My Gulf Coast trip takes you along the southern shores of the US, and provides a mixture of city life and beach life. Starting in Houston, you'll enjoy big city atmosphere as well as nearby Galveston Beach. After a couple nights, you're off to New Orleans for some of the best jazz and food in the country. You’ll wrap up your adventure on the picturesque beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama, where you can relax and soak in the sun. This vacation plan has 3 different price categories: luxury, moderate and value resorts, but you can always intermix to meet your budget.
This is not a plan that I am offering, but a post to inspire you to explore different vacation options. 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:
Starting with transportation costs, you'll be flying into Houston and flying out of Pensacola. Because this plan requires an open jaw flight, I've set a higher budget for airfare, $400 per person, for a total of $1,600. As usual, if you have points accumulated, that would be a great way to reduce the cost of this trip. Below are the costs you'll have once you get on the ground:
The best option for transportation on this vacation, is a car. In order to save a little money on transport, I recommend renting the car before you depart Houston, then keeping the rental for the duration of the trip. This way you will avoid the hefty parking fees in Houston, but then have the car to explore the New Orleans and Gulf Shores areas.
The other option is to take the bus. The trip takes 3 hours longer on the bus, but tickets are pretty cheap. For the Houston to New Orleans trip, tickets run about $16 each. Of course once you get to the bus station (which is very close to the French Quarter, you'll need a taxi/Uber, so another cost to consider. To get to Gulf Shores, you would have to take a $5 bus to Mobile, AL, then a 1 hour ride to the coast.
Houston is located within minutes of the Gulf Coast shoreline and is the largest city in Texas. There are some fantastic options for your stay. For luxury, the Four Seasons is a steal at just over $400 (most locations are well above that). The Magnolia is a classic option in Houston for a reasonable price. The value option is a chain that my family loves, based on the extra space, and with a price tag below $250, a great value.
In New Orleans, there's numerous options. To start, the Roosevelt is a perfect destination for those looking for a little more luxury. The location is just off canal street in the french quarter. The Hotel Monteleone is another luxurious option in the french quarter that is a classic. The InterContinental is a high end brand with a value price.
Gulf Shores is a paradise along the southern shores of Alabama. Here you can immerse yourself in a wide range of activities, or just relax and watch the waves roll in. The hotels listed try to get you as close to the water as possible.
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 and covers all the activities that I have planned for the trip 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, 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 similar to the chart below.
Thank you so much
Thanks for stopping by and reading through my latest travel plan! If there's a region, or a trip, that you would want me to feature, just let me know!