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Two wedding invites for May 28? The verdict: Indiana, because it can be done on one tank.

By Valerie Moloney

In the battle for Memorial Day weekend 2011, it was the classic fly-versus-drive scenario: my third cousin’s wedding in Columbus, Ga., or a good friend’s wedding in Hobart, Ind.

I love my cousin, but economics won.

A prized weekend for barbecues, family reunions and all-around vegging, rarely does it coincide with trips down the aisle. I’ve met brides who wanted to be married around the holidays, even on New Year’s Eve, but no one in my circle ever booked the official start to summer.

Between lodging, car rental and flight, the Chicago-to-Columbus itinerary — what would have amounted to a day and a half’s worth of travel — would have cost around $900. And that’s just for me. The hotel would not allow my cousin to block a set of rooms at a discounted rate due to the timing of the event.

I’m happy to pay $50 for a tank of gas and $100 for an Indiana hotel – especially since my husband and two daughters were invited to the Indiana wedding, which will be feted on an apple orchard. (I realize that this makes me look stingy, but tell me that other folks are in the same boat.)

How have gas prices affected your Memorial Day plans?

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Valerie Moloney is a writer for Orbitz who was born in the Philippines, lived in Morocco and married a native Irishman. She now covers hotels around the world and contributes to the Orbitz and CheapTickets blogs.

Tagged: Family

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If you want to travel this Memorial Day weekend, CheapTickets has a deal for you. First, check out our Memorial Day Cheapometer for 2008 — a list of some popular travel destinations and alternatives where you can stretch your dollar with cheap flights and cheap hotels. Whether you want to travel to the beach, the mountains or the big city, CheapTickets’ alternative summer travel destinations can save you as much as 60 percent!

Then take advantage of the CheapTickets Summer Sale, where you can save $50 on qualifying vacation packages of three nights or more. Just book your trip by July 6 and travel by August 31.

The Cheapometer reveals the average daily rates for top travel destinations and CheapTickets’ alternative picks.

Memorial Day Cheapometer for 2008
Destination & average daily rate
Sedona, AZ – $208.64 Tuscon, AZ – $80.17 (62% savings)
Jackson Hole, WY – $164.94 Denver, CO – $76.23 (52% savings)
Los Angeles, CA – $148 Orange County, CA – $83 (45% savings)
New York City – $207.58 Chicago, IL – $124.29 (40% savings)
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – $116.32 Mazatlan, Mexico – $69.24 (40% savings)
Myrtle Beach, SC – $154.61 Virginia Beach, VA – $122.80 (20% savings)

CheapTickets resources:

Tagged: City, Flights, FREE!, Limited-time Offers, Vacation packages