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The Las Vegas skyline at night.

Saving Money When Visiting Las VegasLas Vegas is a popular destination for many travelers, even if you don't enjoy gambling. There are all sorts of music events, museums, tournaments, fine dining and sightseeing options year round. Many businesses will hold conferences there, taking advantage of the lower airfare and bulk discounts for lodging. However, the costs can really add up if you are not careful. Here are some ways to avoid spending too much when you visit.


A small boy in a tent overlooking a valley.

Frugal Camping TipsMany plans for vacation travel and events have been cancelled this summer, causing a renewed interest in camping trips. Camping is seen as a cheap way to vacation but the costs can really add up if you are not careful and wind up buying forgotten items. Here are some tips to keep your camping trip affordable and enjoyable for all.


Cades Cove Tennessee - deer in the trees

Cades Cove TennesseeFor our 59th wedding anniversary, we went to Townsend, Tennessee and stayed at Townsend Gateway Inn. This motel is vintage style with 2 rocking chairs sitting in front of each room. You pull up and park right there at your room. The room was very clean and quiet. Beside the TV was a little basket of snacks for us to enjoy.


A frustrated passenger who missed his flight.

Request Check for Airline OverbookingIf you are ever in a situation where you are involuntarily bumped from a flight, be aware that it is U.S. federal law that the airline compensate you with a check instead of a voucher, if that is your wish.


A "Welcome to Breitenbush Hot Springs" sign.

Breitenbush Hot Springs (Oregon)My husband and I recently had the opportunity to visit Breitenbush Hot Springs. The resort and conference center is high in the Oregon mountains, next to the Breitenbush River in. It is near Detroit Lake (Hwy 22) and about 90 minutes east of Salem, OR. We visited in late March but there was still snow on the ground and dusting the trees high on the hills. The road is unimproved and bumpy for the last 20 minutes of the drive and chains are required for much of the year.


Free Admission for National Parks

Free Admission for National ParksThe U.S. National Park Service will celebrate its 100th birthday on August 25th and admission for visiting over 400 parks will be waived. The Washington State park system is also waiving fees this weekend so be sure to check with the parks in your area.


Helpful Picnic Tips

Helpful Picnic TipsUse two small coolers -- one for fruit and beverages, which will be opened frequently, and one for such perishables as meats, poultry, salads, sandwiches, and cheese.


bag with car trip supplies

Emergency Bag for Car TripsEvery time my friend and I go on a trip in her car, we need something and don't have it. So today, I made a kit for all the stuff we have needed. It doesn't have everything, but it does have the things we have needed over the last few trips.


Celestial Seasonings 2

Factory Tours in ColoradoOur family absolutely loves going on factory tours when we are on vacation. They are almost always free and it is so fun to see how things are made. Here are some of our favorites in Colorado:


Visiting the San Juan Capistrano Mission

Visiting the San Juan Capistrano MissionHaving grown up in California, one of my favorite memories is of our 4th grade Mission Project. Each student was given a mission to research and then a model and report were completed. My parents also took each of us to the mission we were studying so we got to have a first hand experience there.


Visiting Knott's Berry Farm Marketplace

Visiting Knott's Berry Farm Marketplace...If you are looking for a fun and less expensive adventure while in California, spend some time at Knott's Berry Farm Marketplace. It is home to Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant (which started it all in 1934). Known for its fried chicken and amazing airy biscuits, the restaurant alone is worth the visit.


Visiting Irvine Regional Park (Orange, CA)

Visiting Irvine Regional Park (Orange, CA)The park is located in the hills of Orange County at: 1 Irvine Park Road Orange, CA 92869


front of museum

Visiting the La Brea Tar Pits (Page Museum)On a recent trip to California, my mom and I decided to visit the La Brea Tar Pits, in Los Angeles. I had been to it a few times as a kid, so I thought it would be fun to go back. It's a fun yet educational place to take the whole family.


pretzel stack

Visiting Voodoo Doughnuts (Portland,...On a recent trip to Portland, Oregon we decided to visit Voodoo Doughnuts. In all of my trips to Portland I had never been. They were established in 2003, expanding from their original location, to 3 locations in Oregon and their most recent location in Colorado.


cobalt blue spires rising from the lily pond

Chihuly Glass Art at the Denver Botanic GardensThis July my husband and I visited family in Denver, Colorado. In the many times we had been in town before, we had never made it to the botanical gardens. I was determined to get there this time. An added bonus was the Chihuly display.



Mt. Rushmore

Visting Mt. Rushmore (South Dakota)On our annual summer trip to Colorado, we decided to take a detour and show our kids Mt. Rushmore. It was well worth the extra day of travel and added bickering between the kids. :)


Camp Cooking with Tealights

Camp Cooking with TealightsToday I cooked scrambled egg on toast and coffee, using two "burners", and had it all piping hot and delicious at the same time. I used the top of my kettle to keep the buttered toast hot whilst I was cooking the scrambled egg.


screen shots of hotel info

Booking a Hotel Through a Third PartyWe recently did our annual summer driving trip. I made all of our hotel reservations through Travelocity. On our last night of the trip, the hotel we stayed at had major cleanliness issues.


gas station sign

Buying Gas on a Road TripOn our most recent road trip we were thankful to find that gas was much cheaper than at home. However, I still wanted to get the best deal I could find. In many towns, driving just a block or two into town saved as as much as $0.40/gal!


Opal Pool

Hiking Opal Creek (Oregon)Last weekend, my family and I had the opportunity to hike in the Opal Creek Scenic Area and Wilderness. It is located east of Salem, in the Willamette National Forest. Opal Creek runs through thousands of acres of protected old growth forest, crisscrossed with over 30 miles of hiking trails.


We Went to Paris for $20

We Went to Paris for $20We flew to Paris and spent nine days for a mere $20. Wait. What? Yes, we really flew from Missouri to Paris, France and had a vacation of a life time on a $20 dollar bill. It took 5 years of me putting a $20 dollar bill into our Paris account each week to cover all of our expenses.


Common Loon

A Guide to the Common LoonThe Common Loon, Gavia immer, makes its home primarily in North America, but can also be found in Greenland and Iceland, and occasionally in Europe and Asia


Tips for Steering A Canoe

Tips for Steering A CanoeCanoes have a natural tendency to drift to one side rather than move forward in a straight line. This can be incredibly frustrating to new paddlers who have never been given any basic instruction.


grilling meat

Using a Grill SheetIf you decide to grill while camping or at a local park, you may find that the grills are pretty gross. One way to avoid contaminating your food is to use a grill sheet.


Use Leftover Candle Wax for Firestarters

Use Leftover Candle Wax for FirestartersI save our empty toilet and paper towel tubes, stuff them with waste paper and junk mail or even pine cones. Then I melt my small, leftover candle pieces in a old candle warmer just until it melts.


Logo for ThriftyFun Tips

Scout Camping on a Shoestring BudgetWhen my son was younger, I was the Cubmaster for his pack. Most of the scouts had single moms. The whole family goes camping in Cubscouts, but money was an issue.


Bavarian Performers Playing Cowbells

Oktoberfest (Leavenworth, WA)We visited the lovely town of Leavenworth, WA, for Oktoberfest. The annual festival runs for the first two weeks of October. Since Leavenworth has a Bavarian theme, Oktoberfest spills out everywhere in the town.


airport departure sign

AmEx Paid for My VacationAmerican Express paid for my son's vacation. Seriously? Yes, the focused and frugal can manipulate credit card rewards to their benefit. Of course, without dedication and restraint you'll fall into the trap that the credit companies created.


Campfire Foil Packets

Campfire Foil PacketsMy husband used to have his campers make these foil packets when he was a camp director. Now we make these when camping with the kids. It's a favorite; so easy to make and healthy too, which is good considering this is usually followed by s'mores for dessert.


Unexpected Cruise Costs

Unexpected Cruise CostsThere really is no such thing as an "all-inclusive vacation", because no one could include everything. However, some vacations claim to have everything, and then sneak some charges in the package. Cruise vacations are one of them.



Sunset on the Steinhatchee River.

Saying Goodbye to a Paradise: The...We found Steinhatchee quite by accident. We owned land right on the Suwanee River just outside Old Town and someone told us about a seafood restaurant in Steinhatchee.


Packing for Traveling Families

Packing for Traveling FamiliesWhen my children were small, I would put together an entire outfit for each of them for every day we planned to be gone. I would include panties or undershorts as well as socks for every outfit.


marshmallows over a campfire

Money Saving Camping TipsIt's almost camping season! Here are tips for saving money on camping trips from the ThriftyFun community.


Plan Your Resort Vacation Frugally

Plan Your Resort Vacation FrugallyWhen planning a family resort vacation, unexpected savings might be closer than imagined. For example, resort vacations often offer free stays for children under 12 or other perks that make planning and paying for the vacation a bit easier.


Saving Money on Bicycles?Tips and advice for saving money on a bicycle as suggested by the ThriftyFun community. Do you have any ideas to share?


Backyard Campout

Plan a Backyard CampoutWhen the idea of stargazing, s'more toasting and campfire singalongs beckons, but time and money are in short supply, consider a backyard campout.


Man and a boy catching a fish on a dock.

Saving Money on FishingWhat are your tips for saving money on fishing and all the necessary gear? Some areas have no license fishing at the beginning of the season or on certain specific days. There are also different types of licenses, depending on what you are looking for


Cooking over a camp fire.

Camping Food SafetyThere are a few basic cardinal rules when it comes to food safety. These rules will keep you and your family on the right track and help avoid a trip to the emergency room for food poisoning.


An RV out in a mountainous area.

Ways To Save Money While RV-ingDue to the price of fuel, many people may find that going on an extended trip in their RV is expensive. However, there are several things one can do to ensure that money is saved when possible. Plan ahead for the best savings results.


Better Vacation PlanningThe time is near to start planning this year's summer vacation. There are some great ways to save on trips such as airfare and pre-season hotel rates, yet there are some things that are worth the extra expense.


A large tent for camping

Camping Advice for Cooking, Set-Up and MoreI look forward to camping each year. Although I now camp in a Pop-up camper, when my children were little, my husband and I would take them Tent camping. Cooking over a campfire can be one of the most challenging things you will ever do.


Cruise Ship

Budget for Those Unseen Vacation CostsPackage vacations are often great deals for families, but there are often costs that aren't advertised in the flyers. While I'm a great fan of cruise vacations, there are a lot of unadvertised costs involved.


Travel Tips for Charleston, SCTravel guide for Charleston, South Carolina. Beach Areas-Isle of Palms, Folly Beach, Sullivans Island, Edisto Island, Kiawah Island. Old Slave Market (outdoor flea market) and anyplace downtown.


Photo of Chicago's skyline.

Frugal Travel Guide for Chicago, ILTravel guide for Chicago. When we travel to Chicago, we are always on a small budget. We look for low cost and free things to do that even the kids enjoy. Here are a few of the free things we found.


Logo for ThriftyFun Tips

Travel Tips for South Central Wisconsin - Frugal Travel GuideTravel guide for South Central Wisconsin. I grew up in south central Wisconsin and still live here. It is a great part of God's Country, with generally nice weather.



food cooking on camp stove

Food for the Family Camping TripNo camping trip is complete without an old, green Coleman stove. This propane-powered stove has kept generations of campers well fed in the most adverse weather conditions. Because they are so common and virtually indestructible, it should be quite easy to find a used one in a second hand shop or the classified section of your local paper.


Dog with packs.

Camping With PetsTraveling with pets may seem like a daunting task, but it really is not if a few simple precautions are taken along the way.


Homemade Camping Picnic TableWe found a pattern for a picnic table constructed from 1 piece of 3/4 inch plywood. It will seat 4-6 people and is small enough to fit in the back of a SUV.


Finger Lakes Region, NY

Travel Tips for Finger Lakes Region, NY - Frugal...Travel guide for Finger Lakes Region, NY. There are over 70 wineries in the area, many offering free tours and tastings. Pack a picnic lunch and hike the Finger Lakes Trail or explore many of the bike trails in the region. There are also many state parks to visit.


Travel Tips for Mini-Cassia, IdahoWe love our hometown, and I think you will, too. Right now, the cherry and apple trees are in bloom. When the petals drift slowly down in the warm air, it feels as if we are at a wedding. Most people think Idaho is backward, but I want to tell you otherwise.



Travel Tips for Hollywood, CAOld Hollywood is all around you in downtown Hollywood. Avoid the tours and take a walking tour down Hollywood Blvd. from Sunset and Vine to Hollywood and Highland and then take in Grauman's Chinese Theater and the footprints. There are now signs which give you a self-guided tour down the street.


Travel Tips for Springfield, MA - Frugal Travel GuideTravel tips for Springfield, MA. Home of the Basketball Hall of Fame! Springfield is home to four colleges including Springfield College and only minutes from UMass, Amherst College, Smith College and others. Springfield is centrally located at about 30 minutes north of Hartford, CT, two hours west of Boston and about three hours from NYC.


Petrified Forest (Near Flagstaff, AZ)

Petrified Forest (Near Flagstaff, AZ)On the way to Tucson, we stop at the Dinosaur park, which is also next to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert. This is a low cost visit (Probably no more then $10 for carload, unless you go to gift shop).


Don't Canoes Tip Easily?Like most things, canoes are perfectly safe if used in the manner in which they were designed. In actual fact, you have to work pretty hard to flip a canoe over because of its relatively flat bottom.


Travel Tips for London, England - Frugal Travel GuideTravel Tips for London, England. If you're tired of London, you're tired of life. I don't remember who said it, but it's true. You can explore the streets that Shakespeare and Dickens explored, visit the Tower of London, watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.


Submit a Travel Guide!ThriftyFun is looking for frugal travel guides for destinations all over the globe. Is your home town a good travel destination? Where do you love to travel? Please take a moment and submit a travel guide. By sharing our travel experiences we can help each other travel for less.


How to Steer a Canoe

How to Steer a CanoeSteering a canoe efficiently can cause quite a bit of frustration for the novice canoeist. The best advice is to do a little as possible and when you do need to correct the course, do it with the least amount of effort.



Can I Paddle a Canoe By Myself?The short answer is yes, you can paddle a canoe by yourself. It is infinitely easier to do with two people but with a few minor alterations, you should be able to have a pleasant journey.


Arches National Park

Hiking and Camping in the National ParksArches National Park may be out in the middle of nowhere, but it has plenty of spectacular sights to offer any visitor. Located in the small town of Moab, Utah, Arches National Park offers up over two thousand naturally formed sandstone arches.


Poison Ivy and Poison Oak

Camping and Hiking Safety TipsCamping and hiking can be a great adventure for both young and old. The possibilities can be endless, but only if precautions are taken to avoid simple mistakes that could end the adventure prematurely.


Save Money on Your Next Vacation - a pile of travel brochures.

Save Money on Your Next VacationThere are hundreds of ways to cut costs while traveling. Save a dollar here and there and pretty soon you've saved enough for a second vacation! If only you had the time, right?


Road Trip Travel Tips

Road Trip Travel TipsI like to travel, but try to travel light. Quite often when I am traveling by car I have a destination in mind and there is not a lot of time to stop and set up camp along the way. These tips are good for day trips and long distance.


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