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Vacation on a Budget – Travel Smart, Sightsee Cheap

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I’m frugal.  I don’t spend money frivolously.  We are trying to live life Dave Ramsey-style and become debt-free.  As a result, I look for ways to stretch our money so my goal is to vacation on a budget.

We love museums, particularly science museums because they teach and entertain at the same time.  Sometimes, however, they can be a little pricey.  So, we spend the extra money each year and become family members (sometimes called sponsors) of our local zoo and science museum.  Both of these participate in a reciprocal program that offers free or reduced admission at zoos and museums across the country.  Be sure to travel with your membership card(s), because you will have to show those to gain entrance.

Our family zoo membership issues each of us an individual card.  The family museum membership issues one card for the entire family.  Check your local museums, zoos, aquariums, and other similar attractions; if this benefit isn’t advertised on the website, be sure to ask.  We have saved hundreds of dollars by spending a little money on the front end.

If you don’t have passes, check to see if museums have discount days.  Some may offer discounted prices on certain days.  Others offer discounts during your birthday month.  Others have local deals; see if local grocery stores (not the big chains) or libraries have discount tickets or coupons.

Some attractions, amusement parks or water parks, offer discounted prices if you enter the park later in the day.  For us, five hours at a water park is sufficient.  It doesn’t matter to our family if we arrive at 10 am and leave at 3 pm or arrive at 4 pm and leave at 9 pm.  I enjoy saving up to half price or even more!

Also check for discount coupons on water parks and amusement parks in supermarkets and local fast food restaurants, on soft drink cans, in local coupon books and on their websites.

Be creative, ask questions and search online if you know there are attractions you want to see.  You can travel well and see all the best attractions on a budget.

What are your tips to vacation on a budget? Please share in the comments.

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Heather and her family were born and raised in east Texas, where she is an assistant principal. Her husband teaches high school chemistry and her daughters are…

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