3 Ways to Plan a Martha’s Vineyard Trip on a Budget

Martha’s Vineyard was on our summer bucket list this year since I’d heard a lot of great things about it and it sure makes a bigger impact when a place is frequented by the Obama’s every year!

But the one thing you hear about MV right after how lovely and peaceful it is, is how CRAZY expensive it can be! And to top this, we were on a “lets be impulsive” mode – we came up with the idea just three days before the departure! Yes, it sounds like we have a LOT of money to be planning such last minute trips. But no, if that were true, my blog title would be “3 Ways to spend your money in MV”!

After a few intense hours of research and review checking, we made a few wise decisions and finished the online bookings. Though not really on a budget, I enjoy finding deals to save money which we would later spend exploring some place else! Its like getting to have the cake and eat it too 😀

3 ways in which you can pull off an under $400 budget for two people to Martha’s from New York for a weekend getaway: (we don’t drink much and we are vegetarians, so cheaper for us!)

1. Road Tripping to Woodshole in Falmouth MA  

This ones a bummer if you don’t have a car and no one in the group drives. However you have tons of other options (buses being the next cheapest) to get you to the Presidents’ Paradise.

We love road trips even though we don’t own a car. Car rentals are easy, even when its last minute. There is a super handy website called Autoslash which picks the best car rental deals for the given dates and emails us the details. I can tell you the deals are amazing because in this short notice on a weekend, we got a great compact car in Stamford for $44 a day with no limitation on gas usage! (It came up to $101 for two days including taxes)

You can also check out Turo rentals which is like AirBnB, but for cars. Haven’t tried it yet but you can look up reviews and give it a shot if you are feeling adventurous.

In comparison, flights, trains or driving till Rhode Island and taking a fast ferry is much heavier on the pocket. For instance, flights from NYC in the summer is a minimum $450-$500 per person return trip. Amtrak trains to Kingston, RI is $81 for a return trip, from where a $22 shuttle to Quonset Point and the fast ferry which is another $104 return trip. You also have Peterpan buses to Providence but we felt it was too much of a hassle and I like exploring the place around and adding pit stops on a road trip.

Since parking is not available in Woodshole, you have to choose from one of these. We paid $15 for the whole day, including a drop to the Woodshole ferry terminal which is 30-45 mins away.

Before you do any of this, its better to check this link to plan which ferry to take so that you can then work backwards and reach the parking garage accordingly. Costs $17 per person (round trip) for the beautiful 45-min ferry ride to either of the two locations in Martha – Vineyard Haven or Oak’s Bluff. (depending on where you want your first stop at MV) But if you take one ferry for the other, that’s fine too – because they are just 2.9 mi away from each other!

Hence, the total cost for transport was $101 + $15 + $34 => $150

2. Biking or taking the bus in MV 

Bike or take the well connected bus service to get around in the island. Taking a car and driving around a gorgeous place like MV is like going to Yellow Stone National Park and not looking up from your phone! (Unless you have friends or family who cannot walk or bike long distances, of course). Also, it is $137 for a round trip to get your car in the ferry from Woodshole.

We took the bus solely because it was an unexpectedly cloudy/ rainy day and we didn’t want to be stranded between towns in MV. (Daily Pass was $8 pp)

Bike rentals are easily available, this one is the most highly rated.

3. Booking an AirBnB outside the island

Pavan and I LOVE AirBnB – the concept, the app and the whole experience as such. We knew that no room or house would be anything less than $300 if it was in the island, especially when it was for the following weekend. Moreover, there was only a days worth of things to do in MV so our plan was to leave the island at night, explore Cape Cod the next day, have breakfast in Sandwich and then return home.

We found a pretty house in Mashpee which had a pond right across the road where we had an early morning photoshoot too :).

The price was $120 including the cleaning fee and taxes.

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Our idea of this weekend getaway was NOT to have a packed schedule with the agenda of covering everything there was to see. It was to have a truly relaxing time, chilling away in the shores of a beach or gazing dreamily from the top of a lighthouse.

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  • Circuit Avenue in Oak’s Bluff is THE place for souvenir shopping and simply drowning yourself in its charm.

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  • Ocean Park in Oak’s Bluff is perfect for that lunch you have already almost missed! There are tons of restaurants around, you could order take out and have a picnic with a panoramic view of the ocean and the gazebo on one side and the stretch of historical gingerbread houses on the other. (We had some DELISH veggie pesto pizza at Giordano’s)

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  • The stunning stretch of gingerbread houses is a top attraction in MV (officially called Martha’s Vineyard Camp meeting Association) and it is also located in the heart of Oak’s Bluff.

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  • Edgartown Lighthouse was one of my favorite spots here, not just for the ravishing view from the top, but also for the super scenic path leading to it. There is a beach right behind the lighthouse in case you want to “feed two birds in one seed”.

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  • South Beach was known to be the most spectacular of all beaches in MV. I don’t think I have a different opinion about it after spending some time lying quietly and basking in all the Vitamin D (to avoid the deficiency tablet sooner or later!); walking on the super soft (and clean!!) sand and letting the waves kiss our feet over and over again.

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  • If you are on a road trip like us, you should definitely visit Boardwalk Beach in Sandwich (Cape Cod) which is only a 13-15 mile diversion from your route back to NYC. Its a picturesque location with tons of photographic opportunities. Only downside is that is that it has a $$$ parking fee of $15! (I also read that its free after 4PM, but you can reconfirm just in case). Also, don’t miss Beth’s Bakery and Cafe just 0.5 mi from the boardwalk. They have some yummilicious breakfast options and oh-god-so-divine desserts.

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The overall cost of our trip was $356. And no, price was not our only parameter, comfort and convenience was priority too. But then again, convenience is totally subjective, right?

I may know more than I have fit on this post, so please feel free to connect if you need any help.

All pictures in this post and all others posts are mine, clicked either by me or by Pavan especially when my height is no good for a shot 😀

PS: Noone has paid me to mention those app names here. Come on, I had to say it, what if you suspect that there was a bias in my choices! *sarcasm detected?*

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