Alright. I know I've said this before countless times, but barring any unforeseen car trouble, I'm getting out of Phoenix for a few days. I've already put in the time off request at work, I'm just trying to plan this on the cheap.
Availble time frame will be November 4th - 8th (departing Phoenix on the 4th in the morning, departing Flagstaff on the 8th in the morning and going down Oak Creek Canyon).
Using the Fuel Cost Calculator, I estimated about 311 miles round trip from my apartment in Tempe to Flagstaff, and back via Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon. This trip will be solo, unless someone wants to ride shotgun in my beat up land yacht.
So, I estimate about $60 gas round trip (that's about $8 more than estimated via the calculator), just there and back, maybe a bit more if I do a ton of sight seeing but right now I don't plan on it. I'll probably avoid the Grand Canyon, the extra miles and the cost is just a little out of my comfort zone right now, I'd rather plan cheap and spend a little more, than plan big and come up short.
Lodging is where I'm stuck. The cheapest in my book is always Motel 6. Looking at the Woodlands Village Motel 6 on the west side of the city, the Internet Rate is $35.99/night. So, I can do 2 nights (Sunday night and Monday night) for about $80 for the two nights, well within my price range. But, there is another option that I'm curious about. There are two hostels in Flagstaff: $17/night at both for dorm accommodations, and they're operated by the same couple. Both are in Downtown Flagstaff, right across from the Amtrak Station. Both include breakfast and a 'not always available, but if they do it, $6 dinner'. The two hostels also do private rooms for about the same amount as the Motel 6. It is the Grand Canyon Hostel and the DuBeau Hostel.
The thing is, if I stay in the dorm accommodations, I can decrease the price for three nights down to about $51-55. That could mean I could get my entire base of my trip down to just over $100, instead of close to $150 or $200.
My two questions are: are the savings worth it? and has anyone stayed at these two hostels before to give some insight.
I personally think it would be interesting meeting people from around the world visiting Flagstaff and talking, rather than holding up in my room alone, so that part I really don't mind.
Hmmm... Decisions, decisions. If it were summer, I'd find a campground and just sleep in my car or a tent.
My only planned sight seeing is a trip to the Flagstaff Arboretum and maybe the Observatory (cost pending), and of course, Oak Creek Canyon. I'm also looking at museums that have little or no entry cost. So far, the Arizona Historical Museum in Flagstaff is a shoe-in.
Opinions, suggestions? I'm open to them all!