Boomers: Need a Cheap Vacation?
Want to go somewhere warm and with a beach? You bet! We all do. Here are a few ideas to save money while taking a nice vacation & no coupons required, offers or daily deals! The first question you have to ask yourself is do I want to vacation in the US or outside of the US. If you vacation in the USA then I recommend vrbo.com That is Vacation Rentals By Owner. I have rented from them about 7 times and I have been very satisfied most of the time. I re-rented with one of the owners about 4 times. I believe we both got a good deal. I paid 100% in advance and did not damage the property. I tried to take care of it as if it were my own. The owner took some risk on me the 1st time but the additional times, there was no risk and they knew what they were getting and they liked what they got. Here is how I selected my housing. I searched VRBO’s website for a housing that met my requirements.
You can select Pet Friendly, Smoking Permitted, etc. I narrow it down to 5 properties and if possible, I try to find listing with an owner in the state I reside. I think as a local, the owner might not worry as much as he see’s that I live locally too. If the owner is nervous, they may hedge on giving you a good price. I read each of the 5 ads and call with a question or two. If an owner does not respond then I am done with them. If I speak to an owner and they sound difficult then I am done with them. If I can not get a net price from an owner, then guess what? I am done with them. I want a price that includes all charges tax, cleaning fee, etc. I compare prices and I have seen differences of up to $300. for the same # bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.
I think some of the owners bought a bad deal or are strapped for money and this is what they “feel” they have to charge. That is why what they are charging is so out of touch. They would be better to price aggressively as it is better to get some rent than no rent. Some indicate by phone that they will negotiate, some indicate their price is firm. I don’t want a low price and a tough owner but then I will not accept a high price and an easy owner. Have you every bought a used car from an individual? Did the individual think that their vehicle was worth more than the market? That is a frequent complaint. Sometimes the owners fit this criteria. My repeat owner has done me special favors liked cleaned up the condo early from the last people so I could leave my stuff and attend a wedding. I always send my $ to the owner earlier than they require and I think they like that. To my repeat owner, I pay in full even when not required because I want to make them feel good about the rental.
I like to vacation where I have been and enjoy. We eat where we like and enjoy. We typically eat where the “locals” eat. To do that I try to meet and talk with some one before I ask about a place to eat. Sometimes people are disappointed when they do this but I think it is because they ask just anyone for a good place to eat instead of talking at length with some one who you think after talking with them would maybe recommend a good place. If you hear about a place more than once, that is a good sign. One of the best sources would be a concierge at a hotel. You have to be candid with them to get a place that meets your requirements. If you are looking for a fast food restaurant, then ask someone who eats or works in a fast food restaurant but you might want not to ask someone who works in a fast food restaurant about a fine dining place.
If I have a good waiter in a restaurant, I will ask them about another restaurant for food that does not compete with them. If I am in a store and either the clerk or the owner seem like people who I feel might have some good suggestions, I will ask them. Sometimes I eat at chains that are good and not near where I live but are easily available when I am on vacation. See a previous post for how I get the best deal on gas & hotels. I have stopped at the state welcome center for their coupon booklets but I have them now in my favorites and I can view some of them on line instead of stopping at the welcome center