Traveling doesn’t have to break the bank, and traveling cheap doesn’t mean you need to miss out on specific tourist attractions or even sacrifice quality when it comes to your personal or family vacation. You don’t have to schlep around a coupon book and try to keep track of which is which and where the closest restaurant with a coupon is compared to where you are. Instead, follow these three tips and you’ll be able to still have your amazing trip, without having to break the bank.
Packing for your trip. Instead of packing all of your favorite clothes and accessories, pack things that can serve multiple uses or be combined with other products. This helps to reduce the amount of things you pack as well as the amount of bags you have to check. Not to mention the weight of your suitcases. The bag reduction costs can cover that extra souvenir you may want to splurge on or that extra upgrade on your meal that you didn’t plan for.
To pack lighter mix and match your clothing. Find 3 shirts and 3 pairs of bottoms (weather appropriate) that match each other. If it’s summer, try a long sleeve shirt, a dress shirt and a t-shirt. Use a pair of shorts, slacks and capris for the bottoms. By having these 6 pieces of clothing that all look amazing together, you now have a total of 9 unique outfits that can meet and match any summer weather or occasion you have to dress for. The same can work with things like your kids pajamas. Take two tops and two bottoms and you should have enough pairs to last almost any trip.
Attractions. Whether you are in New York or Los Angeles, there are ways to save on attractions. If you want theatre or museum tickets, ask someone where the half price tickets booth is. Broadway tickets can be found at the TKTS counter in NYC. Vegas has two centers: one by Caesars Palace and one in the outside shopping mall on the strip. London has two of them at a subway station and above in a storefront on the street. Just ask locals, a doorman or even a security guard where the half price (insert type of attraction) ticket booth is and they will give you directions.
Also check attraction websites that interest you. Many offer free admission certain days of the week or offer reduced admission or special incentives when purchasing online. MOMA in NYC is free to the public on Fridays from 4:00-8:00. The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. is always free. Zoos in some cities are free with a donation recommended.
Food and drink. Unless you must dine at a particular restaurant, you can always find awesome deals on food, even at high end restaurants. If you’re going to a show, call ahead and ask what restaurants they partner with if you show your ticket stub. Ask your hotel if they partner with restaurants that offer a discount on dinner. Usually you just have to show your room key for the discount. One other option is to look at a site like Groupon and see if they have any offers for restaurants in the city you are visiting. By doing these three things you’ll have a great shot at eating well without having to pay full price for any of it.
Taking a luxury or dream trip doesn’t have to break the bank. You can still attend a Broadway show, eat in a four or five star restaurant and save money by packing smart. With a bit of planning and calling ahead of time you’ll quickly be on your way to taking an expensive trip and making it affordable.
What is your best tip to stretch your travel budget? Share your favorite tip by leaving a comment or on Facebook!