Why South Lake Tahoe?
South Lake Tahoe is riveting. The scenery, the outdoors activities, and the nightlife make it a vacation spot to please everyone present. Unfortunately, South Lake Tahoe is costly during the summer and the holiday season, thus we opted to head to South Lake Tahoe during the first weekend in November, the 4th through the 7th, which isn't peak season, but the beauty of South Lake Tahoe is at its peak. Imagine the beautifully colored leaves, crisp water, and lack of tourists at this time! The beauty about South Lake Tahoe is that one can have a great vacation and not spend thousands of dollars doing so...read below to discover how we saved our wallets and had plenty of fun, too.
Transportation can eat up a huge chunk of money. The gas prices are astronomical and flying four people from San Francisco can cost over $2,000 and we would still have to rent a car in Reno,NV AND drive to South Lake Tahoe. This year, we wanted to do something different, more family oriented, less of an A to B mania. We chose to use Amtrak buses and trains to travel from San Francisco,CA to South Lake Tahoe,CA. Our tickets round trip cost $300 for the entire family(2 adults, 2 children). The money that we saved in transportation to our vacation spot went toward having a better vacation once we got there.
I am sure that you are asking, "How do you expect to get around once in Tahoe?". And the answer is simple, we are renting bicycles for the weekend. We will be renting from a very well known Bicycle Shop who has given us four bikes for $100 for the entire weekend. The bike trails in South Lake Tahoe extend throughout the region and will be a great way to pedal along the lake, head to trails, and go into town for a late night supper.
Another bank breaker is the lodging. Fortunately, during the off-season, South Lake Tahoe hand out great deals to its visitors. During our vacation, we will be staying in a cabin at Camp Richardson, which is well known for its hospitality and great access to the lake and nearby trail-heads. We reserved a cabin that sleeps four at $225 for the entire three night stay. Compared to the hotels and others cabins in the area, we are saving well over $300. There is no need to sleep in a fancy casino hotel because the goal of this vacation is to be with each other, get outside, and have fun.
Saving Money While in South Lake Tahoe
Alright, so the lodging and transportation are well taken care of, but what are we supposed to eat and what fun things are there to do on a budget? Thankfully, both of these questions can be answered with hearty chunks of advice.
Dining out can be costly in the South Lake Tahoe region, what with the casinos and gourmet restaurants lining the avenues. This year, we could not afford to eat out for every meal, so we decided to take a new approach to eating on vacation. On our first arrival, we plan to bicycle to the local grocery store (Raley's) and purchase breakfast, lunch and dinner supplies. We plan on keeping it simple by purchasing oatmeal, fresh fruit and vegetables, sandwich supplies, and trail mix. Additionally, we planned to eat out on Saturday night, as our special family night out. We will head down the strip and choose a reasonably priced restaurant that everyone can enjoy.
Having fun doesn't cost very much in South Lake Tahoe if you love the outdoors, which we do. On this vacation, we plan to only go where our feet or bikes will take us. For the most part, we will spend much of our time hiking on the nearby trails, playing board games when it is dark outside, and play at the beach when it is sunny and accommodating. The resource that we used to decide which trails to hike was the Tahoe vacation Guide, which is extremely helpful in planning day trips. Moreover, the site provided deals for local restaurants, activities, and what you can save money on depending on the time of year that you are travelling.
Vacation is expensive, but it doesn't have to put you into the red. Careful planning and consideration can reduce the amount of money you spend on vacation without reducing the quality of the vacation. If you are interested in vacationing in South Lake Tahoe, consider eating in, playing outdoors, and travelling by bicycle. Happy travels!