Tips, Reality Checks & the Nickels & Dimes of our Vieques Vacation

Traveling is one of the few things I spend my money on. And when I say spend money, I mean on non-necessity items, the bare necessities, the icing to my life’s cake. I’m not a shopper, don’t have a shoe fettish, rarely get pedicures, never spa and am not a salon girl. I splurge on travel, good food and flights to new places.

Prefacing this blog entry with that bit, one could conclude I’m frugal. One would be perfectly correct in that assumption. I’ve found great resources to afford me the luxury of jet setting on a budget (not shopping would be a huge factor). Mike and I just got back from a 9 day vacation to Vieques (my daily activities are captured in previous posts) but I wanted to break down the tips we figured out once there, the reality check I got with a few things and how we did it (at least certain things) on the cheap.

Tips

Airbnb.com – no matter where you are going, check out this site. We found an amazingly simple apartment, with all the necessities, in a great location, for $75 a night. Yup, no W retreat for us ($300+ per night).

Rent a car – we initially thought bikes would suffice, it being a small island. Well, the first full day there, we saw most of what there was to see in Isabel iI. We found Coqui car rental (awesome!!!!) right near the ferry and couldn’t have been happier with our decision. There are beaches that would have taken hours to bike to. For $75 per day, it was worth every penny – We saw everything!

Bring your own snorkel gear – this is a personal thing, but if you like to snorkel, think you’ll do it more than once or twice in your life, it’s worth it! To rent can be $15-25 per day. We snorkeled the heck out of every beach and were glad to have our own gear.

Reality Check

It is hot!!! Sounds obvious, but I thought it might get chilly at night. It didn’t and I wish I had packed a few more sun dresses!

Learn a few phrases in Spanish – everyone spoke English, which is lovely, but a few of the local places have Spanish speaking employees and you can tell they appreciate you attempting. Plus, I got two breakfasts with meat, two days in a row, despite having asked for sans meat. If I had said it in Spanish….

5 days probably would have been enough. Don’t get me wrong, we had a wonderful time, but with staying in the same area for the entire time, well we saw it all (we are also go,go,go,go kind of people, so could just be us!)

Charter a sailboat. This was by far the coolest thing we did. Maybe it was the captain of the boat that took us out that solidified it, but the day we sailed on our private charter by far outweighed any other activity. For $300, which included a ton of drinks, 4 hours on the water, and a delicious lunch, amazing experience.

Buy breakfast things to make/eat on the go – we did not do this at all, despite having a kitchen. It’s fun to go out for breakfast, but I’m much more inclined to grab something and have a leisurely lunch. In hindsight, we should have done a few breakfasts in the apartment to save some $$$

Nickels and Dimes

Here’s a breakdown of what we spent

Denver flights: $743 for 2 adults
Cape Air flight: $448.20 for 2 adults
Car rental for 6 days: $481.50

Vieques charter: $300
Bioluminescent tour with black beards sports: $130 for 2 adults

Breakfast:
At the corner panaderia (3 mornings): $15
At Buen Provencho (3 morning): $24-$36
At Roy’s: $21

Lunch:
Most between $42-$65 depending on cocktails

Dinner:
Coqui Fire cafe: $100 one night (several margaritas were had) $75 another
Bieke’s Bistro: $100
Duffy’s: $60 (just nachos & cocktails)
Noche: $200
Local restaurant (forget the name!): $45

All in all, we did good! Where we saved on lodging, we spent on food & cocktails, boats & bio tours. It was a beautiful trip, filled with sun, surf and sand. Any questions about what we did, drop me a line!!!

Happy traveling!

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