Tuesday, March 3, 2015

National Park Pass

If you like to travel and visit our National Parks, consider getting a National Park Pass.   Each pass covers entrance fees at National Parks and National Recreation Areas.

There are several different types of passes, depending on your circumstance.

Annual Pass - $80 Annual Pass, can be obtained by anyone, can be obtained in person by visiting a Federal Recreation Area Where Passes Are Sold or by calling 1-888-275-8747 Ext. 3. You can also Purchase Online.

Military Pass - Free Annual Pass for military members and their dependents.

Senior Pass - As soon as you turn 62, purchase a Lifetime Senior Pass for only $10! This pass may also provide a 50 percent discount on some amenity fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services.

Access Pass - Free for U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents with permanent disabilities.

Volunteer Pass - Free for individuals who have at least 250 service hours with federal agencies who participate in the Interagency Pass Program.

I hope you'll consider your options and visit a National Park this summer!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Discount Deal for Smoky Mountain Vacation

If you are planning a trip to the Smoky Mountains anytime in the near future, here is a Great Deal on Lodging!  The package is only $39 per night for a lodge in Pigeon Forge, TN. 

Now that's what I call a deal!

If you would like to find some free things to see and do while you are in the Smoky Mountains, please check out my MooreFreeTravel Free to See in the Smoky Mountains article.

Good luck, and enjoy your vacation!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Discount Deal for Florida Vacation

If you are planning to go to Florida on vacation anytime in the next year, here is a pretty good deal from HalfOffDeals.com.

The original cost is $696, you pay only $79.

You'll get four nights' hotel accommodations, to be split among two cities in Florida.  The city choices are: Orlando, Daytona and Fort Lauderdale.

You'll also get a $100 Restaurant.com gift card, to be used after you travel. The gift card can only be used in $25 increments.

This particular voucher from HalfOffDeals.com, is valid for one year after purchase.  Be sure to read the fine print. Be certain the voucher suits your needs.

I did a trip similar to this years ago.  I flew to Orlando, drove to Daytona (while staying in Orlando), rented a car and drove down to Fort Lauderdale. 

If you haven't gotten a chance to experience Florida, this is a great opportunity.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hertz Car Rental Discounts

Use codes from different companies, and save on your Hertz Car Rental.

Book your Hertz car rental on Delta's web site, and save 40%.

Use Marriott code CDP 154080 and save 35%.

Please share any codes that you have for Hertz car rental discounts in the comments section below.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Budget Travel to Las Vegas

Let me tell you about my most recent trip, in which we took advantage of many of the free to see attractions in Las Vegas.

Using my rewards points from myVegas.com, I was able to get a free buffet at the Excalibur.

After lunch, we started by walking north on the Strip towards the Aria. Our first free attraction was the Aria Express, which is a free tram that travels from Aria/Monte Carlo to Crystals to the Bellagio.  Hindsight being 20/20, as it always is, we should have walked thru the Monte Carlo, which would have saved our a legs a little bit more for the evening.

The tram arrives in the back of the Bellagio, which was our destination hotel.  This allowed us to walk thru the Bellagio enjoying the luxurious decor.  As we made our way thru, we followed signs for the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.  The Gardens are free to see, and change daily....I've never seen the same thing twice.

As we headed out the front door, toward the Fountains of Bellagio, we timed it perfect.  We were able to see the show of water, music, and lights just as we stepped up to the fountain.  The complimentary show starts every 15 minutes nightly.

The next hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, is The Mirage. We were too early for the Volcano, which erupts every half hour until midnight.  So, we hopped the free tram from The Mirage to Treasure Island, with plans to see the Sirens of TI, which is a pirate show with four free performances nightly.  Unfortunately, the area was under construction (most likely preparing for the 4th of July holiday).

The folks I was with, were ready to rest their legs for the evening, so we hopped a cab back to the Excalibur.  The cost was only $11.90, and well worth it.

The next day, we decided on a little less walking.  So, once again, we put our rewards points to work from myVegas.com.  We were able to get free round trip tickets for the Las Vegas Monorail.

A trip to Las Vegas would not be complete without seeing The Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo hotel and casino, our first stop of the day.  This free attraction is "Touted as one of the most unique and beloved attractions in Las Vegas."

While at Flamingo, we did a little gambling in the race & sports book.  Although I lost both of my bets, I did get a free drink.  So, it wasn't too painful. 

Just a walk across the street, we headed to Caesars Palace.  There we saw the Fountain of the Gods, the Atlantis Aquarium, and the Fall of Atlantis.  The Fall of Atlantis is a free show happening on the hour every hour, starting at 11 am daily.

On our final day, we were ready to head downtown to Fremont Street and the old Las Vegas.  After evaluating all of our transportation options, we decided to ride the Deuce.  The Deuce is a double decker bus that runs 24 hours a day, with stops on the Strip and downtown.  We were able to purchase a 24 hour pass for only $8.

On the way downtown, we stopped to check out the Stratosphere.  Some of our group signed up for their Players Club, and were given a number of coupons to add to the other coupons we had already collected.  We used a 25 percent off coupon to ride to the top of the tower, $15 after the discount.  What a view!

After some pizza, beer and a little gambling, we headed downtown.  First stop, The D Hotel and Casino (used to be Fitzgerald's).  I had heard that they had loose slots, and we were ready to do a little gambling.  Sure enough, we all did quite well at this casino!

Before leaving downtown, we wanted to get our picture taken with the $1,000,000 dollars at Binion's. So, off we went.

On our way back to the Strip, we stopped and used our buffet coupons at the Stratosphere.  Even without the coupons, their buffet was less expensive than the other hotels on the strip.  And the food, just as good!

The next day, we had to say goodbye to Las Vegas and head back home.  There is so much to see and do, we'll definitely be back!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Free Airfare

Just figured out how to get free airfare for my next vacation!

I received a credit card offer in the mail.  If I sign up for a Delta SkyMiles, I'll receive 35,000 miles after spending just $1000 in the first 3 months.  I know I spend that much in groceries and gas alone, so that's no problem!

Plus, if I make a Delta purchase within the first 3 months, they'll give me a $50 statement credit.

Here's what I decided to do.....

Apply, for the card.  For the trip I want to take, I only need 25,000 SkyMiles.  I'll have 10,000 left over.

Once I book the trip, I'll pre-order a snack or a drink.  They'll give me a 20% statement credit, for pre-ordering.  Plus, I'll get a $50 statement credit. 

I'll use the card to pay for up to $50 in meals or admission fees, while I'm on the trip!  What a great way to pay for part of a vacation!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Amusement Park on a Budget

Yesterday, I visited Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. 

The park is approximately 200 miles from our home.  Between the two of us, we only spent $83.00.

Now, you're probably wondering how that is even possible when the cost of a ticket is $44.99.  That's the discount rate if you buy your tickets on CedarPoint.com.  (Although, I'm sure there are probably some fees added, by the time you checkout.)

First of all, I searched the web and stores nearby for discount tickets and giveaways.  I found a sweepstakes or two, and ended up winning our tickets.  So, that saved us, at least $90!

We planned to visit during the week, so the park wouldn't be so crowded.  Our main goal was to ride the major roller coasters, at the park.

The park didn't open until 11:00, so we munched on a cheap lunch at the last Service Plaza, on the Ohio Turnpike.  Two strombolis cost us $12.  (We probably could have split one, as we ended up eating the other half when we got home.) We packed a cooler, so we had water and soda in the car. 

We didn't plan ahead, so we did end up paying $15 for parking.  I think this could have been avoided if we could have found a Park & Ride somewhere nearby.  Something to think about next time.  I believe they do have a shuttle that only charges 50 cents per person.  So a little research next time, could end up saving us $14.

Even though it was a forecasted 90 degrees, and quite humid, we withstood our desires to buy lemonade and slushees throughout the day.  We only drank fountain water.  I'm not sure anything else would have clinched our thirst as well, anyways.  It was really too hot to even think about food.  Plus, we were in a hurry to ride the big coasters, so we didn't want to take a break to eat.

We had to work the next day, and since we had a 3 1/2 hour drive home, we left the park by 5:30.  It was a good day.  We rode the new Gatekeeper, the Raptor, Mean Streak, Magnum 200 XL, Genesis, the Mantis, and Millennium Force.

Here's a couple of tips I found would have gotten us through the rides a little quicker:

Get to the park 30 minutes before they open.  I've done this in the past and been able to walk straight in.  I think their "open time" is really the time the rides start.

Go straight to Millennium Force.  This one keeps a long line most of the day, but if you hit it first, you'll beat the crowd. 

If you have quick feet, try to make it back to the Gatekeeper or to the Maverick before the crowd starts building.  Both of these roller coasters seem to be busy throughout the day as well.

Your roller coaster riding should be smooth sailing from there.  I would hit, Magnum XL 200, Genesis, Mean Streak, the Maverick, the Mantis and then the Raptor. 

The Raptor is popular, but since it's at the front of the park it seems to get the early crowd.  And dies down after lunch.

If you have a desire to ride the Top Thrill Dragster, you could squeeze it in either before Magnum XL 200 or after the Mantis. 

More tips on saving money.   You can go in and out of the park as you wish.  (Don't forget to get a handstamp.) Take a picnic lunch and your favorite fruits in a cooler.  If you have something you really love in the car, you won't be as tempted to spend $5.59 on a lemonade, $3.75 on a Coke, or $7.79 for a beer.

In my opinion, Cedar Point could do just as well on their Coke/Lemonade/etc. if they sold it for 50 cents a can instead of $3.75 a bottle.  Go for quantity instead of markup.  Then they could recycle the cans for CA$H.  But, that's just my opinion. 

Finally, you're probably wondering where we spent the last $56 of our money.  That was to fill the gas tank when we returned home.  We started out a little shy of a tank, so it probably wasn't quite that much.  And, we could have spent only half that, if we would have had another couple along on the ride.

Next time, I think you should come along with us!  What do you think?

Thanks for reading and remember....

May all your travels be...Lots of fun, and mostly FREE!