Vacations: This or That?

our backseat on our road trip to Chicago

This vacation has turned out a bit different than we had expected or what we usually experience.  We’ve switched up some of our usual preferences and I’d like to hear from you where yours fall.


Do you prefer:


  1. Hotels, couch-surfing, or something in-between like hostels or AirBnB?
  2. Driving or flying?
  3. Cabs or public transportation?
  4. Eating out or brown-bagging?
  5. The cheapest admission or the deluxe package?
  6. A package deal or a-la-carte?
  7. Overdressing or underdressing?


Here are my answers, largely influenced by our experiences in the last few days:


  1. Couch-surfing – I like the additional time with friends and the amenities of being in a home!  If that’s not an option, in the past we’ve always gotten hotels, but this trip for the first time we stayed in a hostel, which went pretty well.
  2. Depends on the distance – within 14 hrs (new radius!), we drive.  I don’t mind either; they have different advantages and disadvantages.
  3. Public transportation.  We took a cab that we paid for ourselves for the first time ever in my life.  It was totally fine, but as I grew up in the DC area I have a love for subways.
  4. Brown-bagging it.  Whether it’s to work or on vacation, I prefer to eat food I prepare myself, or at least not eat out multiple times per day.
  5. The cheapest admission.  We paid for some deluxe admissions to museums and attractions on this trip for the first time and I don’t think any of them were worth it.
  6. A package deal.  We’ve been on two cruises and loved them – minimal decision-making!  On this trip we decided our activities day-by-day but at the end realized we would have saved money by getting a City Pass.
  7. Overdressing.  In my everyday life I have a jeans-and-T-shirt uniform so if an occasion calls for dressing up at all I like to hit the right range or err on the “over” side.  The wedding we attended this weekend was black tie so Kyle wore a tuxedo (with a vest and everything!) and I wore a floor-length evening gown.  We were probably the highest-dressed (but in my opinion, appropriately) couple of our age group present.


 What are your preferences?  How do you feel when you go against them?


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12 Responses to "Vacations: This or That?"

  1. 1)Most of the trips I’ve taken have been to visit friends and family. Then it’s always “couch-surfing” (although there has always been a spare bed for us to use). But if we aren’t visiting someone we know, we will stay in a hotel.
    2)Flying. I really hate driving. I’ll do it if I have to, but if I’m taking a vacation, the hour drive to the airport is bad enough.
    3)The last couple times we flew back home, we just rented a car (somehow, I got stuck driving anyway!). That said, driving in NYC is something I definitely try to avoid, so we either take the train in and ride cabs and subway, or drive up to my friend’s house across the Hudson and let him drive (he likes driving in the city; I think he’s crazy).
    4)Eating out. When we are at my mom’s house, though, there’s always a home-cooked meal on the table.
    5)Cheap. There usually isn’t enough extra in a deluxe package to warrent the extra cost.
    6)It depends. If there is a package deal that suits us, we will take that. But in most cases, a service will only provide one thing we want so we are forced to go a-la carte.
    A package deal or a-la-carte?
    Overdressing or underdressing?
    Edward Antrobus recently posted..June Net Worth Update

    1. Emily says:

      We have fallen into the same pattern as you. Most trips we take are to see friends or family and we can stay with them; the rest are usually semi-destination weddings so we get hotels.

      I hate driving in big, dense cities, too. Kyle does all the city driving when we have to but I really prefer taking public transportation.

  2. I love hostels! There are the best place to meet ppl when traveling/back packing.
    Marissa @ Thirty Six Months recently posted..Why I Blog Anonymously

    1. Emily says:

      I wish we had had time to meet some other people. We got back from the wedding quite late and left pretty early in the morning. They had a good lounge area that we would have hung out in.

  3. bogofdebt says:

    I haven’t gone on too many trips in a while but:
    1.I’ve only ever stayed on a couch or a hotel.
    2.I dislike flying but long car rides are not that fun either. It depends on the distance.
    3.I’ve taken cabs and don’t mind them. I’m more used to them than busses or subways.
    4.When I go on vacation, I tend to do small meals out but if I’m at family or a friend’s house, we’ll go grocery shopping and cook together.
    5.Hmm..depends on the difference.
    6.I like to make random choices so a la carte.
    7.I tend to overdress to err on the side of caution.
    bogofdebt recently posted..Hard work does pay off

    1. Emily says:

      I really hate flying and long-distance driving when I’m by myself, but it’s not so bad with Kyle. We never flew together until 2010 so I didn’t know how much better it was with a buddy!

  4. jefferson says:

    filling out this survey is making me feel like a princess.. 🙂

    Hotels, couch-surfing, or something in-between like hostels or AirBnB?
    |– definitely hotels. with kids in tow, we really won’t do it any other way.

    Driving or flying?
    |– i would prefer to fly

    Cabs or public transportation?
    |– rental car 🙂 .. or cabs

    Eating out or brown-bagging?
    |– we don’t really like to eat out… but generally do when we go on vacation.. it is nice if you can get a hotel room with a kitchenette to at least save on breakfast and lunch

    The cheapest admission or the deluxe package?
    |– we always go the cheaper route when checking out an attraction. our kids are small, so we probably won’t stay all day regardless.

    A package deal or a-la-carte?
    |– this one can vary.. the wife and i have done the “all inclusives” in the past, and had a truly great time.. but these days, i almost prefer not to have an agenda set in stone

    Overdressing or underdressing?
    |– underdressing.. with maybe one dinner out with the wife during the vacation where we dress up snazzy.
    jefferson recently posted..Have Something You Want to Buy? Attach a Goal to It!

    1. Emily says:

      I think traveling with kids will be quite different than our current style regarding the accommodations and travel. In his everyday life Kyle prefers to not have a set agenda (that’s his “P” vs. my “J” in our Myers-Briggs personality profiles) except while traveling.

  5. Michelle says:

    1) Hotels, couch-surfing, or something in-between like hostels or AirBnB? I like hotels and Airbnb.

    2) Driving or flying? Flying. I get carsick.
    3) Cabs or public transportation? Both are fine with me. I tend to find cab drivers scary though.
    4) Eating out or brown-bagging? Eating out if I had endless money.
    5) The cheapest admission or the deluxe package? Cheapest.
    6) A package deal or a-la-carte? Packages tend to be easier.
    7)Overdressing or underdressing? Hmm depends. I like to dress up though.
    Michelle recently posted..Goals and Extra Monthly Income Update

    1. Emily says:

      Carsickness would be a real pain. Do you have a time-limit for being in the car or does the terrain determine that?

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