Washington DC sightseeing is budget friendly travel! Here's how we explored Washington DC in 2 days with just $200 on hand.
When I announced my intentions to tackle budget travel in Washington DC in 2 days, people were skeptical. REALLY skeptical. When I further clarified that I was targeting the city for my next $200 Challenge (two people travel for two days and just spend $200), folks were downright incredulous. In fact, one friend warned me that she once had to spend $600 for a "cheap" hotel in the city center! But I wasn't worried. For when it came to Washington DC sightseeing on a budget, I had an ace up my sleeve. After all, I live and work in a capital city. I figured I knew all the secrets to cheap eats and free activities in a political town.
But did I? Planning a 2 day trip to Washington DC was about to test my budgeting chops! With my good friend and fellow blogger Hannah from Eat Sleep Breathe Travel by my side though, I was up for the adventure.
We faced new budget challenges in New Hampshire.
When we first conceived of the$200 Challenge - can two people travel for two days and spend just $200? - we knew a key factor in our success or failure would lie in our ability to target the right destination. We needed destinations that were slightly overlooked in favor of more popular neighbours. We needed destinations that were a little less trendy and a little less touristy. We needed destinations where our dollar would go just a little bit further. And Portsmouth, New Hampshire ticked all those boxes - and a little bit more.
Occasionally in the shadow of its neighbors, Boston and Portland, Portsmouth had been described to me as a city with an actual working port, not just a waterfront attraction. A city where the shoulder season moves at a slow, leisurely pace. A city with loyal fans but also one that plenty of people haven't even heard of.
I was immediately drawn to this combination of seaside town, working city, and slowly emerging tourist magnet. I knew I would love Portsmouth - but would my budget? And could the $200 Challenge possible succeed in pricey New England?
Traveling to Providence on a budget? Here's how to save.
"Um...... Does that include lodgings?" Skepticism and doubt are the hallmark of any good $200 Travel Challenge and when we told people we were planning to go to Providence, Rhode Island, for two days and spend just $200, they were skeptical. VERY skeptical.
And I was more than a little skeptical myself. This challenge was a last minute addition to a pre-existing trip. I had only a few days to plan, research, and build lists, a sharp contrast to my usual long planning marathons. And while Providence isn't an outrageously expensive city, I worried that true budget travel opportunities would be few and far between. I was sure the trip would be fun, but I didn't know if it would be easy.
So how did we do and, more importantly, did we stay on budget? Here's how our weekend went down.
(A word about pricing: Past $200 Challenges have been in Canadian funds. Given the fluctuation in currency rates, it seemed easiest to work with US funds for this particular challenge.)
Boston On A Budget... With Lobster?
When I first conceived the $200 Challenge two years ago, the premise was fairly simple. Can two people travel for two days spending just $200, and can that travel actually be an enjoyable, quality experience? No dumpster diving, no sleeping on park benches - this had to be safe and fun!
Our first $200 Challenge took us to northern Vermont, where we enjoyed a beautiful campground, surrounded by the brilliant autumn foliage. Ever since, we've been challenging ourselves to make that $200 go even further. Campgrounds have given way to hostels and even hotels, while groceries and picnics rub shoulders with diners, bakeries, and cafes.
But are we ready for Boston - and can we really eat lobster?
Is Las Vegas Still A Budget Friendly Destination?
If money was no object, boy, would we all have some fun in Las Vegas! Sin City has enough temptation to bust any budget. Slot machines, fine restaurants, spectacular shows, and gorgeous suites all cast a coquettish glance at your wallet, but memorable trips await the savvy budget traveler as well. We've put together a $200 Challenge itinerary so your time on the ground is equally budget friendly. With gambling and go-go girls galore, can 2 people travel for 2 days and spend just $200?
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