When looking for a hotel, check travel websites like Priceline, Orbitz, or Travelocity. We've had good luck with Priceline's Express Deals. We got a room at the Best Western Plus right down the street from Universal Studios in Orlando for less than $40 a night! You can also call hotels you are interested in directly. Sometimes you can get a better deal through the actual hotel than through a site.
There are great campgrounds all over the country, and they are (almost) always cheaper than hotels. With a small investment upfront you can get a decent tent and sleeping bags, then save money for years to come! Most major cities have campgrounds, not just places "out in the woods". In fact, there are three campgrounds in and around NYC! Check out Reserve America to find your perfect campsite, or the National Park Service.
You can always find fun things to do that are free or cheap! Visit local parks, hiking trails, or museums. If you have a zoo, museum, or science center membership where you live, see if there is a reciprocating facility where you will be vacationing. Many zoos and aquariums are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. We've gone to SO many amazing museums and zoos by using our local museum's membership. Find out more about their Reciprocal Admissions Program. For the list of reciprocating science centers, visit ASTC's website.
Brown Bag It
Eating out the whole trip can be costly, so plan your meals ahead of time, then take food with you or shop shortly after you arrive. Have plenty of snacks on hand so you aren't tempted to hit up the drive-thru. If you want to eat out, look on the restaurant's website for coupons or deals for signing up for their "club". Does a member of your traveling party have a birthday within a month of the trip? Cash in on those birthday meal freebies!!
Are you planning any summer vacations? What's your favorite way to save money on the trip? Let us know in the comments!
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Post originally appeared on My Favorite Finds, with a few alterations.