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We Spent Two Awesome Days In Austin For Less Than $550

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This post is sponsored by OneMain Financial.

Austin was amazing and we loved visiting this self-proclaimed “weird” town! Thank you OneMain Financial for sponsoring our adventure and challenging us to stick with a $550 budget. We had such a great time!


Yep, it is true! We spent two days in Austin for a family of five for less than $550!

You guys know we are not budget travelers in the sense that we like nice hotels and good food, but that doesn’t mean we don’t budget for our travels. So when OneMain Financial reached out with a challenge for us to spend the weekend in Austin, on a pretty tight budget, I was a little worried if we could do it. However, we were definitely up for the challenge. This weekend getaway showed that you can travel and enjoy yourself, even on a budget!

We made this quick video of how we were able to experience Austin on less than $550, and I’m sharing a bit more below too!


Our adventure started with a rental car. Because we are a larger family of 5, the rental car was one of the largest expenses coming in at $129.05 for a minivan. It was money well spent because we were comfortable, it fit all of our luggage, and the van took us to some pretty awesome places! That left us with $420.95 for the rest of our time in Austin.


Next up was getting a hotel to stay at. Hotels close to downtown Austin were either already booked up, or outside our budget, so Pete and I brainstormed some ideas and we decided to look a little outside the tourist area to where business travelers stay.  We found a great hotel that had a two-room suite available, and also offered a free full breakfast. This not only gave us enough room for all five of us to sleep in, but it also saved us a lot of money on food at a price that worked with our budget. We paid $231.60 for a night at the hotel for the five of us, leaving us with $189.35 left. This is the point where I started to get nervous if we would make it without breaking our budget.


One thing we never skip when visiting a new place is buying souvenirs, so that was high on our list to do! We explored the downtown area close to the Capital building and spent $71.39 on fun things to take home! We were now down to $117.96.






The food in Austin is out of this world amazing and very reasonably priced! We found a fun trailer park to eat at where we enjoyed acai bowls, cupcakes and a fresh tomato and mozzarella platter for a grand total of $31.92, and we only had $86.04 left to spend.


We needed to stretch our budget at this point so we set off to explore some of the free things to do in Austin! We visited when it was raining, but that didn’t put a damper on the fun or stop us from exploring a hidden duck pond! We just got a bit more creative and shifted our itinerary to eat and shop when the rain picked up.  As soon as it cleared for a bit, we headed to the duck pond, and it worked out perfectly! Since the duck pond was free, we still had $86.04 of our budget left!




Another hidden gem in Austin was this Cat Cafe we found! Not only can you play with cats looking to be adopted into their forever families, you also get to enjoy really delicious, completely vegan meals! We spent $72.00 on our meal, and it was totally worth it! This was an amazing memory-making moment for our family! After we paid at the cat cafe we had exactly $14.04 left!




Our last expense in Austin was $13.09 for gas when we returned the rental car. Gas in Austin is a lot less expensive than it is in California thankfully! After we paid for gas, we only had $.95 left! Can you believe how close we made it with our $550 budget! Whoa!!!

We packed so much fun into our time in Austin, and didn’t even break our budget!

To celebrate their Customer Appreciation Days, our weekend adventure was sponsored by OneMain Financial, who understands that sometimes you need a little financial boost. With OneMain Financial, lending is made personal.

Their goal is to deliver the best customer experience and empower you to take control of your finances. I feel so empowered after having such an amazing getaway with my family and sticking with the $550 budget!

Do you think you could stay within a $550 budget too?

This post is sponsored by OneMain Financial. As always all opinions are our own.

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


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