My wife and I are frugal at heart. This means, over the years, we’ve found deals and tricks that have us vacationing at a fraction of the cost of what most expect to spend.
Last year, we honeymooned with our daughter in Gatlinburg while the Smokey Mountains were literally smoking. You’d be amazed at how much room and attraction rates get reduced when an area is battling wildfires.
Of course, when we decided on this destination, we didn’t plan on the flames. We were glad we decided to stay the course, though, because our being there seemed to brighten the day of every merchant we encountered. It meant personalized attention and more fun for much less than we imagined.
Thinking different than the usual is what we find works best. Most go to amusement parks when it’s warm. You can enjoy the rides a lot more without the lines and high-ticket prices during off-season.
Cruises offer deep discounted rates near departure date. Fly mid-week instead of the weekend and you can save a ton, particularly if you’re ok with stopovers. Driving can save you more. Find free walking tours that teach local culture and history instead of boarding a bus for those stuffy, expensive sight-seeing cattle drives. Hotel rates drop significantly at times of less demand.
Whether it’s enjoying holiday attractions off-season or finding a destination that’s off the tourist beaten path, you can enjoy less traffic and have more fun for a fraction of the cost with some creative planning. Flying or driving smart, keeping it closer to home, finding diamonds in the rough and understanding where to find deep discounts can save you enough to afford a few extra vacations a year (or build a nice nest egg with a great financial planner).