Nashville: The Details

Only a month late!  When I realized we had hit October, I knew I had to get this one posted.  Not sure how many folks read these ones, but I always find it interesting to dig into some of the scheduling and budget details for traveling.

Itinerary

Day 1:  Wake up early and Lyft to the airport!  I’ve linked my JetBlue and Delta accounts to Lyft, so I get Delta points on every ride, and 30 TrueBlue points on any ride to an airport.  Not much, but every little bit counts.  We arrived in Nashville around 8:30AM, and picked up our rental car from the Alamo counter.  We hopped right in, and drove into the city to find some breakfast.  The rest of the day we walked throughout the city, and got a feel for everything.  We walked The Gulch, the downtown area, and spent some time wandering the Bicentennial Capitol Mall.  By around 4PM, we got back in the car to offload at our AirBnB, just east of the city.  That night, we went up to the Opryland Resort for a glass of wine and to walk through the French Quarter themed gardens.

Day 2:  Another early morning, we drove into the city to beat the lines at Biscuit Love for breakfast.  Fueled up, we made our way over to The Parthenon, Vanderbilt University, and Centennial Park.  In the afternoon we stopped by the Hatch Show Print, and then went up to Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish to try Nashville’s famous hot chicken.  Rounding out the night with Jazz on the Cumberland at Cumberland Park, we were looking forward to the eclipse the next day!

Day 3:  This time, we drove in the opposite direction, away from the city, toward J Percy Priest Reservoir.  We spent the day at the lake, waiting for the eclipse.  After the event, we had a relaxing evening grabbing pizza and packing up the AirBnB, our flight would be leaving around 7AM on Tuesday.

Overall, a great weekend in a new city!  Though Nashville may not be at the top of my list, it was definitely worth exploring.  By far, my favorite day was at the lake, experiencing the eclipse.

Packing List

  • Clothing
    • 2 Tshirts
    • Tank Top
    • Hiking Boots
    • Vans (sneakers)
    • Flip Flops
    • Hat
    • Raincoat
    • Socks/Boxers
    • Button Down
    • Swim Trunks
  • Bags
    • Kelty Redwing 50L
    • REI 18L Daypack
  • Miscellaneous
    • GoPro
    • White sheet (For viewing solar snakes during the eclipse!  Unfortunately, it didn’t happen.)
    • Snacks
    • Toiletries
    • Moon Guidebook to Tennessee
    • Solar eclipse glasses and information printouts
    • ENO Doublenest Hammock
    • Therm-a-Rest TREO Chair

Overall, we did pretty well packing!  I don’t think there’s a thing I’d change.  I’ve brought my hammock on other trips and never used it, so I was a bit worried the same thing would happen.  I’m happy to say that the hammock lent itself perfectly to the day at the lake, and I felt very relaxed while rocking to the gentle August breeze.

Budget

  • Accommodations:  $195.45  One AirBnB for 3 nights, 3 people.  The spot was actually really nice!  We had our own entrance through the garage, private bathroom, one bedroom, and a living room with a futon and hanging chair.  The location was a little further outside of the city, but that just made our homebase closer to the lake and the airport when we needed to go in those directions.  I was able to save $37 off the sticker price for the AirBnB – a $100 gift card purchased for $90, and a $27 referral credit; the total amount represents around a 16% discount rate.
  • Drink:  $87.75  I broke out drinks into a separate line item for this trip, as we seemed to spend a bit more than expected!  This includes, a happy hour snack and some air conditioning on Sunday, drinks at the Opryland Resort (expensive….) and some beers to bring to the lake.  Yes, it also includes some sodas for the kiddo.
  • Food:  $242.99  We ate out a lot over the course of the weekend.  To be expected for the average traveler, but a little much for us.  We typically try to take advantage of a bit of grocery store/cook at home/cheap local eats, but we splurged a little bit in Nashville.  The total comes out to about $9/person/meal, not too bad, all things considered.  Restaurant spending also happened to be my Discover it’s 5% category in quarter 3 – so I saved a bit more off the top!
  • Souvenirs:  $36.85  Just a few things – a poster from the Hatch Show Print, a fidget spinner from the Country Music Hall of Fame, etc.
  • Travel:  $190.49  Southwest taxes and fees for 3 roundtrips – $33.60.  Rental car from the Alamao at Nashville International, booked through Costco/Priceline – $80.02.  Parking – $18.  Lyft/Uber and tips – $50.87.  Wait, you had a rental car and you still used Lyft?  I know, I know, but we usually left the car parked at the garage for the day, and walked most of the way.  When it got too hot, or we were particularly hungry, I opted for a ride.  Plus, one of the rides got us to the airport, before Boston’s public transportation starts in the early morning.
  • Total:  $753.53 or $83.73 per person per day (ppd)

You can see in the charts to the right the breakdown in spending by method.  Once again, Southwest Rapid Rewards combined with the Companion Pass make a trip possible!  Combined, these covered over a third of the total trip cost.  Of the actual money spent, my Discover it card covered the bulk of it, which lines up with the large food expense for the weekend.  We put the rental car on my girlfriend’s Chase Sapphire Reserve, as well as some of the odds and ends.  My Bank of America Merrill+ card rounds out the top three, which I used to pay for the AirBnB.

Nashville marks the fifth weekend trip within the states, thanks to the Companion Pass.  We have Chicago planned later this month, and I’ll be trying to squeeze in another long weekend trip in November or December.  I’m going to miss these easy travel weekends, with Southwest’s flexibility and the savings on my Pass and Rapid Rewards.

Hope you found this post interesting!  I’ll try to get another post up this week, and then we’ll be in New York City this Friday-Monday.  Looking forward to showing the kiddo the Big Apple!

-FH

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