A few days ago, I gave you some ideas on how to save money when planning your vacation by taking advantage of discounts, ticket sales and lodgings!
Today, I am going to give you some tips and tricks to save on food, tours and much more…

One way of saving is to travel to places close to our homes. Sometimes you can find small beaches, cabins or resorts that you may not know about and they may be nearby! This can be a fun experience and we can take advantage of much cheaper prices than an airline ticket!

Be a little flexible with travel days! Sometimes it is much cheaper to leave a day before (or after) instead of the planned date. Decide if spending an extra day is really worth it! This makes a real difference especially around the holidays.

Many places of interest like theme parks, museums and other locations offer discounts to the elderly, children or students. With this in mind, don’t forget to wear your identification and membership cards (for example, AAA cards).
There are also group discounts in lots of places! To take advantage of these offers, coordinate with friends traveling to the same destinations. You can even schedule it so you don’t feel obligated to go everywhere together!

Always do research! Use the power of the internet at your fingertips! There are many tourist spots around the world that are really not worth visiting and end up being too expensive! Look for those interesting places you really would like to visit! You can enter the itinerary you have programmed online and check things out.

Once online, you can also check the travel destination you programmed and search for special promotions, restaurants offers, etc. Search for coupons to attractions like zoos, theme parks and museums!

If you are a member of Costco, you can find available discounts to fun theme parks! There are also more options on the web than at the store!

In addition, download phone apps to help you save money, including travel guides, maps, and even tips on where to visit and where to avoid at each location! You can also check if a restaurant is too expensive or suitable to your budget!

Get a membership to museums that apply in multiple cities. If you travel to several US cities with museums, zoos, or botanical gardens, purchase a membership on the other side of the city. Many have reciprocal privileges with institutions in other locations.

In the lobby, always check the hotel brochures for attractions, restaurants, shopping and available activities! Ask if they have any special promotions at the hotel with a specific place or service! You can save a lot by doing this!

Do not use taxis! Take advantage of the public transportation system, which is much cheaper! And if the destination is too far away, ask for directions as you walk. You can discover new places in this way and save on transportation! A win-win situation!

If you are going to a cabin or hotel with DVDs, carry your own DVDs to watch. The hotel options are much more expensive! You can also check the public libraries where you can rent them for free! They are also useful to distract the kids while you travel!

There is nothing like holidays on the beach with your family! But many destinations are very expensive! Take advantage of places with lakes or rivers! Many beaches are also very nice, calm and cheaper to visit! You can have fun watersport activities without the dangers of the wide open sea!

When it comes to food, you can save money in lots of ways! Try the local products, which are much cheaper and enjoy typical food from the place you visit! Talk to the locals! If you are friendly, they can recommend good places with low costs!

Search for hotels with promotions like “kids eat free” (always available at Holiday Inn, and sometimes offered at Marriott and other hotel chains).  If you can’t find these types of promotions, look for a hotel where you can get a room that includes a refrigerator and some even have microwaves.

When you travel by road, take a thermos and a cooler with drinks and snacks. You can save a lot this way! Stopping on route, especially at service stations can be a bit pricey!

Another idea I tried with my husband and friends was to carry a backpack with dried fruit, cereal bars and something to drink. Then you could stop at any store to buy cold cuts, cheese and bread to make a nice picnic at the halfway point! This is a great way to avoid lunch and only spend a bit more during the night. In the summer months, we tend to eat less and drink more! Sometimes, just a little fruit and cereal can hold you well until the afternoon!

Eating at restaurants with the children can be quite expensive! If your child is still small, don’t get a separate meal for him. Instead, you or your partner should order something the child really likes and then share with him! Most children never eat all their food and end up wasting a lot of money!

And if you want to eat at a restaurant and sample the delights of the location, choose lunch! They are cheaper than dinner and tend to have a similar menu!

Until the next time!