5 Places to Find Budget Suites

5 Places to Find Budget Suites

If you never had the chance for your summer vacation this year, it’s not too late to plan a relaxing getaway. Now that the high season has passed, you may be able to find even better travel deals. Since the tourists are gone and the kids are back in school, now is the perfect time to plan a budget vacation. Not only are the prices more reasonable, but you may be surprised to see what else you can afford, such as upgraded amenities or suites. For those who are looking for a little more luxury or a weekend staycation, here are 5 places you can find budget suites.

5 Places to Find Budget Suites

1. Booking.com

When I start looking for accommodations, booking.com is one of the first stops along my buyer’s journey. It has a wide array of properties around the world, with more than 28 million listings in 228 countries. When you start searching, the site shows the cheapest rates available, including discounted rates for last-minute deals. You can browse through hundreds of hotels, homes, condos, apartments, and unique accommodations for popular destinations. So, you can see why it would be one of the best places to find budget suites.

I also appreciate that it offers greater flexibility to change and cancel reservations. Many listings don’t require a credit card to confirm the booking and have reasonable cancellation policies if plans change. And, they have filters to help you find accommodations and suites that fit your criteria and budget.

However, the top reason I visit their site is for the discount. I’m a member of their loyalty program. So, I save an additional 10% with my Genius discount which you qualify for if you have two stays in two years. You can save 15% off the total booking if you move up to level two with five stays in two years.

Priceline Express Deals

When I’m looking for budget suites, price and location are my top priorities. Therefore, Priceline makes it easy to find what I need. I often prefer to use Priceline for their map and search features alone. When you type in a destination, you can use the map to compare hotels near the attractions and neighborhoods you want. And, it provides pop-up information about the prices, star ratings, and customer ratings. I can get all the information I need at a glance.

But, the real savings are for those who have flexibility with their travel plans. The Priceline Express Deals make it one of the cheapest sites for spontaneous travelers. If you have some room with your dates, you can save big on last-minute travel accommodations. Many people confirm that they regularly get 60% discounts on their stays, including 5-star resorts and hotels. Furthermore, many properties often apply the same discount to all room types, including suites.


This site has been around for a while and has become a trusted place to find accommodations in over 19,000 locations. The search engine is easy to navigate and has listings at hotels, B&Bs, apartments, vacation homes, condos…even castles if you want. And, they have a vast list of filters so you can find the specific amenities and room types you are looking for.

The reason I come to Hotels.com though is for their industry discounts. Since the company has been around since 1991, they have a good relationship with most hotel chains. Therefore, they often have better rates than other travel sites. And, they often extend the discount beyond their standard rooms. It will also flag hotels with significant discounts as well to help you get the most for your money.


Although I was hesitant to use a site that doesn’t reveal the location until you confirm your booking, HotelTonight has proven to be a reliable site for discounts on high-quality hotels. As the name suggests, it is one of the best places to find same-day deals on accommodations.

HotelTonight offers discount rates for hotels that haven’t reached capacity. The site advertises the rooms at deep discounts, sometimes up to 50%, to help hotels improve occupancy rates. But, they will only provide the general location and ratings before booking. Each time I used it, I have been pleasantly surprised to find that we landed a 3-4 star hotel for 2-star prices.

The Daily Drop gives you the best deal of the day. But, there’s a catch; you only have 15 minutes to claim it. If you are lucky enough to snag this deal, you could pay pennies on the dollar for budget suites.

Google Hotels

Google Hotels is a one-stop shop for destination information. And, it is specifically tailored for anyone who already uses Google. You can easily navigate straight from the search engine. You can just type “hotels” in the search bar to get started. From there, you can filter by price and location. Plus, it often has more current information on hotel availability than other websites.

It is also integrated into Google maps which makes it easy to compare prices in specific locations. Furthermore, it will also tell you about local attractions and give you an idea of which times will be the busiest. Although the site isn’t designated as a discount search option, it is one of the most reliable metasearch options for hotels and last-minute deals.

Tips to Find the Best Deals

These sites are 5 great places to shop for budget suites. However, here are a few tips to help you find the best deals out there.

  • A travel agent once told me that most companies in the travel industry start looking at dates and adjusting prices based on availability about 45 days in advance. Start your search early and check back regularly.
  • Set alerts and notifications for dates you potentially want to book.
  • Compare websites since they may have different rates.
  • Be flexible.
  • Look for dates in the off-season or on weekdays.
  • Refine your search filters to get exactly what you want.
  • Ask for corporate or membership discounts.
  • Read the fine print. Some accommodations may have restrictions or strict cancellation policies. Make sure you know what you’re booking before you pay.
  • Check the final total. Sometimes, an offer seems like a good deal until you include all the taxes and fees. Make sure you have a final tally before you give them your information.

Do you have any more suggestions on how to find budget suites? Share them in the comments below!

Read More


When Is The Cheapest Time To Visit Disney World?

The Cheapest Time to Visit Disney World

As the weather gets warmer and summer gets closer, many people look forward to vacation plans. If your summer vacation plans include Disney World, then you are not alone. Tickets went on sale in February 2021 for this year. However, you will need advance reservations since they often run out. Planning ahead and knowing the cheapest time to visit Disney World can make your trip much more affordable. But as with most things in life, it all comes down to timing.

Ticket Prices Vary

Date-Based Pricing

Beginning in 2016, Disney switched to date-based pricing for admission tickets. In an effort to prevent overcrowding, Disney World adjusts the price depending on how busy they are. When the demand for tickets goes up, so does the cost.

Prices fluctuate regularly. So, if you see a good price, you’ll have to book it then to lock in the rate. The cheapest one-day ticket starts at $109. However, the same ticket goes for $159 during the busiest days of the year.

If you go online, you can find great discounts for entrance and hotels if you travel in the off-season. You should check out ticket prices ahead of time and compare to find the best rate and beat the crowds.

Different Ticket Types

There are also different types of tickets that give you greater access to all the parks. Depending on what you want to do, the cheapest option may not offer the best value. If you are planning your trip around Disney World, different packages allow you to take advantage of multiple attractions. Some also give you the ability to enter multiple parks on the same day.

    • Park Per Day – entrance to one theme park for the day
    • Water Park and Sports Option (+$70) – admission to the water park or the ESPN center for one day
    • Park Hopper Option (+$65) – allows you to visit multiple parks each day
    • Park Hopper Plus Option (+$85) – visit multiple parks each day, including the water park

The Most Expensive Times to Visit Disney World

As you probably guessed, the most expensive tickets and busiest days correspond with holidays and times when kids are out of school. Generally speaking, this means summer ticket prices are usually higher. But, you can find days with cheaper rates even during the peak season.

However, budget-minded travelers will want to avoid these dates:

    • New Year’s Day: January 1
    • Spring Break: April 1 – 17
    • Memorial Day: May 28 – 30
    • Thanksgiving: November 24-27
    • Christmas/Winter Break: December 15 -31

The Cheapest Time to Visit Disney World

Now that you know which dates to avoid, it will be easier to home in on the best prices. You will typically find that weekdays are the cheapest time to visit Disney World since it receives more visitors on the weekends.

When comparing prices, there are several factors to consider. A single-day ticket starts at $109 without any discounts. However, you will spend less per day when you purchase multi-day tickets. The longer you stay, the cheaper the prices get.

The Cheapest Time to Visit Disney World

For those who are looking for the cheapest time to visit Disney World, these dates fall between holidays and school breaks. You can usually find multiple days with the lowest rates in these time frames:

    • mid-January through mid-February
    • mid-August through the end of September

The Cheapest Time to Visit Disney World

The Best Discounts for Disney World

After years of practice, I’ve learned that you never have to pay full price for tickets. If you know where to look, discounts are easy to locate. Here are a few tricks to find discount ticket prices that can save you a ton of money on your next Disney World vacation.

  1. Be flexible. You will have a better chance to find discounts if are less rigid about the actual day you visit. Being flexible can land you better deals.
  2. Compare prices and multi-day discounts. Disney World rarely offers discounts on one-day tickets. If you book through the official website, you can usually find better discounts for multi-day tickets. However, you should also compare prices from different sellers. Third-party ticket agencies like Undercover Tourist, Orlando Fun Tickets, and Parksavers can help you get tickets for 8-10% below face value. You may also get lucky if you take your chances to score cheap tickets through online auction sites like eBay.
  3. Know your discounts. The last tip seems obvious. But, you may qualify for an additional discount that you aren’t even aware of. The easiest method to get discounted tickets is to purchase them online which saves you $20 right off the bat. However, here are a few other significant discounts that could net you huge savings:
    • Disney Vacation Club gets you 10% off
    • Florida residents get a 30% discount with an ID
    • the Military discount gets you up to 50% off tickets
    • first responders can also claim a discount when they book tickets
    • memberships with discount buying clubs and car clubs usually get you 5-10% off
    • an annual pass can save you more in the long run if you plan to visit several times

General Tips to Help You Find the Cheapest Time to Visit Disney World

Keep in mind that your ticket is only valid for Disney parks in Florida (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios). So, if you plan to visit Universal as well, you’ll have to purchase additional tickets. Furthermore, date-based pricing only applies to the Florida parks and hasn’t been implemented yet for the California parks.

Any unused days on your ticket are non-refundable. But, if you find a cheaper ticket or choose a cheaper option before your arrival, they will usually refund the difference. If you are set on a specific date or special event, some people recommend booking your ticket prior to your arrival date since the ticket can be used after the start date. However, you’ll need to be aware of the window of time when you have to use them.

The best advice for finding cheap tickets is to plan ahead so you don’t pay more than you have to. Part of this includes knowing which dates to avoid, which passes you’ll need, and buying them online. Good luck and happy hunting!

What are the best deals you have found on Disney World tickets?

Read More

Tips for Having a Budget-Friendly Vacation

Budget-Friendly Vacation

You do not have to let cost stop you and your family from enjoying a vacation. It is possible to have a great family vacation on a budget. There are several ways that you can cut your travel expenses without cutting back on fun and adventure. Here’s how:

Rent an RV

If you and your family travel frequently, then renting an RV can potentially help you save thousands of dollars per year. Your RV is your home on wheels, so you will not have to get a hotel room. For less than the cost of comparable accommodation, you can opt for a stay at an RV resort in San Diego or other in-demand destination cities. This lets you and your loved ones enjoy the perks of a standard hotel resort without the high cost. Furthermore, an RV also comes with a kitchen, so you can cook meals instead of eating out. Traveling in your rented RV is also likely to cost less than getting plane tickets for everyone going on the trip.

Look for Free Things to Do

The entertainment is one of the main things that can make a vacation expensive. One of the keys to having a budget-friendly family vacation is to look for free things to do. Public parks and beaches are examples of places that you can go for free. Most museums are free at certain times. It is a good idea to find out about the free things to do in the area before you go to your destination.

Travel During the Off-Season

Summer is the most popular time of the year for families to travel. The children are out of school, and parents are able to get time off from work. However, this is also the most expensive time of the year to travel. If you can travel during the offseason – fall, winter, or early spring – then you will be able to save a lot of money.

Collect Things Instead of Buying Them

Everyone wants to have souvenirs from their trip. However, you do not have to spend money on souvenirs. You can collect things instead of buying them. For example, you can collect seashells at the beach. You can also collect maps from the tourist offices.

Use Coupons

Many restaurants and attractions have discounts at various times of the year. You can take advantage of these discounts by using coupons. Groupon is a place where you can find coupon deals. You can also find coupons by directly visiting a company’s website.

Select a Nearby Destination

You do not need to go far to have a good time. There are likely a lot of fun places within a short drive from you. If you choose a close destination, then you can save money on gas. You will also be able to save money on the activities that you do with your family.

Use a Gas Finder App

The amount that you pay for gas will depend on the gas station that you buy it from. Even if you are only able to save a few cents, this can add up. You can use a gas finder app to find the cheapest gas station in your area.

It is possible to travel with your family on a tight budget. You can cut your travel costs by renting an RV. You can also travel during the off-season and select a nearby destination. Looking for free things to do and collecting free items are other ways that you can save money. Additionally, you can use a gas finder app. There are many ways to pull off a budget-friendly vacation, it’s just a question of which ones to choose.

Hakkasan VIP Bar Card Review

When it comes to great night life a city that is always at the top of the list is Las Vegas.  Also known as Sin City, Vegas attracts both the rich along with the average American and tourist.  When it comes to nightlife, very few cities hold a candle for what Las Vegas can offer.  In terms of the club scene, Vegas’ Hakkasan rules them all.  Located inside the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, the nightclub always attracts top DJs and performers.  I recently traveled to Vegas and knew I had to see what Hakkasan was all about.  To make sure I had the best time possible, I bought a Hakkasan VIP Bar Card.  While promoters can sometimes get you in for free to the club, the Hakkasan VIP Bar Card review that follows will let you know if planning for your trip in advance is well worth the money.

Image result for Hakkasan VIP Bar Card Review
Photo courtesy of Vegaster


How much does the Hakkasan VIP Bar Card cost?  It depends.  Depends on what?  The performer, day of the week, etc.  The biggest performers tend to play on Friday and Saturday nights, so you can expect to pay a little bit more during those days.  For ladies, the bar card tends to cost what the bar card costs, which is $100.  For men, the overall cost tends to be either $100 or $115 (Friday’s and Saturday’s).  This cost for men also includes a $100 bar card.

How to Use the Bar Card

The Hakkasan VIP Bar Card is very easy to use.  When you order your bar card online, you will receive a barcode that you show at the door.  This will tell the bouncer what all you receive, in this case admission and a bar card.  You are then handed a physical card that you can use much like a debit or credit card.  It’s important to note that the card is only good for the event you registered for.  If you don’t use the total balance on the card by the end of the night, then you lose out on the remaining value.  If you do use the full amount of the card (which is easy to do considering beers are $10, and mixed drinks start at $17) then you can simply toss the card out.  It is also important to point out that you can not reload the card.  After you have used up the value in its entirety you will have to pay for remaining beverages out of your pocket.

Hakkasan VIP Bar Card Review Conclusion

So now for the final determination, is the Hakkasan VIP Bar Card worth it?  Simply put, yes!  Whether you are male or female the VIP bar card has great benefit.  Firstly, you are in a VIP line and thus aren’t forced to wait in the main line.  You get expedited entry.  Secondly, if you are male, your admission is discounted on what it would be if you didn’t pay for the VIP bar card.  Admission for men can sometimes be as much as $40 just to enter.  Finally, the value of the card is substantial enough for one to enjoy themselves, but not too much where you will have unfinished funds at the end of the night.  So next time you venture to Sin City, take advantage of the Hakkasan VIP bar card.


Saving for a Vacation: Ski Edition

ski vacation

We are currently in the heart of wintertime.  January and February are the coldest months in the United States.  While many people despise cold weather, many can agree that the snow which comes with it can be a nice compliment.  Although summertime seems to be the time when most families vacation, a ski trip during winter allows some families to break the mold.  Saving for a vacation is only half the battle.  While having the available funds to do something enjoyable is important, finding a good deal is also just as important.  I recently planned a ski vacation and will share my six tips on how I saved and budgeted for the vacation.

Saving for a Vacation Tip 1:

If you are like me and enjoy traveling with family and friends, then it is important to have a “Travel” category in your budget.  Setting aside $100 or $200 every month for travel allows the funds to add up and allows you to have a couple of enjoyable vacations every year.

Saving for a Vacation Tip 2:

Vacationing for many people means eating out every meal, which can get very expensive.  Packing snacks ahead of time and a quick trip to the grocery store when you arrive can help limit your food costs.

Saving for a Vacation Tip 3:

Plan for transportation ahead of time.  Booking a rental car before you arrive at the airport is often cheaper than waiting until you arrive at the destination to get one.  Kayak.com is a great place to search for the best rental car rates.

Saving for a Vacation Tip 4:

If flying to a destination, use Google Flights to search for the best rates.  Google Flights allows you to search many airlines at once and see the cheapest rates for the best dates.

Saving for a Vacation Tip 5:

When booking a ski vacation, book your lift tickets and ski or snowboard rentals online.  Keystone Resort in Colorado offers online reservations to early bookers for a 20% discount.  Additionally, you can rent your equipment cheaper online ahead of time as well.  By booking my equipment through Christy Sports I was able to save an additional 20% versus the walk-in rate.

Saving for a Vacation Tip 6:

Lodging tends to be one of the more expensive parts of any vacation.  Last year when I traveled to Hawaii, a night at a resort was close to $600 per night; however, a couple of friends and myself split a three bedroom Airbnb for less than $150 per night.  Exploring your lodging options can help greatly reduce the cost of any vacation.

As you can see, saving for a vacation is a two-fold strategy.  You first want to make sure you have the available funds.  This is done by creating money in your budget.  Secondly, you want to make sure you find the best deals out there.  I have found that planning for a vacation ahead of time is one of the easiest ways to save on your trip.  Meshing both of these aspects together can help create an enjoyable, budget-friendly trip for all.

Budgeting for a Summer Trip


summer trip

It’s June, and summer is upon us.  Not officially, but close enough.  Vacationing during the summer is commonplace.  But what is the best way to budget for that summer trip?

I have a travel category in my budget every month.  Let’s say I allot $150 a month for trips throughout the year.  That gives me a yearly total of $1800 for trips.  Depending on where I decide to go, I try and budget a trip for $900.  This means I can take 2 vacations during the year.  Again this is amount is allotted for just 1 individual.  If you have a family of four you will have to make other arrangements.

I like to go on cruises, to the beach, this summer I am heading to New York City.  Taking a little out of my budget every month allows me to properly plan for my vacation.  The alternative would be to take a huge hit during the month you do decide to travel.

I always make savings my first priority, but I do take time to enjoy the fruits of my labor.  Hard work should be rewarded.  I’ve heard many times how employees let vacation days go unused, a problem I won’t let myself ever have.  There are many ways to budget for a trip or summer vacation.  I just let you know how I get it done.

Budget Smart, Invest Wise