Read these 46 Entertainment/Recreation Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Thrifty tips and hundreds of other topics.
Check out this link to get a printable, one-page travel log. http://members.tripod.com/~grambk11/printabletravellog.html
If you're up for a long drive, ask the rental car companies about this: You can often get rock-bottom rates for one-way trips in the fall (during foliage season is a good idea) and the spring (watching everything bloom). That's when the companies move cars to cities where supplies are low.
Attend movies early when prices are generally lower. The general rule of thumb is that if the movie starts in the morning or afternoon, it's a matinee. Any movie that starts in the evening isn't a matinee, and will cost more money.
Borrow books from the library, friends or relatives. After you've read the book, and decided that you MUST have it yourself, then buy it. Otherwise, you'll be stuck with a book that you don't like.
Don't let your houseplants wither up while you're away on vacation -- just place them in the bathtub, water generously, and cover them loosely with clear plastic. This makeshift greenhouse will help them survive your absence.
If you enjoy attending plays, but can't bring yourself to fork over the high cost of professional theater tickets, try attending high school productions of plays. Often high school theater departments produce classic plays and musicals. Ticket prices are affordable, and you get to sit closer to the stage. Watch the newspaper for ads for these plays, or ask high school students you know to keep you informed. Some colleges and local youth groups do this as well.
Join a hospitality club so that you can stay free in members' homes when you travel (and they in yours). Call the Hospitality Exchange at 406-538-8770, or visit their website at www.goldray.com/hospitality for more information. Another website to try is www.hosp.org for more hospitality information.
For cheap dates, go on picnics, go to the park, wait for movies to come to the "cheap seats" in the theatre, have friends over and everyone pitch in on dinner and a movie.
Find a bunch of people that share in your music tastes to swap tapes/CDs with you and the rest of the group. It would be wise for everyone to put their address label, or some other form of ID on the tape/CD so that it gets back to its rightful owner.
Take advantage of the free tourist attractions in cities and tourist areas such as free gardens, museums, restored villages, monuments, etc. You can find this information by contacting the visitor's bureau of the town/city you will be visiting.
Consider staying home and doing all the things you never had time to do. Go on inexpensive day trips instead.
Use a small car for your travel needs, because small cars weigh half as much as large cars, and use about half as much gasoline!
Be flexible when planning air travel. If you travel at night or adjust your plans by one day, you may get a better fare.
"If you are 50+ (60+ in Australia), you'll save 10% with our 50+ Mature Travelers rate. If you are 60+, you'll save 20 to 30% with advance reservations. Just request the Sixty Plus Rate when you call 800.4CHOICE (800.424.6423)." Go to http://tinyurl.com/japn for more information, and to check out the numerous hotels that are part of this chain.
We all know that when you're dining you're paying a lot more for a meal than what it would cost for you to make it. For those that enjoy going to restaurants to eat, and want to save money order something that will taste good re-heated. This way, if you don't finish your meal, you'll have some good left-overs. Another idea is to plan on making two meals out of it. When you're at the restaurant, order a soup, salad or appetizer to help fill you up so that you will definitely have left-overs.
For a cheap family outing, take the kids to your local fast food restaurant to play in the big play center. You need not buy a meal there in order to play; just buy a soda or two and let the kids loose! Just be sure to feed them before you go there so that your only output is a couple of drinks. It is a much cheaper alternative to one of those high priced indoor playgrounds.
A camping vacation can be fun, and save you a lot of money. National parks and forest service campgrounds let you stay for free, or for a very small fee. Just remember to bring a cooler for breakfast, lunch and snacks, so that you only go out for dinner.
For parties, use reusable plates, cups, glasses, utensils, napkins. You'll have dishes to clean up, but you won't be throwing money away in the form of expensive paper and plastic disposables. Also, your guests might feel special because you're not using disposable products like everyone else does.
Elderhostel is a non-profit educational travel goup. They have recently introduced a three generation trips (grandparents, their kids, and their grandkids 7-18. Call 1-877-426-8056 for more information.
Buy "practical" souvenirs (something you will use and/or something that you need anyway, like a letter opener or a coffee mug) that won't end up at future garage sales.
When traveling in a foreign country, make sure to spend all your change (i.e. coins) before you return to the US. Banks here will change the paper currency into US dollars, but unfortunately will not change foreign coins.
Have an auto check-up from a reliable home-town mechanic before you leave on a trip. Make sure your oil has recently been changed and your fluids checked if you will be driving a long distance.
U.S. Veterans and Active Duty military can join Veterans Advantage and get up to 70% on hotels, car rentals and train travel. Go to http://tinyurl.com/2m3h to sign up now!
In order to prevent contracting diseases when traveling in other countries, the government's Center for Disease Control states that certain vaccines could eliminate your risk of infection. Some local Public Health offices offer these vaccines at a fraction of what you would pay at a doctor's office. To find your local county office of health, look in your telephone book or contact your state Department of Health.
Earn your keep for a few weeks or a few years as a caretaker at houses, farms and ranches in the US and abroad. Visit www.caretaker.org or send a SASE to The Caretaker Gazette, P. O. Box 540-Z, River Falls, Wis. 54022.
Search online for the local newspaper of the place you are visiting… there might be special money-saving coupons, discounts, and any special offers that you can find, and take advantage of.
When driving, make sure that you map your route before you leave, so that you don't get lost. Highlight your route on a map, or use an internet service like www.mapquest.com to map out your route. Getting lost will cost you time and money, and maybe even patience.
Airlines frequently overbook. If this happens on your flight, volunteer to take a later flight and they may give you compensation, like a discount off your next trip, or a free ticket to fly anywhere in the US.
Plan for your vacation in advance. Take proper clothing along for the climate you will be experiencing, so you won't have to spend vacation money on new clothes. Not sure what the weather will be like? Check out one of the web's many weather sites to get an approximate temperature. Most news stations have a website that includes the temperature.
Not only is the park a great place to get closer to nature and let the kids burn off energy, it is often a place with special free events. Check for free concerts, plays and other live entertainment at your local parks by calling your department of parks and recreation.
So you love music, but don't want to go out and buy every artist's CDs. Instead, burn your CDs, or have someone else do it for you. No, this doesn't mean to toss 'em in the fire place, it's a fancy term for what we would calling taping, if we were talking about recording a tape.
Before traveling to an unfamiliar area, ask tourist offices for specific maps, scenic route suggestions, and current traffic delay information. Most will send information to you free of charge, and many will include money-saving coupons.
Take advantage of free recreation, such as picnic areas, public tennis courts, swimming areas, parks, zoos, etc.
Hotel rooms , campgrounds, tourist attractions, etc. are cheaper Monday - Thursday. Rates go up on the weekends when most people travel.
On business trips, keep records and receipts for all deductible expenses.
RVing is becoming one of the most affordable, convenient and flexible ways for people to travel. To learn more about RVing go to www.GoRVing.com or call 1-888-Go RVing. With Go RVing, you can obtain information on RV shopping, shows, rental, destinations, publications and organizations tailored to the needs of first-time buyers of motorhomes, travel trailers, folding camping trailers and truck campers.
Find out where the locals shop, and shop there. Places where tourists frequent, tend to be overpriced.
You can get free video "rentals" at your local library instead of paying $3 - $5 at the local video store. This is also a great way to try out a video for free before you purchase it. Only purchase a movie if you know that you will watch it a few times so that you get your money out of it.
When vacationing, leave your pets with friends instead of boarding them at kennels. If your pet has a problem staying at a strange place, see if your friend will stay at your place while you're gone to watch your pets. Stock your fridge with frugal food for your friend to eat while watching your pets.
When planning vacations, try to avoid traveling during the holidays, mid-summer or during school vacations. Prices are always higher on hotel rooms, restaurants, and tourist attractions at most major cities. If possible, travel during the fall or early winter, when prices will be back to normal, if not cheaper than usual.
To make certain you have a cheap fare, even if you use a travel agent, call all the airlines that fly where you want to go and ask what the lowest fare to your destination is. You can also check out each airline's website for this information.
Always rewind your VCR tapes. If you forget to rewind a video tape before storing, it may develop a permanent static line where the tape was stopped.
If you are traveling to a foreign country, remember that you are charged a fee every time you change money, so it's best to do it as few times as possible. Pay close attention to exchange rates and commissions. Or use your credit card, which eliminates the commission and secures the better "interbank" exchange rate.
If you select accommodations with cooking facilities, you will be able to save considerably on a major expense: food. If they don't have cooking facilities, see if they have a fridge. With a fridge, you can keep milk for breakfast and cold cuts for lunch in there, and just go out for dinner. If there isn't a fridge, bring a cooler for the same purpose.
Most phone books offer a coupon section with many restaurant and entertainment coupons.