You’ve finally got your itinerary ready to go and you just need to book your lodging, excursions, and transportation. You should always look for discounted deals. Here’s where you should start:
1.) Lodging. Don’t limit yourself to just booking a hotel. Try something new like checking into a bed and breakfast, a vacation home, or even an apartment. Have you ever thought about renting a yacht and spending your nights sleeping ocean side? Or booking a canvas under the stars. It’s similar to camping, but with a little bit of luxury, including television and internet. Expedia has some great deals when it comes to booking hotel rooms, especially if you’ve already booked a flight with them. Read more about it in a previous post. But if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous like a bed and breakfast, a vacation home, or Yacht rental try Airbnb or VRBO. These sites are my go-to sites when it comes to looking for unique experiences. But make sure to read the listing carefully before booking. Understand the terms conditions, as well as the rules of cancellation. Contact the owner before you request to book their place. We have met some great people renting homes from locals. This is such a great way to get a feel of how a local lives in their own city. If you’re staying long term, don’t hesitate to ask for weekly or monthly rates.
2.) Excursions. I find that Groupon is a great resource to find activities in the area for a discounted rate. Many times, if you’re visiting a big city, Groupon has deals from half off admissions to 70% off on guided tours. This is worth looking into before you pay full price for the same catamaran tour that Groupon is offering at buy one get of half off deal. Another item you may want to look into is a CityPass, GoPass or anything similar. If you’re looking to do touristy attractions in a big city, these cards might be worth the money. It combines multiple attractions at 1 low price. Don’t forget to bring your ID’s with you. Senior discounts, military discounts, as well as student discounts are available in some places. You’ll just have to ask! If you’re looking for things to do, try searching Trip Adviser or Viator. Those sites would be a good place to start.
3.) Transportation. Whether you’re renting a car, a bike, a scooter, or taking a taxis, a bus, or a train, make sure to to do your research. While in some cities you’ll have to rent a car, others may offer great public transportation. Certain cities offer a Hop-on / Hop-off shuttle service. These shuttles will take you to all the major tourist sites. You can jump on and off when you’d like, and go at your own pace. If you’re in a city where you are unfamiliar with the roads or driving laws, you may want to look into hiring a personal driver for a few hours. This route may seem a bit more expensive, but if you have a big group, then this is usually cheaper than taking a cab from one destination to another. Renting scooters are normally pretty cheap and reasonable, but you wouldn’t want to do this if you’re traveling a long distance. This is ideal for cities or small islands. Renting a car is always good if you’re traveling in remote places. Riding a train is not a major thing in the United States, but if you’re in EUROPE, do yourself a favor and pay for the first class ticket. You can also find discounted train tickets by visiting the Rick Stevens website.