Small Cents is asking for travel tips and will be giving away The Tightwad Gazette I&II. We leave for Gatlinburg Wednesday and this is some of the things that we have done to save money:
Rented a cabin instead of hotel rooms. We got our 4th night free and are staying in a 3 bedroom cabin on the top of a mountain for $450.00 with taxes and all fees. We have a jaccuzi and pool table and a full porch. It also has a washer and dryer so I can pack less and wash everything with their water and electricity before we come home. It will be more private than a hotel room.
We have a full kitchen so that we can cook (or heat up food) I always bring my crock pot so that I can cook meals while we are out. Who wants to stand over a pot on vacation? We have a place to store sandwich meat and cheese and freeze water bottles for our cooler.
We purchased tickets for Dixie Stampede from the base here. It is still a splurge for us on this trip but this saved us money over the special package prices they offered. The base did not have Dollywood tickets in stock so when we get there we will get a paper and look through it for anything that may be offered. We found out that if you go after 3 you can go the next day free so we will go Friday at 3 then all day Saturday. That gives us 4 extra hours. If you are close enough to return season tickets are usually just a little more or sometimes even less than a one day ticket to a park or museum. With our Space and Rocket pass we can go to museums all over the US. Look at the welcome center and talk to people and you find out places to go and good deals. For other entertainment we make sure to have balls and cards and books.
Visit state and national parks. My senior parents can purchase a national park pass for like $10.00.
I have been hitting the sales with coupons to get granola bars, chex mix, Pringles, poptarts, and nuts for snacks that we can take in packs when we are in the park or hiking. I freeze 2 liter bottles to put in the cooler while we travel are are out for the day to keep things cool and then you can drink the water.
We have a dorky fanny pack that we can put a bottle of water on the side and a few granola bars or other snacks in while we are in the park. Put in a few bandages for blisters. I make my hubbie wear this because it doesn't match my cute shoes.
We went to Michigan when we lived in Florida. We did not have any snow clothes. I started to order ski bibs and boots before we left but decided to wait and look when we got there. We went in January so everything was being clearanced, so I got mittens and scarves and ski hats. I went to the thrift stores and got bibs and jackets and snow boots. I bought thermal pjs before we left that they could use under clothes in the cold, but we could use back home also. The stores in Florida are going to be full of beach stuff at a better price than Michigan will offer. In Destin, there are 3 Wings stores within a mile 0f each other- all full of souveniers and stuff at cheap prices.