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You CAN Have Your Dream Vacation! 7 Smart Tips for Visiting Paris on a Budget

Every year, millions of people come from all over the world to visit the city of Paris. Are you interested in joining them?

If you’ve been wanting to do more traveling but are worried about the expenses associated with it, keep reading.

Explained below are seven great tips that will help you visit Paris on a budget.

You don’t have to let a lack of funds hold you back from your dream vacation!

1. Start Saving Early

The earlier you start saving for your big trip, the better. Remember, you’ll likely spend a lot more money paying for last-minute flights and hotel rooms.

Some steps you can take to save for your vacation include:

  • Monitor your spending to figure out where you’re wasting money (expensive coffees, eating out, online shopping, etc.) — make a plan to cut those expenses from your budget and put the money you’re saving toward your trip.
  • Sell old items that you don’t use anymore at a pawn shop, a consignment shop, or a garage sale.
  • Look for a side job — side jobs like driving for Uber or Lyft or delivering food for GrubHub can help you earn extra cash while working the hours that make the most sense for you.

You might want to consider opening up a separate savings account, too. That way, you won’t be tempted to dip into the vacation fund everytime funds are low.

2. Travel During the Low Season

As with any city, there are certain times of the year when Paris is busier than others.

If you want to save money on your vacation, consider traveling during the “low season.” In Paris, the low season is the late fall and winter. 

It might seem like a drag to travel to Paris in the winter, but there are actually lots of great things you can during this season. For example, you can see beautiful Christmas lights and enjoy all kinds of holiday events.

You’ll also get to enjoy fewer tourists when you visit the city’s most popular attractions, and you’ll be able to spend a lot less money on airfare.

3. Look for Discount Tours and Activities

You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to see the sights in Paris. There are lots of free and discounted activities you can enjoy during your trip. Some must-see attractions that won’t break the bank include:

  • The free permanent collection at the Petit Palais at the Musee des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris
  • Explore the city gardens
  • Take a walk through the city’s free cemeteries
  • Tour famous churches like Notre Dame Cathedral and Saint-Merri Church (which hosts free concerts on the weekends)

If you want to visit the city’s top museums, you can also save money by purchasing an unlimited Paris Museum Pass. It’s not free, of course. But, it’s definitely the most cost-effective option.

You can also consult a website like The Paris Guy to learn about a variety of fun and affordable attractions.

4. Use Public Transportation

Paris has an excellent public transportation system. The Metro provides you with an easy and affordable way to get around the city. 

Keep in mind, though, that an all-day pass probably isn’t worth the expense unless you plan to ride the Metro a lot — six times a day or more.

A more cost-effective option might be to purchase books of 10 tickets. These ticket books come at a discount and can be used by anyone at any time.

In addition to being more affordable, the Paris Metro also provides you with a much more entertaining way to explore the city. You’ll get to people-watch and experience more of the local scene when you travel this way.

5. Stick to Budget-Friendly Food

Paris is known for its gourmet cuisine. That’s not all the city has to offer, though.

Contrary to popular belief, there is also such a thing as budget-friendly Parisian food. 

Paris is also filled with delicious street food and affordable cafes. There are lots of grocery stores, too, that make it easy for you to purchase and prepare your own food. 

Saving money by eating at small, local restaurants and cafes can make it possible for you to plan to splurge on one or two fancy meals if you want. This totally isn’t necessary, though.

There are lots of tasty and affordable options for you to choose from. Don’t let the idea that Parisian food is too expensive stop you from making your trip.

6. Skip the Hotels

Hotels are going to be expensive in every major city — Paris is no exception. If you want to save money during your Paris vacation, skip the hotels and look for an Airbnb instead. 

There are lots of benefits that come with choosing an Airbnb over a hotel, including the following:

  • More space
  • Better rates
  • Access to a full kitchen so you can cook your own meals
  • Access to a washing machine so you can wash your own clothes

When you stay in an Airbnb, you also get to stay in parts of the city you might not otherwise get to experience. 

7. Compare Flights Online

Finally, don’t forget to compare flight prices online. It is possible to find an affordable flight to Paris, but you have to be patient and willing to do your research.

Use comparison websites so you can easily look at flights side-by-side and figure out which airline offers the best deals. 

Planning your trip early is another great thing you can do to save money on a flight. Booking your flights 6-8 months in advance can help you save a fortune.

It’s Time to Visit Paris on a Budget

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll have no trouble visiting Paris on a budget! 

Are you in need of more advice on traveling while sticking to a budget?

If so, be sure to check out the travel and vacations section of our site today.

It’s full of lots of great information that will make it easy for you to save money while still enjoying the trip of your dream.

Australia on a Budget: Money-Saving Tips for Your Bucket List Vacation

Have you been clipping coupons and meticulously tracking your spending over the past few months? You may have finally saved enough to book the trip of a lifetime!

Australia tops many bucket lists for their unique wildlife, delicious food, and stunning beaches. But all those positives come at a price.

With everything from flights to activities costing a pretty penny, your inner bargain hunter may be hurting to find a great deal to cut costs. And luckily, there are a few things you can do to travel Australia on a budget.

Do you want to know more? Keep reading to discover our frugal tips.

Travel at the Right Time

Hotels and flights will undoubtedly be your most costly expenses. While scouring discount hotel and flight websites can get you some great deals, you can take this one step further.

Prices will vary dramatically during different seasons in Australia. December through February is Australia’s summer. This is the most expensive and crowded time to visit, so try to avoid these months if possible.

June through August is winter. Although it’s the cheapest time to visit, it’s likely going to be too cold for you to enjoy the beach and various water sports.

Spring (September-November) and autumn (March-May) are considered the shoulder seasons. Prices will be cheaper than during their summer months and you’ll still get to enjoy warm days. Autumn experiences a lot of rain, though, so aim for spring to enjoy good weather and more affordable prices.

Choose Where to Skimp

Whenever you plan a budget vacation, you’ll have to compromise in some areas. So take a moment to decide where you want to splurge and where you can skimp.

You may want to stay in a nice hotel, such as theoldclarehotel.com.au, but ditch the first class plane ticket in favor of a cheaper coach seat. Or maybe you want to stick with cafes and cheaper dining options and splurge on your activities.

By balancing your splurging and skimping, you’ll get to enjoy what’s most important to you without spending a lot of extra money on things you don’t care as much about.

Condense Activities

During your research, you’ll likely come across tons of things you want to do in Australia. But keep this country’s size in mind before you get your heart set on activities.

If you choose to do things all over the country, you’re going to waste a lot of time and money on transportation alone. Instead, choose one or two cities to stay in during your trip and pick activities that are close by.

You can save even more money on by committing to a relaxing vacation. Simply limit your activities to the ones you absolutely can’t miss. Then, schedule a few beach days–they’re free, fun, and relaxing!

Traveling Australia on a Budget

Don’t be fooled into thinking that a trip to Australia has to break the bank. While it will be pricier than other destinations, you can travel to Australia on a budget. Just follow our tips to get the most out of your vacation without spending a fortune.

Are you hoping to get a nice tax refund this year? Then read our tips before filing!

5 Unexpected Travel Destinations That Could Be Your Dream Vacation

Around 35 percent of American families go on vacation.

Millennials without kids are less likely to travel than people in their 20’s and 30’s with kids. However, these destinations are perfect for couples and singles alike.

Here are some of the best vacation spots you might not know about:

1. Travel Destinations: Chiapas, Mexico

If you’re looking to travel on the cheap, consider going to Chiapas, Mexico. Chiapas is full of nature and history. Mexico is one of the best countries to visit, but people tend to overlook Chiapas.

If you’re looking for an adventure, you’ll find one in Chiapas. Chiapas has waterfalls, canyons, and a vibrant city worth checking out. There are also the ruins of Palenque.

It only costs around $20 to $30 per day to have fun in Chiapas. Since the city survived an earthquake in 2017, Chiapas needs your tourism dollars. Plan a dream vacation to a place like Chiapas today.

2. Bohemian Paradise, Czech Republic

Bohemian Paradise is in the Bohemia region of the Czech Republic. It’s known for having outstanding views and natural rock formations that will make your jaw drop.

This area has been inspiring artists with its natural beauty for centuries. Visit the Pravoch Rocks or Besedice Rocks in Mala Skala for some of the most unforgettable views you’ll ever see.

You can also visit the ruins of different castles. This includes Trosky castle, Frydstejn Castle, and more. You’ll have to trek through the forest to get to these castle ruins.

3. Tunisia

Tunisia is one of the best vacation ideas anyone could ever have. Contrary to popular belief, Tunisia is an exciting and safe destination for tourists.

Tunisia has beautiful beaches that aren’t as populated in other Mediterranean places like, say, Greece. You can enjoy Tunisian beaches in peace.

There are also a lot of significant cultural sights to see. Tunisia has eight UNESCO World Heritage sites including ancient medinas, Islamic holy sites, and Roman cities.

4. Okinawa, Japan

Japan is one of the best vacation spots because it’s exciting and safe. Okinawa is one of the most preserved Japanese islands yet it doesn’t have too much tourist traffic.

Okinawa has something for everyone. Enjoy the beaches of Cape Hedo and admire the rock formations on the coast. Visit the Shuri Castle that has been standing since the 14th century.

Okinawa isn’t as industrialized or crowded as other places in Japan. Go on the Uruchi river cruise to explore the jungle and see hidden waterfalls.

5. Hilo, Hawaii

Despite being the biggest Hawaiian island, Hilo remains a hidden gem. This island is also full of sights you can’t see anywhere else.

Visit Volcanoes National Park and see a live volcano for yourself. You can even helicopter over the lava to truly experience the volcano up close.

Hilo also has other beautiful sites like Rainbow Falls and pristine beaches. Hilo is one of a kind and worth checking out. Consider visiting this location, even if you have to plan a last-minute vacation.

Plan The Vacation of Your Dreams

People who take vacations have lower stress levels, a better outlook on life, less risk of heart disease, and more motivation to accomplish their goals. Experience the health benefits of a vacation by booking one of these travel destinations today.

Vacations also improve your physical and mental health by decreasing your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that spikes under stress. Too much cortisol can result in weight gain, depression, heart problems, and more.

Prepare more for your vacation by learning more about traveling. It’s the best gift you can give yourself.

How to Save for a Vacation on a Tight Budget

how to save for a vacation

Vacations are expensive. Let’s face it.

How are you supposed to take an enjoyable vacation when you’re pinching every penny in your everyday life? There’s gas, plane tickets, daily excursions, food, and more. When you tally up the costs, even a camping excursion can rack up a large sum.

But the vacation you want to take could be the experience of a lifetime. If you have a family, you want to do your best to create valuable memories that will last. If you’re a solo-traveler planning to backpack Europe, it’s likely that you’re aching for that trip and are just seeking for a way to make it happen.

Here’s the thing: it’s entirely possible to inch away towards the sum you need to have an excellent vacation. Read on, and you’ll find out a few key ways to save money and put it away towards a vacation.

How to Save for a Vacation

1. Where are You Blowing Your Money?

It’s understandable to splurge a little on things like coffee and snacks whenever you stop for gas. We all have those little guilty pleasures that we shouldn’t be spending money one, but is that where you want your money to go?

If you add up the cost of your weekly spending on non-essentials, you’re likely to find that you’re spending a lot more than you had previously thought. Things like soda, treats, movie tickets, and the like are all things that be eliminated.

If you dedicate yourself to a year without, say, drinking soda, you’ll be able to save maybe a thousand dollars alone on that front. Not to mention, you’ll be a lot lighter for that hike through the Andes!

The most important thing you can do to save money for your vacation is cut out non-essential spending, and set aside the money you would use whenever you have a hankering for that bag of Doritos, or can of soda.

2. Garage Sale

It can be difficult to start saving when your vacation fund is meager. It’s a lot easier to set money aside when you can see the result of your frugality. A great way to get your savings started is by having a garage sale.

Gather up all of the stuff you don’t need- old clothes, microwaves, knick-knacks, whatever. Often times you can get rid of a lot of clutter while making a couple hundred dollars to tuck away for your trip.

A lot of times neighborhoods will have community garage sale days. These are great because everyone knows that there will be a sale, giving you a lot of traffic that you would otherwise miss out on. If you don’t have a community garage sale day, you can always advertise on Facebook a few days in advance to get the word out.

3. Pawn Shops

Pawn shops are often a place that your parents tell you never to enter. They rouse images of people selling their priceless items just to have money for gas or cigarettes. This is definitely not the case, and you can get some value out of the things that you couldn’t otherwise get rid of on Craigslist or similar sites.

Know that you won’t get the full value for your items. Resort to pawn shops only if you know that you’re not going to be able to sell your items to anyone else. Additionally, if you’re not having luck selling online and your trip is coming near, pawn shops are a great way to get that last little cushion that you need.

4. Get a Side Job

There are a lot of employers that are just looking for part-time work. If you already have a full-time job and you need a little extra cash, consider finding something that only requires you to work one or two days a week.

There are plenty of part-time gigs on Craigslist or Indeed, and you won’t be tied down to a commitment that you aren’t able to come through for. Another thing to consider is working for a delivery service, or taking online surveys.

You will find a lot of little side-gigs online if you do a little research.

5. Get a Separate Savings Account

It’s really easy to dip into your vacation fund when you need new tires or your old bicycle needs a tune-up. If you’re not in dire need of money, do your best to find out how to get the money you need in other ways.

Your vacation will never happen if you keep pulling money from your savings. An easy way to avoid this trouble is to create a separate account to save your vacation money in.

You can set limits on withdrawals, having a way to keep your money safe from yourself. If your wallet gets too tight you can always use the money for something you need, but if your goal is to go on a vacation try to discipline yourself and save what you want to save.

6. Seek out Deals

There are a lot of sites online that send email blasts with travel deals. Whether you need to take a survey or subscribe to a website, you may find a lot of discounts online.

Additionally, keep an eye out for plane tickets far in advance. You’ll often find the best deals if you’re thinking ahead and planning your trip a few months out. In fact, if you buy the tickets early, you’ll be more inclined to save that money and dedicate yourself to planning your trip.

Use the Resources at Your Disposal

There are so many great ways to find deals on vacations available online. Do some research and make sure to fine-tune your trip to your preferences and your family’s needs.

If you’re having difficulty finding extra money to set aside for your vacation, take advice from other people who have done it. Often times it takes that friend or individual online who has a special trick or trip. Be sure to look around online for advice on travel or budgeted living.

5 Cool Park Vacations To Take With Your Whole Family

cool park

Looking for an inexpensive way to give you and your family a break from everyday life?

Look around, North America has 417 state parks waiting for you to explore. Visiting a cool park can change your child’s life by exposing them to the wonders of our country.

Taking the family on a trip to the country’s stunning national parks would make for a cheap summer vacation.

Not sure which cool park is right for your family trip? We’ve listed up five family-friendly parks in America. Add them all to your bucket list and start planning your next family trip today.

1. Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was the most-visited national park in 2017 with over 11 million visitors. Visit the Great Smoky Mountains for waterfalls, swimming holes, and horseback rides.

The parents can kick back and relax at Deep Creek. This gorgeous site has creeks and waterfalls. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a local vendor offering tubing packages and rentals.

2. Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon National Park is just that–Grand! If you’ve only seen it in photos, it’s about time you see its glory in person.

Go for a drive along Desert View Drive, where a 25-mile cruise will offer unforgettable views. Stop along the way at one of the picnic areas for a sweet picnic with your family.

Don’t let planning the details keep you from visiting one of these beloved parks. Experience Park Tours can help you plan your next trip.

3. Yosemite National Park

The Yosemite National Park goes the extra mile to accommodate families. They have a Family Adventure experience that starts at $7.50 per participant.

This activity tasks families to navigate three miles of trails in the park with a hand-held GPS. Your family will uncover history and stories (you may even find some secret treasures).

Even if you don’t take part in the adventure, the gushing waterfalls and iconic valleys will be more than enough.

4. Redwood National Park

The trees of Redwood National Park stand as the tallest in the world!

Taking a stroll through the Redwoods will remind your kids of a page from a storybook with the mossy, tall trees. They’ll probably get a kick out of driving underneath the Chandelier Tree!

Many families make a stop to this park during the two-hour round trip from Berry Glenn to Fern Canyon. Fern Canyon offers a small creek for kids to splash around in and a lovely view of fern varieties.

5. Great Sand Dunes

The Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado is a kid favorite.

This national park is home to North America’s highest sand dunes–reaching up to 750 feet.

If you visit in early summer, you will see Medano Creek running through the main access area. Children build sand sculptures and play along the creek before heading to the dunes.

If you plan on visiting during the Summer, beware of scorching temperatures. Surface sand temperatures can rise to 140?F on summer days.

Take plenty of water and wear tennis shoes to protect your feet from burning sands.

Cool Park Trips for the Family

These national parks can be tons of fun while offering some of the country’s natural beauty.

If you can carve out time for your family to enjoy the fine scenery of a national park, you won’t regret it.

Plan a trip to one (or all) of these amazing national parks with your family soon. Do these fun summer activities with your kids, too!

How to Find the Best Caribbean Vacation Deals

caribbean vacation dealsWhat’s not to love about taking a Caribbean vacation? You get to take off work, explore a new area, and not have a worry in the world.

Of course, like anything else, a vacation costs money. So how do you save?

The easiest way is to look online for the best Caribbean vacation deals. Once the costs go down, whip out that credit card and book it! It’s easy, and we’re here to show you some quick tips on how you can do it!

Pick the Right Island

Airfare is going to be the most expensive part of the trip, so pick wisely. JetBlue offers low fares to Nassua, Montego Bay, and Barbados, while Spirit offers trips to Aruba and San Juan.

Southwest goes everywhere, but do they offer the lowest fares?

Maybe not. Keep checking airfare calendars to see when the lowest rates are and plan accordingly.

Have you ever been to Aruba? St. Lucia? Barbados? The opportunities are endless.

Consider going on the Galapagos Islands tours. With all that extra money you’ll save on cheap airfare, why not book another tour You won’t regret it!

Ask for Suggestions

Has any of your family or close friends ever been to the Caribbean? Where did they go?

Ask them how they went about planning the trip. They may have some extremely helpful suggestions that you’ve never even thought of!

How did they check for freebies or any kind of package deals? Ask them and find out how!

Book at the Right Time of Year

Of course, the busiest time to travel to the Caribbean is during the winter. Everyone is trying to get away from the cold and celebrate Christmas in their shorts.

Also, keep in mind of spring breakers. If you can handle the hotter weather and hurricane season, it is best to book over the summer and up until the fall.

Consider a Cruise

Did you know that 43% of people went to the Caribbean on a cruise?

The best part about a cruise are the accommodations, transportation, and all-inclusive meals. Some cruises even go to multiple islands! All you have to do is find the nearest port and book.

The Caribbean Vacation Deals Are out There

It’s all about knowing what you want to do. Consider staying at an all-inclusive resort if you want to be surrounded by the beach and pools.

Weigh out the pros and cons of a resort versus a hotel. Is it kid-friendly? Are meals included? Are there activities on the property for guests?

Rent a Villa or Guesthouse

The cost of people eating out has increased at a rate of 2.7%. The best thing to do is rent a guesthouse or a hotel with a kitchenette so you can cook your own meals.

Evaluate your meal plan and consider eating where the locals do. Eating at usual tourist stops will easily rack up your expenses.

How We Can Help

Sometimes it’s not easy to plan a Caribbean vacation, especially if you’ve never been there.

Are you still not sure about which island to pick? We can help you find the best Caribbean vacation deals!

We’ve got information on how you and your family can all pitch in to help each other plan the tropical vacation of your dreams.

5 Ways to Save Money on Your Las Vegas Vacation

save money on vacation

Las Vegas is one of the world’s top vacation destinations, bringing in billions of tourists each year. And while Sin City has a bit of a shady reputation, it’s actually a great place for families to visit.

Of course, Vegas, maybe more than any other vacation destination, tends to be a bit pricey.

But that’s no match for a thrifty momma! Here are five great ways to save money on vacation.

1) Buy Groceries

Las Vegas is home to some of the world’s finest dining. Chefs like Buddy Valastro, Emeril Lagasse, and Wolfgang Puck each have well-regarded restaurants in Vegas.

Of course, a meal for one at any of those restaurants can be pricey, not to mention a meal for your entire family.

Buying groceries and preparing a meal or two (in addition to snacks) is a great way to save money on vacation. Simple foods like noodles, sandwiches, and fruit snacks are all easy, quick meals.

When you do go out, try and stick to buffets and food courts, as they offer the most value for their price.

2) Skip The Hotel

Lodging is often one of the biggest financial drains, but modern technology has made it far more affordable.

Sure, you could try and make your way through crowded and overheated hotels, spending hundreds of dollars in the process.

Or you could rent through Airbnb or FlipKey and enjoy your own private space, complete with all the creature comforts of home.

Staying at a rented home is a great way to cut back on costs and line your pockets with more cash for your vacation. And in larger cities like Las Vegas, there are tons of great homes to choose from.

3) Plan Activities Ahead of Time

Spontaneity is one of the best parts of a vacation. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most expensive if you’re not careful.

Fortunately, Las Vegas has no shortage of great activities for the whole family. You can save money on vacation by planning your itinerary ahead of time.

Use sites Las Vegas Jaunt to find great deals on food, lodging, and entertainment. You can still take in Cirque de Soleil without breaking the bank!

4) Set an Entertainment Budget

What’s a trip to Las Vegas without visiting at least one casino? If you plan on gambling, avoid the mistake that many others have made before you: give yourself a budget.

Casinos are designed to distract and entice you to play just one more game of chance. Next thing you know, you’ve lost hundreds of dollars.

Have fun, but be responsible. Set a budget and stick to it by carrying cash only in casinos.

5) Use Public Transportation

Even if you’re bringing your own car to Las Vegas, it’s often easier to make use of the city’s wonderful public transport system.

Vegas offers both a high-speed monorail system and a bus system to get visitors around the city. It’s perfectly safe, and best of all, quite affordable.

Save Money on Vacation And Make Great Memories

Creating memories that will last a lifetime doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With these tips, you can save money on vacation like a pro and still have a great time.

Don’t forget to check back with Thrifty Momma Ramblings for more great tips on how you can save money and raise a wonderful family in the process.