Live Local, Enjoy a Tourist Life

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Provided you are well dressed, well mannered and not drunk or obnoxious, you don’t have to be booked into luxury hotels to be able to enjoy their amenities

If there are no major events on in town and it’s not peak holiday season, you can enjoy all the things local luxury hotels have to offer just about year round


  1. Enjoy Hotel Amenities

You can quite often drink at the bar, dine at their restaurants, listen to live music and even book a day at the spa, even if you are not staying at the hotel

It’s a great way to pamper yourself without the accommodation costs of travelling and you are supporting the local economy

2. Buffets

Big chain hotels often have breakfast brunches and buffets that offer great value for money

Making a reservation is recommended

On Mothers Day, Easter and Christmas, they offer upgraded buffets for lunch, book early as these tend to fill up fast

Casino buffets are also great value

3. Shows & Concerts

You can often get discounts to shows and concerts by buying at the box office or ticket booth on the day of the event

4. After Dinner

You can get dessert and a coffee at ‘hard to get into’ high end hotel restaurants if you go after the dinner rush

5. Late Lunch / Early Dinner

If you eat after the lunch rush and before dinner, around 3pm you will get lunch time prices and get in and out before the 4pm dinner rush

6. Happy Hour

Most Hotel Bars have Happy-Hour prices on drinks &/or  appetizers

7. Valet Parking

Valet parking (for a fee) is often available if you are dining at the restaurant or attending a show – save yourself the hassle of finding parking on the weekends

If there is an event on in town or the hotel is booked out, they may not accommodate your request

You should be fine during less busy times of the year

8. Discount Websites

Discount websites like can save you money on Hotel Restaurants

9. Living Social

As well as discounts of up to 80% off local services and attractions, have a restaurant program at (  if you link your credit card and use it at one of their participating restaurants you will receive up to 30% cash back on your next credit card statement

Try to buy any restaurant e-cards a few days before you are planning to go to the Restaurant as some may take up to 48 hours to be sent to your email inbox, most arrive within an hour of purchasing them

10. Free Entertainment

Some hotel chains offer free live music in the bar or bistro, great for a night out

*Affiliate links used to help save you money on Restaurants & Attractions

Luxury Travel on a Budget


Don’t blow your travel budget paying full price when you don’t have to

There are major discounts to be found if you know where to look


1. Travel Off Peak (Shoulder Season)

You can seriously get great discounts on airfares and accommodation, some up to 60% off during off-season

Travel outside of School Holidays or right after major holidays


2. Staycations

If you want to travel and only have a few days off, consider a location closer to home

Domestic or even local hotels offer huge discounts for last minute getaways to fill up their bookings

If you look on Google Maps you can find places to travel to within a 3-4 hour radius of your home, you don’t want to spend a whole day getting there

If you do your travelling overnight the night before you are booked in to your hotel, you can get in an extra day of sightseeing / restaurants



3. Use Hotwire to get 4-Star Accommodation at 2 & 3-star prices

Save up to 60% off 4+ Star Hot Rate® Hotels!

I have done a whole post on Hotwire  to give you more insight to their deals

You can get $315 rooms for $128, that’s a huge savings, staying in much nicer rooms, what’s not to love?


4. Book ahead if you are planning to travel during holidays and peak travel

While you can snag great deals on last minute trips during off season, the same cannot be said for peak travel times

Public holidays, School Holidays, Summer are the busiest times to travel.  If you leave it to the last minute to book, you will pay a lot more for accommodation and not get the best deal for your money.  Popular festivals or hotels have people booking sometimes 12 months in advance, around Sydney Harbour or Times Square for New Years Eve for example

Some hotels will only allow bookings 3 months before, so make sure you get in early as soon as bookings are available

It used to be the rule to book international travel 12 months ahead and domestic travel 3-6 months ahead for the best rates

Often vacation packages have special ‘early bird’ rates to popular events like music festivals etc or around Christmas / New Years



5. Book Flights on Tuesday

It’s the cheapest day of the week to travel, and around 3pm Tuesdays is the cheapest time

Tuesday, Wednesday & Saturday are your cheapest days for air tickets,  while Sunday is the most expensive



6. Ask for an upgrade, dress the part

If you dress like you belong in business or first class, you can sometimes get an upgrade by politely asking, it doesn’t hurt to try

The answer will be a firm ‘we don’t have anything available’ if you are in a singlet and flip flops or wearing your pj’s to the airport



7. Ask for a waterview

If you are travelling off peak, chances are the hotel isn’t even 2/3 full

Ask on arrival at your hotel if might be any water views available, sometimes they will upgrade you just because you asked



8. Bundle

If you book, car, accommodation & airfare all at once, you will save a lot more than booking them separately

Look for package deals or ‘vacation’ packages



9. Join Hotel rewards programs

They are usually free to join and you can earn free nights accommodation on future travel if you earn enough points

You can earn points from your fist stay and they also send you bonus offers during the year to earn points more quickly

You usually get free wifi, sometimes free breakfast and other discounts & perks for reward members only

Plus you have a better chance of room upgrades if you are a reward member, than if you are not



10.Stay on the outskirts

If you stay in popular ‘touristy’ locations like downtown or on the riverfront  in popular cities, you aren’t going to get as great a deal as if you stay 10-15 minutes outside of these areas

You can quite often get a much better room if you stay 10 minutes out of town and you will get to see a lot more of the city

Most hotels have shuttle services to the city and big tourist attractions for free



Offers some of the best discounts on travel (up to 60% off)




  • Ask the locals what to see, where to eat…we have had some of the best tips by asking people who live there if there are other places to see while we are there


  • Also if you visit museums etc late in the day, say an hour or two before they close, you may get in at a big discount, 1/2 price etc


  • Check the tourist guides and pamphlets at the hotel for discounts to museums and places of interest, they offer discount coupons




*Affiliate links used to help you receive discounts on travel and provide quality content on this blog



Travel Guide: Orange Beach, AL

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© 2017 KDArtStudio

Orange Beach, Alabama lies on the Gulf Coast.  It is a relatively untouched, charming beach town, though in recent years, high-rise condos seem to have overtaken the cute beach houses that once were there



Orange Beach

Gulf Shores


Shopping & Restaurants:

The Wharf – Beautiful Marina with Boutique Shopping & Restaurants, Ferris Wheel, Putt Putt Golf, Ampi-theatre with big name Concerts like

  • Keith Urban
  • Luke Bryan
  • Green Day
  • Jimmy Buffet
  • Alabama
  • Journey



Wintzel’s – Fresh Raw Oysters, Seafood

Voyagers – Fine Dining

The Hangout – fresh Seafood right on the beach – Gulf Shores

Fishers Fine Dining




Things to Do:

Art Festival – Artists, musicians, culinary arts

Adventure Island – Go carts, bumper boats, adventure golf, paddle boat rides

Dolphin Cruises

Orange Beach Sailing Charters and Sunset Cruises




Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

The Hangout –  Music Festival – Gulf Shores – Held in May every year

Day Trip:

Orange Beach is close enough that you could do a day trip to Fairhope/Mobile

See our Travel Guide: Mobile,AL

Travel Tip:


Travel Tip:

If you want ideas on how to Save money and even earn cash back on Travel, see our post here

Save up to 60% off 4+ Star Hot Rate® Hotels!

*Affiliate link used in this post to help save you money on accommodation if you need it

Travel Guide: Daytona, FL


© 2017 KDArtStudio



Daytona Florida is known for its world-class Speedway and beautiful beaches



Daytona International Speedway

The Boardwalk – The only beachside roller coaster in Florida

Daytona Lagoon Water Park

Marine Science Center

Daytona Beach – You can Drive / Park your car right on the beach




Riverfront Shops – 60 Shops along the riverfront including art, antiques, jewelry, books, music, fashion boutiques, shoes, hats, home décor, wine


Make sure you get the discount shopping card




Daytona is close enough to other Florida Attractions, that you could do a day trip

  • Kennedy Space Center, 64 miles from Daytona Beach

See our Orlando Travel Guide for more information on these attractions


  • Sea World, Orlando, 70 miles from Daytona Beach
  • Walt Disney World, Orlando, 73 miles from Daytona Beach
  • Universal Studios, Orlando, 64 miles from Daytona Beach



Other Tings to See:


Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse

Southeast Museum of Photography



Other Things To Do:

Skyzone Trampoline Park

Daytona Beach Parasail

Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory





The Oyster Pub – raw oyster bar- They also have burgers, steaks, shrimp, and seafood

Been here, oysters were awesome, friendly staff


Fine Dining:

Chart House – Signature Caesar salad, filet mignon au poivre, and a plethora of seafood dishes

The Cellar – Fine Dining

Hyde Park – Hilton Hotel – Prime Steakhouse

Azure – Beachfront Restaurant

Top of Daytona Restaurant and Lounge – Birds eye view of Daytona Beach, Fine Dining Menu



Inside Hilton Hotel:

  • Clocktower Lounge
  • Doc Bales’ Grill
  • Legends Sports Bar


Oceanfront “RIO” Bar & Grille – Residence Inn by Marriott



Hilton Hotel – 100 N Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32118

Residence Inn by Marriott – 3209 South Atlantic Avenue  Daytona Beach  Florida  32118



Travel Tip:

If you want ideas on how to Save money and even earn cash back on Travel, see our post here

Save up to 60% off 4+ Star Hot Rate® Hotels!

*Affiliate link used in this post to help save you money on accommodation if you need it

Travel Guide: Orlando, FL


© 2017 KDArtStudio

Orlando Florida is a World Famous Tourist Destination, thanks to the vison of a cartoonist Walt Disney who created the most amazing, magical theme park, Walt Disney World® Resort

Orlando is host to millions of visitors every year which is why it just makes sense to plan ahead.  Pre-purchasing theme park tickets saves time waiting in admission lines

Walt Disney World® Resort

Get the best deal on theme park tickets by purchasing them ahead of time.  You can buy them all in one place from Visit Orlando official ticket store.

  • Want to dine with Mickey, Minnie or one of Disney’s other famous characters? Make reservations as soon as possible. Character dining experiences at Walt Disney World® Resort and other theme parks are popular and tend to book up months in advance.

If you don’t want to blow your holiday budget on accommodation, there are budget options available that are only a few minutes away from major theme parks, most offer shuttle services so you can leave your car at the hotel if you wish

Hampton Inn Orlando

Fairfield Inn & Suites Orlando

Comfort Suites

Save up to 60% off 4+ Star Hot Rate® Hotels!



Tourist Attractions:

Universal Orlando® Resort – 6000 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, FL32819

SeaWorld® Orlando – 7007 SeaWorld Drive, Orlando, FL32821

LEGOLAND® Florida -One LEGOLAND Way, Winter Haven, FL33884

Gatorland – 14501 South Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32837

Pirates Cove Adventure Golf – 8501 International Drive,  Orlando FL 32819



Other Places to See:

Lake Eola Park – 512 East Washington Street,  Orlando, FL 32801

Disney’s Boardwalk

Grand Bohemian Gallery

Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

Cornell Fine Arts Museum


Water Parks:


  • The closest beaches to Orlando are Cocoa Beach, Canaveral National Seashore and Daytona Beach, all about an hour and half drive away

Things To Do:

Theatre Dinner:

Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows

Medieval Times





Kabooki Sushi

Chatham’s Place

Chef’s Table at the Edgewater

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood


The Capital Grille




Travel Tip:

If you want ideas on how to Save money and even earn cash back on Travel, see our post here

*Affiliate link used in this post to help save you money on accommodation if you need it

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