Your Thrifty Guide around Napa Valley

Napa Valley, a vast, lush green, picturesque travel destination in the California region housing premiere and world-class wines are being flocked not only by wine lovers all over the world, but also of tourists from all walks of life. This is due to the place’s highly recommended restaurants offering delectable foods, hotels of immensely great accommodation, a variety of activities to experience, and the personal touch of nature, which is a breath of fresh air from the usual urban destinations.

Labeled as California’s Wine County, the acres of wine yards, bordered in between two magnificent mountain ranges, are surprisingly not the state’s largest wine-generating region. Napa Valley is known as such not so much because of quantity but more on the exceptional quality of their wine. With all these information, a tourist is naturally expected to cash out a lot of money for this trip to happen, but knowing these practical tips will make you enjoy the trip without the need to splurge too much.

Let’s start, of course, with the pride of Napa Valley – Wines.

Wine Tasting
1. Wine tasting done at wineries around the area is usually for $15 to $20 per winery.
2. For cheaper tastings, you may avail of a Napa Downtown Card for $30 to get the chance to taste different wines from 12 different tasting rooms instead of wineries. All these at your own pace – no need to hurry through all of them in just a day. Five rooms a day is ideal. The card can be purchased at the Napa Valley Visitor Center where you can also ask for current, additional discounts, promos, and specials, or you may just call: 707 257 0322 in advance.
3. For those interested in the process of wine making, they may avail free educational tours offered by particular wineries such as Frog’s Leap and Robert Mondavi Winery with a $20-$25 tasting fee.

Accommodation & LodgingNapa Valley
1. If you’re a solo traveler, one way to save money for lodging is to seek help from Couchsurfing.com, a website that basically connects the locals with the travelers who are in need of a place to stay and don’t mind becoming an honorary member of another family for a while. On the bright side, you get the chance to witness what it is like to live there as a local, personally experiencing their rich culture, and even bag handy, insider tips to keep in mind when roaming around Napa Valley if you have a tight budget.

Bear in mind though that reservations must be made in advance since they always receive a lot of requests and there are only limited hosts to cater the tourists.

2. You may also check out Airbnb.com which is another search engine specifically made for tourists looking for places to stay based on their location, within the range of their budget (starting from as low as $10), and the type of room (whether you plan to rent the entire place, a private, or shared room) they wish to avail.

3. There are also a number of motels and inns that have prices that range from as low as $79 to not more than $200 such as the El Bonita Motel, Flamingo Conference Resort & Spa, Calistoga Inn Restaurant & Brewery, and the Jack London Lodge.

Filling in your Hungry Stomach
1. If you’re really aiming for budget-friendly food purchases, stick with sandwich shops or markets like the Oxbow Public Market for quick meals where you can also buy products that you can bring home with you for your family and friends. For fresh breads, you may check out Model Bakery located just behind the Oxbow market. Food trucks like AdHoc and burger stand like Gott & Roadside also offer fried chicken meals and burgers for cheaper prices.

2. And what better way to save money on food than to bring your own and cook it where you’ll be staying.
Transportation
1. The cheapest mode of transportation around Napa Valley is with the use of the bike. Bike rentals cost around $45/day, and you can rent them in Calistoga Bikeshop and Napa Valley Bike Tour.

2. Other than bikes, you may also rely on Uber as it is known to operate around the world and charges $14 per 15 minutes of a 5-mile drive.

3. If you have your own car, it would be better to designate someone to do the driving for you. If not, you can settle for hired car services that cost from $35/hr. to as much as $115/hr.