In a few weeks, my in-laws will be visiting from New Mexico...for an entire week!
As excited as I am about them finally coming for a visit, I am a bit nervous about putting together an itinerary that they will enjoy while they are here. Luckily, my husband has decided to take his vacation while they are here, so we've been working on a plan together - because who knows what they would enjoy better than him?
As I was totally freaking out about them coming and making sure that I showed them a good time - because let's face it, I am a Miami native and expected to know all of the best things to do in my own hometown - I realized something...
I actually have time to collect coupons, discounts and the like to really make the most out of the week they are here!
I wanted to share some of my game plan with you - you can use my strategies for when people come to visit you AND for when you are planning affordable travel to a new city!
Check Attraction Websites for Discounts
For instance, I want to take my in-laws to Monkey Jungle, which normally charges $29.95 a person. I know, it's an incredibly steep price but it is so worth it! So I checked their website and found that they have a $2 off coupon that I can use for parties of up to 6 people. I know, it's only $8 - but we were going anyway and that $8 can now be put towards something else. When you're planning a full week of activities, every penny helps!
Buy Discounted Activity Tickets Through Sites like Groupon
I always check websites like Groupon, Living Social, Jetsetter, etc for deals on hotels, activities, restaurants and attractions when I am planning a getaway. I've already found a great ½ price discount deal on a glass bottom boat tour in Key Largo that I can use while my in-laws are here. Of course I am still looking for restaurants and whatnot to add to our list - you can't beat the ½ price most of these deals are listed at!
Don't See a Discount? Call them and ask!
Sometimes museums, hotels and attractions have unpublished discounts available. It never hurts to call and ask!
Plan Your Budget in Advance!
When you book your tickets, reservations, etc in advance, you're more likely to stay on budget than if you just wake up and find things to do each day!
Check with AAA for local discounts!
Ever since we began making travel reservations online, people have forgotten about using AAA for travel discounts. You can easily get 10% off many attractions and hotels just by showing your membership card!
Find FREE attractions!
We have a beautiful coral reef off the coast of Key Largo and entrance is only $1.00 to the park - John Pennycamp State Park. I know it's not free, but it's only $1.00 per person. Once you get into the park, you can bring your own canoe, snorkeling gear, etc, or rent them at the park. There are glass bottom boat tours, snorkeling and scuba diving, or you can just hang out on the beach or take a stroll through the mangroves.
Another free option is the Florida Everglades National Park - while it may be too hot for some during the summer, during the spring, it's just a beautiful way to spend a day. Bring your bike and take a ride through Shark Valley - but make sure to bring your camera, because the gators are everywhere and you'll want to take photos!
What are your time-tested tips for affordable fun when traveling?