Friday, April 16, 2010

Tight-fisted travel...

Every year my husband and I try to take at least a small vacation, last year when the economy was so bad we instead spent the summer doing all the fun thing that tourists usually do when they come to our neck of the woods. It was actually very fun and very cost effective for us, however, that being said, this is a small enough town that if we had to do it again this year we would see almost nothing new. This year is shaping up to be mighty different, so far I have two vacation plans in the works, one "splurge" vacation for a long weekend staying at a hotel in the city with my husband and one long distance vacation with a girl friend and I driving out to visit a mutual friend. In both cases I have found quite a few ways to save money that I wanted to share.

I love making my packing list early, it gives me something to do to fill in the time between deciding to take a vacation and actually going. If your luggage is looking a little ratty check out Luggage Source, they have a huge selection of bags and if you use coupon code SPRING10 they will take 15% off your order. eBags is another site with a huge selection, they offer free shipping on any order over $50.00.

If you are going to be driving the best thing to do is make sure your car is in tip top running condition, this will save you a lot of money in gas. Firestone has a printable $20.00 off coupon that is good until 4/30 for their visual inspection of ignition and fuel system components and the installation of Bosch spark plugs. Tires Plus has a 10% off coupon if you sign up for their email updates. They also have a great feature that will help you find out what maintenance your car is due for based on its year. make and model.

No matter if your visiting another state or your home state, its always helpful to request the free tourist information. Most of the states tourist books are packed full of coupons and great information. You can find a list here for all the 50 states tourist information and its all free just for asking, just remember to allow them enough time to mail it out. Another great place for coupons is the local visitors centers, try to make these the first stop you make, you will get a lot of local information, find out about any current deals in the area and find useful coupons.

There are quite a few different sites that have popped up on the Internet offering half off deals, I get most of them sent to my in box so I can keep an eye out for steals. I have found a ton of deals for where I live and I found a half off deal a couple days ago for a place we are going to go eat when we are down in the city visiting my cousin. You can check them out yourself and see if they have deals for your area or where you plan to travel. Groupon offers one deal per day, Half off Deals offers a limited amount of discounted deals until they are gone, Living Social offers deals for a small amount of markets (but they are growing) and offers huge discounts on area dining.

Since almost everyone knows about all the hotel discount sites I am not going to go into them individually but I will offer this advice. Be sure to check your rate through these sites against any deals the hotel may be offering direct. I checked with and found what I thought was a good rate for where we will be staying, but when I checked the hotels web site I found they had a deal that if you buy two nights you get the third night free, even though the cost of the room was a little bit more, over all that saved me a little over $200.00.

I hope this gives everyone some fun ideas to think about.

Have a great weekend everyone!


1 comment:

  1. Didn't you find a cool packing app for your Ipod as well? I think you know more things that are in my city than I do. I'm impressed with your research and finding deals!!


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