We decided to take advantage of the President’s Day holiday and meet my in-laws for a 2 night trip in Hudson Valley NY. We chose this location because it is halfway between Philly (where we live) and Boston (where they are). The 6+ hour drive between Philly and Boston is long and exhausting for us with ToddlerBird. I splurged and got us an Airbnb rental half way for us! We decided to take Friday off, and arrive Friday morning, stay 2 nights and head home Sunday morning.
I was able to find us a great 2 bedroom apartment right on the Hudson River with beautiful views for $150 a night. I wanted to make sure we had a nice place to stay so that if the weather was bad, we were all still comfortable. $150 is definitely at the top of what I normally pay for an Airbnb (but we typically only need a 1 bedroom). This rental was definitely a risk, because we were the first people to book it, so there were no reviews. But I e-mailed back and forth with the host a few times, and felt confident enough to give it a try.
I also knew that I wanted to try to cook some meals at the rental so we wouldn’t have to eat out as much. This is for 2 reasons: eating out with a toddler is stressful and not fun for us, and eating in saves money! Win- win!
I was hoping that the rental would be nice enough that we wouldn’t have to look for ways to get out. I was right! The view of the Hudson river was great entertainment. Lots of trains passing by, boats and barges floating along and not to mention the view itself! Our hosts also had a bird feeder out, and there were tons of birds for us to watch while relaxing in the living room.My mother in law is a jewelry maker/beader. I had been wanting to make essential oil bracelets with lava beads. I bought some beads in advance and asked her to bring some additional supplies. **I will post more about these DIY bracelets soon! We also had fun playing some board games (Bananagrams and Forbidden Island)
For my in-laws, seeing ToddlerBird is the highlight of any trip, they love to read, play and joke around with him. Because of this, we didn’t need much entertainment. And Mr. Bird and I certainly enjoyed some down time with extra hands for Toddler Bird.
I had researched a few outing options for us on TripAdvisor, in case we were looking for something to do. We decided to visit George Washington’s Headquarters. It ended up being free because they had a large George Washington’s Birthday Celebration. There were reenactors, music and craft activities.
I didn’t do a full menu planning because I wanted us to be able to be flexible, and I also knew that my in-laws would be more than happy to provide takeout! Mr. Bird and I knew that we wanted to capitalize on some free babysitting so we planned to eat 1 or 2 meals out on our own. I decided to bring some food from home to limit what we would have to buy. I brought some coffee, produce, milk, half and half, freezer zucchini bread and a box of mac and cheese. I also had a hunch I wanted to make a lasagna, so I brought a 9×13 pan.
I could have gone shopping at Aldi at home and brought all my food with us, which would have definitely saved money, but since I wasn’t totally sure of the kitchen situation in the rental I decided against it. In the end, even a more expensive grocery store was cheaper, healthier and more delicious than a restaurant!
Here is our weekend meal recap:
Friday Morning: Panera Breakfast on the road : $15
Friday Lunch: $40 (date!)
Friday Dinner: Chinese take out (in-law’s treat)
Saturday Breakfast: at home (fruit, zucchini bread and coffee)
Saturday Lunch: Coldcut sandwiches and chips
Saturday Coffee date: $15
Saturday Dinner: Lasagna, broccoli and garlic bread
Sunday Breakfast: Breakfast out at a Diner (in-law’s treat)
What ways do you save money when you go on vacation?
Interested in booking your next vacation with airbnb, use this link
and you will get a $40 credit (I will get a $20 credit if you book)