My family loves to travel, but with continuously rising gas prices and teens that no longer qualify for the “child or youth” rate at most attractions, having the money to do so is getting harder and harder.
I’ve discovered several discount powerhouses that allow me to stretch my family’s entertainment and travel budget- which in turn allows us to do more and see more each time we travel, whether that would be a quick day trip, weekend outing or full blown family vacation.
Here’s my list of 3 ways to save money on family travel.
1. Entertainment Book- I remember my parent’s buying these coupon books when I was young. We didn’t travel much, but they did cash in the coupons all over town for buy one, get one meals at participating locations and restaurants.
Today you’ll find entertainment books for many large cities around the country; from Washington D.C. to Birmingham, Alabama all the way to California. If you are planning a trip anywhere in between, it’s worth it to take a minute to visit www.entertainmentbook.com to determine if they offer a guide for your destination. If they do you can simply click on “View” on the category you’re interested in to see what type of coupon is offered in order to determine if you’ll save enough money to justify the cost of the book.
The Entertainment Coupon Guides also offer online access, allowing you to print only the coupons you will use. The regular price of the Entertainment guides are $34 plus shipping but if you sign up for their email newsletter, you’ll discover that they have sales and specials so frequently that you’ll never need to pay full price.
2. Groupon– This group buy site is one of my favorite sources for obtaining discounts, not only for my area, but also for the cities that my family plans to visit. I’ve purchased anything from Little Caesar’s Pizza, to Fandango movie tickets, to attraction tickets and even a coupon for Amazon.com. If you keep an eye on the specials, you can get some great deals.
I recently purchased six Groupon deals in one week when our state was celebrating state tourism week. I planned outings for the entire summer from that one week of discounts, from museum tours to train rides, in many cases saving at least 50% off the normal rates.
The only problem with Groupon seems to be that I may overbuy, so be selective!
3. Living Social Escapes– This is one site that I keep my eye on. They often offer deeply discounted travel packages. One thing to keep in mind when finding the “deals” is to do a bit of research and see how much the getaway will cost you if purchased directly from the destination. This will let you know if you’re really saving money and exactly how much you’re saving. You can sign up to receive emails from LivingSocial so you’ll never miss a great deal.
Have you used any of these methods to save money on travel? Where do you look when you’re seeking travel discounts?