Spring Break 2013: Eating Cheap in Williamsburg, Virginia

5 Apr

Most senior college students spend their spring break lounging on the beach, drinking Malibu and getting tan. I spent my senior spring break exploring the rainy wonders of Colonial Williamsburg and running until I could no longer feel my legs.

As is the life of a college runner.

Overall, the trip wasn’t too bad and I’ve returned with some new money saving food lessons. Want to know which Lean Cuisine dinner is best? Need to know how to make the most of continental breakfast? Should you bring your George Foreman on vacay? I’ve got all the answers.

Conquering Continental Breakfast

I think my whole team would agree that there’s nothing better than a hotel continental breakfast. It’s free and all you can eat. The best way to make the most of this amenity is to go to breakfast on the later end and eat a decent sized breakfast each morning. That way, you won’t be hungry until much later in the day, saving you from having to spend money on snacks.

Cheap College Student Trick #1 – After you’ve finished breakfast, grab an extra bagel and yogurt. Bring them back to your room and you’ll have continental lunch also.

Hotel Dine-in DinnersLean Cuisine

It might be tempting to eat out while on vacation, but this sucks up a lot of precious cash. Instead of going out, my teammates and I decided to do microwave team dinners in. We designated one night as Thai night and one night as Lean Cuisine night (FYI – the best Lean Cuisine was Roasted Honey Chicken and the worst was Butternut Squash Ravioli). The food wasn’t great, but the company couldn’t be better.

Cheap College Student Trick #2 – If you’re really against microwave dinners and have extra luggage space, pack a George Foreman grill. Sounds crazy, but a few of our guys did this and ended up making satisfying dinners under budget. Not going to lie, their dinners looked way better than our microwave meals.

Cheap Eats in Williamsburg, Virginia

We did venture out a few times for food, so here are my best picks for eating on a budget in Williamsburg.

Best Free Snack: The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg

This is a cute shop in Merchant Square of Colonial Williamsburg. We wondered in here on a whim and were lucky to find one of our favorite things … Free Samples! The store has over 20 different types of nuts to sample and the workers didn’t glare at us when we went back for seconds. It’s a perfect place to stop if all of this history is making you hungry.BBQ

Best Cheap Dinner: Rocco’s Smokehouse Grill

We wanted to go out to dinner one night, but it was hard to find a restaurant in our price range. After a lot of UrbanSpooning on my part, I found a high rated BBQ place pretty close to our hotel. The entree prices were between $15-20 and the portions were generous. I ordered BBQ ribs, cornbread, mac and cheese and potatoes and couldn’t have been happier. If you’re in the mood for southern BBQ, I suggest checking out Rocco’s.

Best Dessert: Extraordinary CupcakesCupcakes

On our daily drive to practice, we passed a cute cupcake shop called Extraordinary Cupcakes. Being dessert-aholics, we made it our mission to get cupcakes by the end of the trip. Luckily, the shop stood up to its name. Each cupcake is huge, delicious and only costs $3. I ordered their Boston Cream Pie and Carrot Cake cupcakes and finished them before we made it back to the hotel. If you’re s cupcake lover (and let’s face it, who isn’t), it’s worth a trip.

There you have it, all of my spring break money-savers wrapped in a nice neat package. If you ever have the urge to go to Colonial Williamsburg, remember smart budget tips.

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