budget vacations http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10131/all en-US Taking Frugal Road Trips (Even When Gas Prices Are High) http://www.wisebread.com/taking-frugal-road-trips-even-when-gas-prices-are-high <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/taking-frugal-road-trips-even-when-gas-prices-are-high" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-1165398-small.jpg" alt="road trip" title="road trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Vacation season is fast approaching &mdash; and it&rsquo;s time for you to solidify your plans. If you&rsquo;re looking for an adventure outside of a resort or your Aunt Em&rsquo;s farm, consider a road trip. Not only will you get to spend lots of quality time with your trip mates (for better or worse), but you&rsquo;ll have incredible stories and memories that you just can&rsquo;t get on a generic vacation. (See also:<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-and-frugal-ideas-for-family-road-trips" target="_blank"> 5 Fun and Frugal Ideas for Family Road Trips</a>)</p> <p>Given the price of travel these days, specifically gasoline, how can you throw caution to wind and hit the road without draining your 401(k)? Consider these tips.</p> <h2>Gas</h2> <p>After food and lodging, gasoline will be your biggest travel expense. With some clever planning, you can trim the cost of filling your tank.</p> <p><strong>Pack Light</strong></p> <p>The more passengers in your vehicle during the road trip, the more ways you can split the cost of gas. But be careful. Each passenger will weigh down the vehicle, causing it to burn more fuel along the way. For every extra 100 pounds, <a href="http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/drivehabits.shtml" target="_blank">you can expect to reduce your MPG by up to 2%</a>. In that case, you&rsquo;ll have to be smarter and lighter in your packing &mdash; unless your suitcase can suddenly pay at the pump, too.</p> <p><strong>Go Where Gas Is Cheap</strong></p> <p>Plan your route so that you&rsquo;re traveling through places (or at least not stopping to fuel up) where gas is not at a premium. For instance, if you&rsquo;re driving from Baltimore to Boston, get gas in lower-price places like New Jersey instead of filling up in New York. To save on gas most efficiently, avoid top-tier gas destinations altogether and plan your trip to places that are consistently affordable or <a href="http://fuelgaugereport.aaa.com/?redirectto=http://fuelgaugereport.opisnet.com/index.asp" target="_blank">less than the national average</a>.</p> <p><strong>Drive the Right Car</strong></p> <p>If you&rsquo;re traveling with passengers who all own a vehicle of their own, discuss beforehand whose vehicle has the best fuel economy. If you own a Ford F-150 pickup truck and your friend owns a Prius, it shouldn&rsquo;t take an engineering degree from MIT to help you decide which vehicle is best. (Although it might make sense to leave the Prius behind if the pickup has a camper shell and you plan to defray some of the cost of lodging by camping out.)</p> <p><strong>Drive Responsibly</strong></p> <p>When you&rsquo;re on the road, drive responsibly. Barreling down the highway like a speed demon will only burn gas quicker. Plus, you won&rsquo;t be able to enjoy the scenery along the way &mdash; which is part of the fun.</p> <p><strong>Drive at Night</strong></p> <p>If you can hack it, try to make the bulk of the trip overnight, driving in shifts if you have to. You&rsquo;ll burn less gas in the cooler night hours than in the warmer daytime.</p> <h2>Food</h2> <p>You have to eat, but you don't have to eat at diners and fast food joints for every meal.</p> <p><strong>Pack a Cooler</strong></p> <p>Smart, spend-savvy road trippers always pack a cooler filled to the brim with food. It may not be the healthiest food, of course, but this is vacation, so you can live a little. Packing these road snacks will help you avoid fast food joints and costly restaurants at which you may be forced to dine, especially when you&rsquo;re hungry in the middle of nowhere.</p> <p><strong>Set a Diner Budget</strong></p> <p>You&rsquo;ll inevitably want to eat out sometimes along the road trip &mdash; and there&rsquo;s nothing wrong with that as long as it&rsquo;s not every meal &mdash; but for the times that you do indulge, have a budget set so you can manage your money well the whole way.</p> <p><strong>Find Happy Hours</strong></p> <p>Another great way to save when eating out along your trip is to find local happy hours that offer free snacks (<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-ways-to-score-free-travel-food" target="_blank">they&rsquo;re out there</a>) or by using discount apps like Scoutmob, LivingSocial, or Groupon for instant savings.</p> <p><strong>Accept Free Meals</strong></p> <p>Accept free meals when they&rsquo;re offered. Like if you stop at a friend&rsquo;s or family member&rsquo;s house and they insist on cooking your breakfast and sending you off with sandwiches.</p> <p><strong>Visit Grocery Stores</strong></p> <p>Hit up grocery stores along the way to restock your cooler. The price of a loaf of bread, peanut butter, jelly, two bags of baby carrots, and two bags of potato chips will feed a group of four for a day for about $15. In comparison, a meal at a fast-food restaurant will cost more than $20 for four people &mdash; and that&rsquo;s just one meal.</p> <p><strong>Drink Water</strong></p> <p>Fill up your water bottles with free tap water along the way to stay healthy and hydrated.</p> <h2>Lodging</h2> <p>If you're an experienced road tripper, you probably already have a tent and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-over-1000-on-your-next-backpacking-trip" target="_blank">basic camping gear</a>. If you're really experienced, you may have an RV. If you're neither, you still have options beyond pricey motels.</p> <p><strong>Nap at Rest Stops</strong></p> <p>You&rsquo;re allowed to nap in your car at rest stops. I&rsquo;m not saying it&rsquo;s very comfortable, and I&rsquo;m not saying it&rsquo;s very safe. I&rsquo;m just saying.</p> <p><strong>Camp</strong></p> <p>Renting a space at a campground is relatively inexpensive, but finding a secluded place to camp is free. If you plan to engage in the latter, make sure it&rsquo;s not private property, which is usually designated by signs.</p> <p><strong>Impose on Friends and Family</strong></p> <p>Plan your trip to areas where you have friends and family who have space to accommodate you. Not only will it be free (hopefully), but you&rsquo;ll also get to spend time with people you may not see very often.</p> <p><strong>Micro Sublet</strong></p> <p>For <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources" target="_blank">other affordable lodging options</a>, look into Couchsurfing (which is free) or microsubletting sites like Airbnb. The latter isn&rsquo;t free, but you&rsquo;ll almost always get more for your money and have a better time than at a hotel.</p> <p><strong>Use Your Rewards</strong></p> <p>Cash in any rewards points that you may have racked up and turn them into a hotel stay. After a week or two on the road, you&rsquo;ll want at least one night of luxury. What else are you saving it for?</p> <h2>Activities</h2> <p>I don&rsquo;t expect that you&rsquo;re driving all over the country to spend all your time looking at things from inside the car. Sometimes you&rsquo;ll want to get out and explore.</p> <p><strong>Visit Public Sites</strong></p> <p>Plan trips to public and free sites, which are available no matter where you go &mdash; big cities and small towns alike.</p> <p><strong>Buy Daily Deals</strong></p> <p>Purchase daily deals in advance of reaching your destination to reduce the cost of higher-end activities. Remember that some activities that tend to be popular will need to schedule you in, so it&rsquo;s best to do this at least a week or two in advance so you&rsquo;re not shut out at the last minute with no chance of a refund.</p> <p><strong>Check Visitor's Centers</strong></p> <p>Stop in at visitor's centers to gather information on free events and activities and scoop up valuable coupons you can&rsquo;t find elsewhere.</p> <p><strong>Wing It</strong></p> <p>Plan your own activities. You&rsquo;re on a road trip with friends. Surely you guys can come up with plenty of fun things to do together that don&rsquo;t cost a dime. All you&rsquo;ve got to do is put your heads together.</p> <p><em>Have any more tips on how to have a frugal road trip?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonBookmark" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <div><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Frugal%20Road%20Trips.jpg" style="float: left; width: 32%; margin-right: 1%; margin-bottom: 0.5em;" alt="" /></p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Taking%20Frugal%20Road%20Trips%20%28Even%20When%20Gas%20Prices%20Are%20High%29.jpg" style="float: left; width: 32%; margin-right: 1%; margin-bottom: 0.5em;" alt="" /> <img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20To%20Plan%20A%20Frugal%20Road%20Trip.jpg" style="float: left; width: 32%; margin-right: 1%; margin-bottom: 0.5em;" alt="" /></p> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taking-frugal-road-trips-even-when-gas-prices-are-high">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-can-do-in-denver-that-you-cant-do-anywhere-else">8 Things You Can Do in Denver That You Can&#039;t Do Anywhere Else</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guide-to-staying-at-hostels-for-people-over-30">The Guide to Staying at Hostels for People Over 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-affordable-countries-every-outdoor-explorer-can-afford-to-visit">5 Affordable Countries Every Outdoor Explorer Can Afford to Visit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hotel-room-booking-tools-every-frugal-traveler-should-know">5 Hotel Room Booking Tools Every Frugal Traveler Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-vacation-destinations-that-stretch-your-dollar">11 Vacation Destinations That Stretch Your Dollar</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Lifestyle Travel budget vacations cheap travel frugal road trip lodging road trip travel travel food Thu, 02 May 2013 10:24:44 +0000 Mikey Rox 973516 at http://www.wisebread.com Save Thousands by Buying a Timeshare on the Secondary Market http://www.wisebread.com/save-thousands-by-buying-a-timeshare-on-the-secondary-market <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-thousands-by-buying-a-timeshare-on-the-secondary-market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/7161389690_318ec231de_z.jpg" alt="timeshare" title="timeshare" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Would you rather a buy the same timeshare for $20,000 or $2,000 &mdash; or maybe even $200?</p> <p>Some people are getting timeshares for cheap by buying them on the secondary market &mdash; from owners instead of directly from the developers. Savings of 50, 75, or even 99% are not uncommon say those involved in the resale market. Yet most timeshare owners or potential buyers don't have any idea they can buy a timeshare, also called &quot;vacation ownership,&quot; used from an individual owner or through a resale broker.</p> <p>&quot;It really is quite an enigma that this information for whatever reason is lost on potential timeshare buyers as learning about the resale market can save you tens of thousands of dollars for the exact same timeshare,&quot; states Brian Rogers on his website, the <a href="http://Tug2.net">Timeshare Users Group</a>, for timeshare owners, buyers, and renters.</p> <p>Buying a timeshare on the secondary market can be a great way to pay for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">great vacations for a great price</a>. When you buy a timeshare, you own the right to use the condominium or hotel suite for a particular week every year, paying just a maintenance fee. Because the timeshares have kitchens, their owners can avoid costly restaurant meals, and they don't pay taxes and fees associated with hotels.&nbsp;While some people prefer the same week in the same spot every year, others buy a floating or &quot;flex&quot; week that lets them pick a week within a specified timeframe for greater flexibility. Timeshare owners who want to vacation in different places can trade their weeks with others timeshare owners within the resort's network. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">How to Book an Amazing Cheap&nbsp;Vacation&nbsp;Package</a>)</p> <p>People might think there's a difference between new and used timeshares. There's not, Rogers says. Unless you're the first person walking into the room, there's no such thing as new timeshare. Its price may change, but the timeshare itself doesn't change over time.</p> <p>Through the last recession and anemic recovery, people who had bought timeshares during boom times became desperate to unload them. They lost their jobs, had incomes cut back, or perhaps found that the timeshare just wasn't worth the annual maintenance fees.</p> <p>It's likely that more people would be buying timeshares on the secondary market if they only know they could. Developers have large advertising budgets, but timeshare owners must rely on their own ads or websites.</p> <h3>How to Buy a Timeshare on the Secondary Market</h3> <p>The first step is to decide what you want. A particular resort or a site to use for trading for different locations? A fixed week a floating week for flexibility?</p> <p>Make sure you understand the rules for trading. A $1,000 week sounds great, but an off season week in Alabama may not be a good deal for you.</p> <p>Then, to search for timeshares on the secondary market, visit websites such as <a href="http://tug2.net/">The Timeshare Users Group</a> or <a href="http://tstoday.com" target="_blank">TimeSharing Today</a><u>.</u>&nbsp;Those sites, as well as <a href="http://timeshareinsights.com" target="_blank">TimeShare Insights</a> and the <a href="http://www.nationaltimeshareownersassoc.com/">National Timeshare Owners Association</a> offer plenty of resources.</p> <p>As usual, beware of deals priced especially low. Listings on eBay might start at $1. That should make you ask the seller some questions. Like why are you selling? Is it because of a bad location? Does the unit have a pile of unpaid fees?</p> <p>Be careful to perform due diligence. Verify that the timeshare's maintenance fees are current and the title is clear. Ask about the resort's amenities, amenities that are free or cost extra, utilities, cleaning, taxes, or other charges.</p> <p>Many experts recommend working through a broker; others say savvy buyers can handle closings themselves and pay for a title search and title insurance. Buyers, they say, can ask the resort if payments are current and can request the owner for a notarized letter affirming that the title is clear.</p> <p>If you opt for a broker, work through a licensed real estate broker who is a member of the <a href="http://www.arda.org/arda/home.aspx">American Resort and Development Association</a> and who has a good BBB record.</p> <h3>Expert Advice</h3> <p>Some buyers mistakenly become overly focused on a particular resort when they could be missing a deal by buying a timeshare week for trading, advises Larry Hayden, a timeshare broker, in an article for TUG. Instead of concentrating on a certain resort, seek a timeshare for a low price in a popular area in prime season. That will give you the the power to trade that week for any week at any resort in the network.</p> <p>Hayden offers his top tips for timeshare shopping:</p> <ul type="disc" style="margin-top:0in"> <li>Buy a prime season week so you'll be able to exchange the week for any week in the year.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Buy in a high-demand area like Hawaii, coastal California, or the Orlando, FL area.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Seek a low price. Although that seems obvious, some buyers get sidetracked by other less important features.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Buy in a resort with a reasonable maintenance fee.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If possible, buy in a resort that's part of a large management system allowing you to get low bonus-time rates at resorts in the system.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Buy through a licensed real estate broker with a trust account to hold funds until the sale closes.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Be sure you get title insurance.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you're supposed to get the current year's week or banked weeks, get that in written in your escrow papers to make sure the seller has the same understanding.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Don't get distracted by minor factors. Price, location and season are by far the most important for trading. The exchange company's rating &mdash; Gold Crown or Five Star &mdash; is less important. An in-season week in a high-demand area can be easily exchanged (or even traded) into a five-star resort.</li> </ul> <p>Despite potential bargains that abound, you may prefer to rent a timeshare to avoid an ownership commitment. Rental deals are available, as many owners are eager for income to cover their maintenance costs. They're advertising their <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-steps-to-market-your-extra-space-as-a-vacation-rental">vacation rentals</a> on many of the same websites posting timeshare sales.&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fsave-thousands-by-buying-a-timeshare-on-the-secondary-market&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FSave%20Thousands%20by%20Buying%20a%20Timeshare%20on%20the%20Secondary%20Market.jpg&amp;description=Save%20Thousands%20by%20Buying%20a%20Timeshare%20on%20the%20Secondary%20Market" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Save%20Thousands%20by%20Buying%20a%20Timeshare%20on%20the%20Secondary%20Market.jpg" alt="Save Thousands by Buying a Timeshare on the Secondary Market" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/michael-kling">Michael Kling</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-thousands-by-buying-a-timeshare-on-the-secondary-market">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-things-i-learned-from-renting-out-my-home-on-airbnb">13 Things I Learned From Renting Out My Home on Airbnb</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-extra-space-make-money-and-meet-travelers-with-short-term-rentals">Got Extra Space? Make Money and Meet Travelers With Short-Term Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-mid-sized-cities-for-millennials">The 5 Best Mid-Sized Cities for Millennials</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-cities-for-single-millennials">The 6 Best Cities for Single Millennials</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taking-frugal-road-trips-even-when-gas-prices-are-high">Taking Frugal Road Trips (Even When Gas Prices Are High)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing Travel budget vacations renting vs. buying timeshare Fri, 23 Nov 2012 10:48:33 +0000 Michael Kling 955292 at http://www.wisebread.com Fun, Frugal Vacations: What the Experts Fail to Mention http://www.wisebread.com/fun-frugal-vacations-what-the-experts-fail-to-mention <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/fun-frugal-vacations-what-the-experts-fail-to-mention" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3180232692_ec6443c998_z.jpg" alt="girl on beach" title="girl on beach" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Frugal experts often champion certain types of vacations as great ways to save money and have loads of carefree fun. Certainly, if you are adventuresome and seasoned, enjoy surprises, and consider travel challenges as a welcome break from the mundane, then you can have a blast on the cheap nearly anywhere, anytime.</p> <p>But if you're a busy person who travels sporadically, some commonly offered recommendations with scant details can not only set you back financially, but rob you of fun. I should know, because I've made plenty of mistakes. But I can help you enjoy and save by avoiding pitfalls that the experts fail to mention for vacations that involve these elements. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The 5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Off-Season Travel</h2> <p>Traveling in the off-season to a destination that is highly desirable in the tourist season can mean lower expenses, particularly for lodging. If you are eager to explore an area or have specific activities in mind that are doable during this time period, then such a trip can be frugal and fun.</p> <p>Sometimes, though, off-season visits are disappointing. During an early spring trip to Wisconsin, my husband and I really enjoyed touring the capital city of Madison and the villages of Door County. But a ski resort that promoted a full list of amenities was a bad place to go outside of the winter months. At the time we visited, the place operated on a bare-bones staff and offered no amenities to us or the other couple staying there. We had to drive an hour or so to get food of any kind as even the resort's restaurant was closed.</p> <p>Sure, the crowds are fewer in the off season. But there are often legitimate reasons why no one visits during certain times of the year. These include:</p> <ul> <li>Lousy weather</li> <li>Lack of amenities at hotels and lodges</li> <li>Minimal support staff or untrained staff&nbsp;</li> <li>Closed or limited-hour restaurants</li> <li>Limited entertainment, recreational, and cultural activities</li> </ul> <p><strong>Tips for Enjoying Off-Season Travel</strong></p> <p>Before you go, plan what you&rsquo;d like to do and determine if those things are possible. Make phone calls to locals rather than relying solely on website information. Ask hotel managers, outfitters, retailers, and restaurant owners when they plan to open for the season and get the specifics on operating hours.</p> <p>Inquire about hazardous conditions common during certain times of the year, like when melting snow causes flooding or when roads are closed due to icy conditions. Bring all-season and extreme-weather clothing including rain gear.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Outdoor Adventures</h2> <p>Outdoor adventures can be fun and frugal options, especially if you camp and cook your own meals. Per day expenses are relatively low compared to, say, costs of a staying in a nice hotel in a large city or visiting Disney World and dining at restaurants.</p> <p>Despite the low entry cost to the great outdoors, adventuresome vacations can be expensive.&nbsp;</p> <p>For example, my husband and son are getting ready to go on a wilderness trek with the Boy Scouts. Besides paying for the trip itself (cross-country travel, ranch fees, etc.), the cost of the gear is steep. They have had to acquire backpacks, lightweight tents, sleeping bags, and more. Similarly, when my family went on a cycling-camping vacation a few years ago, we found that acquiring and transporting gear was not cheap.</p> <p>So the total cost of outdoor adventures can run higher than you may realize because:</p> <ul> <li>Gear, apparel, etc. for outdoor adventures are pricey<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Traveling to outdoor adventures in remote locations can be expensive<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Hauling gear can be costly, especially if you need to rent a larger car or van to transport items&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Companies that provide outfitting services, such as whitewater rafting companies, may charge higher than expected prices (to cover the cost of equipment, labor, and liability insurance)</li> </ul> <p><strong>Ways to Save Money on Outdoor Adventures</strong></p> <p>Borrow items from friends if possible, especially if you are a camping or outdoors newbie. Find bargains on Craigslist or at used sporting goods stores. Compare the cost of renting gear at your destination vs. purchasing and hauling stuff from your home to the start of the adventure.</p> <p>Look at alternatives to extreme outdoorsy vacations (requiring extra but essential items like water purifiers) in favor of day hikes, canoe trips, etc.</p> <h2>Remote Locations</h2> <p>You may think that places not easily accessible and relatively unknown would have few visitors and, therefore, great prices to attract people nearly all year. Sure, you realize that exotically remote locations, like base camp at Mount Everest, are expensive. But traveling to a small town ought to be fun and frugal for the person wanting a break from the city.</p> <p>On another Upper Midwestern state tour, my husband and I traveled to various places in Minnesota. During a stay in the northern part of the state (near the Boundary Waters), I managed to select a nice property with several lodging options. I reserved a room that seemed like a reasonable choice, given the remoteness of the area. It seemed wasteful to pay nearly double for what I imagined to be a luxury suite when I could get a nice place for much less.</p> <p>But after one night in the budget-priced location, we were ready to leave &mdash; the bathroom was so tiny that even my five-foot self felt claustrophobic, we could hear upstairs guests walk across the room for what seemed like hours, and another guest moved our rocking chair (the one outside our room on the porch), leaving us with nothing and no way to enjoy the lake view from the room. I had misjudged the pricing, thinking that the accommodations I had chosen were cheaper because of the remoteness of location, not because, well, they were unaccommodating. Fortunately, we were able to move to a condo on the same property and loved the rest of our vacation.</p> <p>Similarly, a lodge in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee accessible only by foot is pricey. Despite lack of electricity and running water in the rooms, the cost of lodging and meals can be comparable to a night's stay in Bermuda.</p> <p>Remote sites relatively unknown to most people can still be popular destinations for many. Lodging and services can be in high demand, not only from those who are a day's drive away but also for travelers interested in specific natural resources and outings. As a result, prices may be higher than similar accommodations in an area with plenty of hotels.</p> <p><strong>Tips for Having Fun in a Remote Location</strong></p> <p>Rather than focusing on how much money you can save by going to a thinly populated area, find the right spot for you and suitable lodging. If the pricing is a bit higher than you expected, consider why (there may be some great natural, recreational, and cultural attractions nearby) and take advantage of what the area has to offer.</p> <p>Even if you anticipate spending most of your time away from a hotel room or condo suite, find a place that you will enjoy and affords a good night's rest.</p> <h2>Staycations</h2> <p>You'll definitely save on nightly lodging if you stay at home. You may spend more on food if you go out for meals (as a way to try new restaurants in your city), but you should still come out ahead in terms of spending compared to a traditional vacation.</p> <p>The question then is not whether a staycation is frugal; the question is whether it is fun. For many people, relaxing at home is wonderful. But if you are self-employed, work from home, or are tethered digitally to your work, a staycation may not be a vacation at all. Instead, it will simply be a work-at-home week in lieu of a real vacation.</p> <p>Plus, if your friends or family members are staycationing with you, they may have different ideas about ways to have fun, want to sleep in rather than get an early start for a day's outing, or try to recommend alternate plans that don't mesh with what you envisioned.</p> <p><strong>Ways to Have Fun at Home</strong></p> <p>Make firm plans so that you won't default to your regular routine or allow your vacation to be derailed by friends when they hear that you will be taking time off from work but are staying in town. Take a day trip or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-fun-winter-staycation-ideas">visit a spa</a> so that you can feel that you really did get away from it all, if just for several hours.</p> <h2>State Parks and National Parks</h2> <p>State and national parks seem like a cheap and easy way to have fun, given low-cost or free entry fees. Some of my favorite, most memorable, and least expensive travels have been to state and national parks or national monuments, like <a href="http://www.nps.gov/cach/index.htm">Canyon de Chelly</a>.</p> <p>But not all experiences are both fabulous and cheap. You should know that:</p> <ul> <li>There is often little to do in a park if the weather is bad.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The drive to indoor attractions is often long, as parks are typically far from cities and city amenities<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Park-based vendors (those providing meals, lodging, and activities) often charge premium prices for in-park, on-property services</li> </ul> <p>A few years ago, my husband and I took our children to a state park during spring break. Combining the supposed benefits of remote location, off-season travel, and the inexpensive nature of state parks, this trip now has its place our family lore as our worst-ever vacation.</p> <p>The state park may have been a great place to visit if the sun would have shone. But it didn&rsquo;t. That meant that we were stuck inside most of the time, and there was little to do, either in the park or within reasonable driving distance.There were no movie theaters, bowling lanes, museums, or indoor rock climbing venues. The week was salvaged by a day trip to a national park, but this type of arrangement definitely made our not-to-do list.&nbsp;</p> <p>At the other extreme, last summer, we spent a few glorious days in a stunning national park. However, the lodging was not cheap and neither were the meals or food supplies (there were no grocery stores nearby). Camping would have involved hauling a trailer with all of our gear more than a thousand miles, and since we were visiting in the shoulder season, we would have been freezing for much of the time. So we had great fun, but not the frugal kind.</p> <p><strong>Tips on Having Fun and Saving at State and National Parks</strong></p> <p>Map out your park vacation. Don't simply figure out how to travel from your home to the park, whether by plane, train, or car. Look at a map of the entire area and plan outings to nearby locations based on your family's interests and tolerance for travel time of day trips.</p> <p>Build flexibility into your vacation. Plot a series of stays in various towns and cities, which can make a fun trip overall if one area is disappointing in terms of activities and amenities. Consider staying at a park near your home so that you can easily make adjustments to your vacation plans.</p> <p>To save money on national park visits, plan well in advance (several months at least) to snag lower-cost accommodations inside the park or stay outside of the park in a nearby hotel. Plan meals also, bringing your own supplies for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. If you are great at scheduling, find ways to plan each day's activities so that you can avoid high-priced restaurants or long drives to reasonably priced ones. Take advantage of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">free activities</a> rather than paying fees for those provided by outside vendors that operate within the park.</p> <p>If you are hoping for a fun and frugal vacation, do your research (start with Trip Advisor, but include phone calls to locals), ask friends about their experiences, and get real-world tips from travel bloggers like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">Nora Dunn</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extreme-travel-how-to-go-light-and-low-budget">Myscha Theriault</a> that fit your unique situation.</p> <p><em>In what ways have frugal travel experts led you astray? How have you had lots of fun on frugal vacations? Share your funny and enlightening stories in the comments.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffun-frugal-vacations-what-the-experts-fail-to-mention&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FFun%2C%20Frugal%20Vacations-%20What%20the%20Experts%20Fail%20to%20Mention.jpg&amp;description=Fun%2C%20Frugal%20Vacations%3A%20What%20the%20Experts%20Fail%20to%20Mention" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Fun%2C%20Frugal%20Vacations-%20What%20the%20Experts%20Fail%20to%20Mention.jpg" alt="Fun, Frugal Vacations: What the Experts Fail to Mention" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fun-frugal-vacations-what-the-experts-fail-to-mention">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taking-frugal-road-trips-even-when-gas-prices-are-high">Taking Frugal Road Trips (Even When Gas Prices Are High)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retire-for-half-the-cost-in-these-5-countries">Retire for Half the Cost in These 5 Countries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-national-park-visits-in-2018">How to Save on National Park Visits in 2018</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks">Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-cheap-summer-vacations">8 Great, Cheap Summer Vacations</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel budget vacations Mistakes national parks things to do Thu, 26 Apr 2012 10:36:08 +0000 Julie Rains 923040 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Great, Cheap Summer Vacations http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-cheap-summer-vacations <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-great-cheap-summer-vacations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sumvaca-travel-4159404-small.jpg" alt="women on trip" title="women on trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The sky is brighter, the air is warming up, and the layers of clothes are getting peeled off. That can only mean one thing &mdash; summer is near.</p> <p>One of the things that I love most about going on vacation is the chance to break out of my everyday routines, eat crappy foods guilt-free, and stay up blissfully late watching as much trashy reality TV as I please. Setting aside daily responsibilities, trying new things, being in a different space, and having care-free fun is refreshing. But while it'd be nice to go to Fiji or another distant tropical paradise, that just isn't reality for a lot of us.</p> <p>So what do you do when money is tight, you don't want to get further into debt, and you really need a vacation? You still take a vacation, but just a frugal one. One that your budget will love. Here are eight frugal summer vacation ideas to get you going. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>1. The All-American, Almighty Road-Trip Vacation</h2> <p><img width="605" height="302" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/sumvaca-4585363-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>About ten years ago, my husband was able to travel through thirty different states in the span of a month-and-a-half with a friend in a $400, 1982 Chevy Sprint. It's an experience he'll never forget, and while gas prices do get high in the summer, the road trip is still one of the cheapest options for frugal vacations.</p> <p>Grab a map, pack a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000G66GS8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000G66GS8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">large cooler</a>, stop at grocery stores along the way, sing cheesy songs, tell stories you've never told before, watch the sun rise and set, and make yourself some memories. (Can be combined with the &quot;I Had No Idea There Were Over 400 National Parks&quot; vacation below, if you're feeling adventurous.)</p> <p>(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taking-frugal-road-trips-even-when-gas-prices-are-high">How to Take Frugal Road Trips</a>)</p> <h2>2. The Infamous Staycation Vacation</h2> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/sumvaca-reading-4795211-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Set a time frame. If you can only get two to three days off from work (or less), that's okay!</p> <p>This is how you do it &mdash; turn off the phones, put an auto reply on your email, turn off the computer (and really keep it off), don't check your usual social media feeds, and really allow yourself a break from everyday life and the technology that comes along with it.</p> <p>Then, go to the grocery store and get sundae supplies: ice cream, candy toppings, hot fudge, caramel, whipped cream, and why not throw in some cherries too? You are on vacation after all! Rent those guilty-pleasure movies you've been wanting to see, and settle in for a movie marathon. Those books and magazines that have been stacking up? This is the time to read them! Those museum exhibits you've been dying to see but just don't have the time for? Go check 'em out! Hanging with friends on a patio on a random Tuesday night? Go for it!</p> <p>The point is to have fun, indulge in some pleasures you normally don't get to, and get out of your normal routine.</p> <h2>3. The &quot;I Had No Idea There Were 58 National Parks&quot; Vacation</h2> <p><img width="605" height="302" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/sumvaca-5203508-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>You can purchase an annual <a href="http://www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm">National Parks pass</a> for $80. The pass provides access to <a href="http://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/parks/">58 National Parks</a> throughout the United States with big-name attractions like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, the Everglades, and Yosemite. Once you're in the parks, you can hike around and obtain a spot to setup a tent for a very low fee.</p> <h2>4. The Survivalist &quot;Is This Really Considered a Vacation?&quot; Vacation</h2> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/sumvaca-4275723-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>I know some people like to be non-stop busy on vacation, and then they need a vacation <em>after</em> the &quot;vacation.&quot; If you're one of those people, then a backpacking or biking trip might be just right for you. Borrow gear from a knowledgeable friend, talk to your local outdoor pro, and take an adventure along the <a href="http://www.pcta.org/">Pacific Crest Trail</a>, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Divide_Trail">Great Divide Trail</a>, or <a href="http://www.appalachiantrail.org">Appalachian Trail</a>. Just make sure to take all of the necessary precautions and do the necessary training prior to attempting this one.</p> <p>(Wise Bread Pick: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003NU8W0Y/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003NU8W0Y&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=seealso-20">Chrome Citizen Messenger Bag at Amazon</a>)</p> <h2>5. The &quot;You Wanna Switch Houses?&quot; Vacation</h2> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/sumvaca-home-2331734-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Talk to other families to see if they need a break from their daily life too. Swap houses (or apartments) with each other for the weekend to get a change of scenery. It's simple and free. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-exchanges-free-accommodations-with-perks">Free Accommodations With Home Exchanges</a>)</p> <h2>6. The Traveling Mooch Vacation</h2> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/sumvaca-friends-5109500-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Think about who you know in other cities, and go visit them. See if your friends will let you crash at their place and show you around their town. This vacation can be combined with the next vacation on the list, &quot;The Greyhound Bus Adventure Vacation,&quot; for added frugality. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette">11 Rules to Be an Excellent Houseguest</a>)</p> <h2>7. The Greyhound Bus Adventure Vacation</h2> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/sumvaca-673253-medium.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>When I was a college student, I would ride the <a href="http://www.greyhound.com/">Greyhound Bus</a> all the time to go and visit my family. It was a rough, cheap ride, and I got to meet a bunch of people I normally wouldn't get a chance to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The 5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>8. The &quot;You're Already On Vacation&quot; Vacation</h2> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/sumvaca-3371498-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Hone your <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditation">meditation skills</a> to transport yourself to another dimension at any time. Meditating can be used to take a break from everyday life without leaving your house or taking time off from work. Bonus &mdash; it's free, and no packing is involved.</p> <p>Disconnecting, breaking out of the daily ruts, and infusing some extra fun is all it takes to make a vacation a vacation, whether you're going near or far, and being frugal or not.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-great-cheap-summer-vacations&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%20Great%2C%20Cheap%20Summer%20Vacations.jpg&amp;description=8%20Great%2C%20Cheap%20Summer%20Vacations" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Great%2C%20Cheap%20Summer%20Vacations.jpg" alt="8 Great, Cheap Summer Vacations" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anna-newell-jones">Anna Newell Jones</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-cheap-summer-vacations">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip">7 Travel Hacks for an Affordable Summer Road Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-have-the-best-cheapest-summer-vacation">25 Ways to Have the Best, Cheapest Summer Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-fun-and-affordable-vacation-ideas">9 Fun and Affordable Vacation Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel budget vacations cheap vacations road trips staycations summer vacation Wed, 11 Apr 2012 10:36:08 +0000 Anna Newell Jones 915134 at http://www.wisebread.com Seeing Mickey for a Song: Disneyland for Less http://www.wisebread.com/seeing-mickey-for-a-song-disneyland-for-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/seeing-mickey-for-a-song-disneyland-for-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_with_mickey.jpg" alt="Kids with Mickey and Minnie" title="Kids with Mickey and Minnie" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="138" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>They say that money can&rsquo;t buy happiness, but Disney seems to prove that statement false. As the self-proclaimed &ldquo;Happiest Place on Earth,&rdquo; Disneyland (along with California Adventure) is indeed a lot of fun for the whole family. But with exorbitant prices on everything from tickets to food, it could make your available funding fall faster than the Tower of Terror. Luckily, there are some ways to getting around these inflated costs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My&nbsp;Family Scores Free Travel With&nbsp;Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Discounted Tickets</h2> <p>Although Disneyland ended its free entrance on your birthday program in 2010 (as well as its volunteering program in which the first one million volunteers to sign up would receive free tickets), there is still a plethora of discounts available on tickets. It&rsquo;s especially helpful if you already live in southern California, because SoCal residents, select governmental employees, and university students get special pricing, but given the comparatively small demographic, there are other discounts you&rsquo;ll likely need to look into.</p> <p>Buying tickets online and printing them up yourself can save you a little, as can buying through your employer, if they sell them through your company&rsquo;s Human Resources department. There are also discounts available for AAA members and those in the military who bring their I.D. Have a toddler under the age of three? Then you&rsquo;re in luck &mdash; they get free admission!</p> <p>Finally, if possible, go during the off season, when you&rsquo;ll not only get on more rides due to less crowding, but there are deals abound for Disney tickets.</p> <h2>Parking</h2> <p>Prices for parking at Disneyland have spiked in recent years, going from $12 in 2009 all the way up to $15 just two years later. This encompasses all-day parking in the both the Mickey and Friends parking lot, as well as the Toy Story one located on Harbor Blvd. Transportation to and from these lots is provided by Disney, but even with this convenience, there are still cheaper alternatives.</p> <p>Those only going to Disneyland or California Adventure for a few hours might want to try parking in the Downtown Disney lot, where parking is available free of charge for the first three hours and $6 per hour after that, charged in 20 minute increments. If you do the math and it works out to be less than $15, then this is an optimal choice, and you can even bypass the crowded main entrance by showing your ticket at the Monorail station in Downtown Disney, located to the right of Rainforest Café. This will take you to another Monorail stop on the outskirts of Tomorrowland, near the Finding Nemo ride.</p> <h2>Food and Drinks</h2> <p>Disneyland used to have a restriction on bringing food and drinks into the park, but now they allow select items to be brought inside (you&rsquo;re supposed to eat them at the picnic tables provided). So, instead of paying over $10 for a decent meal (bottle of water not included) or $3.75 for a churro in the park, you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-fresh-ideas-for-healthy-road-trip-snacks">bring something from home for free</a>. Disneyland has enormous overhead costs, so obviously the cost of everything is going to be more than what you&rsquo;d find elsewhere. Keep this in mind before you go, and use the surrounding stores in Anaheim to your advantage. Of course, if you run out of food during the day, you can always head over to California Adventure and <a href="http://disneyland.disney.go.com/disneys-california-adventure/bakery-tour/">get free bread</a>.</p> <h2>Avoiding Ride Waits</h2> <p>When there are huge crowds and lines longer than an hour, it becomes somewhat difficult to make the most of your $80 one-day ticket ($105 for the one-day park hopper). Fortunately, there are some ways you can speed up your journey around the Happiest Place on Earth. One is single rider passes, which allow you to go through a separate line (or through the exit) on a ride, so long as you&rsquo;re riding by yourself. Rides that have single rider passes or lines include Indiana Jones and Splash Mountain in Disneyland and California Screamin&rsquo;, Soarin&rsquo; Over California, and Grizzly Bear Rapids in California Adventure. There are a few kiosks in the park that let you to check the wait times on each ride, allowing you to plot your route around the park more effectively. If a ride you want to go on has a long wait time, consider getting a <a href="http://disneyland.disney.go.com/plan/guest-services/fastpass/">Fastpass</a> &mdash; a free reservation system which assigns you a time to come back to the ride at a later time (generally 45 minutes to three hours after you check in with the Fastpass, depending on how crowded the park and that particular ride are that day). After you make the reservation with Fastpass, you can go see the rest of the park. When you return at the appointed time, you go through a special express line with minimal wait.</p> <p>Theme parks don&rsquo;t have to be outrageously expensive, even those with the brand name of Disney on them. Following these tips ought to help you save money without cutting back on the fun.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fseeing-mickey-for-a-song-disneyland-for-less&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FSeeing%20Mickey%20for%20a%20Song-%20Disneyland%20for%20Less.jpg&amp;description=Seeing%20Mickey%20for%20a%20Song%3A%20Disneyland%20for%20Less" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Seeing%20Mickey%20for%20a%20Song-%20Disneyland%20for%20Less.jpg" alt="Seeing Mickey for a Song: Disneyland for Less" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-kehoe">Kelly Kehoe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seeing-mickey-for-a-song-disneyland-for-less">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-affordable-amusement-parks-that-are-just-as-fun-as-disney">8 Affordable Amusement Parks That Are Just as Fun As Disney</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disneyland-on-the-sort-of-cheap">Disneyland on the (Sort of) Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-can-do-in-denver-that-you-cant-do-anywhere-else">8 Things You Can Do in Denver That You Can&#039;t Do Anywhere Else</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-seattle">Free and Cheap Things to Do in Seattle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taking-frugal-road-trips-even-when-gas-prices-are-high">Taking Frugal Road Trips (Even When Gas Prices Are High)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Travel amusement parks budget vacations Disneyland Thu, 05 Jan 2012 11:24:13 +0000 Kelly Kehoe 854219 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Secret Tips to Make Your London Vacation Cheaper and Easier http://www.wisebread.com/7-secret-tips-to-make-your-london-vacation-cheaper-and-easier <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-secret-tips-to-make-your-london-vacation-cheaper-and-easier" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/London bus.jpg" alt="Fun in London" title="Fun in London" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="133" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>London's one of the best cities in the world and you'll have a great time there. To make it even better here are 7 essential tips that'll make your visit cheaper and easier. Most visitors to London don't know about these tips and end up paying more for things than they have to.</p> <h2>1. 2 for 1 Offers</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/">Days Out Guide</a> is one of those secret websites that's essential for any tourist wanting to visit London attractions. Instead of paying full price to see attractions such as Madame Tussaud's and the Tower of London, you can get in for half price with a 2 for 1 voucher.</p> <p>All you have to do is register on the Days Out site and print off vouchers for the attractions you want to see. The only restriction is that you have to show a valid train ticket with your voucher at the attraction. However it's easy to get the train ticket. Just go to one of the overground stations such as Victoria, Charing Cross or Paddington and buy a Travelcard and make sure it has the <img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/ogtravelcard.jpg" alt="" /> symbol on it. Underground Travelcards do not have this symbol which is why you have to go to an overground station.</p> <h2>2. Hotel Reviews</h2> <p>Deciding which hotel you're going to stay at in London is easily one of the most important decisions you'll make. What most people do is head to Tripadvisor to help them make a decision. A few years ago you could do that and be pretty sure that the reviews were accurate. However over the last few months some people have been saying reviews are being written by PR firms for their client hotels. (Tripadvisor strongly denies this.)</p> <p>Here's a tip to help you get around this problem. When you're looking at the reviews, first look at when the person became a member of Tripadvisor. If they've been a member from 2006 or earlier you can be pretty sure they're giving honest reviews.</p> <p>For me, any reviews from 2007 onwards or from people who have only done one or two posts are as a good as worthless. Most of the hotels in London have been around for years, so look at those early reviews.</p> <h2>3. Exchange Rates</h2> <p>I feel so sorry for the tourists I see queuing up to be ripped off at foreign exchange booths in London or at the airport.</p> <p>London is an expensive city, so you need to get the most for your dollar. To do this you really should order your pounds online. <a href="http://travelex.com/">Travelex</a> is one of the most reliable companies. You simply order online, and you can collect the currency at the airport.</p> <p>Another alternative is to simply use your debit card in one of the ATM's at any bank in London. Check with your bank before you leave to see how much they charge, but it's bound to be cheaper than a foreign exchange booth.</p> <h2>4. Buying Booze</h2> <p>What do you do if you want to have a nice bottle of wine in your hotel room but don't want to pay the hotel prices? Most so-called London experts will say go to a supermarket and buy a bottle there. (This is absolute rubbish.)</p> <p>The best (and I'd say, the only place) to buy booze in London is Gerry's on Old Compton Street in Soho. When I say you can buy almost any drink you've heard of, I'm not exaggerating. Prices are very good, and it's the only place you can pick up an authentic bottle of Prosecco for less than &pound;10.</p> <p>Also, when you decide to go out and have a drink, look out for happy hours. Many venues have them, but make sure you know what the restrictions are before ordering. The big sign in the window may say drinks are half price, but inside you find it's only on bottles of champagne! A way around this is to get the EPok London Pack, which includes a handy happy hour guide that lists bars and pubs with half priced drinks.</p> <h2>5. Free Walking Tour</h2> <p>London is huge, and a walking tour is one of the best ways to explore the city. If you're up to walking around for 3 hours, the <a href="http://www.newlondon-tours.com/index.php?option=com_content&amp;task=view&amp;id=28&amp;Itemid=43">Sandemans Free Walking Tour</a> of London is a great option for you. The walk takes place every day, regardless of the weather, and you can just turn up and go.</p> <h2>6. Child-friendly Restaurants</h2> <p>Finding child-friendly restaurants in London isn't the easiest thing to do. It's not that restaurants in London don't welcome families; it's that many of them make no special arrangements for families.</p> <p>One of the better chain restaurants for considering families is Giraffe. The cuisine is International, 2 course meals are about &pound;15, and they have a special menu for kids and colour-in games to keep them happy. Their restaurants are nationwide, and the Southbank Centre and Victoria branches in London are good choices to try when you're here.</p> <h2>7. Taking a Taxi</h2> <p>London taxis have always been quite expensive, so Londoners only ever take them out of necessity. Tourists, on the other hand, look at them as part of the London experience. However, ask any tourist who took a cab along Oxford Street what they thought of the experience, and you'd have to cover your ears.</p> <p>London has the slowest roads in Europe, and if you make the mistake of getting a taxi on Oxford Street, the Strand, or Haymarket, you'll be watching the world go by as you stay still. Treat yourself to a taxi ride because it's great, but avoid the above streets, and you're more likely to enjoy the experience.</p> <p>If you follow these tips you'll save yourself a stack of cash and enjoy London a lot more.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this Post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-secret-tips-to-make-your-london-vacation-cheaper-and-easier&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20Secret%20Tips%20to%20Make%20Your%20London%20Vacation%20Cheaper%20and%20Easier.jpg&amp;description=7%20Secret%20Tips%20to%20Make%20Your%20London%20Vacation%20Cheaper%20and%20Easier" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Secret%20Tips%20to%20Make%20Your%20London%20Vacation%20Cheaper%20and%20Easier.jpg" alt="7 Secret Tips to Make Your London Vacation Cheaper and Easier" width="250" height="374" /></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest post by Ron Rodney, cofounder of <a href="http://www.epok.com/whats_on_in_london.htm">EPok</a> and writer of the blog <a href="http://www.3guysonalondonbus.com/">3 Guys on a London bus</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ron-rodney">Ron Rodney</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-secret-tips-to-make-your-london-vacation-cheaper-and-easier">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taking-frugal-road-trips-even-when-gas-prices-are-high">Taking Frugal Road Trips (Even When Gas Prices Are High)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-cheap-summer-vacations">8 Great, Cheap Summer Vacations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-champaign-urbana">Free and cheap things to do in Champaign-Urbana</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-rules-of-budget-travel">The 7 Rules of Budget Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-costa-rica-lesson-awwwwwww-they-got-me">The Costa Rica Lesson: Awwwwwww They Got Me</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel Art and Leisure budget vacations London Sun, 01 Nov 2009 17:00:03 +0000 Ron Rodney 3772 at http://www.wisebread.com Taco Tuesday: The Inner Mechanics of Budgeting on Vacation http://www.wisebread.com/taco-tuesday-the-inner-mechanics-of-budgeting-on-vacation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/taco-tuesday-the-inner-mechanics-of-budgeting-on-vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/How to budget on vacation.JPG" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText">I recently found myself sitting around a dinner table in <st1:state><st1:place>Hawaii</st1:place></st1:state> with a number of new traveling acquaintances. We met at the place of accommodation we were staying at, and enjoyed each other&rsquo;s company, sharing travel tales of adventure and misadventure alike. So when &ldquo;Taco Tuesday&rdquo; presented itself as a way to get super cheap beers and tacos, we jumped at the opportunity to enjoy a night on the town all together. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Interestingly, Taco Tuesday became a fascinating study in the spending patterns of people on vacation. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">John and Wendy, having nipped over to <st1:state><st1:place>Hawaii</st1:place></st1:state> for a quick break before embarking on a major move across the country, didn&rsquo;t have huge money concerns, but were trying to be frugal knowing that their upcoming move would cost them dearly. Dave and Angie were finishing off a trip around the world, having been on the road for eight months already through countries both expensive and inexpensive. They played hard during their trip, but their stash of cash was predictably dwindling (an expected bi-product of good budgeting through their long trip). Julie was a very young headstrong woman figuring out where she belonged in the world, and <st1:city><st1:place>Wayne</st1:place></st1:city> was an older gentleman on an extended vacation. Rounding out the group (in addition to myself) was Phil, who was something of a nomad, living and working in <st1:state><st1:place>Hawaii</st1:place></st1:state> for a bit before moving on to the next locale that tickled his fancy. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">I describe each friend&rsquo;s background in an effort to paint the picture; one of a group of people, all originally from <st1:place>North America</st1:place>, but bringing an entirely different set of experiences, finances, and travel values to the table. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Where things got interesting was in how people indulged on Taco Tuesday. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">John &amp; Wendy decided that cheap beer was more appealing than cheap tacos, and so they engineered their budget for the night to partake of the beer (at $2/bottle), and prepared their own full dinner at the house we were staying in prior to going out. Dave &amp; Angie being well-seasoned travelers chose to fill up on some home-made appetizers prior to going out, and each nursed one beer and a taco or two. Julie simply had Coke (not only was she young, but she was broke and underage), and Wayne (who had gads of money) flew under the radar with one beer and two tacos. And then there&rsquo;s Phil. Poor Phil. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Phil was definitely out for the party and camaraderie, but didn&rsquo;t have much money to spare given his lifestyle. This didn&rsquo;t seem to stop him from indulging though; he managed to order seven tacos, and four beers &ndash; not the beers on special though &ndash; premium beers. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Phil&rsquo;s tab ended up being more than everybody else&rsquo;s tab &ndash; combined. No wonder he was broke and working during his trip. He listened to tales of faraway and exotic destinations with drooling enthusiasm &ndash; and a bit of melancholy, as he wished he had the ability to travel to these places, but couldn&rsquo;t scrape together even the airfare if he had to. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Here&rsquo;s the rub: <strong>The amount of money spent on this night was in no way correlated to how much fun each person had.</strong> Everybody laughed, shared stories, enjoyed the leisurely walk along the ocean to and from the bar, and came away with great memories. If anybody, Phil seemed the least enthused about the night, spending much of the walk home doing the math about how many hours he would have to work to pay for his tab. At least he had a good buzz on to dull the financial pain. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Despite a range of financial backgrounds and intrinsic values, the people who had the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-millionaire-next-door-riches-de-mystified" target="_blank">ability to spend a wad of dough</a> that night chose not to. Most people ate something at home prior to going out, so they wouldn&rsquo;t be starving and end up over-eating at the bar. The tacos were cheap &ndash; but they weren&rsquo;t cheaper than a healthy homemade snack or meal. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">So how do you budget on vacation and still have a good time? In short, <strong>make your vacation and having fun in general a state of mind, not a set of criteria or a checklist of experiences that must happen. </strong><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p></p> <ul> <li>You don&rsquo;t have to eat at all the finest restaurants in order for it to be a special vacation. <o:p></o:p></li> <li>You don&rsquo;t have to splurge on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easiest-way-to-save-money-on-vacation" target="_blank">souvenirs</a> for all your friends and family at home to prove you had a good time. <o:p></o:p></li> <li>You don&rsquo;t have to spend extra for the helicopter tour just because you&rsquo;re on vacation and &ldquo;why not&rdquo;. The bus tour at a fraction of the cost can be just as much &ndash; if not more &ndash; fun. <o:p></o:p></li> <li>You DO have to focus on the people. Enjoy the company of others without needing to spend money. Go to the grocery store and buy a bunch of different cheeses, a bottle or two of wine, and sit in the park (assuming you can drink wine in the park). It&rsquo;s cheap (when you split the cost across the group) and cheerful. <o:p></o:p></li> <li>You DO have to focus on your surroundings. Forget splurging &ndash; you&rsquo;re already on vacation; that&rsquo;s the splurge! You&rsquo;re already abroad and seeing, smelling, touching, and listening to foreign and refreshing things. Soak it all in. <o:p></o:p></li> </ul> <p class="MsoPlainText"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">If you have a ton of cash and insist on spending luxuriously whilst on vacation because that is what defines a vacation for you, then that is fine. You will (hopefully) be spending within your means and having a good time. Kudos. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">But <strong>if you don&rsquo;t have a lot of money</strong>, and are even considering canceling this year&rsquo;s vacation because you aren&rsquo;t sure you can afford it, maybe this is an opportunity to re-evaluate how you spend your money on vacation. <strong>Where can you compromise?</strong> <o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p></p> <ul> <li>Would you accept a lower standard of accommodation (maybe you have to walk further to see the sights, or contend with a shared bathroom and kitchen) than you are used to? <o:p></o:p></li> <li>Could you eat more home-cooked meals (provided you stay somewhere with a kitchen) despite the fact that cooking is a chore, in order to enjoy everything else your destination has to offer? <o:p></o:p></li> <li>Is it feasible to drive instead of fly? Maybe even to camp along the way, and even at your destination? (A family I know drove &ndash; and camped &ndash; all the way to <st1:state><st1:place>Alaska</st1:place></st1:state> and back from <st1:state><st1:place>Alberta</st1:place></st1:state>. The journey was one that created a lifetime of memories for everybody). <o:p></o:p></li> <li>Will your vacation still be complete if you don&rsquo;t do all the organized tours available, and instead soak in the culture with long walks and just a few key tours? <o:p></o:p></li> <li>Can you sit at a restaurant or caf&eacute; and enjoy the culture without ordering the expensive <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-retirement-latte" target="_blank">lattes</a> or entrees? <o:p></o:p></li> </ul> <p class="MsoPlainText"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Check out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-frugal-vacation-and-still-treat-yourself" target="_blank">this article</a> for a few more ideas on how to enjoy a frugal vacation by making innocuous compromises. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><strong>Here is a little exercise for you to define your vacation needs:</strong><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Pull out a blank piece of paper and a pen. Now start writing down words that you associate with vacation. Don&rsquo;t worry about sentences or specific locations or even making sense; just write down words that for you define &ldquo;vacation&rdquo;. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Is it &ldquo;<em>sun, sand, ocean, palm trees, pina coladas</em>&rdquo; or &ldquo;<em>foreign languages, art, music, museums</em>&rdquo;? How about &ldquo;<em>animal life, markets, nature, new friends</em>&rdquo;? <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">What are your vacation words? And how many of these terms that define your vacation directly correlate to spending a lot of money? I would argue that very few people define their vacations with &ldquo;<em>fancy restaurants, limos, expensive tours, and red carpets</em>&rdquo; unless they already have the financial capacity to enjoy these things at home. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">By defining your vacation desires, and reframing your vacation needs, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-in-style-for-free" target="_blank">being creative</a> where you can, you just may find that you can budget on vacation and not feel like you have sacrificed a thing. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Happy travels!<o:p></o:p></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taco-tuesday-the-inner-mechanics-of-budgeting-on-vacation">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-luxe-travel-destinations-that-are-cheaper-in-winter">6 Luxe Travel Destinations That Are Cheaper in Winter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-buying-the-best-travel-cameras">A Simple Guide to Buying The Best Travel Cameras</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget">The Easy Way to Save Up a Big Travel Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-affordable-travel-items-that-you-shouldnt-leave-home-without">9 Affordable Travel Items That You Shouldn&#039;t Leave Home Without</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Art and Leisure budget vacations canceling vacations excursions frugal vacations lavish vacations trips vacations Fri, 12 Dec 2008 21:12:10 +0000 Nora Dunn 2644 at http://www.wisebread.com