Tourism is one of the many luxuries in life, one that can also be expensive and difficult to plan in a weak economy. By correctly budgeting and finding plenty of discounts and promotions, planning an enjoyable vacation can not only be affordable, but something that becomes more frequent.
1. Book Discounted Rooms
Avoid booking rooms on the weekends, which can hike up the cost of rooms by almost double. Traveling during off-seasons and on weekdays will ensure a substantially lower price. By also spending more than one night at a particular hotel, discounted rates are more available.
Use websites like Hotwire.com and Expedia.com to compare the lowest rates, while booking the hotel directly instead of through the website to avoid extra fees. When calling the hotel, ask if AAA membership discounts are available, which can deduct an extra 20 percent off of the rate.
2. Dining on a Dime
Eating out can work out to be 30 percent of the trip’s budget, making it difficult to take a longer trip. Visit sites like Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com to find half-off or two-for-one deals at restaurants in the area you’re visiting. You can also call around and see what restaurants offer Happy Hour or Taco Tuesdays, which can take 50 percent off of the bill. If it’s your birthday, don’t be shy of taking advantage of free deserts, coffee, and even meals by signing up on the restaurant’s website beforehand.
Use cash for food to ensure you stay within budget, and avoid a money transfer that can rack up the cost of the trip.
3. Avoid Costly Transportation
When getting around in the city you’re touring, avoid resorting to costly taxi cabs or rental cars and walk as much as possible, which will also allow you to see the sites easier. Rent bikes, take the metro, and use the local bus to navigate the city without having to spend hundreds of extra dollars. This will ensure you get a feel for the city more and can even meet some of the locals.
4. Work Your Schedule Around Discounted Activities
Many museums and attractions offer free admission on Tuesdays, while also offering half-off deals on slow days. Schedule your trip around the deals and enjoy free activities that include visiting the beach, local parks, and attending dollar movie theaters.
By making reservations ahead of time, prices are often cheaper and will ensure the trip is better planned