This week I'm taking you on a tour of the Pacific Northwest. I've always been drawn to this region because it seems wild and mysterious. The way the mountains push right up against the ocean, it's something that I could spend a day photographing. This 8 night/9 day vacation plan takes you to three unique destinations. You start in the wilderness playground of Idaho, travel through the elevation changes to Seattle and end up on the west coast, at Cannon Beach. The budget ranges from a value option to the luxury package. This is not a plan that I am offering, but a post I hope will inspire you to look into different vacation options and explore. With that being said, you can take this idea and adjust it to fit your needs, maybe by cutting nights or even destinations. I list the pricing after tax (except on some transport), and the prices are for July, during the peak travel time. The trip is calculated for a family of four, but I do list what a couple should expect at the bottom. So let's get started. Below are a couple maps of the trip and total cost:
So to go over the trip costs, I’ll start with transportation. For airfare, I've set the cost to $300 per ticket for a total airfare cost of $1,200. If you have points (or find cheaper flights), then you would just reduce the total cost by that amount.
After you arrive, there’s a couple ways you can enjoy this adventure, by road or by rail. There is a trade-off for each and you will have to figure out which is best for you. For example, the train provides a less stressful way of traveling because you don't have to deal with traffic. Also, since it has to stick to a schedule, it’ll be more reliable. And one more factor, I would say the train is safer and prevents you from getting lost. The benefit of driving is more freedom. You don't have a schedule, therefore you can leave when you want or pull over for that perfect picture. Also, you can go straight to the hotel when arriving to a destination as opposed to having to make connections at a train station.
As you’ll see in the supporting information above, they are close to the same cost. This is due to several factors. Renting a car for $483 for the vacation is cheap. What’s not cheap is parking, especially in Seattle. When you factor in parking, gas and the rental fee, it’s just over $700 for the vacation. For the train, the ticket costs are relatively inexpensive, but the connections are what get you. The round trip shuttle from Spokane to Coeur D’Alene is $276. I’m guessing you can get an Uber for cheaper, but these vacation plans try to provide a set and convenient experience. So, when all things are considered, the train option is just over $800.
For the hotels, I really like the Coeur d'Alene Resort because of the beautiful lakeside location. There are an abundance of activities around the area, making it a perfect summer playground for kids and adults. The room options provide a perfect setting for families and couples, and there’s onsite dining.
Seattle is a great stop if you want to get a sense of the Pacific Northwest. You can try different meals very few cities offer, like geoduck. Additionally you'll get to do a lot of different activities like the space needle or watching fish fly through the air at Pike's Place.
The last stop on the trip is the Oregon coast. Whenever I think Pacific Northwest, Cannon Beach is always one of the first images that comes to mind. How the mountainous rock structures stick right up out the sand, it looks so amazing. Having the ability to stay right on this beach, to me, that’s something very special.
Itinerary and Activities
Above is an idea of what a possible itinerary would look like for this trip. Everything listed above is included in the price for four family members. So, again, if you see activities that don’t interest you, you could save money by skipping.
I have built-in about $125 per day which I think would be enough to get breakfast, lunch and dinner.
For Couples and Summary
For couples, I've adjusted the amount spent on the flight, the activities, the food and the room rate. If you were to go, the prices would be $6,837 (luxury), $5,232 (Moderate) and $4,920 (Value).
As mentioned earlier, the prices are based on peak season prices, so if you were to go during the shoulder or off season, you could expect a discount. I checked prices for early May, and you could save just over $1,500 off the luxury cost by traveling then. Obviously it will be colder during that time, especially on the coast, but might be a good option for saving some cash.
Overall, I think this trip would be a great option for any age group. It's a chance to explore the Northwest, and get a sense of the region.