There is nothing like punching out on a Friday for a weekend getaway with your friends. It's good to escape the hectic weekend "To-Do" list every now and then and just relax, but it shouldn't have to cost a fortune. It's possible to throw together a short and inexpensive weekend vacation with your friends, it just takes a little planning and a little research. Here are a few ways to cut cost and still have a great time.
Take advantage of the city concierge. After you decide where you want to go, I suggest Googling the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) for that particular city. The CVB is like the concierge for a city, except in this case, you don’t have to tip them! Look for the calendar of events at the CVB website, the events are always a lot of fun and inexpensive. Don't hesitate to call the CVB to ask them questions about the town, you will be surprised what they say! And if you did not ask, they may have never told you about that garlic festival coming up!
Use one stop price comparison. Choosing a place to stay can be overwhelming and it's tempting to settle with the first deal you come across, even if it's not the best one. It's worth it spend time on price comparison, but thanks to websites like farecast.com it won't take long. This site is amazing! (It is so amazing Bing bought it!) Fill out the vacation destination and the dates you are traveling and Farecast will compare hotel prices from all of the top hotel booking sites. This way you don't have to hop from website to website and you know you are getting the best deal.
Redeem your credit card points. It's time to finally take advantage of those credit card points that you earn each time you pay for that double mocha macchiato with plastic. A quick visit to your credit card’s website will tell you which hotels participate. This way you don’t have to worry about paying for the hotel room at all.
Split the tab. Like all group projects, it's inevitable that someone always gets stuck with all of the work. Avoid getting stuck with the entire tab for the weekend, by keeping track as the weekend progresses. It's easy to start losing track of who is paying what and nobody likes to be the one making sure everyone is pitching in. The app share-a-bill is an easy way to keep track of who is paying what and you can divide up the cost during the vacation without making a scene.
It's hard to go wrong when you are taking it easy with a great group of friends, but taking a little time to plan and research could be the difference between a gaping hole in your wallet and having enough money to plan yet another weekend getaway.
(Photo by Shannon Lee Miller )