Thanks so much! It's definitely a thought for us to do. Flights aren't too expensive, but we try to avoid even needing to get on a flight because it can be a gamble. Depending on where we are flying to it could be $250+ RT, whereas hiding down south is $175 RT at most.
What's the best time to do a Cali road trip like you did? It sounds wonderful!
We would love to find another couple to do it with us, but considering we are on the east coast, trying to pull some of my friends out of the hustlin' side of NY is difficult. Sometimes I mention camping and I get horrified looks, funny I used to be like that too! Haha.
My partner has a pass, so we have been fortunate to hit the national parks fo' free this past summer.
I've heard about BLM, just weary of camping in the US, but I'll do more research on that for summer -- to be honest, NZ was SO safe! You only woke up to a stray Weka or too pecking at your tent, hahaha. Also, if your NZ trip you are camping, the campgrounds are like 100x better than the campgrounds I've been to in the US. I wouldn't completely skip out on them if you have a campervan/RV that's self contained.
Is camping just not an east coast thing? :) we have a friend in Staten Island. I asked her how the poconos is cause that could be interesting to visit. I figured it's like asking someone from Northern California how Tahoe is. But instead, she said she didn't know. She's never been. Whomp. Whomp. Haha. Isn't it only like 2 hrs away?
if you want to ensure great fog-less views when you visit the California coast visit in the winter. Winter always means clearer skies. You don't want to travel thousands of miles, arrive in San Francisco and can't see the Golden Gate Bridge, or travel down to Big Sur and can't see the coastline. campsites in Big Sur fill up months in advance during the summer too.
if you're up for more inland travels come the first week of May before school lets out. The snow is melting. Weather is warming up. Makes for stronger waterfalls and better hikes. Also cheaper flights probably. October is a good option too. But we've kind of slowed down on desolate hikes in October. Windier and drier. Don't want to be caught up in a forest fire.
for NZ we ended up just renting a car and staying in holiday parks, renting the cheapest rooms with a private bathroom. It actually turned out cheaper than renting a self-contained campervan, and more comfortable for us. We used a collection of Expedia points to pay off the car rental and another set of credit card points for the room rentals.
Well, it is and it isn't. Depends where you come from, a lot of city folks aren't into it as much just cause it's really unfamiliar to us -- nature is like Central Park or as far as Bear Mountain in NJ. However, it is a growing area for a lot of people now, getting out and about upstate. Poconos is a funny thing to mention, I went once when I was younger and hated it. It felt like a dirty version of NJ and we make fun of NJ alot! Haha. But who knows, it's probably much better now and the places to stay are most likely better too!
Anyone outside of the city is likely a camper, hiker, skiier, etc. Most of my New England friends enjoy the outdoors, it just gets cold quick here! A city person is likely to visit another close city - Philly, Boston, Chicago.
I absolutely appreciate the Cali tips too!! We've gone to San Diego for a wedding and LOOOVVED it, it was like OHHH no wonder people are nicer on this side of the country (all that sun!). Hahaha.
Glad you got yourselves sorted out for the NZ trip!! What are your must see's for the trip? Haha.
I hope you enjoy it all, I wish we could go back sooner rather than later!
It's no wonder the Poconos is always available for timeshare rentals.
That's another tip! If you know someone with a timeshare they most likely have access to third party timeshare sites like interval international or RCI. These sites offer super cheap timeshares for reservation. Once went to Cabo in October for a week for $280! No nightly fee. And at Villa del Palmar too. It was the best.
ooh. Dont get me started on New Zealand. We got a whole itinerary we hope isn't reaching.
Mt Eden Summit
Auckland Night Market (fri 6pm-11pm)
The Light Path
The Pinnacles hike = 6hr round trip
Queenstown Hill Track
Visit an Ice Bar
JUCY Sunriser - Milford Sound Coach & Cruise Departing Queenstown
Roy’s Peak Hike (5-7hrs)
Wanaka Lavender Farm
Roberts Point Track
Franz Josef self-guided glacier valley walk
Fox Glacier Glowworm Forest
Zle1016, that's an awesome list you put together...
Have some other hiking recommendations for the Queenstown area:
1) Moonlight Route (several side trips from this one possible: Arthur's Point, Moke Lake, Ben Lomond Saddle)
2) Lake Dispute Track (and just keep going)
Check them out online...and have fun in NZ!!
We have camped up and down the east coast and have enjoyed it. Have you done Acadia NP or Nova Scotia? I'm not sure if there is still a high speed ferry from the US to NS, but it used to be three easy hours. That was the first trip my wife and I went on together a million years ago, we had a blast and we surely didn't have any money!
You may also want to consider smaller cities and towns. I loved New Paltz and that is a quick trip up from NYC. A weekend getaway from the city to a place with a couple of good restaurants and a museum is often more fun and relaxing than trying to cram in a huge city on a tight budget.
Omg! Beautiful! That's exactly us. And it's along our route.
thank you so much for the recommendations. Definitely adding one if not all of them.
Hey! We have it on our bucket list to visit Acadia NP! Nova Scotia is also a place we'd like to discover too. What was your favorite hike in Acadia? Any specific campgrounds too?
Thank you for the recs!!
Our best budget trip in the states was taking a road trip from Florida to Rocky Mountain NP and Yellowstone. We avoided restaurants and we camped instead of staying in hotels. Our biggest expense was buying the tent to stay in.
Our best budget trip abroad was to Prague. We got an Airbnb for 7 of us that was less than $200 for the entire trip and it was in a great location. We ate in the apartment for the most part, but food there was very cheap when we did eat out.
Sometimes I feel like a shill for Couchsurfing when I get on this site - but I really do love it! Couchsurfing.org has allowed me to stay with locals when I've traveled through several different countries and different places in the US; it's free, as the idea is that it's an exchange between people (the idea that Airbnb vaguely tried/tries to sell people on), and I've met some really amazing people that way. I also live in that "upstate" area that people come visit on weekends, and I get Couchsurfing requests all the time as a host. I'm happy to put people up in my guest room and recommend some things to see/do/try while they're in the area. Taking the cost out of accommodation, especially if you're not a person with equipment and/or the disposition for camping, is huge. (And even if you are - I've also had people request to stay as Couchsurfers who had their tent with them, and just needed a place to pitch it, and asked if they could stay in my yard.) If you're traveling, hosts will often invite you to things that they were planning to do already, so it's easy to find yourself having unique and often cheap/free experiences because of it. So, that's my main recommendation for budget travel - sign up for Couchsurfing!