Portland, Oregon, also known as the “Rose City,” is considered the gem of the Pacific Northwest. It is a home to many businesses, self-starters, outdoor enthusiasts and coffee lovers. Located between mountains and coastline, it’s a hub for many famous activities that are both entertaining and financially-friendly. To visit Portland on a budget, consider these tips for a successful trip that won’t deplete your bank account.
Define your money management method
Before you travel, it’s important to develop a game plan for your finances. You can reduce your weekly spending limit, track costs with a budget planner or contribute to a travel fund. Either way, you’ll be aware of how much you’ve invested in order to profitably manage your money.
Search for transportation deals
Flights, train rides and driving can add a variety expenses that are difficult to fit into a travel budget. Overweight luggage can increase baggage check-in costs, and gas prices can increase from one area to the next if you’re road tripping. While crafting your budget, take these extra costs into consideration to avoid a financial scare. If needed, know the best month, day and time to receive the greatest transportation options for traveling to PDX.
Look into travel accommodations that save you money
While preparing to visit Portland on a budget, it’s essential to implement as many money saving hacks as possible. Look into signing up for frequent flyer miles and consider a hostel stay over a hotel. Utilize a mobile bank account for convenience. Perks might include flight upgrades, avoiding hidden debit card travel fees, and escaping an expensive stay in an overpriced resort or inn.
The Ace Hotel, located in Portland’s trendy West End neighborhood, is one budget-friendly hotel option. The boho interiors, accented with vintage furnishings and local artwork, fit right in with the city’s hip vibe. Guests can enjoy free WiFi and Malin + Goetz bath products in their rooms, as well as a Stumptown Coffee Roasters location, restaurant, and bar on-site. Standard queen and double rooms begin at $205, while double and triple rooms with shared bathrooms begin at $135 and $145, respectively.
Things to do once you’re there
Portland is a city where strange is cool, craft beer is popular, and nature is woven throughout the city. It’s everything the TV shows make it out to be, and then some. You’d expect some weirdness in a city where the impromptu slogan is “keep Portland weird” and Portlandia is one of the most well-known pop culture references. But, after spending a long weekend in Portland, you’ll realize that the “weirdness” is all part of the charm.
Visit the Portland Farmers Market
Look for the Portland State Farmers Market, which sets up shop in a variety of locations throughout the city, to get a taste of local flavors on the cheap. The Portland State University market, with over 100 stands of locally sourced produce, creative sauces and spreads, fresh baked goods, Oregon wine, and other artisanal masterpieces, is especially recommended. Because almost every vendor offers free samples, you can save money on appetizers while deciding what to buy for your main course.
From craft vendors to fresh food, the Portland Farmer’s Market is a great place to visit when you want to find locally grown fruits and veggies at a low cost. You can visit numerous tents set up by owners happy to tell you about the produce they are selling. Depending on where they set up, you can also enjoy certain aspects of the outdoors and listen to live music!
Walk through Powell’s Bookstore
Powell’s is the world’s largest independent bookstore and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Portland. Located in the center of the city, Powell’s is a monstrosity of a bookstore with levels upon levels of books. From children’s stories, to mystery novels, to small souvenirs, you can spend hours walking, talking and reading.
Enjoy the Pittock Mansion view
Visiting Pittock Mansion does involve somewhat of a hilly drive, but once you enter the property, the views are breathtaking. With the entire city of Portland in sight, you can picnic, take photos and really appreciate what this city has to offer. The fact that you can simply enjoy the beauty of the city without having to spend a lot of money makes this landmark special.
Utilize public transportation
The public transportation in Portland is known to be one of the best systems in the country. With so much to do and see within the city limits, an easy way to get around is vital. The Max Light Rail and Portland Streetcar are two fantastic public transportation options. Tickets are just $3 or less and they make stops at many of the popular tourist attractions.
Participate in community yoga
For those who love to exercise, participating in community yoga is a great way to get the fitness you need, meet new people and explore the wonderful things the Rose City has to offer. For no more than $15, you can enjoy yoga classes at a variety of different areas in Portland on a budget.