Five Ways to Save...
On Vacation with Coupons
by Stephanie Nelson
1. Visitor’s Bureau. Visit the website of the Visitors and Convention Bureau of the city you are visiting. Find special discounts and/or coupons available for attractions, restaurants and shopping. Sign up for their email newsletter and find out about last-minute hotel bargains. We did this for San Diego one year, and ended up saving an additional 30% off our hotel room rate by using a special offer emailed to me in the Visitor’s Bureau newsletter.
2. Free information kits. Order one from the Visitor’s Bureau and it will probably include free coupons for local businesses, restaurants and attractions. My San Diego kit included a coupon for the San Diego zoo that saved my family $20! If you plan to visit several attractions in the same city, check to see if the Visitor’s Bureau sells a multi-attraction pass, which could be much less expensive than buying individual passes for each attraction.
3. Go on-line. Visit the websites of the attractions or museums you plan to visit to find detailed information about special exhibits, hours, and costs. Call and ask if they have a specific day of the month that is “free admission” day, if they have special discounts for groups like AAA, AARP, seniors, military personnel, students or any other association that applies to you or someone in your party. You can also go to the AAA website, if you are a member, and see if they have a specially negotiated rate for the attractions or museums you plan to visit.
4. Check local coupon websites. You can find some free coupons for your destination city going to a search engine and entering the words “local coupons” or “restaurant coupons” and the name of your destination city to find any local coupon websites that may provide more offers.
5. Ask the locals. If there is a special deal available, they will know! One year my family went on a ski trip to Colorado, and I asked a waiter if he knew how to get lift tickets at a low price. He told me about a promotion a local coffee shop had, which gave you a “buy one ticket, get one free” coupon for every pound of gourmet coffee you bought, so we bought five pounds and saved over $200, even after factoring in the cost of the coffee. Our hosts who provided our free condo were pleased--they got a lot of great coffee!
Stephanie Nelson is the Coupon Mom. Her web site, www.CouponMom.com , has 6 million members, and she is established as the nation’s top expert in couponing across the country. Stephanie has been on every major national television talk show and taught millions how to save 08)money for the past 11 years. She has been called ‘”the rock star of the recession” by the Washington Post and her book, The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half, is a New York Times best seller.