So you’ve read BlackGirlZen’s post and chosen your destination, booked your transportation and accommodations, but what do you do while your there. And how do you stay within a reasonable budget? I’m here to help. Here is a list of the best ways to find cheap/ cost effective activities wherever you decide to go.
Everybody should know by now that Groupon is the holy grail of balling on a budget at home. But did you know that you can use them internationally? Just click on the Getaways tab and bask in the abundance of great deals. Groupon doesn’t just cover flights and lodging, but various tours, entrance to amusement parks, etc. You’ll get even better results if you search for activities when you reach your destination, but you’ll have to do a bit of translation.
The best part of using Expedia is that you accumulate points with all of your purchases. You can then use those points to purchase flights, hotels, or activities. To search for activities just click on the “Things To Do” tab and you’re on your way. As with everything on Expedia, all of the activities have customer reviews as well. So if a deal sounds too good to be true or you’re just not sure it’s right for you, read reviews from other travelers to help you make your decision. I booked most of my activities in Amsterdam through Expedia and have no complaints.
TripAdvisor isn’t just the online authority in hotel reviews and booking, just like Expedia, you can find and book things to do as well. Just click the “Things To Do” tab and you’re ready to start exploring. While TripAdvisor doesn’t offer a points system like Expedia, they are linked with Ebates. See why this is so important below.
If you don’t already have one, I don’t see why you wouldn’t, create an Ebates account. Ebates offers you cash back on various purchases. Groupon, Expedia, and TripAdvisor are all Ebates partners and offer various percentage cash back on purchases. There are various other travel and booking sites that partner with Ebates as well if you find an even better deal. Ebates also organizes the most current promotions and coupons for each site.
Blogs by frequent travelers are an invaluable resource. I find them helpful not just for choosing a destination, but also for seeing what types of activities I might enjoy. Many travel bloggers, especially beginners who don’t yet get paid to blog, tend to have great money saving tips. Here are some that I personally like:
Travel groups are on the rise. A quick search on Facebook or Google can have your head spinning. I prefer the travel groups that fall into various niches like traveling while Black, women traveling solo, or traveling for parents (I know I don’t have kids, but parents always come up with best travel hacks and are the most cost conscious.) The thing that sets these groups apart from all of the other avenues to find things to do at your destination is the relationships you build. My favorite travel group is Nomadness Travel Tribe. I’ve grown many friendships within these groups and when I ask about recommendations, other members can take my personality, idiosyncrasies, and budget into account. When someone is your friend or at least acquaintance, they are less likely to sugar coat experiences and reviews. Another great trait of these groups is that you will find people who live in the destinations you go to. So you not only get a first-hand review of restaurants, museums, tours, and where you can get the most bang for your buck, you may also be able to meet up with someone you’ve only been able to talk to online. This makes solo travel a lot less daunting.
I’m hoping you found this collaboration with BlackGirlZen helpful and it encourages you to keep your champagne tastes while accommodating your beer budget. If you have any other tips for traveling on a budget feel free to leave a comment.