Summertime! It’s the perfect season for making a getaway from the daily hustle and bustle of life.
The Internet is a great resource for planning a short weekend road trip or a full-scale family vacation. With gas prices once again nearing record highs, the web can help you find creative ways to save money on your upcoming travels.
All major airlines and hotels have websites that allow you to plan an entire trip – everything from travel to accommodations to daily excursions. But these sites may not offer you the best value or variety.
For adventurous vacationers who like to explore various parts of the country (or world), Groupon Getaways serves up unique weekend travel deals at huge discounts. For example, a recent search found a two-night stay for two-adults at the Palms Place at the Palms in Las Vegas for only $169. Another offer was for a 4-night stay for four at the Blue Ridge Village Resort for $259. Groupon’s deals change frequently and do come with some limitations, but it may be worth checking out. (Visit www.groupon.com/getaways.)
The State of Indiana offers a searchable trip planner for those who like to stay close to home. You can search the type of activities you enjoy, such as family fun, outdoor recreation and sports, romantic retreats, and art and cultural. Then you can choose where in the state you would like to explore. (Visit http://www.in.gov/visitindiana/tripplanner/trips.aspx.)
Google is also your friend when it comes to choosing a getaway or vacation. If you’re thinking of visiting a certain city or area, type in “visit yourdestination name” (such as visit Nashville TN). You’ll discover many websites that provide visitor guides, nearby attractions, upcoming events and festivals, as well as hotels and restaurants.
Another good search term to use in Google is “things to do near (city and state)”. Again, you will find many websites filled with information on activities and events to enjoy near a specific destination.
We would love to hear from YOU as you travel this summer. Please feel free to email us pictures and descriptions of places you’ve visited and activities you’ve done. We may share them in a future column or in our monthly e-newsletter. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.