a mix of nature and culture.  So you can do beach/mountain hike one day and wonder museums/art galleries the next.

partgypsy

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Re: help me plan a get away
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2015, 07:44:26 PM »
Im in NC so it would be good something within driving distance of that. I like the idea of getting away for a couple days sans kids and not camping. I do like the idea of using credit card points but also agree this would have been better to start working on a year or 2 out.

cripzychiken

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Re: help me plan a get away
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2015, 08:07:48 PM »
I'm personally planning a trip to Hendersonville NC (a bit south of Ashville). Seems like it had a nice mix of nature near by and culture (we like small town vibes).  So you can look around there.  I've also had a nice time in Gatlinburg, TN (a bit too touristy, but still fun). 

As for credit card points, you can probably do one for hotel nights, and since you are driving distance, you won't need airfare.  I'd recommend looking into the Chase IHG card.  It has a low minimum spend (only $1k in 3 months) and the 70k points is 3 nights in a holiday inn (mid tier hotel).  Note - this card also will charge you an annual fee - but also give you another free night in a hotel for that.  So between the points and the free night for the annual fee, 4 nights in a hotel for $49.

You can also look at the free night in a nicer hotel (if you don't mind moving hotels mid vacation) since it's just a free night, not a certain number of points.

startingsmall

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Re: help me plan a get away
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2015, 08:14:23 PM »
Another NC resident here.  Our favorite long-weekend getaways are Hilton Head & Charleston. 

We've had good luck finding affordable lodging in both places using Hotwire and Priceline's name your own price.  The only expense will be eating out (which you'll want to do in both places- good eats!), but otherwise there's plenty of free stuff to do in either location.

partgypsy

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Re: help me plan a get away
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2015, 02:23:31 PM »
starting small those are both choices I would love. I need to figure this out. Pretty much every year now one of his older relatives visits the same weekend as this time (on their way from a trip they take every year). Other anniversary plans have been pre-empted due to this timing and expectation of being with his family during this weekend. I feel if something is not planned ahead of time and we are not physically "elsewhere" the same situation is going to come up again. I love his family and like spending time with them, ordinarily. Well I still have time.

 

Dicey

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Re: help me plan a get away
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2015, 11:42:22 PM »
I'd recommend looking into the Chase IHG card.  It has a low minimum spend (only $1k in 3 months) and the 70k points is 3 nights in a holiday inn (mid tier hotel).  Note - this card also will charge you an annual fee - but also give you another free night in a hotel for that.  So between the points and the free night for the annual fee, 4 nights in a hotel for $49.

You can also look at the free night in a nicer hotel (if you don't mind moving hotels mid vacation) since it's just a free night, not a certain number of points.

I heartily second this suggestion. I have an IHG Platinum MC with almost 500k points and it is worth every penny of the annual fee.
1. You get a free night every year, but there is some overlap, so by saving the first year's night until the end of the year, you can combine it with the next year's night and get a free weekend around Christmas/New Year's every other year. Better still, get a card for each of you and get a free weekend every year.
2. Platinum privileges. Late check out, guaranteed rooms with advance reservations, extra points, point rebates, room upgrades, I can't remember it all.
3. Points + cash program lets you buy additional points, combined with cash for a very reasonable room rate that circumvents all the bullshit hotel taxes, an awesome hack!
4. Points (and even your annual free night) can be used at fabulous Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts around the globe.
5. Occasional promotions offer even better introductory offers. A quick google search turned up this:
http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2015/07/15/how-to-find-the-best-ihg-signup-offer-80k-points-plus-50/

That said, do plan something special together. Related personal story(tl;dr) - My parents honeymooned in Ensenada, Mexico and celebrated their 25th on Catalina Island (in SoCal, where we lived, so not a huge splurge, but still a getaway destination.) For their 50th Anniversary, the whole family took a cruise that stopped at both ports of call. We had a blast, and revisiting those places from their past made it even more special.