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5 Vacation Saving Tips You Can Use At Home

Kids saving money

One of the best ways to build memories as a family is to participate in activities together, from visiting museums and amusement parks to dining out together, but these experiences can get expensive fast.

So how do you entertain your family on a budget? The secret is to use your travel savvy and apply vacation savings tips to local activities. By playing tourist in your own backyard, you can enjoy a full-fledged “staycation” without breaking the bank.

Check With AAA

Your AAA membership is a valuable thing, providing you with car service in the event of an emergency, but the benefits go far beyond that. In fact, you may have even used your card to secure a discounted hotel room while on the road or a reduced rate rental car. For an affordable family excursion, then, check out what discounts AAA offers in your area. In addition to all their automotive services, AAA also offers membership deals on live music events, local festivals, dining, and much more.

Grab Some Gift Cards

If you’re trying to stretch your dollar during family activities, gift cards may not be the first things that come to mind. After all, aren’t gift cards just a way of allocating money, not a way of saving it? Ordinarily, yes – but if you buy your gift cards through a discount service, you can make your money go a little further. For example, if you want to go all out on your staycation and spend the night at a hotel, Gift Card Granny offers Marriott gift cards for about 4% off. It’s a small savings, but paired with discounts on other activities, it really adds up. You can even use the savings on dining, spa, services, or golf, if you’re seeking a different type of indulgence.

Master Public Transit

If you’re traveling in an unfamiliar city, it’s easy to waste money on cabs or rental cars rather than taking public transit – but at home, you have no excuse. Everyone should know how to use their local public transit system, and if you haven’t mastered your local lines, now is the time to learn.

Grab your local transit card, install a navigation app, and hop on the subway or bus. Kids love public transit and you’ll experience your city in new ways. Plus, by taking public transit, you’ll also avoid parking costs at popular attractions.

Explore Your Library

Your local library is an incredible day-to-day resource, but did you know that many major libraries offer free passes to local attractions alongside books and other media? This is an increasingly common service, billed as the culture pass in New York City, and found under various headings across the country. The Miami-Dade Public Library System offers museum passes for institutions, including the Miami Zoo, across the city, and the Boston Public Library offers free tickets to countless museums and activities.

To use these programs, you typically just need a library card, and you may need to book your ticket about a month in advance. On the other hand, it can cost a family of four, $50-$100 to go to the aquarium or the local art museum, so be sure to take advantage of these free pass programs. Your local library can tell you more about what’s available for your family.

Join The Club

Many families have club store membership to save on bulk groceries, but they’re good for much more than that. Most club stores also sell discounted theme park tickets, movie tickets, and more. Just stop by your local store or check the website to find out what’s on offer in your city. Like the groceries, furniture, and electronics available at these stores, activity tickets are equally deeply discounted.

You know how to save money when on the road – and those same strategies work at home, too. Before you venture out with your family, then, put on your tourist hat and check out the available discounts. Just because you’re staying home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of savings opportunities. In fact, staying local is an excuse to become more familiar with the many ways to save.