Houston, Hotel, Activities, Rental Car and Back for $400 Bucks

302 miles traveled and endless memories obtained. I’m a budget traveler, I love finding deal. I wanted to get away to Houston for a weekend so I budgeted $500. I was able to find flights from Newark to Houston and back, hotel & a rental car for about $400 dollars. I’ll add my flight details and receipts to the end of this post so you don’t think this is a bluff. I spent a total of 2 days in Houston exploring parks, farms, tourists traps, nightlife and catching up with old friends. Here’s a look at that trip.

Image for post
Image for post

Day 1

I touched down at IAH picked up rental car and we were off. First stop was food because I was starving! We went a vegan spot called “Green Seed Vegan”. I had the Bombay Panini, not pictured because I ate it before I thought about the gram. Most of their items on the menu are sandwiches but don’t let that deter you, their food was very flavorful!

After we stuffed out faces we made our way to Buffalo Bayou Park. The plan was to find all seven thoughts words scattered throughout the park. The trail is a 6 mi. loop. and can be taken by foot or by bike. The tricky part is there were no clear indications as to where any of the thought words were placed and certain part of the trail were closed due to the damage from hurricane Harvey.

We decided to take the trail by bike. We biked for an hour and a half but only found four out of the seven words (Four total were spotted but only two are photographed).

Image for post
Image for post

The fourth wasn’t accessible because that part of the trail was closed off. Overall the trail was beautiful and filled with many nice surprises along the way.

Image for post
Image for post

After we exhausted most of our energy at the park we headed south to Smither Park. This park wasn’t a traditional park despite its name. It’s about two blocks long, and is filled with some awesome mosaics! While we were there we had the chance of witnessing how these mosaics become a part of the park. It’s is a very meticulous process. Artists come in with buckets filled with mosaics and add them to a surface piece by piece.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

We left Smither Park then headed over to the Japanese garden located in Hermann Park. We didn’t spend much time here because by then we were hungry again and ready for showers! Hermann Park had plenty to offer. We weren’t able to do it all because we were on a strict schedule, but with half a day you can enjoy all of the things this park has to offer:

  • boat rides
  • Japanese garden
  • zoo is located next door
  • arts & sculpture
Image for post
Image for post

After we were all ‘parked’ out, I went back to the hotel to get ready for dinner, and then went out salsa dancing! I’m a huge salsa dancer, but this last bit was very spur of the moment since the night was young and I wasn’t as exhausted as I thought I’d be. I called a salsa school to see where the popular places were to dance in the area. Luckily enough they were having a grand opening for a social that night!

The atmosphere here was great! It was located on the second floor of this beautiful ranch style home which was converted to a restaurant/bar. It featured a wraparound balcony with outdoor seating. I danced the night away before calling it a night. Not a bad way to introduce myself to Houston!

Day 2

After letting my body recover from all of the cardio intense activities. The plan was to head to Galveston Island to enjoy the beach, but after speaking to a few locals they said there was much actually beach area there, bummer.

So I 360’d my plans met up with my friend again and we headed to the Houston Space Center. We spent about 3 hours here and still didn’t cover everything. If time wasn’t an issue, 5 hours would’ve been enough to go through everything at a comfortable pace.

We toured the original mission control center that was used to send Apollo 7 to the moon, saw rockets that were sent off to space explorations and more. We did the shorter tour because of our time constraints, but if you have the time, get there early and do the longer tour.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

After the NASA museum we ended the day in good old Texas fashion, we went horseback riding! Thankfully we were able to get same day reservations. The rates for this were amazing! We did an hour and a half ride for only $50.00 bucks!

Before we took off we were given the basics of how to ride. I’ve never ridden a horse before and it was an experience I can’t forget. My horse’s name was Bentley and boy did he feel like one. He was powerful, smooth and had quite some speed on him, and most importantly I didn’t fall off!

All in all Houston was a ton of fun and I would definitely go back. If you want tips on any additional things to do while in Houston or want your own itinerary created based on your interest, send me a message!

Flight (EWR->DFW->IAH): $122.80
Flight (IAH -> EWR): $95.19
Hotel: $99.20
Rental Car w/ Gas: $102.44

Total Spent: $419.63

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Hey, I’m Vania! Travel is the best kind of education so I go & get lost, even if it’s just outside my own doorstep and I’m obsessed! firecanbefun.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store