How to book a budget-friendly Poconos getaway

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  • Published on November 28, 2023
  • In Explainer

Challenge accepted: 8 friends learn to ski and snowboard for the first-time

Before ski season comes to an end, there’s still time to squeeze in a winter getaway. My husband and I thrive on budget travel and the snowy Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania are only a short 2.5 hour drive from New York City, where we live. It’s the perfect low-cost setting for a fun weekend with friends, family or couples only. Here’s how we saved even more money with our adventure.

For our very first trip to the Poconos, we planned an outing with eight friends who had never gone skiing or snowboarding before. (Experiencing new things together is second on our must-list of travel essentials.) Before we started looking at areas we could cut costs, we secured the weekend’s big entertainment: beginner lessons on the slopes of Shawnee Mountain.

Shawnee Mountain’s pristine slopes in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. (Pixbay)

Once tickets were secured, the real trip planning began. How are we all getting there and where are we staying? Most importantly, how much is all of this going to end up costing?

Usually the biggest costs of travel are transportation and accommodations. Because we were coming from New York, carpooling really cut down on costs. Securing sleeping arrangements presented a challenge because hotel prices were quite high. But being we were a large group, it was more cost-effective to rent a house rather than book individual hotel rooms. Booking a spacious 4 bedroom, 4.5 bathroom Airbnb was ideal. On the list of house needs: a full kitchen, dining room, bar, lounge, and a living room with a fireplace to bring all the cozy vibes. A two-night stay was priced at around $1500. For our group of eight, turned into only $188 per person.

Majestic pine trees awaiting discovery in the Poconos, Pennsylvania. (Invisiblepower)

On the very first night of our Poconos mini-vacation, we ordered dinner. This ended up costing over $30 per person. However, we quickly learned it would be much cheaper to split the cost of groceries and cook meals.

Sharing a house made it easy to make sure everybody got up and out on time for our snowy adventure, which was booked for early in the morning. We bonded over cooking breakfast before heading out to our ski lessons. To see how the rest of our first-time skiing and snowboarding went, watch the video below:

Olivia Taylor-Chew is a Long Island, New York based budget travel blogger who is on a mission to “See the World & Save a Dollar!” She is the co-founder of ChewsToExplore, a budget travel blog site and YouTube.

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This story was originally published May 16, 2023 2:00 PM.