Travel Tips by Guest Contributor Justin Fricke
If you’ve been keeping up with my blog and/or Twitter account lately, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been doing quite a bit of travelling lately and I don’t plan to stop. While there’s a bit of a lull in my travel schedule, I thought I’d give you some ideas for potential travel plans of your own.
I’ll start off with a couple ideas for the weekend traveler. Thankfully football is back in season, it’s about that time for the post season is baseball, and basketball and hockey are starting in October, there’s plenty of sporting events to go to. I live in Orlando, FL and love baseball, but we don’t have our own MLB team. In July, my girlfriend and I took a quick weekend road trip down to Tampa, FL to catch a Rays game. We had a lot of fun and didn’t break the bank. Between food, gas, tickets, and lodging we spent a total of about $150. If you don’t want to travel to see a sporting event (even though I highly recommend it) you can always look up your local minor league/farm league team.
Concerts are a ton of fun to go to as well. If you’re into the popular bands/musicians, there’s a good chance they’ll be playing in your city or at least a city that’s within an hour or two from where you live. If you’re a diehard fan of a smaller band, chances are you’re going to have to do some travelling. Again, my girlfriend and I had to do some travelling over a weekend in May. We went to see Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors open for NEEDTOBREATH in Charleston, SC which is about a 6.5 hour drive from Orlando, FL. You can keep something like this real cheap by packing your own food and car camping, which is what we did. However, we wanted to do the “tourist” thing and eat some of the local food while we were there. In all, I think we spent closer to $200 for tickets, food, gas, and tourist stuff.
Be sure to take advantage of those holiday weekends as well. Don’t be afraid to take a day off work and turn that 3-day weekend into a 4-day weekend. Heck, in October I’m taking an extra 4 days off to turn my 3-day weekend into a 9-day vacation and am only using 4 of my vacation days.
I snooped the internet and found this blog with some money saving tips for sporting events, concerts, and other things.
When you’re looking to take a longer vacation, but don’t want to travel abroad, I have to stay true to my home state and recommend you come visit Florida. Not only do we have Disney, but we have some great state and national parks to visit if you want to escape the crowds. When you’re looking to get away and relax on the beach, we have miles of coast line reserved just for you. The best part is, you can find all this within driving distance. Typically you’ll only have to drive a maximum of one to two hours to find what you’re looking for.
Let’s pick on Disney again, if you want to get to the beach from Disney, you’re only going to have to drive about an hour depending on which beach you go to. If you want to go to my favorite beach, New Smyrna, you’re looking at closer to two hours, but it’s definitely worth it once you see all the boutique shops and privately owned restaurants. When you want to travel a little bit further and leave the country, I recommend Central America. I’ve been going there to different countries for years and have loved every minute of it. You can stay at a really nice 5-star hotel, if that’s your style, or rough it at a hostel for a few bucks a night and everything in between. Most everything there is cheaper as well; in El Salvador I go to this one restaurant where I get a beef steak with caramelized onions, veggies, rice, and bread for only $5.50! There’s no way you can beat that.
Countries in Central America offer so much in such a small area. You can see all the history you want in their historic cities or you can venture out a little further and see the ruins, but make sure you get a guide so they can fill you in on all the history. If you’re looking to see your natural surroundings, you can almost always find an eco-tour along their many rivers to see different wildlife, but my favorite is the canopy tour. It doesn’t get much better flying from tree-to-tree on a zip-line. Of course, what I go to Central America is for the world class surfing. Whether you’re a beginner or someone that’s been surfing for years, you can always find a perfect wave in Central America.