A Last Minute Trip to Miami | Travel Blog + Tips for a Budget-Friendly Weekend

Hi loves! My boyfriend and I just got back to snowy NJ from a nice, long weekend in Miami. We decided to do a little trip instead of gifts for Christmas this year and we landed on Miami since we got an amazing deal on flights! This post is a little bit of a travel blog and some tips we used to spend under $500 each for all transportation, accommodations and food/drink! I hadn't been to Miami since I was 14, so this was my first time as an ~adult~ and I certainly fell in love.

First off, we managed to snag our round trip tickets for $196. Yes, 2 round trip tickets for under $200. We flew United and we found the flights using Google.com/flights which I really enjoy! If you don't have someone specific you want to go or set in stone dates, it's a great tool to help show you the best times to travel where based on flight prices!

We also decided to stay at an AirBnB instead of a hotel to keep costs low. We're going on a Eurotrip in 40ish days, so we didn't want to splurge too much on this trip, but we also wanted to enjoy it! We found this cute studio apartment one block from South Beach and it was perfect! It was perfectly priced (we both noted it was nicer than we imagined since it was so inexpensive) and we would certainly stay here again! I highly recommend this apartment for any couple looking to head to Miami.

We were only in Miami for about 55 hours, and about half of those it was raining. We made the best of our rainy day by finding cute bars and restaurants to hangout at that had covered outdoor seating. It was certainly colder than I had anticipated, but most of the places on Ocean Drive had heating lamps and fire places making it easy to still enjoy the outdoors despite the weather.

On our one nice day though, we took full advantage! I whipped out my Canon Rebel T6i and went to town on taking photos of the beautiful scenery (and I'm really proud of these photos lol.)

After a quick photo-sesh and breakfast on the beach, we headed over to the Wynwood Walls, which is about a 20 min drive from South Beach. This is an area where all of the buildings are graffitied from amazing artists and it's truly captivating!

There's a park-type area with a bunch of beautiful (and instaworthy) murals, but all of the surrounding buildings and businesses are fully decked out in unique art. It's so vibrant and colorful, it was hard to not spend the whole day here! It's free to get in and they have a little cafe/restaurant where you can grab some food if you work up an appetite.

The last thing I wanted to quickly touch on is food! We tried to stay conscious of how much we were spending since some of the places in South Beach can be very overpriced (like worse than NYC.) We found a few places that we wanted to recommend below! Note-- These are more "bang for your buck" recos, I wouldn't say any of these are 5 star quality (but my sandwich from number one was AMAZING)

(Apologies, I'm short on photos here since I didn't take my camera out when it was raining :/)

  • La Sandwicherie - A delicious little sandwich shop located right outside the apartment we stayed in. This place is packed all hours of the day and is perfect for a quick meal. I love their fully-outdoor seating/ordering situation so much. Sandwiches are all around or under $10, and they're pretty big and filling! You need to try their "magic sauce"--It's delish!
  • The Carlyle - This is your typical restaurant-attached-to-hotel you'll see over and over on Ocean Drive, but what caught us was their $6.95 breakfast special. This included anything from an egg white omelet to pancakes and french toast, so you're bound to find something you'll enjoy. I got an omelet and I was pretty satisfied! I'd say their breakfast is NJ diner-qaulity and you can't beat the price if you're trying to save a bit.
  • The Sugar Factory - Okay, I really did not want to eat here since we have them in NYC and extremely overpriced, but when they told us the whole menu was 50% off for lunch, we said f*** it. It was pretty good and we both left full so we definitely recommend if you can get the discount.
It honestly seemed like every restaurant on Ocean Drive was trying to one-up the next with discounts and 2-for-1 drinks, so I would just shop around and check out menus and pick based on preferences :)

We ended our trip off with a happy hour at Monty's Sunset. Since our last night was a Monday, we were able to take advantage of their $5 well drink and $3.50 beer specials they have Monday-Friday. The bar is so cute and summery and located right on the marina. We saw a bunch of cruise ships leave port, enjoyed some pretty strong drinks with good vibes and saw a beautiful sunset. If you know anything about me, you know I LOVE watching sunrises and sunsets, so this was the perfect way to end our trip. I will 100% be back here next time I find myself in Miami :)

We had such a great time even with the weather issues. It's so nice to take a few days off of work and fully disconnect. I will definitely head back to Miami in the future and am already looking forward to visiting some new favorite places again.

I'd love to hear your travel spending tips and how you afford to travel! I certainly have caught the travel bug and already want to plan something for the latter half of the year once we're home from Europe.

Thank you so much for reading! <3

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