Oh, the glory and true cultural experiences of traveling! There’s really not words to truly describe the personal feelings and emotions of experiencing dream-come-true adventures , though as a write,r I can often find too many, as with this blog. Let me tell yo,u every place I have visited is way better than its pictures or an amateur video on many social outlets. though between the bestvacationsever.com website and You Tube, it can find that it really gets the juices and desires to travel flowinl. As mentioned in Part 1 of the two-part series, Cheap Tricks Part 1; A Dream Vacation on a Fixed Travel Budget, money is the biggest issue when traveling and just how fast they can add up when traveling, as my son were reminded of and shared our experiences and some money-saving tips in Part 1. Now in Part 2, I get to share many travel-budget savings tips in bullet form that would have gotten lost in the story, so you can have the same dream-come-true vacation that we had. The most important thing is to be a savvy, educated thrifty, pre-planning budget spender rather than finding yourself quickly and easily out of money or spending way more of our travel budget than expected. It all boils down to HOW you spend your money, so you and your family have your best vacation ever! Traveling on a budget takes careful research, pre-planning and travel budget management. If you have a fixed amount of travel money you can save a lot of money with cash and credit cards for exploring, transportation, dining and shopping at each destination – and the many travel budget savings tips provided below. The glory of my job as a travel writer and blogger, especially for Best Vacations Ever (BVE) by Preferred Guest Resorts (PGR), is that I have learned and can share so many intimately learned, researched and experienced easy money-saving techniques, as well as dollar-stretching skills. All so you can get out there and travel even when you think it is just financially impossible to take. I know you have been equipped with so much information, travel-budget tips and techniques to create an even more enjoyable and adventurous trip that you ever imagined possible on a limited travel budget. I know that you have been properly educated on Best Vacations Ever (BVE) vacation packages and how much money you can really save with its money-saving complimentary accommodations and/or other possible incentives like an Alamo rental car and more. BVE travel provider and 30+ year industry leader Preferred Guest Resorts (PGR) wants to to see you in an enhanced, exciting AnD LOW-COST BVE travel package that fits you and your TRAVEL BUDGET! In any event, let’s get right to the money savings tips. Here are few of my my time- and travel-learned and tested “Cheap Tricks”up my sleeve that I have picked up over the years that you can truly help you save a lot of money on a limited or fixed travel budge:
Cheap Tricks: Top Travel Budget Savings Tips
- Be Open and Flexible on Flight Itineraries and Airports — There are a few tips to saving money on airfare, which is not included complimentary like the usual nightly accommodations of a Best Vacations Ever promotional vacation package. To save money, look into flight itineraries with stops that sometimes lower the overall prices of each flight fare. Also look at alternate airports (smaller ones but with some of the bigger carriers that are often cheaper), and look into money-saving options by flying into one city and out of another. You can actually save time and money by avoiding a needless costly return to your starting point, unless it is you only option.
- Consider Driving vs. Flying – Depending where you are going sometimes driving can be cheaper than flying, especially with a family of four. You can even rent a car and drive it to your vacation destination and back – saving your car the mileage and wear and tear – or you can take your own car if cheaper to do so. Driving benefits include forged family bonds that can truly add to the joy of many vacations. Figure the flight fare options and calculate gas prices when comparing and go with the cheapest alternative to save money.
- Travel Off-Season —You can get cheaper airfare when flying off-season or during booking fights during the slow periods like right after the holidays, and spring break and summer months. Fall can be one of the best and most beautiful times to visit many destinations like Napa Valley or the Great Smokey Mountains of Pigeon Forge. There are cities like Orlando and Daytona Beach are warm and wonderful almost any time of year, and Best Vacations Ever by Preferred Guest Resorts offers a weeklong vacation package with stays in both destinations including other possible incentives that may include attraction tickets or an Alamo rental car. You’ll also find many specials and discounts, as well as a variety of lower prices in your vacation destination during off-seasons.
- Use Offsite Airport or Cruise Shuttle Parking Spots. Onsite parking garages may be convenient, but they can be extremely expensive. Before you leave, find any safe and reputable destination specific airport of port car parking spots that allow you to park you car either covered or uncovered for as many days as you need. Check into the safety and security, making sure that the garage s guarded 24-7 or video recorded and has good reviews. Then take its shuttle straight to the main curbside or portside check-in area with generous driver hospitality. Many of these shuttle-based parking spots are just a few miles from the airport or cruise port and can save you almost half the cost of onsite airport or port parking garages.
- Be Open, Flexible and Savvy With Your Accommodations. Trust me as a travel professional; every hotel, resort and lodging facility is in competition for your business, often offering many incentives to entice you to lodge at their property. Along with airfare, accommodations can eat up a very large chuck of your travel budget so much of your travel budget. In peak season, the rates can be enormous in many of the top destinations. Be smart, vigilant and savvy when researching accommodations and watch the websites for properties often. But if you want to REALLY SAVE A LOT OF MONEY and have a dream-come-true vacation is taking up to a weeklong Best Vacations Ever promotional vacation for a family up to four that typically includes complimentary nightly accommodations (minus taxes, and any resorts and extraneous fees) at one of Preferred Guest Resort’s preferred third-party properties. PGR, a 30-year promotional travel leader that travels tens of thousands of families per year, does all the legwork for you and takes the serious financial costs and stresses of lodging off the table from the start. Many peak season resorts can cost hundreds of dollars per night. Say it is peak season in Orlando and an average fancy resort is $300 or more tonight and do the math. Yes, you have to pay the nightly taxes and any resort amenity fees, but you are saving HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS ON ACCOMMODATIONS with a Best Vacations Ever promotional vacation package. In return all that is asked of you out of up to a 7-day vacation is one convenient time that does NOT affect your vacation time and itinerary with attendance at fun group interactive resort introduction and travel savings presentation. Authentic, credible and impassioned about sharing travel with the world, PGR – more than 30 years ago – followed a decades, even generations old travel marketing method and enhanced it, making the world accessible to travel at extremely low costs. It’s a lot like when I get free accommodations for a work media visit in exchange for editorial coverage. And I can assure you that I have a BLAST while having to do even more work and evaluating of property than you have to do. Mine is a continuous evaluation while having fun – you only have to go to one single, self-scheduled, very conveniently timed presentation that last about 90-minutes to receive the complimentary nighty accommodations, Even my 19 year old son said it is an unbelievable value and wishes he could do it, but it is for married and cohabitating couples and their family members up to four people. But I can tell you out of all the many businesses in the same promotional arena, PGR’s Best Vacation Ever is truly dedicated to enhanced travel and customer satisfaction, often offering many other travel incentives in its packages like a preferred-partner Alamo rental car. Just imagine what all you can do with the hundreds of dollars you will save with free accommodations. Visit bestvationsever.com for explicit package and destination details and downloadable PGR/BVE videos and terms and conditions, or call a PGR U.S.-based Travel Reservation Center at 800-656-2780 for more information.
Make the Most of Local Transportation In Your Destination. This is probably the biggest area of money spent beyond accommodations, which are typically complimentary with a PGR Best Vacation Ever package typically offers. If you don’t have a car, a lot of money can be saved with public transit options. Airports usually have cheap and convenient public transit connections to the town center, and your hotel may also have an airport shuttle. BVE’s New Orleans destination package even offers complimentary accommodations close to free city trolley routes; some PGR properties even offer front door stops en route around the city and Garden District. Going rogue, my son and I visited areas were based on a “cost per head” on a group taxi, which lowered the more people that got on. In one island we started at $12 each and waited till more people got on and it ended up being $4 per person. Talk about a big savings. Be sure to look up all the transportation options like local buses, cabs, private cars, shuttles, subway or local train systems, and even free trolleys, and find out the cheapest way to travel for your family.
- Look Into Rental Cars While on Vacation – If a local transit is limited or taxis too expensive in certain areas, then a rental car may save you the most money, plus give you the chance to visit outlying areas at your own leisure. Many times, for example if visiting the very large Central Florida region (Orlando), it may be more cost-effective to rent a car. Look for specials like the preferred partner deals through Alamo rental cars. Make sure that you ask a BVE representative at 800-656-2780 for Alamo incentives and specials. Also make sure when renting a car that you know its terms and if they restrict mileage. If so, and you want to visit outlying area like the beaches near Orlando etc., make sure you find out of you will need to purchase any extra mileage. Orlando has also recently launched its money-saving Sun Rail (a local train route) system for locals and tourists alike – though in its infant stage it is due to add a lot more stops through the vast Central Florida region as it continues to grow.
- Avoid big-time touristy restaurants. You can save a lot of money at some off-the-beaten path restaurants that serve some of the best cuisine, including authentic cultural dishes at your destination. Often locals serve better food for less money ND many offer money-saving daily specials. Also look for places where KIDS EAT FREE with each paying adult – a serious money saver.
- Shop at Malls, Markets and Family-run businesses for best values. In Family owned shops or market vendors tend to offer serious savings on souvenirs and other essential items; some that even are willing to negotiate lower prices. At mom-and-pop shops or boutique-style market vendors you’re also more likely to be served by people who care about their reputation and their customers. Malls can also be a source of discounted items and specialty souvenirs, apparel and other specialty items at lower prices, like souvenirs from big-name theme-park items.
- Enjoy Money-Saving Picnic, Kids Eat Free Programs and Save SERIOUS MONEY With In-Room Dining With Kitchen
Amenities and Grocery Store Visits. Stock Your Room with Groceries. Twenty dollars can buy a mighty fine picnic lunch for four that you can have in amazing hot spots, especially up in the mountains and near vineyards of Napa Valley or while hiking the Smokies in Pigeon Forge. The spectacular views are courtesy of Mother Nature. A trip to a grocery store can really salvage much of your travel budget and leave room for more destination activity money. If equipped with a refrigerator (even a mini) and microwave, as many preferred PGR/BVE accommodations are, stock your hotel room with drinks, snacks, breads, peanut butter, bagels and cream cheese, crackers, chips, lunch meats and sandwich makings, small veggie bites, small frozen meals for microwaves and much more to save a lot of your travel budget that can be serious expensive when dining. Anytime you can eat and drink in your room, you can save you an awful lot of money rather than eating out all the time. Water bottles are a biggie – just one bottle of water at some Orlando big-name theme parks, for example, can cost as much as a 24 bottle case. Also check to see if your resort has a complimentary continental breakfast, as well as onsite restaurants with Kids eat Free Programs. Many Best Vacations Ever host properties offer all of the above and many are equipped with all modern traveler’s room needs with microwaves and at least mini-refrigerators at least; some properties are even suites with full kitchens or kitchenettes. MONEY-SAVING DINING CHEAP TRICKS: Some of our family’s favorite things to do include: 1.) Freezing water bottles so they slowly melt and we have cold water long during hot next-day expeditions (check ahead of time that you can bring water bottles into big-name theme parks, which we used to always be able to do before heightened security measures.). Then we also have bottles we can cheaply refill all day long instead of buying new ones. If you can’t take in FULL water bottles to a theme park, take empty ones in that you can fill at water fountains. Believe it or not, WATER can be one of your most costly travel expenses if visiting places like Walt Disney World Resort®, SeaWorld or Universal Orlando Resort® in Central Florida or Six Flags Theme Parks in many various U.S. destinations. Another great money-saving trip of family of l includes: 2.) Running water through our coffee maker twice to get it hot enough to heat up those cheap but filling cups of noodle soup! NOTE: BVE promotional packages offer many preferred-partner properties that are primly located right in the heart or just minutes from the epicenter and THISCLOSE to the main attractions and theme parks, like Orlando, Pigeon Forge, Daytona Beach, Napa Valley, New Orleans the Bahamas and more. (Visit the BVE website at bestvacationsever.com to view all of the possible properties that could be your family’s complimentary accommodations resort host. View pictures and read detailed information about each hotel and view the FEATURES list of property offerings and amenities for each. Always best to know ahead f time if your room has a mini refrigerator and a microwave, at least.
- Avoid Costly Laundry Facilities. Bring enough clothes and extra undergarments for as many days of your vacation. Try very hard not to over pack, because as I have learned, as well as many other travelers, always come home with half our clothes unworn. If needed hand wash smaller, easy items and re-wear some items – shorts and jeans being the biggies. LAUNDRY CHEAP TRICKS: Take with you a small laundry baggie that incudes a small liquid bottle of laundry soap for washing some garments and line drying usually on the drying shower line in your hotel bathroom shower that stretches wall to wall or place bigger items near your AC or AC vents. Also, steam up your bathroom, and then spray any wrinkled garments with de-wrinkle spray and hang them in the steamy bathroom – even while you shower. Also bring a baggie of dryer sheets for refreshing items and dryer de-wrinkling. One of my most favorite tips is to put a dryer sheet in each shoe packed because whether you may smell any odor or not, it is there and can affect any clothing items in contact with, especially dirty shoe bottoms. We always pack our shoes separately with dryer sheets to smelling fresh and keep all together in one person’s carry-on bag.
- Eat In Season and Share Entrees. Many destinations have specialty in-season items and dishes at lower prices, so order seasonal specials to save money. You’ll get more taste for the destination as well. Also at many places, portions are large enough to share. So consider sharing entrees to save even more money dining out and save your big money for establishments that may be more expensive but are n your must-do list.
- Use a Destination Guidebook or Area Entertainment Book. Destination Guidebooks and Entertainment Books for tourists are sometimes free and sometimes available for purchase and contain a ton of dining, shopping, activity and attraction discount. Try calling your destination tourist bureau ahead of time about such fabulous guidebooks. For example, if visiting Orlando call its main tourist bureau, Visit Orlando, and try to buy one ahead of your trip. A good guide or entertainment book for purchase can pay for itself in day one of your visit. Also make sure to read the magazines and look for activity flyers and information from your resort concierge, which may also have tourist-based discount booklets or flyers or cards with activity discounts. Remember, each destination is going to offer as many special offerings to tourists buy saving them money in hopes of repeat visits!
Use Credit Cards and ATMs Instead of Travelers Checks. Credit cards like Visa, American Express and MasterCard are widely used—almost everywhere domestically internationally. Plus, if you lose them, they can easily be cut off if lost or stolen almost everywhere. You should always have cash in cash cards are not accepted or fir tips and other essentials. You can also avoid the hassle of loosing traveler’s checks and actually get your cash cheaper and faster with an ATM machine. ATMs give the best possible rates but charge transaction fees that you can minimize these fees by making fewer and larger withdrawals. Store the cash safely in a money belt. Always hold tight to your cash, either with a money belt or a body crossover purse or bag or purse. In some areas, savvy and swift thieves target tourists. You’ll save money by not losing it! Blend into destination atmospheres as much as you can like a chameleon with the culture of your destination
- Ask for All Itemized Transaction Bills & Dining Charges. Understand all fees, charges etc., so you do not over pay or get short changed. Also when dining out, some places automatically add the server’s tip already built into your total charge yet still have an extra tip line on the bill you are to sign. Do not get fooled into adding more tip money than you have already paid. Do your own arithmetic, knowing tip charges and taxes that may be a different percentage in different destinations, and never let the cashier rush you – make sure any discounts offered like 40% off show on your receipt! Smile but be smart, so you are a money saver and not a looser. On my son and I’s recent vacation, we were given a receipt almost every transaction, especially dining, that had the tip already factored in but an extra tip line added. I also shad to go back one time to an island shop, luckily before reaching the door noticing I was quoted one price but charged dollars more. Be sure everywhere you go and make a purchase, not just dining, that you read your receipt clearly and make sure you are not gipped out of more money that is not needed.
Travel with a Group to Save Money. A single hotel room often costs nearly the same as a double. And by splitting taxis, food, guidebooks, and activity charges, two people saves both time and money. A lot like how hotel rooms or cruise discounts are based on double occupancy, Best Vacations Ever promotional vacation packages are based on married or cohabiting couples and their children or family members up to four people. Proof of couple cohabitation is required. Take the family or family members on a BVE package – the more people in your group/room, the more money you can actually save, as PGR strives to add other possible incentive and travel enhancing savings including many packages with up to a weeklong Alamo rental car. I now you can appreciate the glory of having your own car on vacation and traveling at your own pace and visiting many outlying areas. For xample, if you visit Orando, you have a very easy one-hour easy to the east coast beaches of Florida or two hours to the west coats beaches, which make for incredible daytrips. BVE also has a weeklong vacation package with stays in both Orlando and Daytona Beach. Ask a PGR travel rep about many BVE existing or custom multi-destination vacation packages at 800-656-2780. packages. t If you have a large party, accessibility requirements, need more space or a condo, please ask your PGR/BVE travel representative at 800-656-2780, if traveling with PGR’s Best Vacations Ever, who can help accommodate and assist with all of your family’s needs.
- Buy Maps in Your Destination. Maps in your destination are often much more detailed than those you can get before departure. They are often half the price of buying at a local home store, if not free, and full of much more information that if you bought one at “home.” There’s also a much wider and more detailed vision of the destination area selection with many must see attractions and areas to visit. Using Orlando again as a destination example, people do not realize how HUGE the Central Florida region is and how close the theme park capital is to east and west coast beaches, as well as many exceptional outlying areas/cities that are worth visiting. There is more to do and see in Central Florida than a week could even cover, especially when you know what all there is to do. Talk to locals as well and get recommendations, especially when heading off the beaten path and going rogue. More importantly, using Orlando for an example, check out and click the button for the Orlando MUST-DO activities located on the info-packed Destination page on bestvactionsever.com. NOTE: There are buttons to link to Must-DO activities pages for all BVE destinations. You will find a wealth of activities that barely scratch the surface that list the big-name parks but also goes way beyond the obvious and ignites interest in so many activities you may not have ever known about.
- Communicate Online If Traveling Domestic Traveling. For the cost of a postcard or a and a stamp, you can often stay connected with friends more cheaply usually in your room –many of PGR third-party host hotels offer free Wi Fi or for a small fee or they have an Internet equipped business center. You can also go to one of MANY cybercafés or establishments, like the popular coffee and connectivity chain, Starbucks, that offer free Wi Fi. Visit bestvacatinever.com even has a travel tool that shows many Internet accessible areas. Many libraries also offer Free Internet access. If you travel travel with Best Vacations Ever, many of the PGR/BVE accommodations available offer free in room or public W Fi, or Internet access for a small fee. NOTE: Call your internet/cell phone carrier before departure and discuss your options. With mine, we no longer could get a prorated international data plan, and roaming rates were quite high, though slightly lower on each island my son and I visited while on a pleasure cruise. If you do not have an international plan. If you too find yourselves without an international data plan that is affordable, just unplug –it is vacation! Turn off your Data, which is located under Settings on you main home page of the phone, The data is the most expensive part of international roaming, often costing about $10 we were told for one Facebook check. Ask about what your rates are and ask them to send you a copy of it via email so even you r kids are educated– for us texts were the cheapest was to stay in touch. NOTE: Your camera on your phone works just fine and you can take as many pictures as you want with no charges. IMPORTANT NOTE: BUT, if you attach an image to a text it automatically turns on your data, which could then start racking up seriously high charges. On a personal note, my goddaughter did that and ended up with an $800 bill upon return –a plan that normally costs around $150 and made Daddy a little upset.
Don’t waste any more time – GO TRAVEL! You have the greatest, most incredible, low-cost travel opportunity that’s probably one the best Cheap Travel Tricks with a Best Vacations Ever promotional vacation package provided by Preferred Guest Resorts (PGR), which typically involves hundreds of dollars of travel savings with typical complimentary BVE-package accommodations. Enjoy traveling and saving lots of money with all of these Cheap Tricks to save money on your travel budget. Put your pen down and bestvacationsever.com or call The PGR Travel Reservation Center at 800-656-2780 to customize and make those fantasized travel dreams come true.
What is one of your top travel budget savings tips?