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Eugene Weekly : Winter Getaways : 10.27.11

Oakland or Bust

The cheapest way to get to the Bay  

By Dante Zuñiga-West

Feeling landlocked? Rain got you down? Nasty break-up? Stress? It’s probably time for a vacation, but most likely there isn’t too much time for you to work with. Then there’s the whole money thing — if you are the 99 percent then a brief jaunt to the Bahamas or Martha’s Vineyard isn’t in your price range right now. Need to GTFO? Here’s how you can do it, cheap.

We’re talking total change of scenery here, rural to urban — and when it comes to West Coast urban adventures on a low budget, the San Francisco Bay Area is the place to be. You simply can’t beat the food, the nightlife or the lifestyle down there. Plan at least two weeks in advance. The more you plan now, the harder you can party later using the money you saved for Bacchanalian purposes (or bail). 

The best way to hunt for the cheapest of cheap flights is to hop on the Allegiant Air website (www.allegiantair.com). From Eugene you can get a nonstop flight into Oakland, and there are tons of flights leaving from the Eugene airport to O-town every weekend. Since penny-pinching is the plan, make sure to click on the “flight only” button so as to avoid Allegiant’s attempt to push hotels and rental cars on you. You don’t need those anyway; the Bay Area has excellent public transportation (BART) and you probably know somebody who knows somebody whose place you can crash at (if not, there is always www.couchsurfing.org). 

With Eugene as your departure city and Oakland as your destination, start cruising the calendar; the discount flights will be highlighted in yellow and there are quite a few steals. You will get the most bang for your buck if you can get away for a week, so just ask your boss if he/she would hire you back in about six days or so. Snagging a flight now would also be a good idea because of the massive holiday discounts.

 It is not hard to find a departing flight that will cost you something like $32.99. It can get tricky trying to book your return flight but it is possible to find them for just as cheap. Think about that — a trip to the Bay for about 68 bucks. After taxes rob you it will be about one hundred dollars, but still that isn’t too bad. Keep in mind that these Allegiant flights only run on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. 

Like any touring musician will tell you, less is always more when it comes to luggage, especially since it is cheaper to not pay baggage fees. You don’t need more than a backpack, and you can bring a pretty decent-sized bag as a carry on. Keep in mind also that flights have been known to get canceled or run late. Flying cheap can come with a price!

Choice spots to check out in the Bay once you make it there are Oakland’s historic Fruitvale neighborhood and San Francisco’s coolest sake bar, the Noc Noc.

 

Winter  Getaways

Aquarium!

Sleep with scary sea critters 

$400 and a Credit Card

Canada on the cheap

Brewtrips

Forget wineries; tour beers  

Oakland or Bust

The cheapest way to get to the Bay  

Get Your Snow On

Where to get away this winter