If there’s two things most people know from reading this blog, it’s that David and I love a good deal, and we love a good bucket list item. I’ll splurge when I need to, but I would rather travel a lot, than travel expensively. Today, we’re talking about five trips that need to be on your bucket list, and how to make them more affordable (so that you can actually make them a reality!).

-Vegas to The Grand Canyon
One of my favorite trips David and I have ever taken, was an impromptu trip to Vegas to see a Britney Spears show (I have zero regrets – Queen Britney for life), then renting a car to take a day trip to see the Grand Canyon. Vegas has a lot of great deals, especially when you bundle your airfare, car, and hotel together, and go off-season. We went in October, and stayed off strip, since we had a car, at The Hard Rock Hotel, for around $300 a person, for a long weekend (we were there four days). The thing with Vegas, is that they get you there (airfare and hotel), REALLY cheap, and expect you to spend all your money drinking and gambling. If you can have a set budget in mind of how much you’re going to spend, and ONLY take that amount, you’ll be okay. David and I don’t drink excessively, or gamble, so we didn’t spend a ton of money in Vegas. We did shop, eat, and take in the sights, then had a great time on our day trip to The Grand Canyon.

-California Coast to Disney
One of our favorite trips we’ve ever take was driving the California Coast down to Disneyland. We flew into San Francisco, and worked our way down to Anaheim by rental car, stopping in Napa, Big Sur, Monterey, then spending several days in the Happiest Place on Earth. We made this trip more affordable by staying in Airbnb’s, and smaller boutique hotels on the drive down the coast, as well as eating at a lot of local places. When we got to Disneyland, we stayed at a good neighbor hotel, instead of on property, which saved us a TON of money.

-Rome to The Cinque Terre
Italy is my favorite country. I love the friendly people, and their way of life. I love the stunning scenery, the food, and the wine. I love the colorful villages that feel like fairytales come to life. There’s something about the whole country that just feels romantic, brimming with life. Start in Rome, and spend a couple of days taking in monuments, sights, and history. Make a wish in the fountain. Eat your body weight in gelato – then grab a rental car, and drive a few hours to another world. The Cinque Terre is the most beautiful place on Gods earth. Five villages, jewel colors and nestled on the sea – you’ll want to get lost and stay forever. We made this trip cheaper by staying in Airbnb’s (that’s essentially your only option when you’re at The Cinque Terre), using airline miles to fly to Italy, and picking up ingredients from the market to cook some of our own meals in our rental.

-Paris to the Provincial Village
Is there any other place in the world like Paris? It’s a Mary Kate and Ashley movie come to life (complete with a cute boy, since my husband travels with me). It’s old school glamour, and an excuse to wear all the fancy clothes you can. Spend a few days feeling posh, then escape to the small villages in France that will steal your heart – like Annecy, and Colmar. We made this trip more affordable by using a rental car, instead of getting a train pass (one price for both of us, instead of two train passes!), and booking our flights with miles. Check out our blog on how we fly for free here.

-Aulani to the North Shore
Hawaii is one of those places that really is everything it’s cracked up to be. The weather’s always perfect, the scenery is always beautiful, the water is always the perfect temperature, and the food is always delicious. We always recommend Oahu as our favorite Hawaiian island (there’s just so much to do!). If you can manage to squeeze our two favorite places in Oahu, Aulani, and The North Shore, into one trip, then that’s even better. We made this trip more affordable by booking Aulani through DVC Rental Store, and staying in an incredible vacation rental on The North Shore. We flew to Hawaii with airline miles!

These five trips are totally do-able, and affordable, with a little planning (and a little travel hacking!). They’re five of our favorite trips we’ve ever taken, and we know you will love them too!