This weekend, my family had the most amazing time in San Antonio. Everything was absolutely perfect! We left Houston late Saturday morning and arrived in San Antonio at around 1:30PM. The best part of the trip is the huge amount of money we saved!
This is an instance where waiting until the last minute really paid off. On Friday, I was searching for hotel near Sea World, and they were quite expensive (around $200/nt). I then wandered to PriceLine to bid on a hotel. From searching, I knew there were only two 4 star hotels available through Priceline’s Name Your Own Price tool, the Hyatt Hill Country resort and the Hilton Hill County Hotel & Spa. Those were the two hotels I had my eye on anyway (how lucky!). The price was a bit of a determent, however. Priceline rejected all of my bids and insisted I bid at least $150. My plan was to try again from a different browser, but I got side-tracked. Fast forward to Saturday while we were on the road, I bid $125, and it was accepted! We booked one night at the Hilton San Antonio Hill County hotel, and that was such a wonderful decision. We were upgraded upon check in, as always. The room was huge and very clean and comfortable.
Our reason for going to San Antonio was to visit Sea World, and this hotel is located about a mile from Sea World. The Hilton also offered free shuttle service to any location within 3 miles of the hotel. Preferred parking at Sea World is $25 so we got to relax, ride over in an air-conditioned shuttle that we had all to ourselves, and keep our money.
I also waited until the morning of to purchase the Sea World tickets. This is because I had such a hard time deciding which package to select. This paid off also because that morning when I checked my email, I had a message from Groupon alerting me of 14-day admission tickets to Sea World San Antonio for only $35! Win!!! Tickets are $55 for a single day. To make the deal even sweeter, I had a coupon for 25% off.
On the first day, we took the shuttle to Sea World immediately after checking in. It was a short 3 minute drive. The park was EMPTY. There were no lines. No lines for admission, food, rides, anything! We also got great seat for the shows. Our favorite show was Clyde and Seamore’s Sea Lion High. It is hilarious! We stayed for about 2 hours then went back to the hotel for a small 30 minute break. I attempted to go bag-less, which wasn’t the best decision, but it was just a quick ride back to the hotel to collect our items. After our break, we went back to Sea World and visited all of the attractions and watched the final show of the evening, staying until closing time.
We told the driver we would be staying until closing so as we walked out, he was outside waiting for us! As soon as we got back to the hotel, I ordered dinner and we got ready for the outdoor movie. They were showing Despicable Me, one of my favorites. It was a bit chilly out so we asked the front desk for a blanket. They had housekeeping send up the softest, most comfortable blanket I’ve ever had held! Dinner arrived about 30 minutes after ordering, and we just took it outside to eat by the fire pit. I also bought the kids a s’mores kit so they could roast marshmallows. The s’mores kit is completely a rip-off btw, but I knew the boys would love it so I didn’t mine forking over the money to see them smile. Next time, I’m bringing my own supplies though 🙂
On the second day, we decided to sleep in. After checking out, we had the shuttle driver take us to Sea World for one last visit. No parking fees and no wasting time trying to find a parking spot! We didn’t have to spend money on food because we packed snacks in our day pack and brought re-fillable water bottles and flavored drink mix. We stayed for about 4.5 hours then decided to hit the road. I really wanted to take the kids downtown to the River Walk so we drove there for dinner. Parking was a bit pricey at $17, but I guess it was worth it. We had dinner right by the river then got on the river walk cruise. Afterwards, we walked around for a bit, admiring the rich, history and culture then took the drive back to Houston. This was such a perfect weekend getaway!
Trip Cost – $358.20:
- Gas – $19
- Hotel – $148.20 ($71.32 savings)
- Sea World Tickets – $78.75 ($116.25+ tax; Groupon didn’t charge tax)
- Parking – $0 ($50 savings – $25/day) We tipped the driver each way though.
- Lunch at Buc-ee’s $22
- Snack at Sea World – $12.75
- Dinner – FREE (mystery shop; I actually earned $23)
- S’mores kit from hotel – $5
- Breakfast – FREE (packed from home)
- Lunch – FREE (snacks packed from home; Snacks were FREE btw thanks to Amazon)
- Downtown parking – $17 (yikes!)
- Dinner on River Walk – $35 including tip
- River Walk cruise – $20.50