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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Exciting news! 😮

I've been talking about it for years: an updated book with all my best tips, ways to link to exclusive info through QR codes, and ways you can save hundreds or thousands of dollars on all your future trips. Welp, work has finally started and I have a goal to have it available for purchase before Thanksgiving, so you can become a budget travel expert as well, or give it as a holiday gift to everyone you know who wants to travel more!

photo by xoan seoane

I'm asking for your help in a few different ways:
  • Is there anything you think I've not touched on on this blog that you would love covered? 
  • Is there something I've talked about that you wish I would go more in-depth on?
  • Have I helped you in a significant way through my blog and you'd like to give me a quick quote and something about you?
  • Sign up for my newsletter if you wan to be the first to know when my book is available and possibly (read: probably) get an exclusive, limited-time discount.
  • Tell all your traveling friends about my blog (or Facebook page or Instagram). Invite them to follow me, share my blog posts with them, or forward them my latest newsletter. 

Now that that's out there, make sure you drop a comment below or send me a direct email with anything you'd like me to know that should be included or any glowing words of praise or encouragement, because those are always nice. I super appreciate it! 

Updates will be given through my newsletter, along with all your usual tips, freebies and cool travel info/news. I'm very excited and I'm working toward an awesome 2018 online and off.

I run this blog for you guys, and your comments keep me going (along with your purchases from Amazon), so I want you to know this book is for you and  I want it to be as useful to you as possible. 😍

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

7 Ways to Eat Out For Cheap

You know that when I travel, I love to plan my activities around food, because dining in new places and trying local cuisine is a favorite hobby of mine on trips. Of course, this isn’t always the best idea, because it means I get in the habit of eating more every day and then when I get home, I have to get back to my normal eating routines, which is maybe don’t eat dessert with two meals each day and also don’t eat everything I’m served. I know, I know. Details. 



Calories don’t count on vacation, but they still come back with you, unless you walk a lot while you’re out sightseeing, which is always a good idea anyway.

So, while I love to eat as much native food as possible, you can’t save money by eating out 3-4 times a day without a plan of some sort, so let’s talk about some frugal tips on how to stretch your food budget, while still eating amazing food each day of your trip. With this plan, you can still eat out for cheap, and here are 7 ways to stretch your dollars.


Go shopping

My first tip, always, is to hit the grocery store as soon as you get to your destination and load up on staples. Of course, this works much better if you have a kitchen(ette) of some sort that has at least a refrigerator. I always buy breakfast items, since that is my least favorite meal and also I don’t like to get up too early to get out of the house to eat eggs. If you loooooove breakfast, then you can grab lunch or dinner foods. Snacks are never a problem for us, because we bring quite a few on the plane. If you don't have a kitchen, you can still cook in your room.


Book a vacation rental

A condo, apartment or house can not only help you save money, because many are the same price as a hotel, have a lot more space if you have a family/group of 4 or more and they also have kitchen facilities where you can make your own meals. I know that cooking on vacation doesn’t sound all that fun, but saving money does and sometimes a home cooked meal gives you time to relax and catch up from the long day you’ve had. Plus, many rental properties also have BBQ grills, and grilling is ALWAYS fun. Right?

Make reservations

Book dining reservations through Internet sites like OpenTable Most reservations net you 100 points, but every once in a while you get your 1,000 point dining options. Once you accrue 2,000 points, you can trade them in for a $20 dining certificate (this threshold may vary by country) as well as waiting until you make it to 5,000 and 10,000 point levels.

Split your meal

Sometimes you just can’t take your leftovers with you (because you’re in the middle of sightseeing or it won’t keep until you make it back to your room) or you are in a country where they don’t let you take your remaining food with you. If you aren’t hungry enough to eat a large meal, then possibly finding something on the menu that your travel partner wants and you can split is a good idea. Most restaurants serve portion sizes that are enough for 2 or 3 people anyway. If you think it might be too small, order an appetizer or salad as well.


Make lunch your main meal

If you are dying to try that fancy restaurant, stop in for lunch. The portions may be smaller, but the prices will be also. You can get the same great service and food, but at a better value.


Make a meal of appetizers

Happy hour can save you quite a bit of savings. Another reason to do appetizers for dinner: You had a big lunch or you want to try a bunch of menu items at one time. When 4 entrees seem like too much (which should be always if there are only 2 of you and you aren’t at a buffet), get 4 appetizers instead. You’ll spend about the same price as you would for dinner, but get more options and not totally stuff yourself.


Eat at food carts

Not only are food carts becoming the gourmet restaurants of right now, but they can save you money and offer you so many more options for food, are less than a sit-down restaurant and can get you back to sightseeing more quickly. With the lower prices, you can treat your food cart meal like an appetizer buffet. 

So, now you have some ideas on how to eat well, while not breaking your budget. Food will probably always be a big part of your expenses, but you can make it more affordable and not feel like every time you sit down to a meal that there are more things you can't do. Do you save money other ways when you travel? How do you do it?

Saturday, May 12, 2018

My London Wish List

With the Royal Wedding fast approaching, many people have London on the brain. earlier this week I talked about taking a London trip on a budget, because there are so many things you can do for cheap or free that nobody thinks about. Skip the London Eye and instead take a stroll along the Thames or even learn more about the river and the bridges by doing the Tower Bridge Experience. 


Now you can take a look at what I have on the docket for my trip next year with my London Wish List.

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The Cauldron

As a Harry Potter fanatic, I'm always on the lookout for awesome magical stuff, and this potion-making cocktail class is right up my (Diagon) Alley. You use science to create alcoholic (and non-alcoholic) beverages in a potions classroom setting, dressed in robes and wielding wands. I mean, who doesn't think that sounds fun?

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Sketch

This be-floraled restaurant is like stepping into a fairy tale and you can have breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea in a variety of rooms, all just as beautiful and spell-binding as the last.

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Host Cafe

Set in a 17th century church, this quiet little coffee shop has the most amazing setting. Their coffee and pastries are supposed to be really outstanding too.

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Hoxton Street Monster Supplies

For those that like British sweets, monsters and a sense of humor, Hoxton Street sells items like Bah Humbugs (hard candies), Creeping Dread (a short story canned with sweets), and Daylight for Vampires (a solar cell mason jar). 

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Hunterian Museum

A museum of oddities in the middle of London? Yes please! All for free? I will be there with bells on. I mean, where else can you just wander around looking at diseases in jars, weird artifacts and Winston Churchill's dentures? It sounds a bit like the Mütter Museum. 

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Leadenhall Market

I've only been here in the nighttime on a Harry Potter Walk (which I'll be doing again as well), but now I plan to go back in the daytime, where I can browse the stalls and walk under the ceiling of books (I'm sure that's not what it's called).

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Neals Yard

I'm not entirely sure what to expect from Neals Yard, besides eye-popping colors and probably some fantastic outdoor cafes, but what else do you need? If nothing else, the pictures will be phenomenal.

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B Bakery London Afternoon Tea Bus Tour

I'm a sucker for an amazing afternoon tea, and what better way to experience it than while on a historic bus driving around London? For about the same price as a city tour or just afternoon tea, you get both and London landmarks including Marble Arch, Royal Albert Hall and Trafalgar Square.


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St Dunstan-in-the-East

I don't just like food and Harry Potter, though those are big things on my travel list. I also like historical places, and this place totally qualifies. What was once a church built in 1100, is now just ruins after suffering through the Great Fire and the Blitz. Only the tower and steeple survived, along with the South walls (the rest of the building was taken down for safety), and since a lawn and fountain were added to make this gorgeous quiet space from the hustle and bustle of London.


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The Clink Museum

I didn't manage to make it to the Clink Museum last time we visited, but I've been wanting to go since my first trip in 2006. This tiny, dark museum is housed on the site of England's first prison. The guided tour is highly affordable and tells the tales of the 600 year old prison, torture devices and archaeological artifacts. After hours you can even join in the hunt for ghosts and spirits with Ouija boards and other divination methods.

I'll be adding more things to my list, but for only being there a week, it'll be hard to narrow down my choices. I would love to have tea on top of The Shard, visit Hyde Park, actually go to Kew Gardens, and take a day trip to Stonehenge, which I missed last time, and I'll absolutely be visiting the Warner Bros Studio Tour again. What things do you think I should absolutely do (keep in mind, this will be my third trip, so I've done most of the tourist things)? 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Get 300 bonus SB when you sign up for Swagbucks in May

All throughout May you can earn large bonuses when sign up as my referral on Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you're probably doing online already, like searching, watching videos, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, or PayPal cash. 

Join Swagbucks!

When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a 300 SB bonus! Here's how: 


1. Sign up using this link .


2. Earn 300 SB total before June 1st, 2018. You'll get a 300 SB bonus for it! 


3. That's it. It's super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I've earned over 70,000 SB, which I use to purchase Amazon gift cards so I can purchase items I was going to buy anyway, or things for my annual Harry Potter party and then use real money on travel.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Doing London On a Budget

With the world focusing on the upcoming Royal wedding of Harry and Meghan, many are going to be thinking about traveling to London. I'm always looking for the chance to go back, and am already excited for my trip next year that I'm adding on to a trip to Scotland for a family wedding. I'll be posting a wish list in my next post to give you some extra inspo. You can easily do London on a budget if you really try.

London on a budget

With London being on of the most expensive cities to visit, it is important to find ways of saving on your trip. Luckily, even though there are plenty of ways to go broke in the city, there are even more ways to stay on budget.

When to go


As with almost all destinations, the time to avoid is summer. Airfare and hotel rates can be almost twice as much as at other times, leaving you less money to spend on shoes and things you actually need, like food. Summertime is also super crowded. There’s nothing worse than running out of money halfway through your trip and also having to push your way through throngs of tourists everywhere you go.

Plan your trip to London in the fall or winter to save a ton on airfare and even accommodations. Hours for attractions and shops will be shorter than in the summer, but without having to brave the hordes of vacationers, you’ll be able to see and do more in a shorter amount of time. This lets you have a relaxing sightseeing experience.

Where to stay

No one will ever say it’s cheap to stay in London. In fact, you can pretty much expect to pay double what you pay most other places. You can save a bundle by renting an apartment or staying in an apart-hotel. These options give you kitchen facilities which can help stretch your dollars – or euros or pounds – by allowing you to eat some meals in your room. 

Unless you want to dine at fast food establishments most of your meals, food costs are going to add up quickly. Even if you only pop up to the store and bring back breakfast staples, that’s going to save you quite a chunk. You can purchase food for a week of breakfasts for less than the price of one sit-down morning meal for two.

Getting where you want to go

Although London is totally walkable, you may not want to hike miles and miles every day. Fortunately for you the public transit system is awesome. Purchase a travelcard from Oyster for multiple travel days. It will save you money, because you can ride unlimited on the Underground, the bus and trains on the days it is valid. The more you ride, the more you save.

Avoid cabs as much as possible. Those little black cabs may be adorable, but the fares won’t be. You could spend the same amount on one ride across town as you would for several days of public transit. This small change in the way you travel could be the difference between going home with another awesome fashion find or returning your purchases in order to eat more than bags of crisps (potato chips) for the last few days of your trip.

Budget shopping

London has a variety of open-air markets, which can be great for finding bargains or just browsing. Two of the most popular, where shopaholics may still find a deal, are Camden Lock Market and Portobello Road Market. Open 7 days a week, Camden Lock Market is always bustling and is really diverse. Buy a rare book and have your palm read in the same trip. Maybe the reader can tell you if you’ll find that perfect souvenir to take home! In the two miles of Portobello Road Market, you’ll find everything from antique treasures to fruits and vegetables. The market may look very familiar to those who saw the movie Notting Hill. You can grab a bite to eat while scouring the stalls for a vintage dress.

Do more for less


In between shopping, you will probably want to see the city. There’s so much to do in London and no matter how long your trip, you will never be able to see it all. Want to see as much as possible and not have to pay it off on your credit cards for years to come? Here are some ways to squeeze in as much as you can with the time and budget you have:

  • Get a London Pass – This is literally your ticket to the city. You pay one price and this little card can get you into over 60 attractions in the London area. It allows you go straight to the head of the line and, since you’ve already paid, you don’t have to keep looking over your budget to see if you can afford to do something else on your trip. If it’s on the list, you’re covered. While not “cheap”, the London Pass is affordable and especially useful if you are spending a week or more in the city. You probably won’t visit all the attractions covered, but if you did you could save over $800. Even if you just visit half, you’re getting a significant savings on your trip.
  • Go for a walk London Walks has a variety of walking tours you can take any day of the week. Tours usually last for one to two hours and cost less than $20 per person. You never have to make a reservation. You just show up at the tour’s starting location, pay your money to the guide and enjoy a stroll around London, learning about the city’s history on themed tours, such as Jack the Ripper, Harry Potter, the Beatles, pubs, Westminster Abbey and more. This is perfect if you aren’t sure if your feet will cooperate with you for more walking and also a really affordable way to see the city.
  • Look for the freebiesLike most of the world, London wants your money, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do that won’t cost you anything. You can spend a whole day, or two, saving your money and visiting sites like Hyde Park, browsing vender booths at any of the many street markets, taking in the sights way above the city in OXO Tower, watching the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, marveling at works of art in Tate Modern or learning the history of the city through exhibits at the London Museum. The list goes on and on. Mix some free activities in with your other activities and your budget will stretch much further.
  • Save on the West End – London has a ton of theater experiences that shouldn’t be missed. Two tickets can cost a small fortune, but travelers using Theater.com will find amazing discount codes for almost any show that they are interested in seeing. Besides the considerable theater price cuts, dinner and show deals are also included. In some cases, dinner turns out to be free with the package purchase.
  • Make dining reservations in advance – Sign up for OpenTable and search participating London restaurants that allow you to make online reservations through the program. The great thing about OpenTable is that they often offer 50% off discounts at certain dining venues. You can find many other deals, too, including my favorite – the special prix fixe menus for OpenTable users at many restaurants. The more reservations you complete, the more points you get. When you accumulate enough points, you can trade them in for a dining certificate. Even if you don’t earn enough on your trip, you will still save a bundle by booking your dining at the restaurants that take part in the program. 
It’s possible to visit London on a budget and still have an incredible trip. You won’t feel like you missed out on all the best the city has to offer, especially if you’re able to buy a few nice things for yourself in the process. Remember to pack light and bring an extra bag that you can fold up in your carry-on to take home all your fabulous finds. Packing fewer clothes can save you baggage fees and let you skip the baggage carousel to get right off the plane and on to your trip. Also, some of the best souvenirs are memories and photos, which are virtually free and take up no luggage space!

Will you be watching the Royal Wedding?

Monday, May 7, 2018

Review: Travelon Anti-Theft Courier N/S Slim Bag

You've heard me say it before, but I'm going to say it again. Different trips call for different bags and I find myself choosing certain purses for each trip I take. I don't often like to carry anything too bulky, but I want something that can carry my essentials, without getting in the way and also keeping my items safe. The Anti-Theft Courier North/South Slim Bag from Travelon does all of that, all in a lovely fabric that's not too sporty and not too fancy. 

This canvas fabric is a great traveler, because the longer you use this bag, the better looking it gets. It's very much like the Heritage collection that I love so much. This even comes in the same colors. 


If you are like me and just like to carry a few things around town with you, so you aren't weighed down, then this slim bag might be exactly what you're looking for. 


There are enough pockets for everything you need, without being overwhelming. The two front pockets are easy to access, with the top one having a locking zipper. I used this one for my camera, so it was quick to get to, but could be safe when I wasn't using it.


The bottom zipper pocket is smaller and perfect for your lip balm and change.

I stashed the few things I use throughout the day in here, or items I'd want to get to quickly on a plane ride or in the airport. This is what would comfortably fit, but you could easily throw a pen inside and a few other small items, like eye drops.


The main compartment of the bag has slots for your credit cards and your passport. These are RFID-protected, meaning all your personal information is safe from thieves with electronic devices that can quickly steal your information. I also like these slash pockets to keep my paper money in, because it's right where you need it and you don't have to dig around for it when you just want to pay and go.


The North/South bag is called slim, because of its slim profile. With your cards along one wall, it keeps the middle free for other stuff you need to bring along, like your sunglasses and snacks. Obviously, more could fit in here, but I don't like to cram a bag full when I'm traveling. 


This main compartment has the signature key leash that all Travelon bags come with, so you aren't taking everything out just so you can get in your car. 


This leash also features the tiny flashlight that comes standard in Travelon bags, because you never know when you need one or you're trying to find something in your bag in the dark, or need to read a map, or find something under a car seat. This is probably the most overlooked, but most useful thing you never realized you needed.


The other side of the bag has a zipper pocket for things you want to keep separate from the main bag. I found it a convenient place for my back-up battery and phone cord for charging emergencies. Maybe you want to use it for makeup or receipts or any number of other things.


The backside of the bag has a large slip pocket. I like to keep my phone handy, and having it in my back pocket can be really annoying and uncomfortable. My large smartphone fit in here with room to spare, and because this pocket is right against my body, I know there's no chance that anyone can just snatch it from me when I'm not looking. This COULD be a concern if you're keeping it in your back pocket.




You'll find the locking zippers are easy to clip on and off the small D-rings attached to the bag in strategic places. This makes it nearly impossible for anyone to steal from you and giving you the knowledge that your belongings are safe and sound. 


And don't forget the best parts of any Travelon anti-theft bag: One end of your adjustable strap is detachable, in order for you to attach your bag to a stationary object while out and about, like while dining. Your strap is also slash-resistant, giving you even more security, and the front of the bag has a slash-resistant mesh in the lining, so nobody can slash and grab your belongings.


While you can wear the North/South Slim bag as a regular handbag, it adjusts to be a convenient crossbody bag as well. This is my favorite way to wear most bags, as it leaves my hands free to shop, pay, take photos and check my phone when needed. 

This bag is the perfect size for when you need to carry a bag, but don't really want to carry a bag. The profile allows it to sit snug against your body and not allow it to get in the way. And if you're still looking for a Mother's Day gift, your mom's going to love this, whether she travels or not. And if you use my special code (see below), you can get 20% off your whole purchase! Woot! 

More details:
Where can I buy it? Travelon website
How much is it? $50 (but use my code SHEREENTRAVELS20% to save 20% off your purchase)
What colors does it come in? Stone Grey (shown) | Navy
Additional specsCotton Blend, 8" x 9" x 2", Strap Length: 29.5" - 54", Strap Drop Length: 14" - 26"

If you love Travelon as much as I do, or you just want to know about new items or how to use current items, find them on social media: 

Disclaimer: I was provided with the Anti-theft Courier N/S Slim Bag for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are 100% my own.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

My Las Vegas Wish List 2018

I've just purchased my tickets for my annual summer trip to Vegas. Trust me, if NBA Summer League was at a different time of year I'd be all for it, but it's not, so I work around it and try to drink as much water as possible. As you know, I like to find new and fun things to do, that are both cheap and tasty. 


Because this will be my 7th trip in 3 years, it can be hard to find new things, but as the city is always changing and I don't know all the secrets to Sin City (and definitely not Henderson), there are plenty of things for me to add to a wish list for this next trip. Amazingly, it consists of more than extra sunscreen and Columbia clothes to pack my bag with.

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Even in the middle of the desert, I still think coffee is the blood of life. It might be 119° outside, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a good latte. On he way back to our timeshare from dinner one night, I glimpsed a cleverly-named coffee shop: Illumilatte Brewing Society. Not one to pass up a good cup of Joe, I immediately made a note to check it out and the reviews are quite good, so this is #2 on my list of coffee shops, as #1 is the new Bad Owl Coffee location opening in S. Vegas and trying their new fancy toast (not avocado tyvm) and their espresso flight in Hogwarts house colors.

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I know it's going to be stupid hot outside, but that doesn't mean a good jaunt out to the desert in the early-ish morning hours can't be fun. This limited-time art installation, entitled Seven Magic Mountains may just be some pretty colored rocks in the middle of nowhere (honestly, it's only 10 miles from town), but it's free, it's cool, and I'd love to visit and take some fantastic pictures before we all head to a lovely breakfast.


No trip to Vegas is complete without delicious food. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I'm a lover of sushi. Well, there will be four of us for most of this trip and one of us doesn't eat sushi (blasphemy!), but he does love Hawaiian food, so I found this awesome compromise that mashes the best of both worlds. Island Sushi & Grill has incredible reviews, most saying it's one of the best Japanese restaurants in Las Vegas. Plus they have malasadas! [if you've never had them, they are Hawaiian doughnuts, oftentimes with cream fillings.]

A post shared by Creamberry (@creamberrylv) on

If you're one of the few who haven't seen the beauty (and horror) of the cotton candy burrito, here you go. You're welcome! It's horrible and wonderful looking all and once and I must have it. Creamberry LV has added this abomination to their menu full of other such terrible treats, including cookie shots filled with coffee/cocoa/milk, puffle cones, and rolled ice cream "tacos". Honestly, it all looks equally delicious and tooth-rotting, and you'll be seeing some fabulous drool-inducing pics fromme.

Each season, the magical horticulturalists of the Bellagio create an awe-inspiring tribute to flowers and plants with a different theme. The Bellagio Conservatory is large and bright and totally free. It's open 24-hours a day and any time is a good time to see what has been created from different plants. Often there are fish in the pond and sometimes birds in an aviary, but it's always spectacular. Above is a picture I took from my last visit that was themed for The Year of the Dog of the Chinese New Year. At certain days and times they also host live performances, though I have somehow always missed them.

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In my quest to find new things that I've missed in the past, I discovered that Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall has daily laser light shows in what they call the Mystic Falls Park. It's completely free and I love that inside looks like outside...and there's also a TGI Friday's on the premises, which I will never say no to.

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I'm a big fan of factory tours. I like to see how and where things are made. It's cool to me, so when I learned about Anderson Dairy and their free self-guided tours, I, of course, wanted to learn more. It reminded me quite a bit of the Tillamook Cheese Factory here in Oregon, except it will mostly be milk and not cheese. If you also like to see how things are made and headed to Vegas, don't forget to stop into Ethel M's Chocolate Factory Store.


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Okay, so this is absolutely my splurge item for this trip, but I've been waiting for it to open for at least 3 years now. The Haunted Museum is run by Zak Bagans of Ghost Adventures, which I detest as a show, but love as an idea for a museum. He has filled a historic home in Downtown Vegas with all the items he's collected over the years from his ghost-hunting journeys. Admission is steep at $44 per person, but you get to see terrifying items like the Dibbuk Box, which is said to be a containment unit for a demon. Now, I'm afraid of a lot of things, but I've been excited to visit this museum since I heard it was opening...and then there were no real updates until it was finally open. 

Obviously, these won't be the only things I visit while in town for the week, between basketball game and trips to the lazy river, but these on top of my list for sightseeing and eats. 

Tell me your favorite places to visit when in Las Vegas that you think I should experience!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Where Your Memorial Weekend Can Take You

This long weekend is already predicted to be the most crowded on the road in the last 12 years. An estimated 39 million travelers will be hitting the highways to get to their destinations this year. Gas prices aren't any cheaper than the last few years, but the general good economy is getting people out of the house, so be prepared. That said there will also be a lot of people who are facing break-downs and flat tires, so make sure you've gotten your car checked out and you have roadside assistance on-hand for your trip.


While a lot of people use the long weekend to get away and bond with family, there are some people that are hoping to travel child-free, and not just people like me who don't have children. Short trips can be a good way to reconnect with your partner and take a break from being a parent and get you excited for taking that longer vacation with your child(ren) and discovering new, fun things with them.

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A lot of us already have big plans for vacations later in the year, so splashing out a bunch of cash for a long weekend isn't always in our budget. Luckily, it looks like there will be a lot of deals this year, which can be found on Priceline. There are also a lot of ways to skip the flights and take an awesome road trip, but here are 12 destinations that are really budget-friendly, no matter how you choose to get there:

Boston

Learn about the country's history, with fantastic shopping and seafood dining options. Last-minute deals can take 45% off regular rates, allowing you to visit for much less than other times of the year. If you're looking for things to do, check out this post.

Cancun (Mexico)

Not only do you get the benefit of cheap food and proximity to the ocean, Cancun hotel rates are halved this time of year, and there are so many things to do outside of laying on the beach and getting sunburned. (Seriously, apply and reapply or you'll never want to go back to Mexico.)

Catalina Island

When I was younger, I took several trips to Catalina Island off the coast of California. It's a great place to get a small town feel and oceanside accommodations. Hotel rates fall over 50% between May to October, when you can expect to pay under $100 per night, including the ferry ride to the island from Long Beach.


Hawaii

Airfare sales can be found to Hawaii right now and Memorial weekend kicks off summer sale rates for hotels, which can be found as low as $79 per night. Need tips on what to do or where to go? I've got tips for visiting Molokai, Maui or Honolulu.

Las Vegas

As long as you don't gamble away your savings in the casinos, you can totally make a trip to Sin City cheap. Rates at the MGM Grand can run you under $100 per night, and you can spend less at a less-luxurious hotel. Not sure how to keep your money in your pockets? Here are free and cheap ideas and what you can do if you have kids in tow.


New Orleans

The Big Easy has just gotten over the crowds from Mardi Gras and Spring Break. That means it's clamoring a bit for tourists. You can book a hotel for around $129 per night or fin an Airbnb deal for similar (or less). Worried you won't be able to find anything to do besides drink? You'll be treated to parades and here are some other inspiring ideas for how to spend your time there.

New York City

While you don't normally think of The Big Apple as a budget getaway, prices drop for Memorial weekend. It won't be super cheap, but $159 per night for a 3-star hotel is a deal that won't totally break the bank.

Orlando

Theme parks are certainly going to be busy over the holiday weekend, but there are tons of things to do in Orlando that aren't Disney World, plus room rates can run you just $100 per night. If you want ideas for what to do in the area, check out my Orlando Pinterest page.


Phoenix (and Scottsdale)

Arizona isn't at the height of its hot temps in May, making it an ideal vacation destination. Get amazing hotel rates or spend a little extra for a luxury resort that may be offering up to 40% off. There are a lot of cool things to see and do there, and tons of delicious Mexican food, too.

Riviera Maya (Mexico)

It's heating up in Mexico, and maybe you're ready to get a little sun worshipping into your life. Between May and the end of October, you'll face smaller crowds and room rates. Look to spend an average of $80 per night and pack your sunscreen, bathing suit and sunglasses.

San Francisco

This may seem like a really expensive destination, but if you look for hotels in the Union Square area, you can find rates as low as $112. Find awesome, and affordable, things to do there using this 48 hours post.


Washington, DC

See our nation's capital for less. Once the cherry blossoms fall in April, tourism drops off, so lodging prices drop as well. You can find great deals in May for as low as $69 per night. There are so many free things to do in the city, that you could easily only pay for food each day. Need some ideas? Check out my post from our last trip.

Where will you be spending Memorial Day? I'll be staying home this year and probably firing up the BBQ.
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