The upfront costs of vacations are predictable. It’s the little things—airport snacks, cocktails before dinner, tipping a tour guide—that can throw even the most well-planned vacation budget off track. In this new series, we’ll look at the spending patterns of real travelers in popular destinations, so you can estimate what you’ll actually spend. (Thanks for the inspiration, Refinery29!)
In this installment, four friends travel to Savannah, Georgia for three days of sun, ghost stories and delicious southern food.
Accommodations: $161 ($644 AirBnB reservation, split by 4)
Rental Car in Savannah: 18,865 miles (or $235.82)
Blue Orb Savannah Shadows Tour: $25
Friday to Saturday
7 p.m. Maxine and I make the trek to Sam’s apartment on Long Island; sleeping at her place is the least painful way to get to JFK at 5 AM. I didn’t ask anyone to pitch in for the rental car, so she picks up my round-trip Long Island Railroad ticket. Cost: $0
9 p.m. We pick up beer on the way to our Sam’s apartment—what’s a college girlfriend reunion without a few drinks? I eat what’s left of the candy I bought Sam in Iceland. Cost: $12.31
4 a.m. We planned to take the LIRR and AirTrain to JFK, but Sam’s stepdad is a champ and offers to drive us—at 4:30 in the morning. Cost: $0
5:30 a.m. We arrive at JFK in record time and zip through security. I hunt for breakfast and end up with coffee, a bagel and a bottle of water. Cost: $9.39
9:30 a.m. The flight from New York City to Savannah is surprisingly quick—we were only in the air for about an hour! We pick up our rental car and head straight to Tybee Island, with a quick stop at Savannah Coffee Roasters. Sam treats. Cost: $0
10:30 a.m. You can drink on the beach in Tybee Island, so we pick up three six-packs of new-to-us Georgia beers, snacks, ice and a small cooler. I pay for a six-pack and the cooler. Cost: $14.33
11 a.m. Parking at the beach is only $1.50 an hour! I pre-pay for four glorious hours. Cost: $6
3 p.m. Everyone is sunburned and dehydrated, so we pack up, head to our AirBnB in the historic district and start Yelping spots for dinner. Our AirBnB was built in 1842, so needless to say, it’s pretty spooky. I’m definitely going to see a ghost on this trip.
5:30 p.m. We decide to eat an early-bird dinner at Kayak Kafe, which has everything—from fish tacos, to macaroni and cheese, to vegan burgers. I get a shrimp quesadilla (made with shrimp caught that morning) and spicy jalapeno margarita. We split the bill evenly. Cost: $31.75
7:30 p.m. Downtown Savannah has lots of fun bars, but we end up sitting outside at the Congress Street Social Club. I pay for four beers. Cost: $21.00
8 p.m. Everyone is wiped from the early wake-up and day at the beach. We decide to walk home to drink free(ish) beers in our pajamas. Cost: $0
8 a.m. Maxine and I walk to Kroger to get some fresh fruits and veggies. We need some nutrients, right? I pay, but everyone Venmos their share. Cost: $40.48 ($10.12 each)
9 a.m. We swing by Savannah Coffee Roasters (best cold brew ever!) on our way to Wormsloe Historic Site. I grab a giant, cream cheese frosted cinnamon roll because vacation. Cost: $6.54
9:30 a.m. Arrive at Wormsloe Historic Site and take many photos of the live oak canopy. We each pay our $10 admission fee and buy bottled water, which is promptly chugged. I find cream cheese frosting on my elbow. Cost: $12 and a tinge of shame
11:30 p.m. After two hours of walking Wormsloe’s beautiful trails, we’re starving. Before lunch, we stop by Bonaventure Cemetery and visit the famous Little Gracie grave.
12:30 p.m. There’s a Whole Foods nearby, so we load up on sandwiches, pasta salad, more snacks and, of course, more beer to drink on our porch. I pay, but we split the bill evenly. How did anyone ever get their friends to pay them back before Venmo? Cost: $104.45 ($26.11 each)
1 p.m. We eat lunch on the front porch and lounge for a few hours. We need to rest up for the southern food feast and haunted walking tour later!
8 p.m. Take a long walk to dinner at Treylor Park, a modern comfort food spot with super creative cocktails. I get grilled cheese with fries; Sam and Mary split PB&J wings and chicken and pancake tacos; Maxine gets a salad because she’s smart. Sam picks up my share. Cost: $0
8:45 p.m. We frantically realize the haunted history tour begins at 9 p.m., not 10 p.m., like we thought. Mary hails an Uber and we haul it to Chippewa Square. Cost: $0
9 p.m. The tour group didn’t leave without us! We didn’t have time to grab beers on the way, so Sam and I duck into a nearby bar; they only allow us to buy one beer per I.D. We grab two beers and four cups, and share. Cost: $10
10:30 p.m. After the sufficiently scary tour, we head back to the bar for nightcaps. I hail an Uber because the thought of walking home after learning about the Dark Eyed Children is terrifying. Cost: $15
10 a.m. Maxine is vegan and has dealt with our cheesy, deep fried antics for the entire trip, so we head to Sentient Bean, a vegan-friendly breakfast joint near SCAD. I get a large cold brew and frittata. Cost: $9.65
11 a.m. I need more caffeine; we make yet another stop at Savannah Coffee Roasters. No cinnamon roll this time. Cost: $3.54
11:30 a.m. There’s a torrential downpour, so we decide to visit Rose Hill, a historic plantation in South Carolina. Admission is $25 per person, but includes the most delicious lunch. I eat more grits than I should. Cost: $25
2 p.m. We drive back to Savannah to nap, prep for dinner and drink a few beers on the porch. We’re planning on going to the Olde Pink House, which is supposed to have amazing food and lots of resident ghosts.
7 p.m. Hail an Uber and end up with a very interesting driver. He insists on showing us photos of ghosts on his iPhone, but we swipe too far and stumble upon his collection of selfies. Cost: $5 and five very uncomfortable minutes
8 p.m. We head to Crystal Beer Parlor for a pre-dinner drink. Their list of craft beers certainly does not disappoint.
8:30 p.m. We decide to skip the Olde Pink House and eat bar grub. We order a few more Georgia beers and split the bill evenly. Cost: $116 ($29 each)
10:30 p.m. Time to head home to drink free(ish) beer and mess with Snapchat filters.
7:30 a.m. Our flight is at 5 p.m. and we have lots of activities to pack into the day, so we wake up early, check out of the AirBnB and hit the road.
9 a.m. One last trip to Savannah Coffee Roasters. I get a bagel and a large cold brew. Cost: $5.78
11 a.m. Back to Tybee Island! We’re going to be sandy on the plane, but it’s worth it for a few more hours of sunshine. I pay for three hours of parking. Cost: $4.50
2 p.m. My friends have never experienced the salty goodness that is boiled peanuts, so we grab a bag from Davis Produce. Mary pays. We eat them in the parking lot like the fancy ladies we are. Cost: $0
2:30 p.m. They’ve never eaten Publix subs (#pubsub) either. I insist we grab a few on the way to the airport. We eat in the parking lot … again. Cost: $5.54
3:30 p.m. We’re running a little late, but it’s a small price to pay for the #pubsubs. Mary fills up the rental car on our way to the airport. Cost: $0
3:56 p.m. The rental car is due back at 4 p.m and we arrive at the drop-off with a mere four minutes to spare. Late fee averted!
4:30 p.m. Security is completely empty, so we fly through. We get to the gate and see the flight is delayed for … no one knows how long. Sam buys Twizzlers and Goldfish. I eat most of them and catch up on Game of Thrones. Cost: $0
9 p.m. The flight is finally ready for takeoff. It’s a super short flight, but we’re sandy, sweaty and exhausted. Yuck.
10:45 p.m. Maxine and I have to make the trek back to New Jersey, so I hail an Uber to the closest Long Island Railroad station. We already have round-trip LIRR tickets from the first leg of the trip. Cost: $11.91
Food & Drink: $214.06