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Who goes out of town without travel planning? We all need travel planning for a vacation or any outing that consists of more than two days. I don’t think our family has gone on a weeklong organized and planned trip in 9 years. The last vacation that I can honestly say we planned and executed was in 2009. Since then we take business trips with my husband through the military, or we go places that are quickly prepared and very much on a budget. Find 5 Simple Ways to Earn Extra Income for traveling by visiting our Earn Extra Income page.
Hotels and Food
I have found that on these quick trips I have to budget the hotels, the meals, site seeing, and sometimes even the gas money. Those of us that do the planning for trips get worn out before the trip starts. For frequent hotel stays, I found that Hotels.com offers a free night when you’ve purchased ten nights off of their site. Unfortunately, you have to redeem the offer within 12 months or else you lose all of the nights you’ve earned.
I look for hotels that offer a free breakfast. Since my family likes to site see while we are traveling a good breakfast is essential. Everyone gets a decent meal before we leave out for the day and we don’t need to stop or pay for food until lunchtime. Before our trip, I will Google local places to eat. I try to stay away from the touristy locations unless there is a restaurant we know and love. Otherwise, we like to visit some of the local chains and restaurants. Ask the front desk of your hotel for recommendations on local sites and food.
I will also Google local sites that are inexpensive. My searches are based on how far we want to travel. When choosing a hotel, I will use Google Maps to find food and sites nearby. I use TripAdvisor often for local foods. Many consumers already use Groupon because they offer discounts for food and gas along with just about anything else. They are an excellent resource for local and travel discounts.
Use Your Resources
Credit cards now offer rewards for travel, hotels, etc. Ask your credit card company if your card offers you any rewards or cash back. Sometimes this is an easy change, and you can start earning rewards with purchases made regularly.
I would suggest checking with your roadside service provider when planning a trip because they offer discounts at retailers, hotels, rental cars, and more. I use Allstate Motor Club, and they provide maps, discounts, and vacation planning. AARP is another well-known company who offers discounts for flights, hotels, and restaurants. No, you don’t have to be 50 to join. If you would like to join AARP and are under the age of 50, give them a call. The nice benefit to AARP is that your spouse or partner can join for free if you have a membership. Some people find a benefit from joining AARP others don’t. I would suggest using the resources you already have to start with.
If you are planning an extended stay somewhere or you’d just like to make sure that everything is taken care of in one quick swoop you can visit Southwest Vacations. They now offer a payment plan option. You will need to fill out a credit application. Interest rates and payment options are given to you based on your credit.