If you can stand it, I have a few more tips to share! Here goes:
Saving Money on Meals ~
- Once I have a destination in mind, or a trip booked, I start thinking about where I might want to eat. (Shocking, I know.) I sometimes use Restaurant.com to buy gift certificates really inexpensively. Typically they sell them for $10 or $15 for a $25 gift certificate but you can always find discount codes (by Googling: "discount code for restaurant.com") for 60% off that price or more. SO, you pay $4-$5.60 for a $25 meal.
- Another option is scouting out the city you'll be visiting on Groupon.com. They don't have as many cities listed but you can usually find some pretty good restaurants featured. This can also be a great way to save money on entertainment or spa services in your destination location.
- It's always a bummer and a bit of a waste to eat a meal that you don't particularly like. I know there is always a chance of this but using an app like Yelp to read reviews really makes a big difference; it's rarely steered me wrong.
- This might be a little old-school for some, but think about sharing a meal. Especially in the U.S., where the portions are usually ridiculous.
- Sometimes it's not as fun to eat in a restaurant for every meal, especially if you are on a budget. I suggest a picnic or two. Many grocery stores stock one-size servings of things you don't have to cook and you can have a healthier meal in a lot of cases as well. Enjoy the scenery in your vacation spot by dining al fresco!
- Many cities, especially ones with lots of tourist attractions, will give away (or sell for a nominal fee) a coupon book for attractions. These can be great BUT only if you were wanting to do the activity in the first place. Don't fall for the deal and find yourself hating the Wax Popcorn Scarecrow Museum afterwards. (yes, I made that up)
- Ask for a discount - this is another place where mentioning AAA, student status, military service, etc. can pay off. Usually just a dollar or two but they add up over time.
- Find fun free things to do. Lots of cities are publishing guides, articles and blog posts on ways to enjoy their location for free. I have found great things this way and there is no guilt if you want to leave early or do four of them all in one afternoon.
I think that will be it for me, for now. I could probably go on for days. Thanks for reading along!