When my son was a senior in high school, we told him he could choose where we went on our family vacation. I never guessed he would pick Paris, France. Otherwise, I would have set a limit of “within the continental United States.”
Knowing nothing about European or Paris travel, I called a travel agent to start planning. I fully intended to keep my word! Then the travel agent told me a trip to Paris for a family of five would cost a minimum of $12,000. YIKES! I humbly broke the news to him — explaining that we just couldn’t afford a trip like that.
Yet, I didn’t want to disappoint him. I don’t like breaking promises to my kids (or anyone, for that matter), so I turned to the internet and researched Paris travel. I learned that with just a bit of creativity we could save on airfare, transportation and lodging — enough to bring the total cost down to $7,000!
That’s right! Our family of five traveled to Paris, France for a week and our whole trip — airfare, lodging, food, attractions and local transportation — cost less than $7,000.
Some friends asked how we did it so we started the blog to share our tips! What’s funny is I still haven’t written specifically about our Paris trip — though the savings tips I learned while planning that trip are found throughout the blog. I promise to write a series on Paris by June, 2017 (There! I made a promise!)
The blog took off! Yay!
I began the blog writing tips on how to compare airfare to find the best rates, ways to save on lodging, when to use public transportation and how to find savings on attractions. I wrote about other budget-stretching vacations we had taken and our methods to save.
And people came to read. Lots of people! In the first eight months (from launch in April through December of 2012), 100,000 people came! How humbling! And exciting!
So, I kept writing… and people kept reading.
Today, I still write about how to save on vacation. To be very clear, though, budget does not (always) mean cheap. For us, budget is knowing how much we want to spend and then finding the best way to allocate that money for the vacation we want. Our Paris vacation was $7,000 — not cheap, for sure, but frugal by European standards. Sometimes we do travel “cheap” — perhaps by using hotel rewards for free stays.
That’s what it’s all about: Doing more with less!
What you’ll find within these pages
Travel budget tips
Whether you want to know how to save for that dream vacation or how to travel for less, our budget-stretching ideas will help you reach your goals! When I feature a destination or attraction, I include money saving tips in my posts. Some of our most popular money saving posts are:
Travel planning tips
We’ve got road trip tips, tech tips, air travel tips and even packing tips to make travel easier. Here are the three most popular travel planning posts (so far):
Winter Travel Tips — stay safe on snow and ice covered roads.
Scavenger Hunt for the car — entertain the kids on the road with our high tech version of this childhood classic.
Destination and attraction reviews
We share comprehensive reviews of destinations and attractions wherever we go, including overviews, hours of operation, costs and money saving tips. Search by state under the Destinations tab or use the search box in the sidebar to find information easily. Some of our favorite reviews are:
Savannah Itinerary for Families — A three-day itinerary perfect for parents and kids! Savannah approved!
Moss Rock Preserve — A great hiking and rock climbing park in Alabama.
Over the years, many people I “met” through this site have become friends — and I love that! I’m honored to share destinations, attractions and savings tips with you each week. Even more, I’m glad that you all are getting to know each other too. It’s exciting to see readers share tips and ideas, adding even more to what I write. I am humbled that you trust me with your questions.
This year, I hope that sense of community grows. How, you ask?
Please sign up to receive updates through our newsletter. It gets sent each month to share the best tips and ideas for the upcoming season OR highlights of the last month’s posts. It’s short, sweet and to the point — a quick reference to help you plan vacations more easily.
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