I am back with another trip report for my latest trip to Washington State! If you can tell from my previous posts, I am on a tight budget due to my commitment to paying off my Student Loans ASAP. However, traveling is also a priority. So finding ways to travel frugally is the goal.
Related Read: An Introduction To Travel Hacking
Flight From Texas to Washington
For this trip, I had to be a little more selective with my flight choices. Due to my work schedule, I had a small window to fly out of Austin to Seattle on a Wednesday night. After researching, I found a cheap direct flight with Alaskan Airlines. I had never flown with Alaskan before, so I didn’t have any reward points built up. Thanks to Chase Ultimate Rewards I was able to book my Alaskan Airlines flight with 8k points Ultimate Reward points. I found a flight from Seattle back to Austin on Southwest for 9k Rapid Rewards points. I was able to transfer my Chase points to Southwest, so I only had to pay the $5.60 tax for the flight.
This trip I was able to also take advantage of some of the perks of my Chase Sapphire Reserve card. In November I was approved for Global Entry which comes with TSA Pre-Check, so I was able to skip the lines for security. I also was able to use the Priority Pass lounge in the Seattle airport. It had free food and drinks, so it made the airport experience much more enjoyable than before.
Total Airfare Costs: $5.60
My friends and I split an Airbnb for this trip rather than a hotel. After scouting out the area, we decided to stay near Tacoma, Washington. This was an ideal location for us because it had quick access to the highway (I5) and was a good middle ground to all the National Parks we wanted to visit. We were also able to book the Rental Car (2016 Toyota Camry) for five days using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
Total Lodging/Transportation cost: $128
Since my friends and I had never attended an NFL game and the Seahawks were playing Thursday Night Football we decided to splurge and buy tickets. We waited to the last minute to buy tickets which made it a little more stressful than it needed to be – NFL ticket prices are CRAZY expensive. The lowest price we saw was $180 per ticket the day before, so by waiting until a few hours before kick-off we were able to score seats for $110 a piece.
Parking was also a pain, but we found a garage for $60 ($20 per person) and power walked/ran to the stadium only a few minutes after kick-off.
Total Cost of Seahawks Game: $130
The rest of the trip was visiting the National Parks in the Northwest part of Washington. We went to Mt Rainier, Olympic National Park, and Wenatchee National Forest.
Check out my Go Pro Footage below!
Total Cost of Outdoor Activities: Free (National Park Pass)
Food, Souvenirs, & Miscellaneous Costs
Food wise we ate pretty frugally, we went out to Dinner in downtown Seattle a few nights for Pizza and Burgers. I recommend trying Bambinos near the Space Needle for some great pizza!
Total Food Costs (Wednesday night – Sunday): $92.89
I picked up a few Souvenir’s and we had to buy a couple of Snow Tubes (split four ways) for sledding the last day.
Total Souvenirs/Misc Costs: $56.77
Total Spent on the trip: $413.26
I put away money each month automatically towards travel with Capital One 360 Savings * (Join and get $25 Free), I can withdraw the amount needed, so the trip doesn’t affect my budget or cash flow for December. I highly recommend creating an automatic savings plan for travel!
Question for You!
What are your favorite places to travel on a budget?