In my last post, I shared few useful and sensible pointers for an affordable get away. I am going to continue where I left off and try to add as much tips to help plan your next get away.
4. Car rental
Obviously we all need the car to get around and see places in the get away location. Whether you are planning to drive long or short distance, it is wise to rental a car which suits your need by not going overboard. When you book car rentals, try to book outside Airport terminals which will save lot of money on airport taxes. In that case, check in advance whether have a shuttle which runs 24 hours.
Before you leave the rental kiosk, ask for their grace period rules while returning the car. This will surely help to plan your return trip. Also I was offered to buy their gas in their cheap gas rate to fill the tank when returned. But the catch, you have to bring return empty tank which is not always possible and they charge for full tank and don’t expect credit for partial tank. So I rejected it. Always take liability insurance which is just $10 because not all car insurance companies cover full on rental cars. You will surely avoid head aches when situation occurs.
5.EZ Airport Parking
In many airports, there are cheap parking spots which even offer online discount prices for long stays. It certainly saves money over taxi and add flexibility to your schedule. You don’t have waste time standing in line for taxi or troubling your friend to drop off at the airport. High gas prices and flight timing really don’t help when you ask for an help all the time. So I decided to use the airport parking outside the airport.
As usual, my research came out with a cheap parking deal with fast and relax parking which only charges $5 a day even with covered parking, free bottle water and newspaper. That what I call it a deal. There are other parking spots like ParK N fly, Parking spots, penny parking which only offer cheap rates for uncovered parking. If you are frequent flyer, some parking spots gives better rates. Check out in your airport.
6. Pack lightly
These days flight travel has become so much pain with added security and more restrictions on carry on baggages. Adding oil to the fire with recent high gas prices many airlines started charges for check-in bags. United, American Airlines and many other big airlines started charging even for the first check-in bags. Continental and some other only charges for the second check-in bags.
So its good to pack light and try to avoid carrying check-in bags if its only few days of travel. In my case, they actually allowed since I booked my flights way before all the rules came into effect. Call your airlines and find out your baggage allowance before you head down to airport.
7. Take the Childs Car Seat
If you have a infant, obviously you are going to have a baby carrier which you can put away before you board the flight. It also helps to seat your baby in the car. Similarly many know when you have a toddler who walks and going to take a lap seat. You can carry the baby stroller which you can put away before you board the flgiht.
But not many of you know, you can even check-in car seats for toddlers free. It will save $50 bucks or more when you are renting a car and needed car seat for your toddler. Otherwise you have to rent the car seat from car rental company which might not be hygenic at same time you end up paying for it. I carried my car seat for my 2 year old son and saved money on it.
8. Booking Tickets Online
As a pre-planner myself, I always recommend people to book tickets online in advance and avoid any last minute surprises. You even end up saving lot of money booking online. When I was booking ticket for Universal Studio Hollywood, there was an offer for 2 days ticket on one day price. I didn’t have time to spend 2 days in the place so I chose only one day.
But sometimes taking a chance to buy tickets at venue with coupons collected locally can save money. It’s just how you want to game it. Whether you want less tension or taking a chance.In my case, I bought one day passes and when I went, there are coupons for $8-$10 off on each ticket given out on Hollywood streets and even published on the local travel books.
So try to look out for coupons in the travel brochures kept in McDonald’s or BK’s. Even your lodge or hotel gives away free coupons for pizza or eatery place. Don’t just discard them, try to browse through and you might even find a money saving coupon or two. You have to look out for free money, its not going get to you automatically.
9. Buying All day Food Tickets
Many Theme park these days sell all day food tickets for cheap prize. It might seem cheap but when you get closer and use it. It is not really cheap. It doesn’t come with any beverages and only selected restaurants accept these tickets in the Theme park.
Before buying it, try to make a quick call to see whether you really going to stay all day at the Theme park and going to use it for atleast 2 time meals or snacks. Then it might worth a deal. If not, it is just way to get your money in advance. I actually bought them and made it work. We had lunch and dinner meal using this ticket and tried out different cusines available.
One more thing, take as much water as you can to tackle atleast half a day without buying it. Water and beverages are so expensive in these Theme park. I know many might not agree to me on this thing but believe me you are already paying hefty price for the ticket. I don’t see a problem taking water cans to shave out some expenses.
10. Tips for Las vegas – The Casino City Finally, I got few pointers for Las Vegas fun. When Booking hotel, you might find cheap deal off of the “THE STRIP” but is it worth to spend time taking the car to drive and parking it. If you can find a deal even little bit more expensive on the strip, I would suggest to consider it. It’s really hot during summer and walking is so tiring. It’s better to stay close and you can take breaks going to hotel room if you book the room on the strip. Otherwise, try to walk on the evenings. Buy the monorail ticket or bus day ticket if you are really planning to go back and forth.
Don’t miss the shows. There are free shows in many big casinos. Light show show at Bellagio is really good and you can even watch from the streets. Night light is really good, take time to enjoy by not getting tired walking in the mornings.
Don’t try to book show tickets online. You can easily get free tickets for comedy shows sponsored by your hotel. If you really want the show tickets, you can get in bargain outside the street for cheap price the day before or morning of the show. Take only less cash and try to avoid temptations playing too much games. If you do want to gamble a lot and try your luck, gamble conservatively.
I hope these pointers/tips helps you to plan an affordable trip to anywhere or to Hollywood and Las Vegas. You gotta have fun, a better affordable way is always the best for all.