When I first started working for the airlines, I was too afraid to go anywhere. I didn’t have the time or money to go anywhere. It’s really expensive to travel, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be.
With the economy the way it is, that leaves room for traveling. Using sites like Priceline.com and vacationstogo.com (for some examples) are two such sites that can save you a fortune. I have personally used priceline for hotels and car rentals. I was able to secure a hotel in Charleston, WV that runs for around $100/nt for only $42 and a car rental in Cincinnati, Ohio for $12 a day!
I usually look for hotels that also offers at least continental breakfast and make PB&J sandwiches for later. Another blogger suggested purchasing one of those discount books for that city if you are going to be there long enough to save money on food, shopping and activities. The hotel in CRW is the Holiday Inn Express downtown. They offer a really nice breakfast, apples at the front desk, coffee and tea all day, free Internet and they are right there by the mall. There is also some low cost eats around the area, the Capital Building and public transportation. They will pick you up from the airport or train station so really, who needs a car?
I have not used vacationstogo.com however, they always have some really great deals on cruises if you can get away at the last minute! One being offered right now is a 7 day cruise on the 12th of September leaving Port Canaveral, Florida for $409 per person. It’s on Carnival and regularly runs at $1669.00 per person. That’s a 75% discount!
One thing that I do since I travel for a living is bringing food with me. There are some things that you can and cannot bring with you so don’t forget or they will take them! Remember that you cannot bring more that 3oz each in any liquids that you may want to bring however, you can bring some milk and juice for your little ones through security at the airport. I wait for these small Organic milks to go on sale and buy some of those. They do not need to be refrigerated until opened and are really yummy. Powdered milk is great because it can be mixed up as needed and is, well, not liquid. Cereal in small boxes (grab an extra at breakfast) or separated in ‘ziplock’ bags is handy. I even use re-usable bowls with lids so that I #1, have a bowl and #2, do not crush my cereal. Some other examples are dried fruit and nuts, tuna fish or chicken breast packets and crackers (pick up mustard and mayo packs when you see them), a loaf of bread and jar of peanut butter and ready meals that do not need refrigeration to be heated later if your hotel has a microwave. If you do not want to bring a bulky loaf of bread, you can bring a package of tortillas. Laughing cow cheeses (the little triangle packages in the round container) do not need to be refrigerated until opened. If you do bring cold things or have left overs, some hotels have small refrigerators or you can bring ziplock bags to hold ice and put them on your food. I have been doing this for years and it works great.
Another thing that I do is spend a little more for lunch and take some for later. I like Ruby Tuesday’s where I get the salad bar with the mini Turkey Burger’s for only a $1 more. It’s a little more expensive but at least I know that I am eating healthy and it’s actually two meals for me. I eat a full salad bar and take the burgers with me for later. Some cities have a special ticket or card that you can get that allows you to visit more than one site for a low price and even offer coupons for food.
If you are planning on taking a cruise, you will want to remember to take all of the important stuff. At a hotel, there’s usually a corner store some where. If you are on a cruise…it’s a boat in the middle of the water! *laughing, and not sarcastically* You are at their mercy and they will not hesitate to charge you $20 for a $5 disposable camera. Bring your meds, camera and film if you need that, sunscreen, proper shoes, feminine items, and a bottle of “water” filled with vodka (or your clear liquid of choice). *again, laughing. win, wink* You will get all of the food you could possibly need. Water, coffee and tea are free. Soda, juice and liquor are NOT free. I hear that you can purchase a drink card for soda these days but I would ask your particular line of choice.
All inclusives are a good deal too, especially when you can find a great deal due to the economy. One price that may seem pricey up front but includes just about everything can save big bucks. All of your food, drinks, activities and more.
Check out http://littlemissknowitall.net/ for more discount ideas, even Disney World!