Vacations. Most of you have tossed this lofty idea out the window along with your security that you will still have a job tomorrow. However, as a frequent escape artist, let me assure you that even in the worst of times, it can still be affordable to run away …. err, go on vacation. The every day cycle of lay offs, budget cuts, and raise freezes must be broken by that bottle of tequila you so desperately crave.
Now the question is, where to? I'm sure you're not surprised that South Padre Island continuously tops the list as being the best beach locale in Texas. Sure it's way at the bottom of the map, but you can avoid the road trip by hopping on a Southwest flight for around $ 120. Once there, find places to stay for around $ 47 / night. If you pack the room with 15 of your closest friends, it's chump change. And then you can use that leftover hotel money for drinks. An added bonus is that the water is actually blue at this spot. After a few cocktails, who's to say you're not really in St. Louis. Bart's? OK that still might be a long shot. But at least you're getting away from the mucky water that so much of our coastline is notorious for.
Galveston is another option. Yes, the city was ransacked by Ike, but has freshened herself up quite nicely, all things considered. Just an hour's drive from Houston, this locale is especially appealing for day trippers. Want to stay overnight? Find rooms for around $ 65 / night, and swim at Stewart Beach, a popular public access point to the water. If laying in the sun all day conflicts with your skin concerns, hit up happy hour at one of the many bars on The Strand. I'm sure finding someone to fetch you that bottle of tequila would be like taking candy from a baby. You know …. easy.
Port Aransas and Mustang Island boast a most scandalous history. The island was once home to a tribe of cannibalistic Indians, then a popular stomping ground for pirates and their booty. If tales of lore do not entice you, tickle your fancies with an abundance of fishing, sailing, and surfing. Hotels there average about $ 90 / night, so plan on coming with a group to cut down on the cost.
If you're still looking for something a bit more exotic, Cancun (and the surrounding, less Girls-Gone-Wild areas) is coming down in cost. Fly there for around $ 300 from Houston, and find a decent, all-inclusive beachfront hotel for about $ 150 / night. Cozumel and Acapulco also have similar price points.
Even though everyone is suffering in this current economic climate, it is still possible to get away, if only for a long weekend. It just requires a bit more digging to find the best and cheapest deals around. However with most of the hospitality markets responding to the situation and adjusting their prices accordingly, it should not be too difficult to find a manageable budget for your trip. Happy Traveling!