Wander or Bust is an Elite Daily travel series that follows young women/femme-identifying travelers (and, occasionally, their partners) all over the globe to record their journeys as they experience the thrill of the far-flung and unknown.
They'll track their budgets, where they stay, where they eat and drink, and where they took that amazing Instagram that got them ~maximum exposure~. The internet is full of travel advice, but none from young millennials just like you. Read on for the tips no one else gives you, and when in doubt, get in the car or on the plane.
Here's Kaitlin Cubria's Wander Or Bust guide to Lake Placid, New York.
My Name: Kaitlin Cubria
What I Do: Senior Experiences Editor, Elite Daily
Where I Live: New York, NY
Where I Went: Lake Placid, NY
How Long I Stayed: Four days and three nights
My Spending Style: Somewhat frugal on a daily basis, but willing to go all out when I'm with friends and/or on vacation.
THE GAME PLAN
Where I Got My Recommendations: Friends, plus I Love NY.
Preferred Payment Method: Mostly cash, as many places charged an extra 4% to use a credit card.
Phone Bill: Same as usual, since I was in my home country. Heck, my home state.
WHAT I PACKED
The 10 Most Important Items I Packed...
2. Calpak Silk Travel Set (includes eye mask and neck pillow)
3. Bombas socks
What Shoes I Brought: A pair of flip flops (which could've been provided by the resort, but I didn't know that ahead of time) to wear around the pool/spa, a pair of all-weather sneaker boots, a pair of snow boots, and a pair of booties.
HOW I GOT THERE
Mode of Transport: Rental car
Extra Costs: $52.69 for gas, $42.34 for tolls, $30.50 train to/from Alamo Rent a Car, $11 for parking
Transport Total: $300.09
WHERE I STAYED
Accommodation: Mirror Lake Inn
Location: 77 Mirror Lake Dr, Lake Placid, NY 12946
Price: Starts at $269/night through the rest of the winter season
Extra Costs: Tax, plus tip for hotel staff
Would I Recommend It To Someone Else: Yes, the staff is friendly, there are board games and cookies available at the front desk, as well as afternoon tea, and, most importantly, the room was clean. The lobby and library make for ideal après-ski hangout areas, complete with cozy seating and a fireplace. Fun fact: All the rooms at the resort have a view of Mirror Lake and the Adirondack Mountains.
Accommodation Total: $900+
THE FOOD SITUATION
Breakfast-Lunch Cost: $66.50/day (for two people)
Dinner Cost: $141.20/day (for two people)
Average Total Cost: $207.70/day (for two people)
Tip Situation: 18-20% is pretty standard across the U.S.
Food Situation: I cannot say enough about the food. For starters, I had the best sandwich I've ever eaten, courtesy of the breakfast club, etc. The titular The Breakfast Club (pictured above) is a triple decker with egg, bacon, tomato, spinach, and maple aioli. I'd go back for the maple aioli alone.
Thanks to The View, I had one of the best risottos I've ever had the privilege of tasting. It was topped with black truffles — I don't usually even like truffles, but it was heavenly.
As for a sweet treat, I had the most delectable ice cream at Emma's Lake Placid Creamery. (See below.) The signature maple creme soft serve tastes like the now-defunct Waffle Crisp cereal. Yum.
Favorite Restaurant: the breakfast club, etc.
Location: 2431 Main St, Lake Placid, NY 12946
Price: $68 (for two people)
Honorable Mentions: Salt of the Earth Bistro — the decor, the vibe, the food (particularly the duck)... all of it made for the perfect ambiance.
Food Total: $690
HOW I SPENT MY DAYS
What I Spent A Lot On That Was Totally Worth It: Dinner at The View. Like I said, the black truffle risotto was something else.
What I Spent A Lot of On That Was Totally Not Worth It: ...I can't think of one thing. We didn't spend too much money on anything that wasn't food or lodging.
What I Spent Little Or No Money On That Was Awesome: All the wintry activities, which included snowshoeing and dog sledding.
Favorite Thing I Did, Regardless Of Cost: A couples foot massage at Adirondack Foot Sanctuary. After a long weekend out on the snow and ice, it was so worth it.
Hidden Gem I Found: The Ice Palace at Saranac Lake (pictured above) was only a 15-minute drive from our accommodations, but it wasn't on any of the maps we looked at, since it wasn't near Main Street/Mirror Lake. Fans of Frozen would absolutely love it. Bonus: It's free to the public.
The Photo I Took That Got The Most Attention:
Remember when I mentioned that maple creme soft serve from Emma's Lake Placid Creamery? Well, here's a picture of me after my first lick. I think people could sense how purely happy I was, which is why it garnered more attention than some of the other photos.
Excursions/Extras Total: Dog sledding is $15/person; foot massages at ADK Foot Sanctuary are $45/person, plus $20 tip. $140 total for two people.
Best Lake Placid Hack: Take photos anywhere near Mirror Lake. The sun bouncing off the snow/ice made for perfect lighting, so you won't need a filter.
Advice For Anyone Who's Traveling Alone: Stay near Main Street. Most of the fun activities and hotspots are within walking distance.
Total Trip Cost: $2,030 for two people; $1,015 per person
Worth It? Absolutely! I'm usually not a fan of wintertime, since I can't stand the cold — but the weather was actually amazing. (Mostly 40-something degrees every day with little to no wind.)