August 8th, 2014
Summer vacation is almost over, and you’re ready to make the most of what’s left. So you’ve decided to take the family to Disneyworld or the Grand Canyon, but you’re worried about spending so much money on the food and activities. Worry no more!
Here’s some tips on how to shave off a lot of the extra expenses in order to have a great time. You can even use these tips for your staycation and see places you didn’t know were in your neighborhood.
You can also use these tips for honeymoons or planning for your next vacation.
Look into buying your tickets in advance, or on the internet. Many parks offer discounts over purchasing at the gates.
Some theme parks have what they call a Cooler Pass where you can bring in your own food. This saves a lot of money as well as frustration since you won’t be standing in long lines for their food which is often not very good. Even if you can’t, consider keeping a cooler in the car and have a family break at lunch time, get your hand stamped, and go eat outside of the park. Most places provide picnic tables, or at least have some trees for shade. This gives you a chance to see how everyone’s doing, reapply sunscreen, and get a few hugs in.
Social coupons like Living Social or Groupon can have really good deals on attractions, events and restaurants. You may also be able to get deals through the local newspaper, so check it out online before you go. Also, if you sign up ahead of time, you can learn about new places and research where they are in comparison to where you’re staying. No matter how great the price, if it’s a long drive, it may not be worth the deal.
Also look into packages from places like Jetsetter. You might find some great destinations for a very affordable price.
If you’re staying in a hotel, they will probably have racks of coupons for local restaurants and activities. The business gives a small percentage back to the hotel usually, so take these recommendations with a grain of salt. Do your research with local review sites.
When you book your hotel, see if they have packages that include breakfast.
Find the local chamber of commerce. They often have maps with their businesses as well as discount coupons. Like the hotel coupons, you’ll want to do a bit of research to see if it’s what’s best for you. You could also call the local chamber ahead of time and have them send you a packet of information. Some towns have special tourism departments that also can send coupons.
From USA Today:
Museum admissions can add up quickly, even if you’re only seeing a handful of exhibits during your weekend getaway. Ease the pain with an admission-ticket bundle like CityPass, which conveniently packages discounted admissions to your destination’s top attractions. CityPass Seattle, for example, includes admission to six big-city draws, including the Space Needle and the Seattle Aquarium, for $69 (if you paid a la carte, you’d be forking over $128). Plus, you can buy your pass in advance, saving precious time by skipping busy ticketing lines.
Also look into using apps like Yelp and FourSquare. When you check in, they often have deals or coupons. You can research Yelp online to see who is offering a deal before you go as well. From MSN Money:
12. Use discount food apps. If you do dine out, use a restaurant-locating app to find special deals and the best prices. Some of my favorite apps include:
Split your meal in half, ask the waiter to box it up and use the hotel’s mini fridge for storage. That way, you get two meals for the price of one.
16. Go sightseeing for free. Popular tourist attractions can be pricey, but there are plenty of places you can tour for free. For example, admission to popular plantation homes in Louisiana can cost up to $18 per adult, but the National Park Service hosts free walking tours of the French Quarter in New Orleans.
Planning ahead what you do may save you much money. It will be very useful for figuring out your budget which saves you money overall. Finally, always read the fine print before you buy or use any coupon.
If a tourist walked up to you and asked where was the best place to eat, where would you send them?