Culture · lessons learned · reflection · travel · Travel

Thursday Throwback: Three Ways we Saved Money on our Trip to Chicago

Happy Thursday!

Since it is #ThrowbackThursday, I thought what better way to celebrate than to reflect on one of my favorite trips we took last year!

Cloud Gate

Last June, Benny and I took a long weekend trip to Chicago, on a budget. That’s right. On a budget. And man oh man, was our trip packed!

Here is a list of ways we saved bank and made this trip happen:

  1. We stayed in a Hostel. Sounds crazy, but I promise it’s not. Three nights in the hostel was priced to one night at a decently located Chicago hotel. I elected to go the hostel route because I knew we would hardly spend time at our lodging place. We stayed at HI Chicago and had an amazing experience! We booked a private room. Much like modern dorm rooms, we shared a living area and bathroom with three other private rooms. Everything was clean, and the hostel provided breakfast each morning (another money saver!). The hostel itself was in a great location and had such a fun atmosphere. We’d definitely stay again without hesitation.

    Clean, safe, functional….we survived! (People are SO weirded out by this tip.)
  2. Groupon! I was able to find some amazing deals for Chicago dining on Groupon. A Venezuelan restaurant was having a deal, so I bought two deals, which covered two different meals. I also found an awesome deal for deep dish pizza that included drinks under the deal. Groupon is a great resource for traveling anywhere, so it is one of my first stops when planning a trip.img_1879img_1878img_1980img_1839img_1838Processed with VSCO with m5 preset
  3. Go Chicago Cards. We wanted to hit up all of the classic Chicago tourist destinations, each of which has its own admittance fee, and those add up quickly! I explored our options as far as getting the most bang for our buck, and I elected to purchase us both Go Chicago Cards. There are three purchase options offered, and we chose to do the all-inclusive for three days of travel. This hands down was the second largest money saver after the hostel. We downloaded the app, and bam–we had our tickets to all of the attractions we wanted to see. There is also a Chicago City Pass that can be purchased on a similar concept; however, I found it to offer less. Check out the Go Chicago Card site here!img_1902img_1919img_1950img_1908img_1944img_1937img_1918img_1940img_1934img_1923img_1854img_1850-1


It goes without saying, Chicago is an amazing American city. I miss our awesome weekend trip, and I look forward to returning in the future!


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No matter where I go, I am always on the hunt for a good bargain or a way to save money. I hope these tips serve you well on any upcoming travels you have to Chicago, or maybe another big city because these can be quite versatile travel options.


What tips do you have for traveling on a budget?




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