It's almost summer vacation time, let's talk frugal vacations!

It's almost summer vacation time, let's talk frugal vacations!

Joined: June 5th, 2006, 5:33 pm

April 12th, 2012, 3:04 am #1

After the wedding, dh & I would like to take a few days.

I know we've talked about this before, but I thought it would be fun to start brainstorming.

What do you do to cut costs on vacations?

We'll take an ice chest and eat the evening meal out of it. Lunch is usually cheaper than dinner at restaurants, so when we eat out, it will be lunch.

I'm pretty picky about hotels and wonder if a B&B would be cheaper or just nicer, or are they nicer? I see a lot with pets and I don't know how dh's allergies will be, especially being unused to the pollen in the area.

Then, and hardest for us, is finding something to do when we get somewhere. We like to take tours, by bus, jeep, or boat. It's just fun to have someone point out the sights. Other than that, we never know what to do. If we go to Memphis we'll probably go see Graceland. Not that either of us are big Elvis fans, but how can you go to Memphis and not see Graceland?

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The road to success is always under construction.
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Joined: May 21st, 2006, 4:46 am

April 12th, 2012, 3:54 am #2

That's why Mary and I went to Graceland! We also stayed at the Heartbreak Hotel, which--as you might guess--is down at the end of Lonely Street. We also had so much fun at BB King's blues club, on Beale Street, that we went two nights running!

If you go to Nashville, be sure to go to the Grand Ole Opry. (Bev and Tam will dispute this, but familiarity breeds contempt, LOL). We aren't country fans, but it was a cultural experience and a GREAT concert at a good price. We saw the late Porter Waggoner, Little Jimmy Dickens (he's still alive!), Diamond Rio, Brad Paisley and Emmylou Harris, all on the same show. We scheduled our trip to be there on Saturday night and to attend the show that is actually broadcast live. However, they have two shows on Saturday, and one mid-week.

Other things to see in the Nashville area: The Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson, and Stone's Mountain Civil War battlefield. There are a LOT of Civil War sites in Tennessee. We didn't go to the Hermitage, but we enjoyed Stone's Mountain. Later we visited the Shiloh National Cemetery and laid flowers on the grave of Mary's great-great uncle, who is buried there. We ate at a boarding house in Nashville and were seated with Oprah's father and two cousins. Oh, yeah, we had dinner the next night with Beverly and Tammy.

Our trip actually started in Nashville, went west to Memphis, turned east across southern Tennessee to Shiloh, then NE to Lynchburg, home of the Jack Daniels Distillery. You will have to stay at a B&B in Lynchburg, because that's all there is. We ate at Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House.

From there, we continued NE, then east to Great Smokies National Park. We didn't do any of the touristy stuff in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, etc., but just enjoyed the park. We stayed in a very reasonably priced cabin near Cosby TN:http://www.serenityfallscabins.com/cabinrentals.html We had the General Store cabin--it's the original general store from old Cosby. Very nice quilt shop in Cosby called Holloway's. Mary says you'll like it!

On our last day, we drove back to Nashville through Knoxville to catch afternoon flights.

I would recommend any or all of the above for a nice vacation. We had a blast! In the cabin, we bought food and did our own cooking. Otherwise, we only had a soft-sided cooler that I brought with me on the plane. Send out for pizza for a quick, cheap dinner.

If your husband has allergies, ask LOTS of questions about pets, smoking rules, etc., whether you are staying in a B&B or a motel. Even if a B&B doesn't accept pets, they might have their own--Nashville was where we encountered the cat that rang a bell to go outside. The only two nights we spent in hotels were in Memphis (Heartbreak Hotel and the Peabody--the one with ducks in the lobby), otherwise we stayed in B&Bs (Memphis and Lynchburg) and the cabin in the Smokies.
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Joined: April 3rd, 2012, 12:32 am

April 12th, 2012, 4:34 am #3

After the wedding, dh & I would like to take a few days.

I know we've talked about this before, but I thought it would be fun to start brainstorming.

What do you do to cut costs on vacations?

We'll take an ice chest and eat the evening meal out of it. Lunch is usually cheaper than dinner at restaurants, so when we eat out, it will be lunch.

I'm pretty picky about hotels and wonder if a B&B would be cheaper or just nicer, or are they nicer? I see a lot with pets and I don't know how dh's allergies will be, especially being unused to the pollen in the area.

Then, and hardest for us, is finding something to do when we get somewhere. We like to take tours, by bus, jeep, or boat. It's just fun to have someone point out the sights. Other than that, we never know what to do. If we go to Memphis we'll probably go see Graceland. Not that either of us are big Elvis fans, but how can you go to Memphis and not see Graceland?

------
The road to success is always under construction.
Spend some time booking a hotel before you go. We have gotten some great deals. We have used priceline where you name your price for a hotel. You don't know exactly which hotel it will be but you say what star level of hotel you want. We also search down online coupon codes and you'd be surprised what you'd find. We used a code being a ping pong champion or something one time to stay at a really nice La Quinta for around 60.00. We were afraid they were going to ask for our ping pong champions membership card but they didn't hahaha!!
We try to find a hotel that provides breakfast and we'll pay 10.00 or so more for the family of 5 if the breakfast is included. If breakfast is not included we just bring poptarts and granola bars.
I'm a little leary of Bed and Breakfast's. Stayed a few when I was younger with my parents, who will literally stay anywhere. I didn't like having to leave the room and go down the hall to share a bathroom. Some Bed and Breakfasts aren't like that, but alot are.
Jaime
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Joined: May 21st, 2006, 4:46 am

April 12th, 2012, 4:52 am #4

After the wedding, dh & I would like to take a few days.

I know we've talked about this before, but I thought it would be fun to start brainstorming.

What do you do to cut costs on vacations?

We'll take an ice chest and eat the evening meal out of it. Lunch is usually cheaper than dinner at restaurants, so when we eat out, it will be lunch.

I'm pretty picky about hotels and wonder if a B&B would be cheaper or just nicer, or are they nicer? I see a lot with pets and I don't know how dh's allergies will be, especially being unused to the pollen in the area.

Then, and hardest for us, is finding something to do when we get somewhere. We like to take tours, by bus, jeep, or boat. It's just fun to have someone point out the sights. Other than that, we never know what to do. If we go to Memphis we'll probably go see Graceland. Not that either of us are big Elvis fans, but how can you go to Memphis and not see Graceland?

------
The road to success is always under construction.
We, too, have stayed at a couple of nice LaQuintas and I thought they were a good value. Whether you stay there or elsewhere, be sure to ask for the senior discount and try to stay at the same chain (or in the same family of hotels) as often as possible on the trip. Join their frequent stay club. We also got enough for two free nights by getting a LaQuinta credit card. Karen in CO posted awhile back about the great deal she got with a Hyatt CC. This will help cut the cost of your NEXT vacation.

Jaime, I've never had to go down the hall to the bathroom. I know those B&Bs exist, but most have private baths and their information always states whether the bathroom is private or shared.

Read tripadvisor.com reviews before you book--if someone has bed bugs, they will tell you about it. I'd LOLOLOLOL if bed bugs were funny.
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Joined: October 27th, 2005, 2:33 am

April 12th, 2012, 10:53 am #5

After the wedding, dh & I would like to take a few days.

I know we've talked about this before, but I thought it would be fun to start brainstorming.

What do you do to cut costs on vacations?

We'll take an ice chest and eat the evening meal out of it. Lunch is usually cheaper than dinner at restaurants, so when we eat out, it will be lunch.

I'm pretty picky about hotels and wonder if a B&B would be cheaper or just nicer, or are they nicer? I see a lot with pets and I don't know how dh's allergies will be, especially being unused to the pollen in the area.

Then, and hardest for us, is finding something to do when we get somewhere. We like to take tours, by bus, jeep, or boat. It's just fun to have someone point out the sights. Other than that, we never know what to do. If we go to Memphis we'll probably go see Graceland. Not that either of us are big Elvis fans, but how can you go to Memphis and not see Graceland?

------
The road to success is always under construction.
It's an app on my phone, but I'm sure it's online. It tells of the restaurants in an area that other patrons have rated as either good or bad, and also gives a price range of meals. When we travel, we always try to eat somewhere that we don't have at home. We usually end up at some really nice local places that are reasonably priced. Example: When traveling through KY on spring break, we found a place called Basil's in Corbin, KY that's right down the road from the original Colonel Sander's restaurant. It was fabulous! The chef came out and talked to to us, and I think our meal was right around $40 for the four of us...that included an appetizer, garlic bread, soft drinks (dry county! ), and dinner.
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Joined: May 21st, 2006, 4:46 am

April 12th, 2012, 1:45 pm #6

When we went to Nebraska two years ago for Special Olympics, I bought some restaurant.com certificates that we used in Lincoln. I bought them at the end of the month when they were practically giving them away. The best meal we had on the trip was in Lincoln using one of these certificates. Do this if you know you will be in certain cities.
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Joined: December 1st, 2006, 5:36 pm

April 12th, 2012, 3:11 pm #7

After the wedding, dh & I would like to take a few days.

I know we've talked about this before, but I thought it would be fun to start brainstorming.

What do you do to cut costs on vacations?

We'll take an ice chest and eat the evening meal out of it. Lunch is usually cheaper than dinner at restaurants, so when we eat out, it will be lunch.

I'm pretty picky about hotels and wonder if a B&B would be cheaper or just nicer, or are they nicer? I see a lot with pets and I don't know how dh's allergies will be, especially being unused to the pollen in the area.

Then, and hardest for us, is finding something to do when we get somewhere. We like to take tours, by bus, jeep, or boat. It's just fun to have someone point out the sights. Other than that, we never know what to do. If we go to Memphis we'll probably go see Graceland. Not that either of us are big Elvis fans, but how can you go to Memphis and not see Graceland?

------
The road to success is always under construction.
Definitely check the deal websites like Groupon, Living Social, etc. They have had some really good deals on accomodations/tours/etc (Groupon Getaways, Living Social Escapes, etc). If you don't have a particular place you want to visit, they're even better! You can see all the deals no matter which city you are subscribed to.

Once you decide on a place, sign up for that city's Groupon/Living Social/etc. You may come across good deals for tours/activities. I am signed up for Savannah/Hilton Head, Orlando, and at one time Charleston. I've seen walking tours, segway tours, boat tours, kayaking, ziplining, all kinds of stuff.

Side note to whoever was thinking of Nashville: don;t know when the trip is for, but avoid June 3-10. That is the week of Fan Fair, and it will be crazy! It's not called Fan Fair anymore, but it's the same thing. I think it's the CMA Festival or something. One year I will get to go. Now, if that is why you want to go to Nashville, then ignore me, LOL.

Right now, the only vacation I have planned is to Charlotte, NC May 24-27 for Speed Street. That is the weekend of the Coca Cola 600 race, and they have this festival in uptown Charlotte - drivers, all kinds of booths, free concerts each night, etc. I go for the concerts; my sis goes for the racing stuff and the concerts. This will be our third time going. Last time (2010) I was able to snag a good hotel right in the middle of it, so we don't want to go any toher way now. So much nicer jsut to be able to walk right back to your room after the concert ends at 10:30 - 11:00PM. I was ahving a hard time finding anything reasonable (to me!) that was not anon-refundable price, so I almost gave up. Then I lucked into some kind of AAA Hot Deal at the Marriott for the same price as the wanteed for the non-refundable room ($110, cheapest refundable price I had found earlier was $199), so I snatched it up! Parking is $14/day, but they all charge for parking there. One of the ocncert stages is right outside the door of the hotel (they have a counry act on one stage and a rock or R&B act on another stage), so I'm hoping that's where Clay Walker will be Saturday night.
LisaCNC
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Joined: December 1st, 2006, 5:36 pm

April 12th, 2012, 3:24 pm #8

Forgot about Sniqueaway.com. I got hooked up with it awhile back. It's owned by some other website I deal with, but I don't remember which one. It's one of those you have to be invited to join (ooh la la! . Anyway, they post deals on supposedly just the top rated TripAdviosr places. I haven't booked through them yet, mainly because I ahven;t been able to go anywhere in the past year.

They have some nice looking places on there! All over the world, too, not just the US. If anyone's interested, I can invite you, just need an email address. Or you can also just go to their website and fill out your info,a dn tehy will invite you themselves; it just takes a few days that way. I had deleted the intivation I received and had to go that route; I think it was 3 days before I got my invitation.

LisaCNC
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Joined: May 30th, 2006, 2:01 pm

April 12th, 2012, 4:51 pm #9

After the wedding, dh & I would like to take a few days.

I know we've talked about this before, but I thought it would be fun to start brainstorming.

What do you do to cut costs on vacations?

We'll take an ice chest and eat the evening meal out of it. Lunch is usually cheaper than dinner at restaurants, so when we eat out, it will be lunch.

I'm pretty picky about hotels and wonder if a B&B would be cheaper or just nicer, or are they nicer? I see a lot with pets and I don't know how dh's allergies will be, especially being unused to the pollen in the area.

Then, and hardest for us, is finding something to do when we get somewhere. We like to take tours, by bus, jeep, or boat. It's just fun to have someone point out the sights. Other than that, we never know what to do. If we go to Memphis we'll probably go see Graceland. Not that either of us are big Elvis fans, but how can you go to Memphis and not see Graceland?

------
The road to success is always under construction.
DH's family is in Cleveland and we haven't been in over a year, so we're going this summer. We're thinking about renting a car and driving. DH thinks that we should drive the car we have, but it's 10 years old with 140K miles. It's also an SUV, so we'd get better gas mileage with a sedan.

We're going to time it so that we can go to the Iowa State Fair on the way home in Des Moines. Des Moines is halfway between here and Cleveland. I definitely plan to use some of Lisa's suggestions to find a decent hotel.

Flyinig out and renting a car would be around $1600. I think that renting a car and driving will be around $900. We'll see if we actually do it. I don't think we're going to do our usual Utah camping trip this year. Neither of us is too excited about it.
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Joined: December 1st, 2006, 5:36 pm

April 12th, 2012, 6:24 pm #10

I ask because lately there ahve been killer deals for Raleigh to Denver, so I'm wondering if that translates to other airports to Denver. The other day, I could have booked a RT ticket for $188 including all the taxes and fees!!!! If I did not have my May trip already planned, I would have bought it and figured out soemwhere to stay after the fact, LOL.

I was reading in my Rapid Rewards email this AM that Southwest is starting to fly out of Des Moines and a couple of places in Ohio (Akron and Dayton I think) soon, so you might be able to find some deal there, too. Sometimes they offer good deals when a route first opens. Maybe fly in to Ohio, rent a vehicle, head to Des Moines, turn it in and fly back from there?
LisaCNC
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