We all know how expensive Disneyland is, which is why getting free parking is such a popular subject for so many visitors -particularly when the lot now cost $14. Fortunately, there are legitimate ways to do so.
First off, let me start by saying that if you’re a regular visitor, you should simply get the year pass and when you buy your year pass, pay the extra $80 for your pass to get parking included. It is completely worth the extra fee to never have to worry about the costs of parking ever again, plus the passes give you discounts at restaurants and shops.
If you only want to prepare for one trip though, consider eating the character breakfast at the PCH Grill at the Paradise Peir hotel. It is around $30 per person, but it’s all you can eat and because you get to interact with your favorite characters, it’s a great option for the kiddos (a picture from our trip can be seen to the left). When you park in the hotel’s lot, you get free parking for 5 hours with validation. When your five hours are almost up, go back to the car and head out to get a cheap lunch or take a break at your hotel.
Next, park in the Downtown Disney lot and just be sure to leave before your three free hours are up. You can take the monorail in and out of the park to this lot, which definitely helps speed up the time table. If you miss out on getting out of the park on time, they charge in twenty minute increments, so your parking fees can add up quickly. There is a chance that if you wait until very late at night, that the staff will leave the parking booths and you can leave the lot for free, but this is risky and if it fails, you will end up paying a whole lot.
Mashable has a great list of fantastic sites to find cheap hotels, hostels and more for your next trip.
I personally like Orbitz and Hostelworld, but some of these I’ve never even heard of and would love to check out like CouchSurfing. Be careful when you sleep in some hostels and couch surfing spots though, saftey is priceless.
Looking for a good place to get away from it all? Why not visit a land once riddled in war? It sounds sarcastic, but these past playgrounds for fascists and guerrilla fighters are now safe to visit again and many of them are absolutely stunning. Plus, because many of these have not seen a huge boom in the tourism industry, the cost of visiting is cheap. ProTraveler has a great list of 6 spots to visit now that their conflicts are over. Cambodia, Angola (shown to the right) and Peru are a few of these beautiful destinations.
Also, MSN says Nicaragua and South America are also worth visiting these days for the same reasons. Their list of 10 bargain destinations is spectacular.
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Sea World is a fun place to visit, but let’s face it, it’s just not the greatest place on earth.The $57 admission fee is asking a lot for a park that’s not all the way up to par on the nature exhibits or rides. Still, there’s some things worth checking out, like the Shark Encounter, the Penguin Encounter and some of the shows.
So whatever can you do to bypass the outrageous admission fee and still have a great day at the park? Go for free using a “Shopping Pass.” Like every corporation, Sea World loves to make money and they won’t risk losing a sale even if it means letting someone in the gates for two hours. The “Shopping Pass” allows you two hours admission to the park for free, and you can get a hand stamp to come back as soon as you leave.
The New York Times Has an Article Featuring 31 places to go for a good low cost vacation this summer. Most of them are great, however, as much as I love San Francisco, I don’t think it’s a good place to go to save money. I will offer up some reviews of cheap places in the city to visit later on, but over all, it’s just expensive.
Las Vegas is one of the best suggestions on their list, as if you choose to stay in a hotel by Freemont Street, it’s close to the strip and very inexpensive. Plus, it’s one of the only places in the world you can get free drinks for spending an hour at a penny poker machine. More tips on Vegas will be surely posted here in the future. (Don’t be intimidated by the explosion in the photo from one of my recent visits, that’s not a normal occurrence.) One of My Tips After The Cut