Monday, January 6, 2014

My Top 5 Travel Sites



Anyone who knows Seth and I know that we love to travel.  I mean, we're kind of obsessed.   Even if it just means getting away for the weekend for a little adventure.

Those who know us well also know that we live on a pretty modest budget.  So how do we get to travel?  We just make it happen.  We save and pick up random jobs and eat at our moms' houses more often than we should admit.  But more than anything-we plan!

Currently we are planning a trip to Ireland with my family over the summer thanks to an incredible deal on Groupon for group travel.  Not only is this number one on my travel list, but we are road tripping it on the way to and from New York.  Can it just be June yet!?

There are a few travel sites that have been a huge part of our adventures:

1.  Groupon.  Now I have to admit, this one can be totally hit or miss with the accommodations.  We once spent an entire weekend on a retired steamboat turned hotel where the water never got hot and our power cut off so many times that the sweet girl at the desk showed us where the breaker box was.  It sure was charming though! Side note-I hope we make it home from our awesome Ireland trip in one piece!  It was a really good deal. 

2.  Travelzoo.  I know you have probably heard of these before, but we were able to stay at the ACE hotel in NYC (bucket list, anyone?) for the cost of a cheap hotel in Jersey.  Travelzoo is the only reason we were able to make our New York adventure happen!

3.  Airbnb.  I'm obsessed!  This one is fairly new to me, but I think this will change our travel plans from here on out.  Airbnb lets you rent out rooms or entire homes/lofts/apartments/etc. from registered individuals.  As of right now we are looking to rent someone's two bedroom loft in NYC for about $130 a night, and we get to split that cost with my family! Some of the owners even go a step beyond and leave you bikes or other fun things-and I can't think of a better way to see a city than to live like a local! If you are worried about specifics-airbnb provides neighborhood selection and reviews of the owners, too. 

4.  Roadtrippers.  Okay, this website is seriously awesome.  Seth has already mapped out our trip from SC to DC and then NY and we have tons of (free) stops planned along the way!   You can choose anything from the typical tourist traps, like the world's largest chest of drawers, to vintage shops to free museums.  Yes, please!

5.   Geocaching.  This one might not be everyone's cup of tea, but for those with a sense of adventure, those who like puzzles, or those who just love free stuff, this might be one of the best activities for you. If you don't know about geocaching, go read about it now! In short, it's a worldwide scavenger hunt with treasures, or caches, all over the place.  You will be amazed at how many are close to you!  Whenever we go to a new city, we head downtown and use our geocaching app (totally worth the one time $10 charge) and we start our search.  Not only is it free (minus the app charge, of course) and so much fun, it gets us exploring parts of the city we might not have seen otherwise!  This is a great one for kids too, but we love doing it just the two of us.  

There you have it...my top 5 travel sites.  Do you have any other great ones I should know about?  Please share!










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