Every person deserves a little rest and relaxation from time to time but sometimes it can be hard to just drop everything and go when you have limited disposable income. Your mind may want to visit the ancient ruins of the Parthenon in Greece but your budget may tell you that the Parthenon replica in Nashville, Tennessee is just as good…and that’s okay. With a little planning you can drop a few dollar signs off of your total travel expenses.
This place is awesome…I give it 4 stars. People have become very eager to feed you their thoughts and ideas on just about any and everything these days. Reviews were created for you to get a somewhat non bias, critique on a place that you are thinking about visiting. Reviews are great for safety; they can make you consider a destination or they can deter you completely. Look at these reviews when traveling:
- Hotel reviews are definitely a must read when traveling out of state because you may not be too familiar with the surrounding counties and cities of a location. Sometimes the price of a room can look enticing, but if it is in an unsafe location it’s not worth the stress and anxiety of constantly looking over your shoulder
- Restaurant reviews can give you an idea on the overall price range of a restaurant. They can also let you know if the food is worth spending the money on.
- Destination reviews can let you know if a hike is worth taking, or if a museum is worth paying for. Destination reviews can be anywhere like at the mall, historic sites, parks, tours, amusement parks, concert, comedy shows, paint parties etc.
Not just donuts and coffee anymore. When deciding on which hotel to stay in I always filter my search results to include a hotel that has FREE continental breakfast included. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I try not to miss it. Hotels are always looking for new ways to attract more business, so many hotels have upgraded their continental breakfast selections. We have stayed in a lot of modest hotels with an exquisite spread of items to choose from that have made our tummies very happy.
Why pay full price when you don’t have to? The girls and I take at least one “girl’s trip” every year and we have learned that it is very cost efficient to share cost. We split the cost of hotels, parking, Uber rides, car rentals, etc. If you are traveling with friends or family members I would definitely recommend splitting cost to make the expense easier on your wallet. It is important to have a talk with everyone before the trip so that you know who is paying for what. If you don’t carry cash there are many different apps that allow you to split cost evenly, apps like:
- Google Pay
- Cash App
- Settle up
We appreciate your service. This one is a good one, I learned this tip while listening to a family member iron out all of the expenses for a family reunion. If you have anyone in your family that is in or has been in any branch of the military you can save a lot of $$$$ using their discounts. Military discounts can save money on countless things like hotels, car rentals, plane tickets, amusement parks, clothing, national parks, museums, boat rentals and even restaurants.
There are also discounts that apply to other professions like bank teller, teachers, those who work in healthcare; so talk with your employer to see if there are any “perks at work”.
Use Travel & Coupon Apps
When in doubt, use a travel agent. A travel agents job is to find you a nice vacation for a reasonable amount of money. Travel agents can book flights, hotels, car rentals, attractions, and cruises. They can set up your whole itinerary if you are not good at planning and will do it in the budget that you set for them. Some travel agencies offer payment plans so that you can pay for your vacation little by little throughout the year.
Another great way to save is through coupon apps like groupon, retailmenot, and livingsocial.com; these are appreciable resources for saving money while traveling. They let you put in the city you are visiting to pull up exciting deals on hotels, restaurants, and things to do around the town.
Gas Efficient Vehicle
Don’t rent the biggest, flashiest car on the lot. Renting a car can put a damper on your overall budget but if you have to rent a car for your traveling excursion, rent a car that is efficient on miles per gallon. You need a car that is going to get you there safely and not have you stopping at the gas station every 270 miles or so. One tip that I have learned avoid renting a car from the airport if possible, the markup is ridiculous.
- If you are a AAA member you can receive a discount on car rentals.
- Some car insurance companies like Allstate have discounted perks for car rental if you are registered.
- Websites like retailmenot.com can provide you with coupon codes.
- Another way to save on car rentals is to bundle your flight, hotel and car rental in one package with a traveling website like orbitz.com.
Frequent Flyer Miles and Reward Points
Away we go!!! Use those frequent flyer miles that you have been racking up to save on flights. Credit cards have evolved to include more miles and to reduce “blackout dates”. If you have them use them, especially when you’re trying to pinch pennies. This would also be a good time to cash in those reward points on any apps that you have accumulated them on. For instance, Southwest offers rapid rewards that allows you to use flights you have taken to save on future flights.
Free Stuff to Do
Point me in the direction of the free stuff. Remember you are on a budget and you need a variety of free activities to make your trip memorable. When the goal is to try not to spend, we achieve that by looking for cool happenings around in your destination.
- Ask the local residents for their opinion on free events happening around the town.
- Use websites and apps like TripAdvisor and Meetup
- Look for festivals, competitions, events and jamborees
- Peruse through Events section of Facebook
Parks, Hikes, & Trails
Amazing Scenic Views. National parks, hikes and trails are a great way to explore the natural beauty of your traveling destination. Most parks and trails are absolutely free and some may cost a small fee for park fees and/or parking. Nature trails are an exciting way to scout out birds, bugs, landscape and beautiful scenery. I personally love hikes that end with waterfalls or a remarkable scenic view that allow you to bask in the ambiance of nature’s beauty.
Show me the way to the Beach! I personally love relaxing on the beach under a big umbrella, listening to the waves softly clash against the shore for hours on end. It is a perfect way for you to let the kids run off energy and enjoy a nice day without spending a penny. Whenever I am strapped for cash I look for wherever the closest beach is and go. You don’t have to worry about spending all of your money on cheesy tourist attractions that only take up 30 minutes of your time. Beaches are great time wasters; you can have a picnic, play games, build sandcastles, play volleyball, or just kick back and have a cool, refreshing adult beverage.
Oooohhh…what’s over there? Museums are a great way to kill time and fill out your daily events. They are an easy way to immerse yourself in rich culture, and history. Museums help broaden your knowledge and perspective on past and current events. Most museums are non profit and do not charge admission, while others may charge a small rate per person to gaze around. Many banks and visiting centers offer free admission to these lovely educational attractions. So before you go check the perks with your financial institution for any discounts applicable for your next traveling destination.
Once we get on the road, I’m not stopping. You can easily buy snacks at a local convenience store but the price of one candy bar can be as much as ten of them in the grocery store. Healthier options are often hard to find when you are on the road as well. Packing a small cooler of snacks and beverages can ensure that you and your passengers are happy as they travel with you.
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