How I Save Hundreds of Dollars on Vacation Deals
On Sunday a few months ago, I realized that we only had a week until we had to give back the Ford Fusion Energi hybrid car Ford had given us for a campaign to raise awareness about hybrid cars, and that I had to act fast if I wanted to get in one more road trip.
We love road trips!
We used the car to drive to Pennsylvania, for our stay at the Great Wolf Lodge, but I wanted to get in one longer trip.
That night, I found an unbelievable deal for a fancy resort in Williamsburg, VA, and booked it: $150 for two nights.
Since I make my money from blogging and social media managing, I can work from anywhere, so we have the ability to just up and go when we want to.
Landon was excited, he loves to travel, and we got on the road at 9:30 am the next morning, after I called his school that we would be gone for two nights.
The drive took 8 hours, we made several coffee stops and had a nice lunch at Cracker Barrel…
…and after ten hour in total, we arrived in Williamsburg, one of my favorite places in the world.
We had this awesome townhouse all to ourselves for two days.
But before I tell you more about the whole trip, I’ll tell you how I found this deal of only $70 a night for a 2-bedroom suite with a kitchen in a resort with pools, tennis, mini golf, and more.
I want you to know how you can save hundreds of dollars on your next trip as well!
How to Save Hundreds of Dollars on Vacation Deals
1. When I look for a great travel deal, I always go to Ebates.com first.
If you are not a member of Ebates yet, sign up today — it’s totally free and you’ll save so much money every time you shop online. Plus, they’ll give you $10 just for signing up!
Here is my affiliate link, and once you are a member, you can tell people about it as well and make a little extra money every time someone signs up.
It’s a total win/win:
- you make a bit money when they sign up, but it doesn’t cost them anything
- your friend and family will love you because you save them a bunch of money
- they’ll thank you because then they get to share Ebates with their friends and family
2. Once I’m on the Ebates site, I search for Groupon Getaways.
Ebates usually gives you back 3% of the money you spend on Groupon, but at certain times, it’s 6%. Some exclusions apply.
I searched for Williamsburg, VA, on the Groupon site, and that is how I found the great deal for The Historic Powhatan Resort. They were offering suites for just $70 a night.
New deals get added all the time, so check back frequently for new offers that might interest you.
3. Once you find an offer you like, go to the checkout page — but don’t check out yet.
Open another Internet page or go to Google and search for “Groupon Promo” or “Groupon Gift Code.”
I was able to find a code for another 10% off and plugged it into the spot in the checkout page before I hit Purchase.
Including taxes, I only paid $151.66 for two nights at the resort.
I hope you’ll never overpay for a vacation or trip again — use Ebates and Groupons Getaways or Expedia or other travel sites Ebates works with, and then try to go a step further before checkout and find another gift code.
I found the deal for our trip to the Thayer Hotel at West Point this way as well years ago.
Now, let me get back to telling you about our awesome trip!
We checked into The Historic Powhatan Resort and started exploring it that night.
We had a large suite all for ourselves, with two bedrooms, a kitchen, sitting room, and balcony. It was way too much space for just two people, and I almost felt a little guilty that we had it all to ourselves. Don had to work and couldn’t come with us.
We walked around and explored the resort, and Landon swam in the indoor pool and played on the playground. Then we made some dinner and watched some TV before we went to bed.
We were both tired from the long drive and wanted to get up kind of early to make the most of the one full day we had in Williamsburg.
The next morning, we drove to Colonial Williamsburg, which is only 10 minutes away from the resort, and asked a local lady for a great place to eat breakfast.
She recommended this cute coffeehouse, Aromas, and we had bagels and eggs, and Landon fixed my coffee for me, with sugar and skim milk.
Coffeehouse humor :)
And then the exploring began. You can visit Colonial Williamsburg for free — you only need a ticket if you want to go inside the historic buidings and shops.
Landon wasn’t interested in going inside, and since I had been there twice before I knew there was so much to see just going up and down the main street that we really didn’t need to buy tickets.
The little cottage gardens are exquisite and charming, like the whole town.
We walked and stopped to look at things for a few hours, and then booked a carriage ride, which wasn’t going to be until 4 PM, though.
Landon had said that it would “make his day” if we could take a ride, and since he hardly ever asks for something, I knew he really meant it, so it was an easy decision to spend the money.
I wanted this trip to also serve as a “homeschooling” experience for Landon, and taking a ride in a carriage certainly lets you experience and learn more about how people in the Colonial times lived.
His class coincidentally had just learned about Colonial times, and the kids had all dressed up for a whole Colonial Day just a week earlier, so his teachers didn’t mind that I took him out of school for a couple of days to show him Colonial Williamsburg.
We had a couple of hours to kill, so we drove back to the resort, and Landon had fun in the outdoor pool for over an hour.
He had it practically all to himself, and I was enjoying laying on the chair and watching him have fun while I answered some emails and tried to relax in the sun for a few minutes.
After Landon took a shower, we drove back to Colonial Williamsburg and went on the carriage ride.
It was a covered carriage for up to 10 people, and we shared it with a couple that had four small children.
Here are a few pictures I took on that ride. Our driver was full of information about the history and way of live back then.
This place is so idyllic, I could live there. Those homes are adorable, the gardens are stunning, and the weather couldn’t have been better.
At 5 PM it was time for the daily parade, and we got to watch that and walk with the marching band all the way to the Palace.
I think this was one of Landon’s favorite moments on our trip.
Aside from snacks we had packed for the trip so we wouldn’t have to spend much money on food, we hadn’t eaten much since breakfast, so we had an early dinner at one of the historic taverns.
I ordered a dish with potato dumplings in a delicious onion broth, and Landon had grilled cheese that was so good that he wanted a second one.
I talked him out of that because he had wanted ice cream, so off we went in search of that.
We found ice cream at this store. The price included as many candy or sprinkles as you wanted, so Landon added a good helping of chocolate sprinkles to his chocolate ice cream.
I dream of a picket fence for our Blue Cottage and was admiring the fences in Colonial Williamsburg when I notices how many different kind there are.
It seems every house has a different shape of picket fence.
If you scroll through this post, you can see at least four different shapes of picket fences.
After many hours of walking and exploring that day, we got back in the car to drive back to the resort, but we stopped at a gift store that also had an ice cream shop.
Since I had a coupon for Buy 1, Get 1 ice cream, we both had ice cream for just $3.
Here is another tip of how you can save a lot of money on food on your vacation:
look for booklets full of information about the location, because they usually include a ton of coupons for restaurants, tours, etc., and check out the brochures you can usually find in the hotel lobby with deals for local deals.
We had ice cream for less, we found the pizza place we picked up a pizza from in that booklet, and we also learned about the pancake house we had lunch in the next day before we got back on the road.
After our second night, we decided to check out and still take advantage of the outdoor pool again before we left.
We both had such a nice time and would have loved to stay a few more days, but we’ll definitely visit Williamsburg again.
The next time I’d love to have time for a beach day, and for a trip to Jamestown, which I hear is an amazing place for kids to learn more about the Colonial times.
I hope you enjoyed this post about our mini vacation, and don’t forget to sign up for Ebates if you haven’t yet. Take advantages of their offers and get cash back!
Here is my Ebayes affiliate link.
Your savings could literally pay for your next vacation – wouldn’t that be nice :)