Vacation Like a President: Martha's Vineyard on a Budget

Like Presidents Bill Clinton and Ulysses S. Grant before him, President Barack Obama is vacationing on Martha's Vineyard, Mass., and the Obamas are staying at a home costing more than $35,000 a week to rent.

Despite having a reputation as a summer destination for the wealthy, many of the island's top attractions are free or low cost. With a variety of lodging options, a vacation on Martha's Vineyard can be accessible for anyone -- even travelers on a budget.

Video of the first family eating lunch in Marthas Vineyard on vacation.
null

ABCNews.com spoke with Budget Travel magazine's Sara Morrow, Travelocity's Genevieve Shaw Brown and Nancy Gardella from the Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce for tips on maximizing a trip to the island with as little money as possible.

"A Martha's Vineyard experience is available at any price point," Gardella said.

She suggests that before leaving home, visitors check island resources and search around for the best deals available.

Know When to Visit Martha's Vineyard

The beaches of Martha's Vineyard are busiest during the month of August, but a visit right before or after the peak season can help travelers save money on lodging while still having the opportunity to enjoy the outdoor events and warm weather attractions the island is known for.

"Post Labor Day is an ideal time to visit the island. Lower prices, fewer crowds, and spectacular weather," said Brown.

"Because of the Gulf Stream, our waters are the warmest in September, so it's a great time to be on the beach during the day with weather well into the 70s and cool breezes in the evening," said Gardella.

Getting to Martha's Vineyard

Located seven miles off Cape Cod in Massachusetts, Martha's Vineyard is only accessible by boat or plane. The least expensive way to get to the island is a ferry from Cape Cod.

Brown advised, "You'll save by taking a passenger ferry and leaving your car behind, but make sure you're prepared to get around by foot, bike, or taxi once you're on island."

For less than $20 round trip, The Island Queen and the Steamship Authority offer daily non-stop passenger service to Martha's Vineyard from several towns along the Massachusetts coast.

Travelers making the trek from outside New England can also save by searching for inexpensive flights. Jet Blue offers service to Martha's Vineyard with fares starting as low as $174 each way from New York City.

Vineyard Offers Lodging in Every Price Range

Once you're on the island, instead of renting a car, bike rentals are available at the ferry ports and Martha's Vineyard also offers public transportation with bus service to all six towns.

"The hotel is likely going to be the most expensive part of your trip and so you want to focus your money-saving efforts there," said Brown.

According to island expert Gardella, "there is lodging that's available at every price point."

Options range from five-star luxury hotels and bed and breakfasts to the Martha's Vineyard Campground and a youth hostel.

"A bed and breakfast can be a nice way to go because of the breakfast inclusion -- definitely a money-saver," said Brown. "But families need to make sure the B and B they hope to visit accepts kids, as some have a minimum-age requirement."

Morrow said bed and breakfasts on the northern side of the island tend to have lower rates, with some less than $100 per night during the peak season.

Brown also suggested carefully choosing which days of the week you'll stay when booking.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...