How does anyone afford to travel & eat?!

I suppose this isn't strictly a food question, but I felt like I had to ask: How does ANYONE afford to travel? My boyfriend and I are trying to plan a trip to Birmingham, AL. I don't understand how anyone can afford the airfare, the hotel and the good eats! Do any of you have any tricks or cheats in terms of NOT putting yourself in debt just to have a weeklong getaway? It seems as if my boyfriend and I will have to stay in a roach motel in order to be able to eat good food on our trip ... or there's the option of staying in a nice place and eating off the dollar menu at McDonalds for a week.

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