Money is the biggest issue when traveling, whether near or far destinations. Travel expenses can add up quickly, which I was recently reminded of while taken on a rogue pleasure trip (cruise) with my son. A vacation filled with a lot of Caribbean island hopping in various destinations. Receiving a certain amount of money for graduation and a fixed amount for a cruise, he desperately wanted to go on, he had to learn how to spend a fixed budget for two in the thriftiest ways. As an avid traveler, he has had access to my virtual Rolodex of travel-savings tips. By stretching and using our dollars wisely, we were actually able to do so much more than we expected by going rogue, experiencing my son’s dream-come-true location and visiting various islands and cultures he and I had always wanted to visit in more active, island invested ways rather than restricting ourselves to just one or maybe two long, often singular shore excursion per visit. Being thrifty spenders and setting a travel-budget expense for each day and a making a pre-departure list of mandatory must-do activities, we did so much more and saved money rather than finding ourselves quickly and easily out of dough or spending way more of our travel budget than expected. But we also had the time of our lives! What really matters for most families when traveling is HOW you spend your money, so you and your family still have a dream vacation, too! If you play your cards right and use some easy money-saving and dollar-stretching skills, you can create an even more enjoyable and adventurous trip that you ever imagined and keep your dream trip affordable.
Traveling on a budget takes careful planning and management, using a fixed amount of travel money with cash and credit cards for exploring, transportation, dining and shopping at each destination. Before and during our trip, we used education we had gained on each destination, research, reviews, more detailed local maps, local recommendations, the travel concierge information and tips, recommendations by previous travelers, and shuttle cabs that got cheaper by the head. On one expedition the price started at $12 a head but went down to $4 the more people that joined the island’s group shuttle-type cab. If you don’t have a rental car (many Best Vacations Ever promotional vacation packages include an Alamo rental car), make sure to look into as many options your destination and resort offers for transportation, such as any complimentary shuttles, trolleys, local bus routes and group travel options at lower rates. Talk to your hotel/resort concierge who is their to make sure you know how to get around at the least amount of money and most securely.
Going rogue is and was much like what Best Vacations Ever (BVE) travelers do in their destination of choice, though a rental car was not necessary for only one day in our destinations but many of the travel-budget savings tips I have learned over the years came in quite handy. You can have an amazing vacation with some education, researching and pre planning, spending the time to plan out our budget for each destination and stretching out your fixed dollars wisely in some creative ways like you will find in the soon-to-follow blog, Cheap Tricks Part 2: Top Travel Budget Savings Tips.
Action-Packed Rogue Traveling: Doing More on Less Money
One of the greatest ways we saved money as budget travelers was by using local transit, like group taxi vans, and traveling with other independent people. The more the merrier because the more cheaper! It also gave us a chance to talk with others and our local driver en route to get recommendations and area information. With our rogue money-saving travel tips and tricks, we did everything we wanted to do on each island and much more, with money left over to play a nit more onboard the ship at night.
In St. Maarten, my son got to video his dream-come-true experience in Maho Beach, which no shore excursions were offered. Planes land so low on the runway, which is across the street from the beach with a big danger sign, that really has you securing yourself and is the ultimate thrill seeking adventure as you reach up upon the landing and seemingly touch the landing gear wheels as the big planes fly over and land just yards away. As a flying hobbyist with quite a few logged hours and a piloting enthusiast, my son fulfilled his biggest dream to watch, experience and video plane landings and takeoffs that literally blew you away. Besides the tightest stretch, Maho also was a shimmering beautiful beach with a big bar right on the beach that had a flight itinerary of very limited landing and takeoff schedules for each day so beach-hoers had forewarning. On takeoffs you did not want to be in its path as it blasted half the beach sand, hats, umbrellas, bags, even people into the ocean. From there, we headed back by cheap group taxi to the main drop-off area and got a $7 round-trip water-taxi service to use all day, back and forth, to the magnificent Great Bay beach and waterfront.
We also got to explore all the island destinations including St. Thomas where we go through mountains, see Blackbeard’s Castle (which is actually a relatively small but more a tall fort), see internal cultures and meet hospitable locals, enjoy activities and attractions on our time frame and also visit what is promoted as “one of the world’s most beautiful beaches,” Magen’s Bay in St. Thomas. The mountain-wrapped U-shaped bay was surrounded by the most brilliant foliage and coconut Palms and punctuated by a vast pearly white sand beach glistening in the sun and flanked by the expansive crystal-clear turquoise waters that were absolutely gorgeous, but the vast crowding and littering on the sand, which is a big pet peeve of mine on beaches and waterways took it off my top ten list.
While exploring the blue lagoon, we also found also found and used our “Castaway”-learned skills to open a coconut from one of the many Palms richly bearing coconut fruit (no, it’s not a nut; it’s a drupe.). What truly made us the happiest was the swimming and snorkeling in the refreshing waters teeming with colorful tropical fish – waters that felt so cool, clean and refreshing – like a soothing spa bath that was mineral rich but with a very minimal salty feel.
Each island visited we were so thrilled at what all we accomplished and so proud of ourselves for sticking to our budget. We were amazed at all we accomplished, how much money we saved, and how much we were able to invest and immerse ourselves into the local cultures of each island. More importantly, were impressed by how much we maximized our time and money with a plan and budget from the start of each destination.
One day at an off-the beaten path restaurant, near the spectacular, exceptionally high-end yet crusty Great Bay Waterfront of St. Maarten, we also used one of our family money-saving tips by sharing an exceptionally large-portion, low-priced authentic Caribbean entrée offered at lower prices. Sharing entrees, using coupons in local tourist guidebooks and avoiding, high-priced touristy spots. Using our money-saving dining strategies, we saved so much money but truly got to taste and experience the culture of each island while it was one of our biggest money saving sectors along with group taxi travel. Many of these tip tips are available in bullet form in Cheap Tricks Part 2: Top Travel Budget Savings Tips. Print it out and take it with you on vacation!
The Obvious Money Savings Benefits of BVE
While dining over such impeccable cuisine that day, my son asked more about the Best Vacations Ever packages I blog about. Rather than one of my travel editorial or marketing copywriting media visits for work that usually offers the same complimentary accommodations to journalists that Best Vacations Ever (BVE) promotional vacation packages that are provided by Preferred Guest Resorts (PGR).
Even with savings tips I have acquired as a travel buff and writer, we paid retail rates for our vacation cruise, along with most travellers. But by watching the website often and booking during only one promo week when prices dropped significantly and came with a free 4-night future cruise for booking of a spacious and comfortable inside stateroom. Just like room vacancies that hotels and open seats on airlines that they hope to fill! That’s why looking and watching ahead of time is so important.
Along with airfare or transportation to your destination, accommodations eat up a lot of a travel budget, especially in a big-name resort like Orlando or Napa Valley, which are seasonally warm and wonderful all year long. Accommodations expenses can be saved exponentially while visiting unbelievable destinations with a test-drive in other dream destination with a Best Vacations Ever promotional vacation package that typically includes up to weeklong complimentary nightly stays at one of the BVE destination’s preferred PGR third-party properties listed and showcased on each Destination page of bestvacationever.com. If you travel in peak season, you can read the closed door backing usually to see what the retail rate is In Orlando some resorts can run $400 or more per night depending where you stay – hundreds of dollars per night Many BVE packages also may include up to a weeklong PGR preferred partner Alamo rental car and other travel-enhancing incentives to save a lot of money of your travel budget. A BVE package can avoid tainting your travel budget with serious savings.
Having tagged along on many media trips at resorts with complimentary nightly stays at resorts at retail rates at more than $400, my son seemed to think, even with all our money-saving strategies, that we still didn’t save nearly as much money as a traveler taking a Best Vacations Ever promotional vacation package provided by Preferred Guest Resorts (PGR), which typically includes complimentary nightly accommodations. All excellent accommodations that are PGR third-party preferred partners, and all of which are primly located in the near the heart of each destinations and its main attractions, such as Orlando, Daytona Beach, New Orleans, Napa Valley, Pigeon Forge and the Bahamas. PGR makes sure that BVE guests and their families have the best possible time at any one of our host properties, and always work toward enhancing your vacation with other money-saving incentives like up to a weeklong preferred-partner Alamo rental car and/or other special offers.
Don’t Wait For Awesome Savings: Go Travel With BVE Today
I dedicate a lot of time writing and blogging about travel and share my own personal passion. On our pleasure cruise we both realized how much better we felt and enjoyed many of the proven health benefits of vacationing travel as often as possible, plus I believe in the Best Vacations Ever money-saving opportunities and vacation health benefits. I also want to share the many wonderful places I have visited and ways I have to save money on travel. You and your family, too, can get out and and see our magnificent world. For a list of our rogue travel money-saying tips, see the soon-to-follow-Cheap Tricks Part 2: Top Travel Budget Saving Tips.
The fact is, that there are so may ways to save money and enjoy what was most precious to us: We had an incredible, life-changing, memory-making, mother-son bonding and truly active health benefiting experience that neither of us will ever forget, even on limited travel expenses. Going rogue and using our education, tourist statin maps, group money-saving group taxis and local guide discounts from the destination information station guidebooks filled with coupons for everything you can imagine, we saved and did more than we expected, not wasting single minute and coming back with fun money each day to play with on the ship. We also came home with money to spare that helped with already preplanned out with car parking garage expenses.
All you have to do to save quite a significant amount of your travel budget money is visit bestvacationsever.com for all BVE vacation package offerings and call the PGR Travel Reservation Center at 800-656-2780 for more information and to book your dream vacation with complimentary accommodations for up to a WEEK in exchange for SIMPLE and attendance that, time-wise, does not affect your many days of free travel time. How easy and simple is that out of 7 days worth hundreds of dollars? If my 19-year-old son can see the benefits and savings, so can you if you take the time and visit bestvacationsever.com to find all its destinations packages, destination and accommodation information, testimonials and downloadable PGR/BVE videos to help you understand the promotional package and get your dream vacation started even on limited travel budgets. If you have larger family or need more space or a condo, please talk to your PGR/BVE representative at 800-656-2780 so your group is accommodated appropriately. Then book it and get ready for the serious money-saving vacation of a lifetime! Remember for our top money-savings travel tips, see the soon-to-follow Cheap Tricks Part 2: Top Travel Budget Savings Tips.
What is your top travel savings adventure?