Our Weekend in Savannah, Georgia
“Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” – Forrest Gump
In light of Valentine’s Day coming up, I wanted the inaugural DTW Travel post to be about last year’s Lil Big V-Day trip to super romantic Savannah, Georgia.
Traveling to Savannah, GA
Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia and known for its quaint cobblestone streets, squares and parks, and historic buildings. I had visited numerous times while in undergrad (Hi, SCAD friends!), but since Big had never been, and JetBlue had an awesome sale, I found myself with roundtrip tickets to America’s Most Haunted City for Valentine’s Day 2016.
Our flights costed $49 RT per person, or 7,000 JetBlue True Blue points each.
Big and I wanted to keep a low budget for the trip, because I still had $75k left on my $100k student loans. This article will detail our top 6 budget-friendly activities in Savannah.
We left from Laguardia airport around noon on Friday. The flight was a quick 2hrs 30min and grabbed an Uber from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport to our Airbnb. We arrived with plenty of time to explore the neighborhood and settle into our adorable Airbnb cottage before getting ready for dinner.
1. Use Uber versus Rental Cars
We spent $28 on our way to our Airbnb and $14 on our way to the airport, totaling $32 in Uber fares for our weekend in Savannah.
Uber and Lyft are great alternatives to taxis and rental cars in Savannah. It turned out to be cheaper to grab an Uber from and to the airport than it was to rent a car for 2 days and having to deal with parking, potential tickets, and wasted time at the rental counter. Uber and Lyft are cheaper than taxis by 10-15%; powered by WAZE/Google maps so if you veer off-route for any number of reasons, you can contact Customer Service for a fee adjustment/refund; and super convenient to request via app.
So if you’re staying in Savannah proper, consider walking or biking around to enjoy the parks and amazing architecture and using Uber for longer distances or late night commutes. Feel free to use our referral link to get up to $20 off your first ride! We also love Lyft, and if you use our referral link, you’ll get $15 off your first ride in eligible cities (but unfortunately, Savannah isn’t one of them).
2. Stay at an Airbnb vs Hotels
Our Airbnb costed $289 for 2 weekend nights.
This was a bit of a splurge for us, but we saved by being in a central location (no need for rental car, which saved us at least $40) and having access to a kitchen (we cooked a couple of meals, which saved us at least $60).
There were many more affordable rental options in similar locations, ranging from $50-80/night, but they had shared common spaces. We aren’t completely opposed to sharing a space with the hosts (we opted for this in Chicago in April 2016!), but this was our first trip together, plus Valentine’s Day weekend, so yeah.. <3
Yeah, we could have stayed at a hotel and used our hotel points, but where’s the charm in that? Savannah’s architectural styles range from simple Colonial to Victorian and everything in between, and Airbnb offers many rentals in these stunning, historic homes.
We stayed in a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom suite (with a gorgeous clawfoot tub in a bathroom the size of my Manhattan apartment at the time) attached to the owner’s home with a private entrance and courtyard, located in the Thomas Trolley Historic District, and a convenient walk to just about everything!
Checking in and out was super easy as the key to the cottage was kept in a lockbox in the courtyard. The owners left a great guidebook with personal recommendations and other resources in the living room for us, as well as an ample supply of kitchen and bath necessities.
These personal touches make Airbnb such a great alternative to hotels, especially ones with flexible check-in and central location. Airbnb’s are typically cheaper than hotels, especially if you do an extended stay (many hosts offer discounts for stays 1 week or longer).
$ and 4.5 stars on Yelp. South African sandwiches. Eat here. You’ll thank us later.
4. Dinner at Elizabeth on 37th
Y’all. This place is a splurge, but a MUST (hence, it made this list and many others). There are so many other places to eat affordably, so you can reward yourself with a wonderful meal here.
Southern coastal food set in a 1900’s mansion, dinner here was dreamy. Dessert is a must. At $$$ and 4.5 stars out of 291 reviews on Yelp and ranked #27 out of 667 restaurants in Savannah on Tripadvisor, Big and I ultimately decided that this would be our “fancy meal” of the trip – we don’t regret our decision at all.
5. Forsyth Park
This is the largest park in Savannah’s Historic District with over 30 acres. There were a couple of groups playing frisbee even at 9am on a Saturday in February! In the warmer months, there are concerts, a giant farmer’s market, picnic-ing, sunbathing, capoeira, and good ol’ people watching.
Walking north through the park, we were able to make our way through many of the 24 squares, one of which was featured in Forrest Gump (Chippewa Square). Be sure to look all around – the architecture is stunning!
6. River Street
Very touristy, but worth a visit for the shopping, food, and views of the waterfront! The cobblestone streets are lined with old cotton warehouses turned colorful specialty shops on one side and the Savannah River on the other. Check out more here.
Sexy Spreadsheet for Savannah, GA
Big and I did a bunch of research before our first flight together to make sure we stayed within a reasonable budget and maximized our time there. Here’s a cleaned up version of our sexy Excel spreadsheet:
Click here to download the .xls file: Lil Big Travels – Savannah Spreadsheet
- Flight: 0 (points)
- Transportation: $32
- Housing: $289
- Food: ~$200
- Alcohol: $60
- Coffee shops: $20
- Shopping: 0
- Total: ~$600 or $300 per person
This was an amazing first Valentine’s Day trip for us. We are pretty happy with how we stretched our budget while still enjoying ourselves and experiencing Savannah to the fullest. The spreadsheet we made was helpful, because it allowed us to see where we could save and where we could allocate those savings to.
Hope you enjoyed this roundup of our favorite Savannah spots and found our tips useful!
Do you have any recommendations not listed on our spreadsheet? Feel free to share in the comments below!
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Here’s the health and wealth,