Friday, October 28, 2011

The Cheapskate Honeymoon

So, C and I want to go to Chicago for our honeymoon "mini moon". We're planning a big, much more involved trip (Greece? I have yet to convince C) in a few years, but for now, after just having paid for our wedding, we're thinking something small, inexpensive, and short - an extended weekend, perhaps. In Chicago. We're tossing around other ideas, but Chicago seems to be the clear front runner at this point. It has a few very nice things going for it:

--It is close enough to us that we can get there, by a variety of transports, in only a couple of hours

--Its full of museums, restaurants, and things to do

--There are tons of cool looking hotels at prices that are far more reasonable than, say, New York, one of our other contenders

--Its where they tape "Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me", our favorite NPR show. Yeah, we're nerds of the highest order.

--It will be a first trip for both of us.

--Megabus goes there from here. This is vital to my cheapskate genius.

So here's my thought. Megabus offers deals that range from $1 a ticket to $64 a ticket, and they'll get us their in 10 hours. There's usually an overnight bus, and a daytime bus. The buses themselves are very nice, from all I've heard, and the clientelle is usually more upscale than your typical bus - this is due to the fact that you can't pay cash for a ticket, they have to be purchased online, through the megabus website. Also, all buses have free WiFi. I think we can take the overnight bus, and arrive in Chicago in time for a nice, Chicago breakfast, then check into a hotel.

What hotel, you ask? Well, we will probably find someplace cheap for most nights in the city, but we want to spend at least one night here, at the Sybaris Hotel. Yes. It is a hotel with pools (or at least Whirlpools) in every room. You can even book one just for an afternoon, which could be an idea if we don't want to actually stay there, because its pretty far away from the exciting parts of Chicago, but one way or another, that will be a part of any Chicago trip.

I'd also like to splurge one night and stay at someplace with a great view, and a fancy, classy, dress up bar and restaurant downstairs. The sort of hotel that's not a chain, and has a doorman. This may be out of the question, but with the money we'd save taking the bus... who knows? This place looks nice (bonus: pet friendly!). Or this one (bonus: Probably named after Daniel Burnham, architecht behind the design for the Chicago Worlds Fair (1893) and the Lincoln Memorial!). But any boutique hotel will do.

All that said, we'll probably end up spending the honeymoon at the Days Inn or Super8, because we're that poor. But a trip is a trip, and a honeymoon is romantic no matter where you end up.

Which brings me to another thought - what do you, my dear readers, think of the idea of a honeymoon registry? I've looked into them, and they seem reasonable. Basically, On a website, we'd list things we'd like to do on our honeymoon (hotel costs, airfare, dinner out, museum admission, etc), and then the site allows you to break the costs down into segments (Five $10 gifts, or one $50 gift, etc). I like the idea of my family and friends being able to contribute to a really cool experience rather than just getting me a fry-daddy (Which I would love, but would feel guilty every time I used). Check out these examples: Traveler's Joy, Honeyfund, Honeymoon Wishes. Ours woul be a lot more like Bus fare to Chicago - $15, need 4. Pizza from a food truck - $20, need 1. For the most part, anyway. One night at the Sybaris - $50, need 6. What do you think? I'm afraid people would think they were tacky, but they would help us with something that otherwise we would never be able to enjoy: A real honeymoon.


  1. have you considered using priceline or another name your own price kind of website? We got a fantastic deal at a hotel right on Michigan Ave, across from the museum campus with it's own pool, terrace and restaurant for not too much money.

  2. Didn't check out the honeymoon registry links yet, but on the face of it that sounds really sensible for a couple already out on their own. You HAVE all the stuff to set up housekeeping together. Count me in!

  3. I'm still liking Hotel Indigo--if you stay farther out instead of at the downtown one in Chicago, room rates are as low as $150.

  4. I like the idea of honeymon registry! We would love being able to contribute to a splendid honeymoon, instead of something for your house that you already have or won't use.