If you’re in the planning stages for your family’s summer vacation, you’ve probably been searching for hotel and airfare deals. But a huge part of vacation spending is meals and entertainment. A family of four can rack up hundreds of dollars each day just by eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner—not to mention the cost of taking everyone to the local amusement park, aquarium, or museum.
Before you head off on vacation, download the apps for Groupon,com, Restaurant.com, and LivingSocial.com. Add the cities you’ll be visiting to receive daily alerts for food and entertainment discounts. If you haven’t booked your hotel yet, these sites also offer vacation discounts.
If you’re planning to visit any national parks, purchase an annual pass. Each pass covers entrance fees to more than 2,000 national parks and wildlife refuges. The pass covers entrance, standard amenity fees, and day use fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per vehicle fee areas or up to four adults at sites that charge per person. Children fifteen and under are free. There are also a variety of specialty passes for seniors, military personnel, persons with disabilities, and others.
Once you arrive at your destination, make sure you check out the local tourism center. Many offer coupons for everything from parking to local attractions and even some restaurants and gift shops to help defray the cost of all those souvenirs.