Money Saving Tips in the Historic Triangle
So you’ve booked your hotel and air travel for a trip to the Historic Triangle area in Virginia. Now, how do you save money on meals and activities once you get there? Here are some money saving tips:
Staying at a Williamsburg property – If you get a package with tickets and breakfast included, you are way ahead of the game. Because breakfast can be expensive and some of the biggest ticket discounts can be found at the ticket office for hotel guests. Resting your head at one of their properties also means you get a discount on admission tickets as well as things like carriage rides.
Bundling Attractions – Even if you aren’t staying on property, the more historic sites you visit, the cheaper they will be. The biggest grouping is for all 5 properties (Colonial Wiliamsburg, Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, Yorktown Victory Center and Yorktown Battlefield). However, you can get a small bundle for Colonial Williamsburg and ChristmasTown at Busch Gardens, if you don’t have time to see the big 5.
Social Media Flash Sales – When you’ve booked your flights, start following the places you plan to visit on social media. Facebook, twitter, instagram, and/or Pinterest will keep you up to date. Sometimes they will run specials that do not list on their website. Or if they are on the website, they are a one day sale that is only posted on social media. For example, I caught wind of a 24 hour Black Friday sale on annual passes to Colonial Williamsburg on Facebook. They were BOGO. I compared the prices with what I could get otherwise, and still saved over $10 per person from the regular ticket price. When the lady at the Visitors Center tells your husband that you got the best deal of anything they offer, you know you’ve done something right!
Reusable Items – Food and drinks are always pricey at these types of attractions. Since we were going to be at Colonial Williamsburg for several days, we bought 2 reusable mugs that we could refill for free during our time. It was nice not to have to say no every time the kids wanted hot cider to warm up. In the summer, you can refill them with soda. We are also really good at refilling water bottles each night for the next days activities.
Brown Bag it – Think ahead for what kind of food you really want to spend your money on. Lots of museums and attractions have food available, but at those prices, is it what you really want? The night before we spent the day in Jamestown, I purchased sandwiches from a local shop for a picnic. The next day, the price proved much better than the museum restaurant and seemed a lot healthier too. Sometimes, spending a lot of money and time on breakfast doesn’t seem like a very good value to me. Don’t be averse to grabbing breakfast bars at a grocery store on the way into town.
Always Ask – It never hurts to ask about discounts whether it is military, Senior, or even AAA. I couldn’t find anywhere online about AAA discounts in the historic triangle. When I asked, they sure had them. The bundled attraction tickets were not discounted, but it was nice to know you could save a few dollars if you were only seeing one place. Sometimes, online purchases are cheaper, but if you purchased these tickets online, you would have missed out. I have often called to see which is cheaper, the AAA rate, or the online rate.
Loyalty Programs – Sign up for hotel loyalty/rewards programs. We stayed 7 nights in 4 different hotels in the historic triangle, and my total hotel bill (room charges only) was $150 for a family of 5. I used several different hotel brands and rewards points for free rooms, breakfast, and wifi. We moved around some, but it was totally worth it when I looked at how much we’d spent when we got home. Check out my loyalty button on the home page for more information on utilizing these programs.
And lastly, you can always save by going in the off season. Now, those of us with children always roll our eyes when someone says this. My boys cannot be missing school at their age. However, the historic triangle is packed during the summer, so we took the road less traveled and visited during Christmas time. I’d highly recommend it.