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Good budget destination for January between Washington D.C. & Miami

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Dec 17th, 2011, 03:27 AM
  #1
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Good budget destination for January between Washington D.C. & Miami

My husband and I are going into the Peace Corps in early February and we don't yet know whether we will be leaving from Miami or Washington D.C., but it is likely to be one of these two cities. We won't have that information until early January. We want to spend some time before departing in the US (we are currently in Europe) in order to buy a few things before departure. We are looking for a good choice for a kind of "budget" city to stay for a week in late January, probably renting an apartment for a week, but possibly in something like a Homestead or other hotel with kitchen setup.

I have been looking at VRBO/HomeAway in places like Orlando (cheapish because so many places due to Disney I assume), Myrtle Beach, Savannah (seems very pricey), etc. Price isn't the only consideration-we would probably prefer some place warm versus really cold or where snow could be a factor. We really don't know this area at all since we are from California, so any thoughts of places where we might find good deals and enjoy being for a week or so in January in the southeast would be welcome.

Thanks in advance!
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Dec 17th, 2011, 04:02 AM
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Orlando resorts bidding priveline.com for me in the past
from $30/nt Royal Plaza nice suite 1 block from Downtown
Disney in Lake Buena Vista wat great for me about 1 year ago.
wdwinfo.com betterbidding.com lots better than vrbo many
scammers lots of photoshopping poor locations.Always pay
with CC never wire money.Everything north to FL can freeae
with fronts so avoid.
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Dec 17th, 2011, 04:07 AM
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Priceline and Hotwire Forum: 2* Orlando (Lake Buena Vista-Downtown Disney) Extended Stay Deluxe LBV - Priceline and http://www.betterbidding.com/show.ph...24861Priceline and Hotwire Forum: 4* Orlando (Lake Buena Vista-Downtown ...
Priceline and Hotwire Forum: 4* Orlando (Lake Buena Vista-Downtown Disney) LBV Resort Village Spa - Priceline and Hotwire Forumwww.betterbidding.com/show.php/showtopic/142793

Good options based on budget.
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Dec 17th, 2011, 06:31 AM
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Orlando sound like a good idea. Flights there are dirt cheap as are accommodations. They also have a bunch of discount malls. The wether should be decent - although really warm is ot guaranteed.

Anyplace else is likely to be more expensive - and until you go south of Atlanta chilly weather and ice is perfectly possible in Jan.
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Dec 17th, 2011, 09:29 PM
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Good for you! My nephew was in the Peace Corps and enjoyed 2 years in Nevis.

The nice par of Savannah will always be pricey, but it's worth it if you are interested in seeing the city. However, some VRBO places might be in dicey neighborhoods. If you decide on Savannah, post your choices and I can help you with whether or not it's safe. starrs can too.

Consider DC as well. There are lots of free things to do, and you can find anything you need to get once you find out where you'll end up. Best of luck to you.
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Dec 18th, 2011, 12:30 AM
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Thanks all! Depending on weather and where we depart from for our Peace Corps service, we may decide to come to Orlando and then drive to Washington D.C. and make a mini vacation out of it, because I would love to see Savannah. Suewoo I will take you up on your offer of "vrbo-check" if we go that route in Savannah. But if we save money in Orlando, then we would probably splurge a bit there and stay a few days in a mid-range hotel

It does sound like for housing at least (and I have also found for rental cars & flights), Orlando will be the most reasonable place to start. I definitely know not to expect warm there. I was there in 2002 in January on a business trip and it was around 32 degrees-literally freezing!!

suewoo, Nevis sounds like it must have been an amazing Peace Corps placement! We will be serving in Mexico, which will be very interesting, and not at all where we expected given that we are both fluent in French (my hubby is French-born). But as they say in their information sessions, "you have to be flexible"
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Dec 18th, 2011, 03:35 AM
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Savannah has an area called "Midtown" which is neither mid nor really very town-like - but it has incredibly inexpensive hotels. If you are driving it is a fine location for a hotel - it is about 5 miles from Historic district and has every low-mid level chain hotel you can imagine, including places like Homestead. In January it should be as inexpensive as it gets, since weather in Savannah in Jan is not great. There are some with full kitchen set-ups and many others have at least free breakfast and microwaves and refrigerators in rooms. This area is along an extension of Abercorn (may also be called that in ads) and also has about every chain and big box type store you can imagine as well as a mall - so no idea what types of things you need to buy, but guarantee they sell it there. You could take a day trip to Charleston and if you are cold-tolerant, Tybee Island beach is also close by (I love the ocean in the winter).

Orlando will be cheaper for hotels - but there is less there to see or do if you are not doing the Disney thing (and it sounds like if you are on a tight budget you would not be)
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Dec 18th, 2011, 04:19 AM
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Thanks so much Gail-I will put all the suggestions in my file. Yeah as tempting as it might be to see "Mickey" before leaving for 2 1/2 years I would rather spend the money on an e-reader

We have been to Disney/Epcot once many years ago so I won't feel like I will have missed out too much.
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Dec 18th, 2011, 10:02 AM
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There should be some great deals in late January. Let us know as soon as you find out your departure city and start finalizing your location.
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Dec 18th, 2011, 10:23 AM
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Orlando has a lot to see/do besides Disney (of which I am NOT a big fan - except Epcot). Also - it is the only place mentioned likely to have warm weather. (DC in Feb isn;t necessarily icy - but cold weather and substantial snow is very possible.)
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Dec 18th, 2011, 02:00 PM
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I'm not a theme park fan but had a nice time at a conference in Orlando. We rented this condo in a very nice complex called Vista Cay: http://www.vrbo.com/169772 It had a nice pool, a walking path around a little pond, and a small fitness center. You probably don't need to pay for a 2 bedroom unit, but there are tons of one bedrooms on VRBO in nice vacation condo complexes for great prices.

My take on Orlando without kids or park visits: It had all the generic American shopping you would want if you are there to stock up.

I live outside of DC and we have tons of free cultural things to do here, plus the shopping if you stay in the suburbs. Lots of former Peace Corps volunteers live in this area; I wonder if they have a forum where you can find someone who will let you couch surf while you are here to save money?
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Dec 18th, 2011, 09:49 PM
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Thanks all-as soon as I find out more info I will update you all here. I am sure we will find something not too pricey and fun at the same time. With PC looming, we are pretty flexible and open to it all. Maybe during our service we will take our leave and visit the area longer and in the spring or fall. It is the area of the country we don't know well and would love to discover.
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Dec 19th, 2011, 02:02 AM
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You might also want to consider Beaufort, SC. It's a neat little town between Charleston and Savannah. It's not as expensive as the larger cities, Hunting Island (my favorite place on earth) is close by. You could do daytrips from there. You might even be able to get one of these:
http://www.huntingisland.com/cabins.htm
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Dec 19th, 2011, 02:04 AM
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OOPS I didn't read my own link! Only one cabin is renting right now.
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Dec 21st, 2011, 01:54 AM
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Hi Suewoo-no matter. It still looks like a great place to visit. And the general location of Beaufort is nice to know about.
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Dec 22nd, 2011, 09:56 AM
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Okay-so we have an update. The staging city is Washington DC. we were hoping for Miami given that it is in February, but oh well!

So we are thinking maybe to fly directly from Europe to DC maybe 2 weeks before we need to be there and then just catch a connecting flight to Orlando when we fly into DC from Europe and make that a base for 2 weeks. We will have a lot of luggage, so a base is preferable to moving around a lot. We would like to rent a timeshare/VRBO or Homestead Inn type place in Orlando for 2 weeks. Any thoughts on something not too pricey in January in Orlando? At least if we have a apartment with a mini kitchen we can cook and eat there. So any leads on those types of places would be appreciated. It doesn't have to be big, it is just the two of us.

Another place in Florida we are considering is Sarasota, because we have friends who like it a lot. I know it is not the same area at all, and that cars are likely to cost more, but we might consider it because at least it will have beach.

We are probably looking at dates like between the 20th of January and 5th of Feb. Then we would fly back to Washington for our staging training. I would love to make it a road trip but I am fearful that the weather along the way could be dicey....
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Dec 24th, 2011, 06:49 AM
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So our plans have shifted a bit. The best ticket we were able to get from Europe to the US turns out to using our miles to go to Miami. So we decided that even though it is more $$ for the car, we are going to start in Miami (10th of January) and stay 4 nights and then go to Sarasota and stay 7 nights. So we won't go to Orlando at all. In Miami, we got a very good deal on a place that looks great in the arts and deco neighborhood of south beach called the Casanova Suites. The advantage is that we have pretty much a full kitchen so we can save money by eating some of the meals (especially breakfast and light dinners) there. In Sarasota, we are staying at place called the Hibiscus Suites for a week. Both get good reviews on the web, but they both can be cancelled if anybody has any better ideas

Meanwhile, I will start searching for foodie ideas in both areas. Can't wait for great Cuban. Now I only have to keep my fingers crossed for goo weather
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Dec 24th, 2011, 07:24 AM
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Sorry I meant good!!
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Dec 24th, 2011, 07:59 AM
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I love the neighborhood you have in South Beach. Is your hotel oceanfront? They have a great boardwalk that is so much fun to walk!
You might want to consider The Keys for your second part. It is the same distance driving as Sarasota and beautiful scenery! You could have your beach fix by staying in Islamorada http://www.keys-resort.com/ and do a day trip to Key West.
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Dec 24th, 2011, 08:59 AM
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Hi CD-yes-the hotel is on 524 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139. However, I don't think we have ocean view, but maybe we will get lucky.

Thanks for the link to the Keys hotel-we have always wanted to go there so I might look into it instead of Sarasota.
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