When we think of summer vacation, we normally have visions of the boardwalk, snow cone vendors, and crowded beaches.
The problem with summer vacations is that we typically spend a fortune thinking “well we’re on vacation, why not?” But, by avoiding tourist traps, you can save some cash while having once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Most people who run touristy traps know that, and, like setting up the checkout isle at your local grocer, they are expert at putting things in your line of vision to entice you to spend money that you not only don’t want to, but you don’t need.
The vacation of a lifetime isn’t about getting a souvenir from every place you go. It is about seeing the rare hidden gems that mean so much more than being on a tourist train.
Here are four things to look out for to avoid falling prey to tourist traps on your summer vacation.
When you check into a hotel, skip past the pamphlet isle. The pamphlets that are out are nothing but pure touristy advertising.
You don’t need to see another Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum, or the biggest crocodile on earth. Sure, there are activities that define a vacation like mountain hiking tours, but don’t do the silly things that waste time.
They are not worth it, and you don’t want to walk out knowing you have just been had.
Often, especially when with your grandchildren, you feel obligated to buy things that you know are a waste of money because you don’t want to disappoint them.
There is a great lesson to be learned by saying “no” and making a substitution such as “instead, let’s go look for seashells tonight at dusk.”
You are not only modeling restraint from impulse buying; you are teaching them that memories are more important and lasting than any balloon that you don’t need or want.
Advertisers are expert at making everything look fantastic.
Before you book any hotel room accommodations, make sure to go to more than one site and read as many “real-life” reviews as you can.
That will save you from booking a room only to find that you have checked into the roach motel, and they won’t refund your money.
Even worse, you have nowhere else to go because everything is booked.
Just because Señor Frogs is the “place to be” does not mean that you have to eat there.
Restaurants that are located in touristy places may become iconic, but that doesn’t make them delicious or worth the often over-the-top price tag.
Sometimes it is the off the beaten path places that offer the best original flare. To find out where the locals really go, don’t ask the hotel workers, ask a friendly passerby walking down the street.
They have nothing to gain by making a suggestion but giving you their honest opinion.
Vacations are amazing experiences, but are not defined by a suitcase full of silly souvenirs.
While on vacation, be discriminatory about where you spend not only your time, but you hard-earned money.