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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 nine 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.
Since our lives are often chaotic and vacations are quickly planned. I’ve included resources which have become helpful to me and my family.
Hotels and Food
On our usual quick trips I find myself budgeting hotels, 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. Ask the front desk of your hotel for recommendations on local sites and food.
Google Maps will show you restaurants near your lodging. When deciding on your lodging it is beneficial to locate sites, food, and activities nearby. It’s nice not having to travel too far to find things to do while on vacation. 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. For admissions on local attractions I visit CityPASS for discounted rates.
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Use Resources You Already Have
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.
Do you pay for roadside assistance? Roadside service providers 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.
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.