Miami on a Shoestring – Tips for Saving Money on Your Miami Vacation

Miami is a hotspot for young and old alike. Although the area is sometimes associated with the rich and famous, you can have a wonderful Miami vacation without paying through the nose. There are many choices you can make when it comes to hotel and attractions that will help you save money and still enjoy all that Miami has to offer.

The first area where you can save is on your hotel costs. Miami’s peak seasons are during the winter and fall. When the weather is cold in other parts of the country, Miami tourism increases, as do the prices on airfare and hotels. During the hotter summer months you can save up to 30 percent on most hotel rooms, and you may even be able to stay at a better quality hotel.

South Beach, one of Miami’s hottest destinations, can also be its most expensive. But you can still find some great deals in this area if you know where to look. Hotel Nash, New Clinton Hotel and Spa, Indian Creek Hotel, Clay Hotel and Boulevard Hotel all have affordable rates year round. Some are part of Hostelling International, a network of budget hostel locations around the U.S.

The best part is that most South Beach hotels, even the inexpensive ones, are within walking distance to major attractions. You can save lots of money on transportation by researching and finding a cheap South Beach hotel that allows you to walk wherever you need to go.

Even though the heat can be intense during the spring and summer, Miami has a lot to offer during these months. There are several festivals that take place during this time of year that allow you to experience life in Miami at a low, low price. During July, the International Mango Festival and the Miami Reggae Festival are great events to experience.

Besides your hotel costs, you can also save money with the type of attractions you visit. Although it sounds like a no brainer, the beach is sometimes overlooked as a destination. During hot months, make sure to get to the beach early to avoid the heat and wear plenty of sunscreen. The sun is the brightest between 10 am and 2 pm so keep this in mind while visiting. The beaches are free, so why not take advantage of them?

You can also visit the Venetian Pool for a small admission. This pool was created from a rock quarry in 1923. It’s filled with natural spring water and surrounded by waterfalls. The Venetian Pool is an affordable and fun way to cool off during the hot Miami summer.

The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is another natural wonder that is relatively inexpensive. It’s a national historical landmark and has 10 acres of gardens for you to explore. You can spend all day there for one low price.

If animals are more your style, you can view manatees in the wild from several different places around Miami. You can visit one of several Miami harbors or canals. Black Point Marina and Oleta River State Park have been noted for their frequency of manatee sightings.

How to Go on a Walt Disney World Vacation on a Budget

The Walt Disney World park admission, hotels, and food costs can become very expensive very quickly! In an effort to entice families, there are now many Disney World vacation packages available, but upon closer inspection, these all inclusive Disney World packages aren’t always a great deal.

This is why I have sought out an expert to help identify how to take your family to Walt Disney World without bursting your vacation budget. Kelly Goode, author of “A Mom’s Miserly Guide: Orlando, Disney & Universal on $25 a Day!”, has generously offered to share some of her tips when planning a Walt Disney World family vacation.

Griffiths

Your guide to planning a family vacation in Orlando for $25 a day is such an intriguing concept! How did you come up with this idea and how long did it take you to write the book?

Goode

Having been a travel agent for over 15 years in Florida, and an avid Disney World fan, I sensed the need long ago for a comprehensive, realistic guide for families to save money when visiting Orlando and Disney World. I learned that people dream about and plan these vacations for years in advance, and it broke my heart to hear and see people struggle to afford their vacations when there were actually cheaper ways for them to enjoy their Disney Dream Vacation. The book took about a year to write, but it is an ongoing project due to the constant changes in Orlando and the theme parks.

Griffiths

When you say that you can go to Walt Disney World for $25 a day is that per person or is that based on a family of four, two adults and two children?

Goode

Families can visit Walt Disney World on $25 a day – and that is for real. The $25 is a per person rate and is based on real hotel choices, car rental choices, and discount tickets. I actually have a chart in my book that shows exactly how families can achieve this goal. All families may not, of course, only spend $25 a day because they may want different hotel choices, different theme park choices, or various restaurant choices that increase their vacation budget. My book, however, allows families to see how they can achieve this vacation on this basic budget and move up if they like.

Griffiths

How often is the eBook updated with information? I know that when I seriously consider buying such a guide, I worry that the information is dated.

Goode

As I mentioned, the book is an ongoing project because it must be constantly updated to give people the new information they need on hotels, attractions, and prices. I update it continually and I also have a blog which I update daily with updates that pertain to Disney, Universal, Sea World, Orlando, and saving money on their vacations.

Griffiths

What are the 5 top most expensive errors that families make when going on a Walt Disney vacation?

Goode

Well, every family is different, so I hate to label them with “errors,” but if you force me I have to say that these are the most common ways families deny themselves savings:

1. They travel at peak times, as opposed to taking the kids out of school for a day or two. Value season decreases prices tremendously.

2. Families think that the only way to see Disney is to stay at a Disney Resort, and quite often they are the most expensive accommodations to be found.

3. Discount airfares aren’t secured because people aren’t comfortable with purchasing discount airfares on the Internet – and they aren’t savvy to the sales. (My book helps with this tremendously)

4. Families don’t take advantage of theme park discounts, whether that means going through a special operator, purchasing tickets online, or just taking an extra step or two to find discounts.

5. Parents aren’t aware of the restaurant and food savings they can get from various venues in Orlando. Hundreds of vacation dollars can be saved with coupons, kids-eat-free locations, and special planning.

Again – my book helps in all these areas!

Griffiths

A Walt Disney vacation could easily cost thousands of dollars in a week if a family hasn’t planned an appropriate budget. How far in advance do you recommend families plan their Walt Disney vacation to ensure that they are squeezing every dollar effectively?

Goode

Planning is very important because everything from the dates, to the airfares, to rental cars, hotel accommodations and theme park tickets come in to play. I believe a family should start about 9 months out, but continue to be flexible when searching for the ultimate savings in vacation dates.

Griffiths

What impresses me most about Kelly’s Walt Disney vacation guide is that she doesn’t accept any sort of payment from the companies that she recommends. It really adds credibility to the guide as well as offering a 100% guarantee. Being creative with budgeting for vacation can often be part of the vacation experience! The more you plan in advance, the more likely you will be able to stay on budget while creating memories for your family.

3 Tips to Finding a Beautiful Vacation Home in Your Budget

Spending time in a comfortable holiday home can be extremely relaxing and refreshing. Moreover, if you can stay at a beautiful vacation home without overstretching your budget, there is nothing like it. This article explains how you can achieve a harmonious balance between the two. Follow these three simple tips to get your dream holiday home within your budget.

Do your research

Research is very important if you want to get a beautiful vacation house within budget. Since actually going out into the field and doing a survey from the ground up would take a lot of time, the Internet is a good place to start. You will find several tourist sites, social media pages and discussion blogs where tourists review and rate various aspects of their holiday homes. This will give you a fair idea of which features of a vacation home appeal the most to visitors. In this way, you will know which aspects of the house should be high on your priority list. You will also get to know the areas and neighborhoods where the most beautiful homes are available.

The research will also show various agents and property knowledgeable dealers with insight into the market and know whom you can approach with your query.

Trial the vacation house first

At first glance, every house will look like the perfect investment. However, do not get fooled. Photographers and editors work meticulously by choosing camera angles, lighting and even photo editing tools when publishing photographs of holiday homes in travel magazines and brochures. Take the sensible route and visit the house several times before settling on it. The house should be comfortable and exciting enough to make you want to visit the place regularly and to commit to it long-term. Remember that once you have made the investment, it will be difficult to offload the property, and you may not have the time to do that. Make sure that you are comfortable with the location, amenities, neighborhood, scenery, and structure of the house before making the purchase.

New houses last longer

The design of vacation houses is to be beautiful and aesthetic. However, not all of this beauty comes without effort. A lot of effort goes into the upkeep and maintenance of the house. If you want to avoid this hassle, in the end, opt for a newer property since an older house will pose more frequent maintenance issues.

Moreover, if you plan to rent out your property, you will need to make frequent repairs and upgrades to keep your property hot on the property market. This involves making plumbing and electrical repairs, upgrading the fittings, landscaping the lawns, and regular maintenance. Be prepared to invest the time and money into this effort to continue to enjoy the benefits of your holiday home.

A beautiful vacation home comes with its own set of expenses but does not necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg. Being ready with the correct information and realistic expectations, you can certainly find the holiday home for the price you are willing to pay.

Affordable Travel Packages: Tips for Choosing the Ideal Vacation Package for Your Upcoming Trip

Finding and choosing the right vacation package has never been easier. There are so many tools on the internet to help you find discount hotel deals, bargain airfare, and more. Whether you’re looking for last minute deals or all-inclusive vacations, all you have to do is look over affordable travel packages and compare all of the offers. Which one is ideal for your travel needs?

When evaluating a package, one of the important things to consider is accommodation. There are so many types of accommodation, including budget hotels, chain hotels, hostels, cabins, inns, large resorts, serviced apartments and condos, etc. If you plan on spending most of your trip outdoors and have access to reliable transportation such as a rental car or bus, it’s okay to stay at a cheap hotel with basic amenities.

Do you really need an all-inclusive package? Are the “inclusions” even worth paying for? It all depends on what you really want out of a vacation. For most people, airfare, clean room, free breakfast, and free Wi-Fi is enough. Before selecting an all-inclusive package, ask yourself if you can do without some of the stuff it comes with.

Another important consideration is location. There can be hotels all over a city. Don’t think that just because you’re getting a room at a low price that you will be saving money. Depending on its location, you could end up paying more on a car rental, bus, or taxi. You might not even have to rent a car if your hotel is located walking distance from all of the places you plan to visit. At the very least, there should be a supermarket within walking distance so you can grab a few necessities.

Beware of Scam Affordable Travel Packages

Always know EXACTLY what you are booking and paying for. Don’t get scammed by so-called “affordable travel packages” that have hidden fees. Not that all of them do – some really are good bargains. You still need to be careful. It also helps to read the terms and conditions to understand the cancellation process. Some packages will charge you money if you have a change of plans and have to cancel. You might even come across some no-refund type of offers.

Use Google Maps or some other type of interactive street map for a better understanding of where a hotel is located in relation to restaurants, shops, bus stations, the airport, train stations, beach, etc. Having an idea of where everything is located will make it easier to sort through affordable travel packages.

Where can you find the most affordable travel packages? At online websites, there are some amazing deals to be found. Whether you to go on a cruise, fly to a big city, stay at a ski resort, etc., just use online discount codes to get a good bargain.