Traveling can be very expensive, that’s why many people only take one or two trips a year. I’ve been thinking about getting an iPad for a while now and I just thought “wow, instead of spending two nights at a $200 hotel I could get the iPad 2 for $400!” Anyways, here’s a few ways to get the most bang for your buck without taking away from the over all experience:
I am a huge fan of CityPASS, which includes admission to the must-see attractions in 11 top destinations at huge savings. CityPASS delivers wonderful weekends, foolproof vacations and dramatic savings of up to 50% off combined attraction admission prices. Plus, CityPASS holders save time, skipping most ticket lines. CityPASS is valid for nine days, starting with the day of first use (14 days in Southern California). For more information and to purchase CityPASS products visit citypass.com.
I always like to look online at sites like Restaurant.com to see if I can find or buy coupons. Be sure to ask everywhere you go if the have AAA discounts. Do your homework and a lot of times you can save a lot of time and money by buying your attraction tickets online, I know this is true many many themeparks such as SeaWorld and Six Flags.
Get a hybrid car and take a road trip. One or two people might actually come out better by flying, not mention save the wear and tear on their car. But a family of four might come out better driving, the kids might also enjoy stopping at the little tourist traps along the way, sometimes it’s fun to plan the trip as you go and not be on any type of schedule. You can save on air travel by buying your tickets in advance, always purchase your tickets at least three weeks in advance, prices can go up $100s of dollars within a few days so keep a close eye on the prices. I prefer to get my tickets from Kayak. Bus travel often turns out to be the cheapest means of transportation so consider it too. I have never been a big fan of rail travel because it is expensive and often inconvenient.
I’ve always liked getting souvenirs from my favorite destinations and getting a few goodies for friends and family too, which can really add up in the long run. But look away from Times Square or Mainstreet USA, go a few blocks away from the action and you will probably find discount stores with the same products at a better price. On my last visit to SeaWorld Orlando I discovered a discount store at the back of the park and really lucked up. The same happened in Vegas, I found a store off the strip in downtown Las Vegas beside the Freemont Street Experience and grabbed a few incredible buys! Leave some extra space in that suitcase for souvenirs!
While it may be quite tempting to stay in an urban oasis in the heart of a big city or a super cute bed and breakfast with all the comforts of home, it may be putting a major dent in your budget and knocking you out of other great, more rewarding experiences. You wouldn’t even consider sleeping in your car and a camper/RV uses too much gas and requires too much upkeep, so what’s left? Many state and national parks have campsites that you can rent for next to nothing. You can check with a large university to see if they have any dormitorys available for rent, but that only works in the summer months. Hostels are slowly cathing on in the US but they are generally pretty hard to find.
Consider traveling somewhere closer and somewhere that would be less expensive. Las Vegas and Washington DC are often great destinations for budget travelers because the offer a wide variety of free attractions.