Friday, December 30, 2011

Chicago Quick Travel Tip

Just wanted to shoot you a couple of quick travel tips that I have found on this trip to Chicago......

This one is for those of you who are shopping on Michigan Avenue.  If you are planning to shop in one of the stores on the north end of Michigan Avenue, and coming from one of the many hotels west of the Magnificient Mile, consider walking down Rush Street to get to your destination.

With the wind in Chicago, waiting on all of the traffic signals down Michigan Avenue can cause quite a chill.  Consider this, Rush Street has mostly 4 way stop signs and is one way.  This means, if you are walking or in a car, you only need wait on 1 or 2 vehicles, before you get to move about your way.  Much quicker than waiting four or five minutes for the signals to change!

While you are on Michigan Avenue, don't forget to stop by the Historic Water Tower.  This is one of the few buildings that withstood the Great Fire of 1871. Inside there are free art displays which change from time to time.  This trip, I saw pictures of current buildings and sites, on old postcards dating early back to the 1900's with a current picture of the historic site or building right next to it.  What a unique art display, which I was very happy to be able to enjoy!  Let alone, for free!

Additionally, unknown, to most folks from out of town, the original pumping station for the Water Tower is just across the street.  Step inside the doors to Looking Glass Theatre, and the first thing you will see, 2 stories down and behind glass walls, is the actual pumping station which is still active today.  Step back a block or so, and look at the two buildings.  You can easily see how the street was added later, and how these two buildings at one time were are on the same lot.

Finally, just one block down, you will see the Historic Fourth Presbyterian Church.  This church was originally established in 1871, the same year as the Great Fire.  Later, in 1912, construction commenced to begin rebuilding the church at the same location.  This is not a glance and move on church.  There is a nice courtyard with beautiful gardens open for anyone to enjoy.  There are also free concerts on Fridays.  Also, step inside if the doors are open when you are passing thru, and take a look at the original architecture of this great building!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bourbon Festival on a Budget

Bourbon Festival on a Budget

The Bourbon Festival in Bardstown, Ky is one of the easiest festivals to enjoy on a budget.   Although it is a small festival, they manage to acquire big name bands for their free concerts each night.  Take the whole family, or go with a group of friends.  Either way, there is something fun for everyone.

The Bourbon Festival occurs each year in September.  Bardstown, Ky is only a few miles from the main interstate, I-65, which runs north and south thru the state of Kentucky.  Bardstown is only a few miles from the largest city in Kentucky, Louisville.

If you arrive in the evening, begin your Bardstown Bourbon Festival adventure, by strolling thru the city streets admiring the festival window displays.  The storefront owners in this small town create an ambiance with their pride of being the Bourbon Capitol of the world.  From jewelry stores to drug stores, they each participate in a competition that seems to be an award worth winning.

However, if you happen to arrive in the morning or afternoon, you can stroll the streets as well, and admire the old town feel of this small city.  The buildings date back to before the Civil War.  There are historical markers pointing out the dates and locations that Confederate and Union armies were in the city.  Keep in mind, Kentucky was a neutral state.

While you are in the area, be sure and visit one or more of the bourbon distilleries. Quick Note:  In order to be a bourbon, a whiskey must have all of the following attributes: 
American made
Barrel must be new, charred and Oak
A minimum of 51% of the mash bill must be made of corn
It must be distilled at or below 160 proof
Entry into the barrel must be 125 proof or lower
Filled in the bottle - Must be 80 proof or higher
Nothing can be added to the bourbon, except Bourbon

The closest 3 distilleries, to Bardstown, Ky are Jim Beam, Heaven Hill and Maker’s Mark.  They all offer a free tour and also free sampling.  Obviously, this is for the adults in your party, but keep in mind the Jim Beam distillery is an excellent site to see, even from a distance.  Take note, while you are there, of the Baptist Church, which appears to be planted just in between two of Jim Beam’s warehouses.  Coincidence? Maybe.

For the kids, while you are at the Bourbon Festival, you will find a dunking booth which is as much fun to watch as it is to participate.  The layout of the festival is wrapped around the city building, with stacks of straw here and there to sit and rest.  Also, free for the kids a football throwing contest and free rock climbing sponsored by the U.S. Army.  And you mustn’t forget to see the World Championship Barrel Competitions on Saturday!

The festival provides free music every night.  Also, free on my trip this year, I received a free can coolie, a free stitched blue horse (representing the BlueGrass state with a story behind it), a free postcard to send to my mother, and a free Bourbon Country coaster. 

Find the cheapest booth for snacks and soda, or bring a picnic for you and the kids and you have yourself one excellent, cheap if not free, vacation.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Blind Hotel Purchasing

If you are looking to get the best deal on a hotel, it is a good idea to go with the blind hotel purchase. This is where you make the purchase, before you see the name of the hotel.

If you read the site just right, you will most likely be able to guess within a couple of hotels which one you are going to end up purchasing.

The best way to do this, go to the web site and check out both the blind hotel purchase page and also the page where you get to see the name of the hotel. Look at the number of stars, the location and the rate of the hotel. If the blind page says it's 50% off at $42 and a 2-1/2 star hotel, go to the brand page and look for a hotel that is priced at $84 and is also a 2-1/2 star hotel.

Simple as that. 8)

May all your travels be, lots of fun and mostly free!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Budget Travel to Charleston, South Carolina

If you are thinking of traveling to Charleston, South Carolina but not quite sure if you can afford it. Consider some of the fun things to do for free. My theory is that you can travel to any city on any budget, if you just set your mind to it.

Check out Budget Travel - Charleston, SC.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

How to Travel to the Albuquerque and Santa Fe area on a Budget

Santa Fe is the oldest continually capital city in the United States, while Albuquerque is New Mexico's oldest city.

Planning a trip to Albuquerque? Make sure you stop and see Albuquerque's Old Town, which is the town's oldest neighborhood.

While you are traveling to the Albuquerque and Santa Fe area, you won't want to miss the art shows of Taos Pueblo and some of the other pueblos in the vicinity. The art shows continue year round.

You'll also want to read How to Travel to the Albuquerque and Santa Fe Area on a Budget, for more tips on things that are free to see and do.

May all your travels be, lots of fun and mostly free!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Gulf Coast Vacation

In order to save money on my flight, I decided to fly into Atlanta. There are also a few things that I want to check out while I am there, like the Underground and Stone Mountain.

Next, I will be driving to Montgomery, which is about 160 miles away. There are a number of free things to see and do in Montgomery, but I also want to see the Hank Williams Sr. Museum. There is something in the city of Montgomery for anyone traveling on any budget.

Then, I will head down to the Gulf shores, I considered at first stopping at Gulf Shores, Alabama, however, I will not have enough time to fit that city into this trip. Perhaps next time.

Instead, I will be staying in Mobile, Alabama. There are a number of things to see and do for free when traveling in Mobile. One of the things I want to see is the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion and also the USS Alabama.

The next day I will take a drive along the coast passing through Gulfport, Mississippi and into Biloxi. There I will check out a couple of casino boats, just for the heck of it. But I also want to see the Biloxi Lighthouse, which offers free admission and a few other free attractions.

I really am looking forward to this trip a lot more than I was the trip to Denver, with no regrets in the change of plans.

May all your travels be...lots of fun, and mostly free!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Budget Travel Fort Worth

I have traveled to the Fort Worth/Dallas area twice in my lifetime. Both trips were around Thanksgiving, and I had a blast both times.

On both trips, I stayed in a hotel in Fort Worth. The hotel was nice, clean and very affordable. I would travel to the city again, if there weren't so many other cities I have left to see. Although, I am sure that I will eventually make it back.

The Grapevine area is really great for shopping. I found some of the best deals of my life on "Black Friday", shopping the day after Thanksgiving.

I remembering visiting the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and seeing a stampede in the Fort Worth Stockyards. I also had my picture taken on a real live bull, on both trips.

There are a number of fun things to see and do when traveling to Fort Worth. Check out How to Visit Fort Worth on a Budget.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

More Air Travel Tips

It seems there has been a dramatic hike in air travel. Increases this year are averaging $340 per flight. If you are planning to travel later, rather than sooner, it may be a good idea to hold off on purchasing your ticket. Prices will most likely remain the same, or there is a possibility that tickets for air travel may drop.

However, if you are planning a trip around a major event, then now is the time to buy. The likelihood of prices dropping around a worldwide event, like the wedding of the Prince in England, are very unlikely.

If you have time to travel, consider purchasing a Round The World flight ticket. These give great flexibility, and unlimited flight travel for one low price. That is, as long as you continue to travel in the same direction (east or west).

Continue to wait and look for air travel deals. Sign up for newsletters from numerous travel web sites and airlines. They frequently have flight deals to different destination. You may just get lucky enough to have your city on a flight deal ticket.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to Find Cheap Airfare

Thinking of planning a trip, time for travel, here are a few good ideas on saving big on airfare.

Timing is everything when it comes to airfare. To get the best deals you have two choices plan way ahead of time and purchase your ticket in advance, or have a flexible schedule in which you can take a flight at the last minute.

By planning well ahead of time you can search different times of the year, to see when the best deals are on flights.

If your schedule is flexible, sometimes you can get a last minute deal on a flight, often less than $150 round trip for direct flights that need to be booked.

Plan your travel in the middle of the week or on a Saturday. Most vacationers and business people, travel on Mondays and Fridays. If you can be more flexible and travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, the rates are typically less.

Read this article titled How to Find Cheap Airfare to your Travel Destination.

One last thought, consider different airports. If you live within an hour or two of more than one airport, check rates for all of the airports in order to find the best deals. Some smaller airports have direct flights to other smaller airports, which often aren't completely booked. Check back regularly to find good deals for your travel dates.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Budget Travel to Las Vegas

I wished I lived closer to Las Vegas. I already have my trip planned for the next time I go.

I am going to stay at the Circus Circus hotel. They have rates as low as $34 posted on their web site. If you can't see these rates, sign up for their Vegas special Travel newsletter, and they will send you the link to your email account. You'll get specials at least once a month. They have some great hotel rates.

After I get in my room and unpacked, I am going to head just around the corner to the casino that has the great $1 deal on margaritas. Then, I'll head back to Circus Circus or a Sports Book in another one of the casinos and bet on the horses for a little bit.

Then, just before dark, I am going to take a stroll towards the Bellagio. If I time it just right, I can walk up to Treasure Island and see their pirate show. As soon as it is over, head to the Mirage and see the Volcano explode, and finally on to the Bellagio to see the fountain show!

And that's only the first night!

Check out these tips on more things to see and do for free when you travel to Las Vegas!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Budget Travel in Europe

If you are looking to travel to Europe, but just not sure you can fit it into your budget, follow some of these tips.

For budget transportation, consider riding the Eurostar. You'll get to your next destination quick and it's inexpensive.

Consider a free walking tour. In Rome, you can meet at the Appian Way Park, at 11:00 am and 3:00 pm for a free group walking tour of the city, during your vacation. London has guides that give free walking tours, but a tip is suggested.

Both Paris and London have numerous museums that offer free admission, almost 200 in the city of London alone. Paris also offers free admission to some of their public swimming pools.

Check out these articles as well:

How to Travel to Rome, Italy on a Budget
How to Travel to Paris on a Budget
How to Vios London on a Budget

I hope these tips will help each and every one of you plan your holiday or vacation to Europe in the near future.

And remember....May all of your travels be, Lots of fun and mostly free!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

How to Travel to Gulf Shores, Alabama on a Budget

If you are looking to plan your vacation to Gulf Shores, AL why not plan to travel during one of their popular festivals. During the festivals you can enjoy lots of free entertainment, one thing that the South does best. There is a 4th of July Extravaganza on the beach and also a Hot Air Balloon Festival that is unbeatable!

Check out How to Travel to Gulf Shores, AL on a Budget for more tips on an affordable vacation to the city!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

How to Travel to Detroit on a Budget

Considering a budget vacation to Detroit. The city is definitely on a move to a comeback.

There are so many nice parks and museums to see in Detroit, and other great free things to see. Don't forget to check out some of the great music the city has to offer. And of course, you won't want to miss out on the automotive history of this great Motor City.

Check out How to Travel to Detroit on a Budget for many tips and ideas for the city!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Travel to Paris on a Budget

Paris, the City of Lights! Oh, what a beautiful city.

Some of us always dreamed of going to Paris, but others plan to travel to Paris. If you plan to travel to Paris, but you are waiting because you want to save money, then this is the article to read How to Travel to Paris on a Budget.

This article will tell you all of things to do and see for free in the city. Festivals to plan your vacation around, statues to see, and more.

Good luck, and enjoy your trip!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

How to Visit London on a Budget

London is another one of Europe's greatest cities to see. If you can find a great deal on a flight and hotel, the only other thing that you will need to pay for is your meals.

London has over 200 museums and most of them are free to see. The company also has a lot of architecture and historical sites to view.

Check out How to Visit London on a Budget, for more tips!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How to Travel to Rome, Italy on a Budget

If traveling to Europe is on your Bucket List, consider making a trip to Rome Italy one of the first stops during your visit.

Traveling around Europe is inexpensive if you take the Eurostar. There are a number of fountains and sculptures to see. All of that, along with the architecture, including the remains of The Colosseum, the traditions of the country and the delicious food, makes this city a must see.

Check out this article titled How to Travel to Rome, Italy on a Budget, for great tips on visiting the city on any budget!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chicago for New Years

Chicago is one of the easiest towns to enjoy! There are so many things to do and see for free, I was surprised we didn't do more.

Recently we traveled to Chicago for my birthday and New Year's Eve. We really enjoyed the atmosphere of the city more than anything else that we took in while we were there.

After searching for the best hotel and the best deal, we ended up staying at the Best Western River North, on Ohio Street. The location was excellent. The indoor pool on the roof had an excellent outdoor gathering area, which would be perfect in the Spring and Summer. The restaurant and bar in the hotel, Pizzaria Ora, had better pizza than the famous Gino's East of Chicago. We experienced both while we were there. And also, the rates at the Best Western, were not ony unbeatable, but they also provided free parking. Considering most hotels charge a minimum of $20 per night, in the city of Chicago, this was another bonus.

The city is definitely a must, for anyone considering New Year's somewhere other than New York. If you get a chance, even if it's not on New Year's, Chicago is a must.

Here is a great article titled How to Visit Chicago on a Budget. I hope you can make it!