Well, as Chicks with Ticks, we travel a bit sometimes. It’s not as glamorous as one might imagine. We are usually on a budget and we love adventure so, put those two things together (cheap and stupid) and you get – CHEAP MOTELS and LOCAL FOOD.

This can work out to be amazing or really horrific. We have found some little gems in south and north Florida in the way of food and lodging. In fact, here are some little known tidbits for the budget traveler that just might get you started on the road to cheap crazy adventure….

  • If the motel in High Springs has the name of a car in it – STAY THERE! I know, you are saying, “Jacque, that place looks weird”. I don’t care what you see – the Cadillac Motel is the bomb and the rooms are huge. It’s frequented by divers and the owners are amazing. Best prices – very sparse but roomy lodging – good service.
  • If the restaurant looks like a family owned convenience store in Arcadia – EAT THERE!! Best Mexican food in town! I would drive there right now to eat if it weren’t 10am!
  • If you spend a lot of time in Arcadia, like we love to do, then you will need another choice for dining – if the name sounds like a cheap version of surf and turf (fish and cow) EAT THERE….best escargo I have had in my life and portions are HUGE.
  • If you need to stay in the rather risky town of Arcadia for a while (like a whole week) – Knights Inn – STAY THERE….heated pool, service is amazing, continental breakfast, wifi, and if you get locked on a tomato farm until 10pm (another story altogether) they will order your pizza so it’s ready when you get there.
  • I don’t care where you are – Hardees has the best burgers….Thickburgers keep you going all day!
  • High Springs downtown has a sweet fancy local restaurant I highly recommend for your “good” meals. All others should be eaten next door to the Cadillac Motel – the shiny diner is delicious and portions are huge – slow service but who cares!
  • It’s hard to be away from your family when out-of-town. It does soften the blow to have a safe, friendly place to stay. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have a good, cheap source of beer close by either. So look for Kangaroos….beer prices are great!

    Chicks go Anywhere!

  • If, and don’t think this won’t happen to you, you have to stay out-of-town unexpectedly and you have NO CLOTHES THAT ARE DRY, CVS sells underwear – trust me on this – and you know you have a good field partner when she will buy them for you while you are wrapped in a motel bed spread naked!
  • Did I mention that you will need some basics? A deck of cards is invaluable. You never know when a poker game will get you some change or solitaire will keep you quiet so your partner can do her crazy research in the same motel room.
  • If possible – CAMP!! That’s right, do it. We have stayed at some state parks and Myakka River is the bomb. They have nice cabins that hold many and cost little. Full kitchens and bathrooms make your stay more comfortable. If you can’t get a cabin – tent camp for a day or so if you can. Trust me – this will be worth the story. We have done it and it was both amazing and horrifying….PREGNANT FIELD PARTNERS HAVE NO TOLERANCE FOR TENT CAMPING SOMETIMES!! Also, when possible, bring your family and extend the trip.

Be adventurous but don’t be stupid. Make sure you put as much recon into where you stay and eat as you do your sites or trips. It is fun to find something unique and cost-effective. Character in lodging makes it more exciting and you will probably have a story or two. We will be going out-of-town soon for a week and I look forward to the weird places we will get to see!

Hanging out at the Cadillac Motel!