If you've ever gone on a trip, then you must know how much time and preparation it takes to travel. However, traveling is probably our top favorite thing to do together and definitely something we want to do A LOT of in our lives. I'm sure a lot of you are also in the same boat: you want to travel all around the world, step foot on every continent, have the best travel gear, and look good doing it. There's no reason why we can't all do this and love doing it together, right?
If you're looking for a little getaway weekend with your love or a girl's trip (we did a 2-in-1), then you're at the right place. Let's head to CHICAGO!
Destination: Downtown Chicago
Traveling For: Leisure, Girl's Weekend
Budget: About $200
Time: December 11-13th
1. DON'T GO ALONE
For starters, a weekend trip is way more fun when you grab your friends or spouse to go with you. TRAVELING IS ALWAYS CHEAPER WITH A BUDDY, so pick a group of them. We went with our two best friends and that way, we got to split everything 4 ways: hotel, travel, some meals, and entertainment.
2. THE MEGABUS OR BUST
We’re lucky enough to live only 5 hours away from the Windy City. If you live in a different part of the world, find a bigger city near you and plan accordingly from there. The Megabus is a lifesaver for travelers. It gets you where you need to go in a timely manner and it’s not a half bad place to rest your head while doing so. We opted for the overnight bus ride, so we slept on the Megabus and arrived in our destination just in time to wake up.
Now, we recommend saving spots together on the bus for this. Since the Megabus goes around the country, it usually always has passengers on it and you’re not guaranteed spots together. There’s nothing worse than jumping on a bus and sitting next to a stranger for the way there. Make it fun with friends. Bring cards, snacks, and some blankets and pretend you’re having a sleepover.
*If you’re bothered by noises, bring headphones or earplugs; it can get noisy with other passengers.
MEGABUS TICKETS: $10 a piece roundtrip!
3. SPLURGE ON A NICE HOTEL & SPLIT THE COST
We went for the 4-star Wyndam Grand Hotel for the weekend. Remember back when I said we took the bus overnight? This optimizes your time, but saves you money. We got the entire day in downtown Chicago, but didn’t have to pay for a hotel during the night and we didn’t have to wake up early and drive there in the morning. We paid for one night in our fancy hotel and left the next evening and took the Megabus BACK through the night as well.
THREE FULL days in Chicago…ONE hotel night.
HOTEL: $52.12 per person
4. PLAN SOMETHING FUN, BUT DON’T PLAN TOO MUCH
Weekend trips are more fun when you go with the flow. We didn’t score a 10-day trip to Chicago to plan meticulously; we booked a weekend for fun and surprises. Go with a night out on the town, or stay in your hotel, order chocolate covered strawberries and do face masks (we chose the latter).
*However, there are many concerts, events and places to go in Chicago, so if you can’t go there often, we’d recommend seeing the Navy Pier, going for Chicago deep-dish and shopping down the Magnificent Mile.
ENTERTAINMENT: $20 (or as much as you want!)
5. GET IN MY BELLY
Food seems to be the most expensive thing about some trips. Unfortunately, our hotel didn’t service continental breakfast, BUT there are some ways to combat that. You could easily spend $20 (or less) for mini cereal boxes, muffins and fruit for the duration of your trip for easy breakfast. So because going out to eat every morning, afternoon and night would suck your bank account dry, we decided to eat a bigger brunch for our 2 mornings there and eat another bigger dinner with any snacks we felt like in between. Time goes by quickly when you’re exploring a new town, so we didn’t think too much about filling our stomachs.
FOOD: $50 per person
In total (including costs for both of us), we spent: $194
I’d say for a weekend trip with our two best friends, we did pretty well.
You can take these tips and apply it to most any trip. Find the nearest city (we do recommend Chicago), book a bus or train, and indulge in the city. Try new things and experience the culture. You’ll enjoy every bit of it!
If you want to see what we did on our trip and how it went, check out our video at the top!
Sarah & Rachel