Right now I am in the midst of planning an upcoming trip to Boston. Planning for a vacation or a trip can be essential when you are trying to save some money, and here are some tips I plan to offer as guidance:
- If you are going to a big city, like Boston, check out the museums online ahead of time, in particular, look for their free days. For example, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts has a free admission period from 4-9pm on Wednesday evenings.
- Pack as light as you can. If you have a plane leaving past your hotel check out time, and you aren't going directly to the airport, you may have to pay to check baggage at the hotel. Right now my plan is one duffle bag and one carry-on.
- Check out what restaurants and grocery stores are around your hotel. These can save you BIG on money. Some times on business trips I am reimbursed for meals per diem, and I will end up getting extra money back since I went to Jimmy John's every day or stopped by CVS for some things to eat. In addition, consider packing any small food that may fit. I know I have a friend who survives most of her trips on protein bars.
- Big cities like Boston have various ticket or pass deals that allow you into numerous attractions for one low price. The Go Card and City Pass are examples of programs that run in multiple major cities and can provide a lot of value for your dollar. However, be aware of what you want to see and do in your time limit so that you do get your money's worth, especially with the Go Card which can be around $55 for a one day pass.
- Forget about cabs unless they are an absolute necessity. Cities like San Francisco and Boston offer great transportation on their subway system, which is usually a great money saver, or public bus services.
- Along with using the subway or bus systems, consider looking for hotel on the outskirts of downtown. Hotels in the center of downtown will likely be the most expensive (and also the most luxurious :( ) I found a much cheaper hotel that can shuttle you into the city or is very close to a subway station.
- If you are open to options of where to stay, I have done a previous entry (July 11) on the Couch Surfing Project. Stay with a local for free instead of paying out the wazoo for a hotel room. Stay with friends or relatives if you have the opportunity to do so as well.