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2019 Charleston Road Trip Planning: Booking

October 28, 2019

Once I got our rough itinerary down for our Thanksgiving road trip (read about it HERE), my next step was to book the most important things:

  • Accommodations
  • Cumberland Island Ferry

Read more: 2019 Charleston Road Trip: Formulating the Idea

Cumberland Island Ferry

I have to thank my intern for telling me that the Cumberland Island Ferry fills up fast and that I needed to book that ASAP for our Thanksgiving road trip. I hadn’t looking into it too much yet; I figured it was a low-key ferry that ran every hour or so. Boy was I wrong! It only runs out to the island twice a day and comes back twice a day. I normally don’t book excursions before accommodations but I needed to make sure we had two spots on the ferry stat! This was something high on my list to do after I read about the beauty and serenity of the island in a few travel books and sites.

The Cumberland Ferry is surprisingly not cheap! But the rest of the day will be pretty spending-free because we’re just renting bikes (that will cost us some money) and spending the day enjoying nature. There are no restaurants or shops on the island so we’ll bring out own food, thereby saving some money.

We’re taking the 9:00am ferry out and the 4:45pm ferry back to the mainland. Enough time to spend a full day enjoying the peacefulness of nature with plenty of time to freshen up before dinner.

TOTAL COST: $33.90/2 people/round trip

Riverview Hotel, St. Marys, GA

I am a huge AirBnb devotee but that doesn’t mean I limit myself to it for our travel accommodations. Once we booked our Cumberland Island Ferry (above) I knew I wanted to be close to the ferry’s launch point because we had to be at the ferry at 8am and I was not looking to wake up any earlier than necessary! I started looking at AirBnbs nearby for the 2 nights we were going to be in the town of St. Marys, GA (Friday & Saturday) but they were so crazy expensive! The hotel taxes & cleaning fees were astronomical.

So I gave up on AirBnb, begrudgingly, and googled hotels in St. Marys, GA. Using the map I noticed the Riverview Hotel was THE closest to the ferry launch and a classic historic hotel (double check!). I looked into the price which was reasonable, and the rooms were quickly filling up. I ran the price and plan by Will (as I always do), got the green light and then booked it. As I was checking out there was an option to pay $10 per person for a picnic lunch to take on Cumberland Island. The lunch included a sandwich, cookie, water and chips. This was perfect! The price was good and it meant I did not have to scramble Friday night to put together sandwiches for us.

TOTAL COST: $240.18/2 people/2 nights/+2 picnic lunches

Airbnb, Beaufort, SC

I *really* wanted to get a B&B in a fancy Antebellum house that had a wide porch and Spanish moss hanging from the trees. Buttttt I just couldn’t justify the cost when the Cumberland Ferry & St. Marys accommodations being more than I anticipated. Additionally, we were only in Beaufort one night so I wasn’t going to be able to enjoy the porch on a lazy afternoon. So instead of my very expensive dream, I switched gears to save the most amount of money possible. I found a cheap, no frills room through AirBnb with a great location in downtown Beaufort. This way we’re saving some money to spend somewhere else, maybe on a tour of one of those uber fancy houses???

TOTAL COST: $65.85/2 people/1 night (we had a $20 coupon so this actually only cost us $45.84; plus Bank of America is giving me 5% cash back. #winning!)

*Note: We don’t have to book any accommodations for Charleston because we are staying with our dear friends Tuesday-Saturday for Thanksgiving. That is helping us save a ton of money!

JMF

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