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So here's the thing: I'm celebrating my first year in Texas by getting the fuuuuuuuuuuck out of it. My tax return is due sometime soon and I want to take a real honest-to-god vacation.
IDEAS SO FAR:
VEGAS: Just a straight Houston -> Vegas weekend or few days. This is so far the cheaper of my ideas. Las Vegas is definitely something I've wanted to do for a long time; I've driven through, but never really stayed. There's lots there to see and do.
Walk(drive)about: Renting a car for two weeks really is cheap. It's like $350. If I get a small to mid-sized car, gas won't be that much more. I could DRIVE to Vegas, Oregon, LA and back home for (what gas buddy says) is about $390 in gas round trip. This would take longer, so I'd either have to bring my dog with me or see if my roommates would be willing to watch him. Two weeks is a long time, so I may do something like 10 days and have it be even cheaper. I can do this by myself which would give me a lot of ME time.
TRAIN: Ameri-Rail passes are dirt-ass cheap for a 14 day trip. I could go anywhere I wanted to for free (or upgrade to a room). I've done the Coast Starlight but I've always wanted to do the Empire Builder. Trains hold a special place in my heart.
CRUISE: This is the least preferred. I'd be going alone as I have no one to go with. On the plus side they're cheap, all the food is included (I don't really drink alcohol that much) and I only have to really pay some gas for my buddy to drive me to Galveston. The downside: I'm single, and nothing says "Pathetic and creepy loser" like taking a non-singles cruise by yourself. It's not that I'm not pathetic or creepy or a loser... I just don't want to be public about it.
SEATTLE: Love Seattle, grew up near there. Cheap flights, cheap hotels, even cheap rental cars. Unfortunately I don't know what I'd do if I just visited Seattle unless some PA folk wanted to get together. I could easily head up north or south and visit some old friends and family. Rental cars are awesome in that they have unlimited mileage and are generally good on gas - and Seattle is an excellent jumping off point.
So, Pennies Arcade... give me some hints or ideas of what I should do for my first vacation. I want to spend at most about $1500 because I have other debt I should pay off with some of my tax return.