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  1. #1
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Flagstaff on the cheap

    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!

    Thanks everyone
    -Brad
    Last edited by RoadTripper Brad; 09-29-2007 at 01:33 PM. Reason: Spelling, and museum mention.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Keithville, LA
    Posts
    638

    Default Hmmm

    As a girl I'd be wary of a hostel. But since you're a guy I'd think about it. It would probably be fond.

    I have no other thoughts or suggestions since I've only ever driven through Flagstaff. Good luck - definitely keep us informed of your plans!

    Laura

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Been to one in the last ten years?

    Quote Originally Posted by lhuff View Post
    As a girl I'd be wary of a hostel.
    Laura, do you have any experience with a hostel in the USA in the last ten years? Most of them offer a viable alternative to motels. Many have rooms for solo travelers. Some are very luxurious -others are more spartan. Here are a couple of articles we have published this year:

    Over view of hostels
    Some featured ones

    Mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default I would vote for the hostels

    Quote Originally Posted by Arizona Brad View Post
    Using the Fuel Cost Calculator
    Um, I don't think you really used the fuel cost calculator for a mileage estimate (since it lacks that capability),
    but I estimated about 311 miles round trip from my apartment in Tempe to Flagstaff, and back via Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon.
    But that mileage looks pretty close to what I found on Google Maps ~308 miles.
    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.
    I would opt for the hostels --
    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.
    Gerald Thurman is a master at finding cool places to explore without entry fees -- I would scan some of his Flagstaff-related trips on this page. And I would also suggest a quick review of Bob Schaller's article about this area.

    Mark

  5. #5
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Fuel Calc Mixup

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    Um, I don't think you really used the fuel cost calculator for a mileage estimate (since it lacks that capability), But that mileage looks pretty close to what I found on Google Maps ~308 miles.
    Right... one of the dangers while typing at work is when a call comes in, trains of thought tend to derail, and when they do there are rarely survivors. I meant to say I used the fuel cost calculator with 311 miles round trip (give or take). Although, it would be neat-o if the fuel calculator did that ;-).

    I would opt for the hostels
    I was leaning more towards that myself too... I figure I'm 21 (will be 22 when I leave for the trip), and instead of just sitting alone in my room in the evening I could meet some interesting characters and have some good memories come out of it. Then again, if it gets way too out of hand, I could mosey on over to the Motel 6 or upgrade to a private room for the difference. Heck, I might even do that the last night there if they have room and I'm in need of sleep.

    The whole point of this trip will be trees, aimless wondering, and a little bit of ale. Okay, more than a little bit, but not too much.

    -- Gerald Thurman is a master at finding cool places to explore without entry fees -- I would scan some of his Flagstaff-related trips on this page. And I would also suggest a quick review of Bob Schaller's article about this area.

    Mark
    I'll have to do that. I've loosely considered finding out if he still teaches and where he teaches, and taking a class or auditing it (if they allow that) just to be able to say I was in one of his courses. He's got some great roadtrips on that page, I'll have to take a fresh look at them.

    Thanks for the tips!
    -Brad

  6. #6
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Girls are just as tough

    Quote Originally Posted by lhuff View Post
    As a girl I'd be wary of a hostel. But since you're a guy I'd think about it. It would probably be fond.
    I believe unless you're in a group and specifically request it, they're separated by sex. At the same time, I've met a few ladies over the years that could probably beat the living snot out of me, and I'm much larger than most of them.

    The one good thing going for me is I will have my own transport, so my valuables won't be coming in with me. And, I really don't think anyone with half a brain is going to tangle with a 360 lb. 6'1" guy in a hostel... total waste of good money on a room that they'd get thrown out of, not to mention the physical dangers of such a feat. To some I'm as fearsome as a bear, but I'm really far from it.

    I have no other thoughts or suggestions since I've only ever driven through Flagstaff. Good luck - definitely keep us informed of your plans!

    Laura
    Luck I will need. Luck means getting the jalopy back in one piece... and not on the back of a tow truck.

    Thanks!
    -Brad

  7. #7
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Flagstaff '07

    Well, when I give a roadtrip an official name, it's pretty safe to assume it will happen. And, I've done just that, Flagstaff '07: Alpine Run, is pretty much on target. Right now I'm narrowing the scope down to 2, maybe 3, nights in Flagstaff, with a day of aimless wandering. The last two days of my vacation will be my two normal days off, and I'll probably use it to catch up on homework.

    I'm setting up a whole section of my website to showcase the trips I've taken, including route maps, and a travel blog that I'll update while on the road. Although my PocketPC phone can connect to RTA, I'll try and use it to post closer to my trip, and if it works, I'll try to keep everyone up-to-date with photos directly from the road.

    I'll keep you all informed of the progress, and an "unveiling" of the site when it happens.

    -Brad

  8. #8
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Travel Blog live

    Okay, I've been working on this for days now, and the front page is still not 100% complete, but, the travel blog for this trip is linked up and ready to go. I will be posting frequent updates via email to my blog. Unfortunately, I haven't worked out a bug not allowing pictures. I'm still researching a fix, because I would love to be able to send in a camera phone snapshot each post of where I'm at.

    The main page has some routes I've been on too. When I get back, I'll do a road trip blog via the service Mark has offered that way I can get a good feel for how well it works, and may use it in companion to what I create.

    -Brad

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Blogger and Willy

    Quote Originally Posted by Arizona Brad View Post
    I haven't worked out a bug not allowing pictures.
    Willy did this with his camera phone using Blogger -- see this thread.

    Mark

  10. #10
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Blogger v. Wordpress

    I used to be on the blogger service, but dropped it in favor of a bit more customizable wordpress (well, that, and the local hosting of everything helps too).

    I think there's a wordpress patch out there for what I need to do. I hope I can get it installed soon.

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