Getting Out without Running Out (of Money!)

If you think you have to be chained to the house when on a living on a fixed income, think again! With a wealth of discounted travel opportunities and a plethora of ways to keep the costs down, savvy consumers such as yourself can take adventures and enjoy savings, too.  Embrace your wanderlust, dear Saver, and keep your budget intact while doing it. Here’s how.

Whoa! Hop online before heading out the door if you want to save money! A quick visit to your destination’s website can often uncover coupons for discounted admission or even the ability to purchase tickets for less right there on the site for printing via your own printer at home. Savings and getting to avoid ticket lines entirely – now THAT’S a win-win situation!
Avoid making the costly mistake of assuming one discount opportunity is better than other. Make sure you explore all your discount options thoroughly before you book any travel excursion. If you’re a member of multiple organizations, have various affiliations and qualify for age-related discounts, compare and contrast all your different options. Choices are great and can save you an incredible amount of cash, too.

If you’re looking to go up, up and away without piddling away what’s in your pocket or want to see the world without emptying your wallet, you’re in luck. There is a vast variety of travel discounts tailored for and marketed to just those who seek adventure and savings. Check out these resources to do just that:

Expedia.com offers discounted cruises, flights, hotel accommodations, car rentals and even activity packages. Not comfortable making travel arrangements online? No problem! Call 1-800-EXPEDIA (1-800-397-3342) to book the same great rates or even speak directly to a travel expert.

Hotels.com If you’re looking to price-check just a hotel stay, then this site is a great option. In addition to price comparisons, you can also search other hotel-specific information such as pet accommodations and distance from major attractions and airports.

Hotwire.com offers the same services and similar discounts as competitors; however, they also offer a “double the difference” guarantee on hotel prices. If you find a lower price for the same stay, they’ll pay you double the price difference.

Orbitz.com is another travel site that also offers you assurance of snagging the best possible deal. With their price assurance guarantee, if another customer books a ticket on the same flight for less, Orbitz will refund you the price difference in cash.

Priceline.com is similar to the other sites listed above, with one little difference. You actually place a bid by indicating how much you’re willing to spend on a travel excursion such as a flight, hotel stay or cruise and then wait for travel companies to either accept or decline your price offer. If you’re not picky about carriers or travel providers and more concerned about snagging a great deal, than Priceline.com might be right for you.

Adventure needn’t require travel outside of your neighborhood, either. Below are just a few—often completely free—”get out and about” ideas:

Community Colleges Continuing education classes that offer the ability to gain or improve new skills at a great price. May also offer scheduled pool time for lap swims
Local Hospitals Free or low-cost fitness programs and equipment including pool times for water aerobics and lap swimming
City Parks & Recreation Department Free or low-cost classes, scheduled social events and excursions
Local Bookstores Author talks and signings, organized book clubs and discussion groups
Local Libraries Scheduled activities, speakers and book discussion groups

Photo credit: ~suchitra~

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Author Info

This post was written by Shannon M. Medisky. Shannon is an educator turned parent turned writer and focuses on sharing new and innovative ways to not just survive, but thrive on empty. Visit ThrivingOnEmpty.com to learn more. Her newest book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Stretching Your Dollar is available in bookstores now.

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