We had no idea where our next Road Trip on a Budget would be.  It was time to scope out Groupon Getaways.  The element of surprise is my favorite aspect of shopping for travel deals.  You can find yourself traveling somewhere you never would have considered without a smokin’ hot deal dangling in your face.

A coupon popped out of the blue from Ticaboo.  Ticaboo, Utah that is.   Ever heard of it?  Rhymes with peekaboo.  The word is not  recognized in my text editor which means I had to fight with the auto replace function that wants to change it to another strange word.

We discovered that Ticaboo, Utah is close to Lake Powell which is located on the border of Arizona and Utah and is run by the National Park Service.   Huge rock cliffs border the lake and it looks like it could be featured in a scene from “Planet of the Apes.”

Destination confirmed.

This particular Road Trip on a Budget would be using the less structured limbo strategy with a focus of “how low can you go?” Here’s how the trip unravelled…


The Groupon deal offered two nights for $109.00 at the Ticaboo Resort plus a $20 resort credit that could go towards meals at the restaurant or a Razr ATV rental.

The hotel was lovely and very few people were there.  Hats off to Ron the maintenance guy who helped us out in many ways.  Our only complaint was that we could not use the pool because it would not be opening for a few more days.


We packed a couple of sandwiches and some chicken strips that were leftovers from the previous night.  The cooler situation became a bit gnarly as the ice melted and soaked the sandwiches.  Ice packs are on the list for the next adventure 😉 We resorted to eating out a few times for a total of approximately $100.


We spent $75.00 on gas for my Honda Civic.


On our way to Ticaboo we passed a sign for Goblin Valley State Park where a scene from Galaxy Quest was filmed.  How could we resist? We proudly sported  our State Park Annual Pass and didn’t have to pay the $10.00 entrance fee.  A few months ago, we purchased the $75.00 pass to ‘all you can visit’ State Park wilderness nirvana and thus far we had saved $50 on park entrance fees.

Check out how wild Goblin Valley State Park appears…

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The drive to Lake Powell was about 15 minutes.   It just so happened that the day we arrived was one of the few National Park Free Days, which saved us the $15.00 entrance fee.  The next day we were able to sport our National Park annual pass, which cost $80.

So now for the major temptation.  A couple of brand new Razr ATV’s were parked at the hotel entrance…

We are super frugal in general so we haven’t spent money on a high-dollar activity since we went horseback riding in Moab, Utah three years ago.  It was time to splurge.  We negotiated the rental price for 24 hours from $399 down to $300 for an off-season discount.


We had never driven a Razr ATV before.  We started out driving like grannies, but by the next day we were tackling hills and turns like seasoned amateurs.  Check it out…  There were NO other vehicles in our expansive wilderness playground.  A dream we never had came true.  We had a blast.

Overall, our travel costs came out to be $584.    The ATV rental took us way over our normal spending.  Yowser!  The good news is that it was a great trip with minimal spending on basic travel costs…had we never laid eyes on the ATV 😉  Now it’s time to buckle in and save again.

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