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Saving money…it’s not for all of us. However, there are definitely ways anyone can save money before heading out on the road. My mom (my inspiration for this post) had always nagged me about the way money adds up quick, but of course it wasn’t until I started paying my own bills that I realized how right she really was. So a little strategy I’ve learned over my years of traveling is to take her ‘money adds up quick’ speech and apply it to my saving-for-the-road mentality. Yes, sometimes saving is a little easier said than done (and even harder to admit she’s been right all along) but the end effect is truly satisfying. I’ve put together my own list of ways I save before a big road trip (since that is my favorite way of exploring) but of course these ideas can be used for any upcoming trip you’d like to save for.

No More Starbucks

This is a big one! Normally people spend about $5 a day (sometimes more) at Starbucks or some type of coffee place just to keep energized throughout the day. Now I know you can’t just altogether stop having coffee but making your own coffee in the morning, replacing caffeine with some good vitamins or even just simply going to bed earlier and you will save over $100 a month! Now if you think about that with a road trip mentality that $100 can fill up your car quite a few times, depending on the type of car you have.

Cut Down the Phone Bill

As technology becomes more and more advanced, so do the prices. I don’t know about you but I was spending $80 a month (plus tax and insurance) for a cell phone plan and that is just way too much for the amount of non-talking that I do. So my advice is to take a look at how many minutes you are really using each month, how many people are you talking to, what times are you talking to them and finally do you really need internet on your phone? Now this all depends on your carrier and what is available to you but I went to my local cell phone store and asked about the different options for a plan. I cut my minutes in half since I only texted mostly anyways.  I then got the plan where everyone with my carrier is free and selected people were free as well during the day, bumped up my nighttime calling to 7pm.  I did keep the internet because I like to stay on top of my emails. So with just a little negotiating my cell phone bill dropped down to $50 a month! Now if you are going overseas or a long-term journey it may even be best to resort to a prepaid phone. This way of saving really depends on you but if you can find a way to cut down that cell phone bill, do it!

Coupons are Your Friend

The coupon business, although sometimes overwhelming, can really save you some big bucks! Just browse through your local newspaper ads and you are almost bound to find coupons on products you use all the time. In fact, even if you don’t have time to grab a newspaper there are plenty of websites where you can simply type in what you’d like to save on and BAM there’s a coupon for it! There’s no need to become an ‘extreme coupon-er’ but collecting some coupons will definitely save you some big bucks. Websites to check out: www.CouponMom.com and www.Coupons.com are both really great and even when you go online shopping try Googling discount codes.

Evaluate What is Most Important

Going out with friends is great, but when it becomes an everyday or even weekly costly adventure you need to evaluate what is most important to you. There’s no need to stop being a social butterfly but just pick and choose which spots are really worth it in the end. If you want to really be shocked just look at your bank statement and see all the random here and there eat out costs and how much going to the bar adds up to be. In the end it will totally be worth it and you will have much better memories on your big road trip or vacation than having a burger at your favorite restaurant.

Be Prepared

I am still working on this trait but the times I have been prepared are the times I have saved the most. After all there’s that saying, “The early bird gets the worm”. This really goes for everything; start saving early, start getting your documents prepared, hotel accommodations should be booked in advanced, all these things and whatever you specifically need for your trip should really be prepared beforehand. This way you know how much money you have for your trip and if you need to save more. There have been times I completely forgot a simple bill that was coming up and I had to reevaluate how much money could be spent on the trip. So stay organized and prepared and you won’t need to be frantic about money during your vacation.

These are just a few key money saving tips I do when planning a big road trip. I hope this helped better your saving mentality for whatever big trip you plan on taking. And if you’re a master at saving money or have some additional tips for saving money I would love to hear them! Comment below and let me know :) 

There’s just something about New York City that captivates me each and every time I go there. In all my travels I have never found a more diverse and entertaining city as this (if you have I’m more than welcomed to suggestions) so as I write this article roughly 5,715 miles away I begin planning my next trip to the Big Apple which will be in November. Now I know that may be quite some time away, but with so many things to do and places to see the possibilities in New York are truly endless and even with two seasons of planning I’m sure to leave a few things out. So just like any money-savvy traveler out there I begin my planning by attempting to find as many New York deals out there as I can find. Surprisingly this turned out better than expected (yay me!) and I want to share a few things I’ve learned about finding good deals in this city.

Now because I am originally from New Jersey I know the good, the bad and the ugly known areas of NYC. So when I begin to search through cheap hotels and I quickly find a room for under $100 in the Bronx or Queens I know that’s a no no. However, a person from a foreign country is not going to know that and while you may be saving some cash on a room each night, gun shots and gang fights are the norm in certain parts of those areas.

Also, if you want to see Times Square or visit Central Park a few times during your stay the transportation fares will considerably add up and you really won’t be saving too much money in the long run. I suggest searching for hotels specifically in Times Square or Midtown since those areas attract plenty of tourists. If you do a little searching you can find some good deals out there (a little over $100 a night) and possibly score a coupon for a free night if there’s some sort of special going on. New York’s official guide has plenty of money saving coupons for hotels, attractions, restaurants, etc. You will then save on the outrageous taxi fares and in turn able to splurge on some more exciting ventures this crazy city has to offer.

So we’ve decided we want to get a room close to all the action, so what adventures are ones we just keep coming back to? The Statue of Liberty is a fascinating site and although I vowed (when I was 10) I’d never climb those horrid stairs to the top again, you can still have the same experience and take the elevator to the top. Although the site from the Staten Island Ferry (which is free) is just as great to capture the grace Lady Liberty brings to NYC. Times Square (another famous yet free site) is great no matter what time of the day you visit. I genuinely enjoy all the crazy, fun street performances and I must admit I search for The Naked Cowboy every time I visit. The admission to tour the Empire State Building is relatively inexpensive and for all you photographers out there this is a great place to take beautiful shots of NYC. Now although I have seen all of these close to a hundred times for all you first-time visitors these are must-see places and really don’t have to cost you anything if you chose.

Some of you may prefer a traditional tour guide type of ordeal and there’s this great hop-on, hop-off tour that allows you to literally hop on and off the 2-tiered tour bus as you visit a variety of different sites in the city. There’s a bunch of different tickets available but what I suggest is purchasing the ticket that also includes 3 additional options. You will be able to be as flexible as you want plus still learn all about the city’s rich history and (drumroll please…) save money on 3 other things to do!

Just as you have been saving money on things to do around the city, you can extend all those New York deals you’ve been getting to your food menu. You can easily find a McDonald’s when visiting Manhattan (since there’s about 9 of them in a one mile radius) but if you’re searching for some authentic foods, skip the greasy burgers and opt for the selection of pizzerias from Little Italy. A slice of pizza from just about any of these places are amazing (trust me, I’ve tried just about all of them) and won’t cost anywhere near the price of any restaurant you will find but will taste just as great. After all, New York is known for their pizza!

So as I finish writing this post I must say I cannot wait for November to get here! Not only will I get to visit this crazy city once again, I already know it’s not going to cost me a fortune to do all the fun things NYC has to offer. If you want to save money in NYC it is possible and can really cost you close to nothing depending on what you’re attracted to. There are hundreds of possibilities of things to do and with those options, more ways to save!

What ways have you cut costs during your travels?