Vacations can be expensive — there’s the cost of travel itself, as well as lodging expenses and all the money you drop once you get where you’re going. When it’s all said and done, you could potentially spend thousands of dollars on a getaway.
But aside from emptying our wallets, vacations can help us decompress and cut back on stress. But there’s a way to enjoy the same result without having to overspend on a vacation. Here’s how you can save money by achieving epic relaxation without ever leaving your hometown.
1. Disconnect From Technology
Modern technology keeps us continuously plugged in, something many people tie to causing high stress levels. Think about it: Your boss can now email you when you’re home, and social media can constantly bombard us with information.
It can be beneficial to step away from digital communications once in a while. To help you relax, consider turning off the TV, smartphones and computer at least a few evenings a week, if you can. At the very least, you can try to remove tech from your bedroom so that you can wind down before going to sleep, as research has shown that the light from screens throws off our sleep cycles and melatonin production. ...continue reading →
I'm all for saving money at every step possible when visiting the wallet-emptying vacation spot known as Disneyland. Too often, I've sacrificed convenience for saving money.
While my family's frugality has saved us money on our Disneyland trips that have in part helped make the vacation more affordable, in some ways it has cost us in other ways — time and better experiences. Some splurges are worthwhile.
We took a short trip to the Anaheim, Calif., resort this weekend during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, taking our daughter out of school for two days so we could turn it into a long weekend and hopefully enjoy smaller crowds. I'm writing this post ahead of our trip, so by the time this post runs I'll be safely home with a credit card bill awaiting.
Our daughter is 11, and this will be her fourth family trip to Disneyland. Looking at that now, I realize that's a lot of visits, but it is the happiest place on Earth.
I've always thought that after spending about $90 per day per person just to get into one of the parks is so high of a cost that it's imperative that we save money in other ways. While I'm not throwing out all of the financial stops on this trip, there are some high expenses I'm willing to indulge this time because they look to be worthwhile.
Here are some of the ways we're spending more more money, along with frugal ways to help save money so we can afford these extravagances: ...continue reading →
For years now, getting a good price on a hotel room has become quite the cat-and mouse game. The Internet made comparison shopping incredibly easy, putting price pressure on hotels. They responded by inventing tack-on surcharges like “resort fees” to obscure the bargain-hunting process. Then they beefed up hotel rewards programs in an effort to steer users away from comparison sites. And all the while, dynamic pricing and other digital-age tricks have made getting a good hotel price a lot more like hitting a moving target.
There are plenty of tricks you can use, however, to at least make sure you aren’t overpaying during your summer vacation. So here’s a guide to buying a hotel room.
1. Go Opaque
For starters, most of the really great deals are on the so-called opaque sites that sell “distressed” room inventory, says travel expert Chris Elliott of Elliott.org. Hotels pay to keep the lights on whether a room is used on not, so they will often find ways to sell rooms very cheap on sites like Priceline or Expedia. Otherwise, when buying from the hotels themselves, pricing is actually a lot more consistent than you’d think.
“Unlike airfares, hotel rates are fairly stable and not subject to the wild swings like airfares,” he says. You will rarely see a hotel room offered for $200 on Thursday morning but $300 on Thursday afternoon, as can happen with a plane ticket. You do, however, see hotels sell out, so timely booking can be a good idea. ...continue reading →