When planning a trip, first choose your destination. It helps if you are flexible on dates or locations. You can look online for free travel brochures.
Once you have an idea where you’d like to visit, go to Groupon and signup for that city’s deals. We were recently able to get many deals for our trip to Savannah such as discount photography, half off smoothies, discounts to Paula Deen’s Store, and more. I’ve also seen most of the cities offer some sort of hotel deal. You also can use this to find great deals on restaurants and other attractions in your destination area. There is even an entire Groupon Getaways section. Browse through that and see all the places you could visit on a discount! These deals change weekly, so check back often.
Another place to check out for hotel deals is Priceline.com. This can help you find good rates without having to call a million different hotels. If you do decide to book through Priceline.com, be sure and click through Ebates so you can earn cashback on your trip.
Consider staying at a cabin in a State Park. We have done this many times when we travel. It’s cheaper plus they usually have good playgrounds for the kids to unwind.
Now that you’ve figured out where you will be staying, time to think about the next necessity- Food! This doesn’t have to be much of a worry if you plan in advance. Our family typically brings our food along with us, allowing to dine out maybe once or twice on a vacation. It’s much cheaper for us since our kids are very hearty eaters. Some ways to frugally dine out while traveling is to take along gift certificates. You can purchase some from Restaurant.com or also from Groupon. Also consider doing a search for daily deals in that city. There are TONS of daily deal sites where you can purchase deals. Also, I frequently talk on my blog about joining survey sites and Swagbucks. That’s where these sites will come in handy! On some of them, you have the option to cash out for a prepaid visa card or for gift cards to restaurants such as Long Horn, Chili’s, and Macaroni Grill to name a few. A few weeks before you take your trip, cash out so you receive your prize in time.
I mentioned using Groupon above, but there are also other ways to save on attractions during your vacation. Before you leave home, do a search for coupons, discount codes, etc on the attractions that you plan to visit. Check out their facebook page to see if they are running any promotions. Call and ask them if they have any coupons out and how you can obtain one. You may be surprised at all the options out there to make your visit cheaper.
These are just some ideas that I thought up about how we make our vacations more affordable. Do you have any ideas that I’ve missed? Leave a comment and tell me what your tips are for dealing with vacations on a budget.