It was like the earth was painted in white, rust, orange and red, then filled in with the bluest sky you’ve ever seen. Welcome to Moab, Utah.
Embarking on a family-friendly adventure to Greece and Turkey promises an unforgettable experience filled with ancient history, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality. This 2 1/2 week itinerary will guide you through the highlights of both countries, ensuring a well-rounded and enjoyable trip for the whole family.
Days 1-3: Athens, Greece
Upon arrival in Athens, the capital of Greece, you and your family will be captivated by the rich history and iconic landmarks. Begin your journey by visiting the Acropolis, where you can explore the Parthenon, Erechtheion, and Temple of Athena Nike. Take a leisurely stroll through the charming Plaka neighborhood, known for its traditional shops and tavernas. Don’t miss the opportunity to delve into Greek history at the National Archaeological Museum and wander through the Ancient Agora, home to the Temple of Hephaestus and Stoa of Attalos. A day trip to Cape Sounion to witness the breathtaking sunset at the Temple of Poseidon should also be on your itinerary.
Days 4-6: Santorini, Greece
Board a ferry to the enchanting island of Santorini, where white-washed buildings cling to the cliffs overlooking the Aegean Sea. Explore the picturesque villages of Oia, Fira, and Imerovigli, each offering unique charm and stunning views. Discover the ancient ruins of Akrotiri, an archaeological site that provides insight into the Minoan civilization. Spend leisurely days on the black sand beaches of Perissa and Kamari, enjoying the crystal-clear waters. A sunset cruise around the caldera is a must-do activity, allowing you to witness the magical hues of the Santorini sunset. Don’t forget to indulge in local delicacies such as fava, tomatokeftedes, and Assyrtiko wine.
Days 7-9: Istanbul, Turkey
Fly to Istanbul, a city that bridges Europe and Asia, and immerse yourselves in its vibrant culture. Marvel at the grandeur of the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Topkapi Palace. Get lost in the labyrinthine alleys of the Grand Bazaar, where you can shop for spices, textiles, and Turkish delights. Take a cruise along the Bosphorus Strait, admiring the city’s skyline from the water. Explore the historic district of Sultanahmet, visiting the Basilica Cistern and the Hippodrome. To truly experience Turkish tradition, treat your family to a Turkish bath and savor a delightful Turkish meal.
Days 10-12: Cappadocia, Turkey
Fly to Cappadocia, a unique region known for its surreal landscapes and cave dwellings. Rise early for a mesmerizing hot air balloon ride, where you’ll witness the magical landscape from above. Explore the rock formations and ancient churches of the Goreme Open-Air Museum. Venture into the underground cities of Kaymakli or Derinkuyu, fascinating for both children and adults alike. Embark on a hike through the Rose Valley or Love Valley, immersing yourselves in the stunning natural beauty. Complete your Cappadocia experience with a traditional Turkish folk dance show and dinner in a cave restaurant.
Days 13-14: Bodrum, Turkey
Fly to Bodrum, a coastal paradise renowned for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife. Check into a beachfront resort and unwind on the golden sands, basking in the Mediterranean sun. Visit the imposing Bodrum Castle, which houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology. Take a boat trip to the nearby Greek island of Kos, exploring its ancient ruins and charming villages. Engage in water sports activities such as snorkeling, diving, or paddleboarding. Treat your taste buds to fresh seafood at one of the local seaside restaurants.
Bid farewell to Greece and Turkey as you board your flight back home, cherishing the memories of an incredible family-friendly journey. From the ancient wonders of Athens to the ethereal landscapes of Cappadocia, this 2 1/2 week itinerary has provided you and your family with a well-rounded experience, showcasing the best of both countries.
Embarking on a three-week adventure through Japan offers the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the country’s rich culture, history, and natural beauty. From the bustling streets of Tokyo to the pristine beaches of Okinawa, this itinerary will guide you through the must-visit destinations, ensuring an unforgettable experience.
Week 1: Tokyo – A Metropolis of Wonders
Begin your journey in Tokyo, a city that seamlessly blends tradition and modernity. Explore the vibrant neighborhoods of Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Harajuku, where you can witness the latest fashion trends and indulge in delectable street food. Marvel at iconic landmarks such as the Tokyo Tower, Meiji Shrine, and the Imperial Palace. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the historic district of Asakusa and immerse yourself in the ancient charm of Senso-ji Temple. To savor the freshest seafood, head to the world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market. For a day of tranquility, take a picturesque day trip to Nikko, where the Toshogu Shrine and breathtaking natural scenery await.
Week 2: Kyoto and Osaka – Unveiling Japan’s Cultural Heritage
Hop on a bullet train and make your way to Kyoto, the cultural heart of Japan. Spend a few days exploring the city’s magnificent temples and gardens, including the awe-inspiring Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), the mystical Fushimi Inari Shrine with its thousands of vermillion torii gates, and the ethereal Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. Experience a traditional tea ceremony and stroll through the enchanting geisha district of Gion. Take a day trip to Nara, where you can encounter the majestic Todai-ji Temple and the friendly deer of Nara Park. Journey onward to Osaka, a city renowned for its vibrant food scene. Delight in the flavors of Dotonbori, visit the historic Osaka Castle, and explore the trendy district of Umeda. Don’t forget to marvel at the captivating marine life at the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan.
Week 3: Okinawa – Paradise on Earth
Fly from Osaka to Okinawa, a tropical paradise in the southernmost part of Japan. Begin your Okinawa adventure in Naha, the capital city. Immerse yourself in history by visiting the iconic Shuri Castle and wander through the bustling streets of Kokusai Street, where you can shop for unique souvenirs and savor delicious local cuisine. Embark on a short flight to Ishigaki Island, known for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. Spend your days snorkeling or diving, exploring vibrant coral reefs, and indulging in the island’s fresh seafood. Take a day trip to Kabira Bay, a picturesque location with its turquoise waters and stunning views. Conclude your journey on Miyako Island, where you can unwind on its white sandy beaches and soak in the laid-back atmosphere.
A three-week adventure from Tokyo to Okinawa offers an incredible opportunity to experience the best of Japan. From the bustling streets of Tokyo to the cultural wonders of Kyoto and Osaka, and the tropical paradise of Okinawa, this itinerary ensures an unforgettable journey through Japan’s diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. So, pack your bags, immerse yourself in the beauty of Japan, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Traveling is an enriching experience, but it can often come with a hefty price tag. However, with some smart planning and budget travel hacks, you can enjoy your vacation without breaking the bank.
In this article, we will share a comprehensive list of money-saving travel ideas and tricks to help you save on accommodations, food, and attractions. By implementing these strategies, you can make the most of your travel budget and create unforgettable memories without compromising on quality.
I. Researching Travel Accommodations
- Research and Compare Prices:
- Utilize hotel comparison websites to find the best deals.
- Check for discounts and promotional offers on hotel websites.
- Consider booking directly with the hotel to avoid additional fees.
- Stay in Budget Accommodations:
- Opt for budget-friendly options such as hostels, guesthouses, or budget hotels.
- Look for accommodations located slightly away from tourist hotspots for better prices.
- Consider Alternative Accommodation Options:
- Explore vacation rental platforms like Airbnb or HomeAway for affordable, home-like stays.
- House-sitting or couch-surfing can offer free accommodations in exchange for small responsibilities.
- Use Loyalty Programs and Memberships:
- Join hotel loyalty programs to earn points and enjoy exclusive discounts.
- Utilize memberships like AAA or AARP for additional accommodation discounts.
- Travel during Off-Peak Seasons:
- Prices for accommodations tend to be lower during off-peak seasons.
- Research the destination’s low season and plan your trip accordingly.
II. Affordable Food Options For Travel
- Eat Like a Local:
- Explore local markets and street food stalls for affordable and authentic dining experiences.
- Ask locals for recommendations on budget-friendly restaurants.
- Cook Your Own Meals:
- Book accommodations with kitchen facilities to prepare some of your meals.
- Shop at local grocery stores and markets for fresh and inexpensive ingredients.
- Opt for Lunch Specials and Happy Hours:
- Many restaurants offer lunch specials with discounted prices.
- Take advantage of happy hours for discounted drinks and appetizers.
- Share Meals:
- Splitting larger portions or ordering multiple dishes to share can help reduce costs.
- Consider dining with travel companions to share expenses.
- Carry Snacks and Water:
- Pack snacks and refillable water bottles to avoid overpriced snacks and drinks while out and about.
III. Affording Travel Attractions
- Research Free and Low-Cost Attractions:
- Many destinations offer free or low-cost attractions, such as parks, museums with discounted admission days, or walking tours.
- Take advantage of these opportunities to explore and learn without spending a fortune.
- City Passes and Attraction Bundles:
- Look for city passes or attraction bundles that offer discounted entry to multiple attractions.
- Compare prices and the included attractions to ensure it aligns with your interests.
- Take Advantage of Free Walking Tours:
- Many cities offer free walking tours led by locals or experienced guides.
- These tours provide insights into the city’s history and culture without a hefty price tag.
- Look for Discount Coupons and Promo Codes:
- Check local tourism websites, guidebooks, or online platforms for discount coupons or promo codes for attractions.
- Explore Nature and Outdoor Activities:
- Nature parks, hiking trails, and beaches often offer free or low-cost recreational activities.
- Take advantage of the natural beauty of your destination for budget-friendly entertainment.
By implementing these budget travel ideas and tricks, you can save money on accommodations, food, and attractions without compromising on the quality of your travel experience. Remember to plan ahead, research your options, and be open to alternative choices. With a little creativity and flexibility, you can create unforgettable memories while staying within your budget. So, start planning your next trip and enjoy the thrill of traveling without breaking the bank.
Folly Beach, South Carolina
Folly Beach is a dream getaway for those hopeless romantics who are on a budget. It is perfect for any pair looking to be close to the water. There are affordable hotels right by the shore starting at $106 a night. The beach isn’t just for a day in the sun and relaxing, but they also offer surf lessons. You can avoid the crowds and high costs that any beach in California or Florida would have. The Folly Beach Pier is the closest you can get to the “Edge of America”. This 1,045-foot pier will allow you to enjoy breathtaking views of the golden hour and sunrise.
This isn’t your typical getaway, you can escape while learning about American history. A tour of Fort Sumter provides an insight to where the first shots of the Civil War were fired for only $22. Last but not least, a short drive from Folly Beach will take you to the Angel Oak Tree; an absolute must. It doesn’t cost a cent to visit this 500-year-old wonder. Reaching 66.5 ft and producing shade that covers 17,200 feet, it may serve as the “tree of romance” and a trip you both won’t forget.
Ellicott City, Maryland
Ellicott City is the getaway for the couple who enjoys horror, terror, and mystery. What is more romantic than having a thrill? That’s right, there are plenty of infamous ghost tours in Ellicott city. Here are some that will sure give you the chills…
- Seven Hills Road
- Hell House Alter
- The Ghosts of Lilburn’s Mansion
- The Ghost of Mt. Ida
- Mary’s College
For more information on prices: https://www.waysideinnmd.com/blog/haunted-ellicott-city/
What’s great about these ghost tours is most of them cost $20 or less per person and there are coupons available for $5 off at ellicottcity.net
No Ellicott is not a ghost town, it also has the beautiful Patapsco Balley State Park and Lake Centennial. Patapsco Valley State Park stretches 32 miles along the Patapsco river and has a space of 16,000 acres. It is a peaceful place with 6 different camping locations to camp for only around $20.
Waianae is a tropical getaway for half the cost. Hawaii is known for its amazing scenery and waters which is why this is the place for the couple who enjoys adventures. Waianae is not a typical place that many would visit when considering visiting Hawaii making it a definite romantic seclusion getaway. Turtle Beach (Papaoneone Beach) offers the ultimate seclusion with clear blue waters and white sand. This beach offers seclusion because it is not among the most popular beaches on the island. It is named after the sea turtles who like to feed on the seaweed near the beach.
Here are some other secluded beaches
- Maili Beach Park
- Pokai Bay Beach Park
- Makua Beach
- Keawaula Beach/Yokohama Bay
There are endless outdoor activities that await such as swimming, surfing, hiking, snorkeling, and cliff diving. One that might raise an eyebrow is horseback riding. This activity may sound expensive but there are offers that save you up to a 40% off discount (http://www.tripbuzz.com/free-things-to-do/waianae-hi )
Jekyll Island, Georgia
This isn’t just another beach getaway. It is a unique and tranquil island that provides privacy and protected natural habitat. It is a Georgia State Park which means that all animals and nature is under strict protection. This location will be one that will remain for generations and it’s like you can visit the wildlife right in your backyard.
A prominent feature of Jekyll Island is its luscious green gold courses. There are 63 holes on 4 gold courses giving options to a memorable trip. There are many accommodations including, hotels, vacation and rental homes, and condos.
South Dakota, Blue Bell Lodge
This is the ultimate southern getaway. They offer horseback riding, fire pits, and Western entertainment. There are lodges available to rent for only $175. A popular activity is their “Hayride and Chuck Wagon Cookout”. You can enjoy an old-fashioned hay ride with the reward of a chuck wagon dinner. If you love animals, why not take a chance on a buffalo safari jeep tour. It is an off-road trip, taking about an hour and a half, taking you through the park in search of elks and buffalos.
Blue Bell Stables gives the opportunity for a full-day ride on a horse through the Blackhills and peaceful scenery. It costs $75 for a full day with lunch, which is a great day for a cruise through the 71,000-acre trail. Blue Bell Lodge offers activities that are a once in a lifetime experience.
Love jungles, yoga, chakra ceremonies, vegan food, sound healing, riding bikes, dipping in lagoons, doing outdoor yoga and staying off the beaten path? Tulum is our favorite spot on the Mayan Riviera to get a more authentic Mayan experience than the lively Cancun, just an hour or so down the way