I originally posted this brief article about gas price comparison websites about two years ago. I know it is worth sharing again just in case you plan on hitting the road for the 4th of July.
Every spring break, I have always wanted to take my children on a nice vacation. However, lack of planning has normally kept us at or near home. Last year, I made up my mind that we were going to the beach. I was not sure what beach, but I wanted to go anywhere with 75+ degree temperatures and white sand. After much research, I decided to travel to Bahamas for these three reasons:
1. Price and length of flight.
2. Cost of accommodations.
3. The Atlantis.
To start, Southwest flies to the Caribbean now. Southwest’s free baggage policy is a big deal to me. I purchased the tickets for $300 each in September of 2014. Also, the flight was about two hours long. Gotta love a quick flight.
If you going to the Bahamas, you HAVE to visit the Atlantis! I have seen the commercials on TV and yes, it lives up to the hype. However, the hype comes with a price (that I was unwilling to pay). So, I found the next best thing. The Comfort Suites Paradise Island. For about half the price ($977.82 to be exact), by staying at Comfort Suites, I received complimentary breakfast & WiFi and full access to the Atlantis. Yes, full access! This includes the water park, beach, aquarium and the other resort amenities.
Upon check-in to the Comfort Suites, they gave my husband and I a card verifying our identity. Every morning, we took a five-minute walk to Atlantis and showed our card to enter the property. We were then directed to a service desk where they looked at our card again and checked our names against a list. Then we received our wristbands for the day. It was a very quick & painless process.
A Few Facts
-I earned $24.85 with Ebates by staying at Comfort Suites.
-There is an automatic 15% gratuity added to food purchases at Atlantis.
-I bought a case of water and divided it amongst our suitcases before we left home. I saved tons of money by pre-purchasing water. Of course my children thought I was crazy.
As a mother of three, I am constantly on the hunt for bargain priced clothes. All of my children are seven years apart, so hand-me-downs are not really an option. With over fourteen years of experience of shopping for children’s clothes, I know when & where to catch the best sales. Here are some of the stores where you should never pay full price:
1. The Children’s Place: Join their email list to start receiving tons of coupons. They have a great selection of clothes at their outlet stores too.
2. Gymboree: Just for signing up for their email list, you receive 20% off & free shipping on your first purchase of $50 or more. Although the some of their regular priced merchandise is priced higher than the competition, it is quickly marked down.
3. Old Navy: Just about Monday, they have a sale of 20%-30% off at Old Navy, however, you must read the fine print. You cannot use most of their discounts on merchandise listed as Everyday Steals, Today Only Deals, and a few others.
4. Lands’ End: Lands’ End almost always has some type of promotion. I have never paid full price for anything since I started shopping there a few years ago. The discount is usually 25% or 30% off. If your child must wear uniforms to school, this a great place to shop.
5. Macy’s: How many times have you heard their commercial jingle, “One Day?” Well at Macy’s it seems like their One Day sale is more like a 7-day sale. Between promo codes and coupons from Sunday paper circulars, you should never full price.
6. Kohl’s: Between their Yes2You Rewards, Kohl’s Cash, promo codes, and coupons, there is always a discount to earn and/or redeem. On Kohl’s website, they sell expensive baby gear such as strollers, car seats, and cribs. The discounts can save you tons of money when purchasing these big ticket items.
7. Baby Gap: Like Old Navy, Gap usually has a 20%-30% off sale on Mondays of each week. At the end of the seasons, they’ll even have half off clearance merchandise which works well shopping off season.
8. JCPenny: On any given day of the week, you can always some type of promo code on their website.
9. Carter’s/OshKosh B’gosh: Every time I walk into Carter’s, they are having some type of sale. They have even extended their sizes to a 12! If you have children of multiple ages and want to dress them alike, this is a great place to shop.
10. P.S. From Aeropostale: If you like Aeropostale, then you will love their children’s store, P.S. They carry sizes 4-14 and offer the same discounts as Aeropostale. Just for signing up for their email list, you will receive 20% off your first purchase. They often have a 25% off sale too.
If you are shopping online, always remember to start on Ebates. Also, shop off season to maximize your savings.