Another Vacation on the Cheap (relatively)

by Rocket Finance

Oregongirl and I love Chicago and we have made it a tradition to spend a night or two in Chicago for our anniversary each year. As many of you may know, a trip to Chitown can pack a pretty good wallop on the wallet: parking usually costs $25 per night, the average hotel price on a weeknight is $175 for a three star hotel, and the Metra Train costs about $7 per person each way – and then there is food. . . It is pretty easy to spend $250 before even getting downtown. Parking, lodging and food for two nights can easily run $600 before going shopping. After many trips to the Windy City, we have worked out a way to afford the trip.

Here is our system:

1) Book two nights at the Day’s Inn in Lincoln Park for $75 a night at flato.com.
2) Park in Linden for free and ride the “EL” (not Metra) to Lincoln Park for about $1.50 apiece.
3) Eat breakfast at the hotel
4) Walk downtown or take the EL.
5) Spend the day at Millenium Park where you can listen to music (free) or rent a bike($25). Go to the Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, the Planetarium or the Aquarium ($15 apiece). Take a boat trip on the Chicago River ($15 apiece, but worth it). Go to Navy Pier, Shop the Magnificent Mile ($priceless) or just people watch (my favorite and free).
6) Always stop at Giordano’s Pizza on Rush St.

We usually end up walking over 10 miles all over Chicago and along the lakefront. Sometimes we do the whole trip including coffee and food for under $200 – as long as we don’t spend too much time on the Magnificent Mile. We don’t go to clubs and we don’t drink so we save a bundle right there. This year we can’t go because we can’t leave a 3 month old overnight yet, but you can bet that as soon as he can stay at grandma’s house, we will be on our way south.
We love our trips to Chicago.

  1. One Response to “Another Vacation on the Cheap (relatively)”

  2. By Rodrigo on Jul 7, 2007 | Reply

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