Category: Recreation

Hottest Hampton Roads Fitness Centers

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Hottest Hampton Roads Fitness Centers


With Summer just around the corner, you may be looking to amp up your fitness. Hitting the gym, however, doesn’t have to mean mindless hours on a cardio machine.

Make getting fit fun this year by trying out the hottest Hampton Roads fitness centers. Most offer free or discounted trials, so you can see what your favorite way is to get fit.

We scoured the web and found something for everyone!

For the Climber

Virginia Beach Rock Gym – Your arms and legs will surely be burning after giving a climb a try. This rock gym uses a color tab routes ranging from beginning to advanced, so no matter your skill level, you can scale the wall.

LATITUDE Climbing and Fitness – Located in Norfolk, this is more than just a climbing facility. In addition to offering climbing intro classes for beginners, this gym offers High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes, as well as yoga to stretch and strengthen sore muscles.

For the Cycler

TIDALWheel – Whether you like beat-cycling, endurance, or have never cycled before, TIDALWheel has a variety of classes that will get your heart rate way up.

CYCLEBAR – Want to monitor your performance? CYCLEBAR offers CYCLESTATS®, so you can track calories, heart rate, and more!

MY Ride Indoor Cycling & Fitness Studio – This cycle studio has a little bit of everything. From classic cycling classes, to weighted classes, to even circuit training off the bike—you’re sure to get a full body workout at this studio.

For the Group Fitness Lover

iNLeT Fitness – With two Virginia Beach locations, this studio always has something to mix up your workout. Try cycling, yoga, Chisel, TRX, Barre, group training, and more!

Pure Barre – You know this is a popular studio with locations in Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach. If you’ve never taken a Barre class, let’s just say, get ready to feel the burn with ballet-inspired training!

For the Jazzerciser

Jazzercise Chesapeake South Hickory Fitness Center – Really, this Jazzercise studio is the inspiration for this whole section. Whip out those leg warmers and leotards and get your sweat on 90’s style!

For the Yogi

Studio Bamboo Institute of Yoga – As one of the most highly rated studios in the area, you can try out a variety of yoga classes at their Chesapeake or Virginia Beach locations. All levels are welcome, even offering a Chair Fitness class, for a low impact workout.

Collective Yoga – This yoga studio also has something for every yogi. Candlelight flow, prenatal yoga, Core yoga, and 8 other class offerings.

Autumn Is Coming: All The Fall Activities Near You

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Fall is coming, fall is coming!

Although Fall in Hampton Roads sometimes means shorts and tank tops, that’s not going to stop us from whipping out the flannel, boots, and pumpkin spice everything!

We know the homeowners of our Ashdon Builders New Home Communities have been looking for all the fun-filled fall events, so we wanted to compile some of the classics in the area—as well as a few new additions.



Reoccurring Saturdays- November 17: Suffolk Farmer’s Market — Enjoy a beautiful fall morning perusing the local produce and artisan goods, enjoying performances, and taking part in the kid craft stations. Read more.

October 4-7: Suffolk Peanut Fest — A true Hampton Roads Fall tradition. This festival offers live music, amusement rides, shrimp feast, fireworks…and of course, peanuts! Read more.



Reoccurring Wednesdays & Saturdays- November 21: Chesapeake Farmer’s Market — Promote the local farming community and enjoy a day at the Chesapeake Farmer’s Markets stocking up on produce, milk, eggs, meats, and artisan goods. Read more.

September 15 – October 30: Hickory Ridge Farm Pumpkin Patch — Pick out your favorite pumpkins, while having tons of family fun with hay rides, family friendly farm animals, toddler hay maze, and other fall fun classics. Read more.

September 21-October 27: Bergey’s Corn Maze — Open Fridays & Saturdays for you to try your wits at this annual corn maze and enjoy the farm activities, such as their petting zoo and pedal tractor course. Read more.

September 29-October 31: A Haunting at Greenbrier Farms — Is there anything spookier than a haunted farm house?! Guided walking tours are held Thursday-Sunday nights. Read more.

October 6-28: Mount Pleasant Farms Fall Festival Weekends — Wagon rides through the orchard, petting zoo, pumpkins, and more! Read more.

October 13: AutumnFest — A Harvest-season celebration for all ages! Get your hoedown on with square dancing, a pie baking contest, pony rides, pumpkin painting, and even a petting zoo at the Chesapeake Arboretum! Read more.

October 6-28 (Re-occurring Sat. & Sun.): Fall Festival Celebrations — Head to Mount Pleasant farms for fall activities all month long! Enjoy classics such as, orchard wagon rides, corn maze obstacles, pumpkin picking, and all your season favorites. Read more.


Virginia Beach

Every Saturday: Shore Drive Farm Market — Is there anything better than spending a morning at the Farmer’s Market? Enjoy local fall produce Saturday’s from 9am to noon. Read more.

Every Weekend: Taylor’s Farms — Taylor Farms is a classic for all kinds of family fun, including an animal park, playgrounds, and bounce houses. Read more.

October 13: Light The Night Water Lantern Event — Write down and release messages into the night sky with breathtaking water lanterns. The fun starts at 4p.m. with games, music, and food. Buy tickets to reserve seating next to a fire pit, kids’ entries are free! Read more.


Newport News

October 20: City Center Fall Festival — Fall fun for kids and adults! Enjoy tastings of craft beer, hard cider, and wine, while the kids enjoy hay rides, pumpkin painting, and face painting! Live music, food trucks, local vendors, and more! Read more.

Follow Our Facebook Page for More Fun Events Near Our Ashdon Builders New Home Communities!


Top Golf Courses in Hampton Roads

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Had enough of the surf and sand this summer? Enjoy a beautiful day at one of Hampton Road’s many top-notch golf courses!

From the golf pro to the recreational golfer, we did the leg work to track down the highest rated golf courses near our Ashdon Builder New Home Communities.

From country clubs to public golf courses, the Hampton Roads area has something for every golfer.


Top Chesapeake Golf Courses

With Chesapeake being the second-largest city by land size, the area has ample opportunity for sprawling golf courses, and these do not disappoint!

  • Chesapeake Golf Club—Their website emphasizes “you will be treated like a family”—aside from a quality course, the Chesapeake Golf Club also boasts a restaurant, Traditions, as well a pool area.
  • Cahoon Plantation Golf Course—Claiming the only bent grass golf course from tee to fairway to green in the area, they promise the smoothest playing service available. The Cahoon Plantation Golf Course also offers a bar and grill to enjoy after a round of golf.
  • Battlefield Golf Club—With elevation changes of 35-40 feet, this course challenges golfers to make extra calculations unusual to the other Hampton Roads area golf courses.

Nearby Ashdon Builders Communities:Bella ManorWhite’s LandingGreenbrier Station


Top Virginia Beach Golf Courses

If you’re a golfer, then you know Virginia Beach has A LOT of golf course options. And that’s an understatement.

That’s why we went to the experts at to find the courses that outrank the rest—but are still super convenient to our Virginia Beach Ashdon Builders New Home Communities.

  • Red Wing Lake—Red Wing Lake is one of the golf properties owned by Golf Management, Inc. According to their Facebook page, the mission for this course was to bring the feeling of “serenity, tranquility, and surrounded by nature.”
  • Virginia Beach National Golf Club—With a name like that, you know it’s a great course. According to their course Architect Pete Dye, “The job of the designer is to provide a challenge to advanced players without creating so much frustration that beginners leave the game of golf or migrate to a less difficult course.”
  • Hell’s Point—Rated one of the 100 best designed golf courses in the country by the American Society of Golf Course Architects, this course touts the recognition to earn the respect of golfers at all levels.

Nearby Ashdon Communities: Lago MarPrincess Anne Quarter East


Top Suffolk Golf Courses

With Suffolk’s gorgeous water views and rolling grass fields—it’s no wonder it’s a golfing destination.

  • Riverfront Golf Club—This public course provides spectacular views and a newly added café and banquet room for gatherings.
  • Sleepy Hole Golf Course—This course is absolutely picturesque located on the Nansemond River. Sleepy Hole Golf Course tests players of all skill levels with its legendary 18th hole rated “most challenging in Hampton Roads.”

Nearby Ashdon Builders Communities: Riverside EstatesHolland Meadows


Be sure to take advantage of the Hampton Road’s area’s top rated golf courses near some of our most popular new home communities!

A Historical Tour of Hampton Roads

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Virginia is one of the most history-rich states in the country. As one of the original 13 colonies, European settlers first began settling in our area over 400 years ago. The Hampton Roads area, in particular, is a melting pot of historical sites and attractions—from all different eras!

Get a glimpse of the past, while visiting these fascinating historical locations and museums, in the Hampton Roads area.


Virginia Beach

Cape Henry Lighthouse–This lighthouse, completed in 1792, sits next to the site where English Settlers arrived in 1607. The lighthouse was approved by George Washington and overseen by Alexander Hamilton.

Old Coast Guard Station–As a tribute to the Virginia coastal communities and the shipwrecks of bygone eras, this museum hold 1800 artifacts, thousands of photos, and a library.

Military Aviation Museum–Interested in the World War I and World War II time periods? The Military Aviation Museum boasts one of the largest private collections of WWI and WWII military aircraft in the world. On top of that, visitors can even book rides on a historical plane!

Francis Land House–The home of Francis Land VI, a wealthy plantation owner in Princess Anne County, Virginia, offers tours where visitors can see and learn about a working plantation of the 1800’s, and the roles of each household member

Adam Thoroughgood House–This house, built in 1719, shares stories from many Thoroughgood generations and the changes the home went through during each one.

Ferry Plantation House– The Ferry Plantation House, facing the Western Branch of the Lynnhaven River, has been known by many names over the years. Tour the plantation to get a feel for what this property experienced in the 1700-1800’s.


Great Bridge Battlefield and Waterways Park–The historic Battlefield Park serves as a tribute to the history of the Battle of Great Bridge and is soon to be the home to a museum.


USS Wisconsin–An Iowa-class battleship that that participated in World War II, the Korean War, and the Persian Gulf War, the ship was decommissioned in the 1990’s and moved to Norfolk in December 2000. The USS Wisconsin is now open as a museum vessel and for tours.

Hampton Roads Naval History Museum–The official museum of the United States Navy, the museum studies over 240 years of history in the region.

MacArthur Memorial–General Douglas MacArthur served in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, and this memorial in downtown Norfolk serves as a museum and research center that explores the life of a legendary leader.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church–As with other historical sites, this church has been known by many names since its first establishment in the colonial era. The Church has been the location of several historical events, including surviving the bombardment and burning of Norfolk in 1776. St. Paul’s Episcopal Churchyard is open to the public during the day, and self-guided tour brochures are available in the church vestibule.


Lightship Portsmouth Museum–Like lighthouses, lightships were vital navigational aids in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. These vessels attached lights on top of their masts to help guide ships. Ships would often anchor at strategic locations at sea for months at a time. Currently, the lightship serves as a museum in Portsmouth and is open for tours.


Casemate Museum–Within Fort Monroe, the Casemate Museum shares the military history of the fort beginning in 1609. One of the highlights includes the room where Jefferson Davis was held briefly as prisoner following the American Civil War.

Newport News

The Mariners’ Museum & Park–America’s National Maritime Museum is home to maritime artifacts and small crafts—including the American Civil War Ironclad’s iconic gun turret. In addition, the museum also features a 5-mile hiking trail and paddleboat rentals.


Colonial Williamsburg–Colonial Williamsburg is undoubtedly one of the cornerstones of the region’s historical locations. The 18th century city is the world’s largest living history museum—including over forty sites, four historical taverns, and two museums.

Jamestown Settlement–The first permanent English colony, the Jamestown Settlement explores 17th-century Virginia. The historic site includes ship re-creations, gallery exhibits, and outdoor tours.


Yorktown–This site is most noted for the Battle of Yorktown where General Charles Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington, which was ultimately a decisive factor in the end of the American Revolutionary War. Tours of the battlefield and colonial culture are available.


Historic St. Luke’s Church–Virginia’s oldest brick church holds over 400 years of history. Daily tours are available, along with periodic religious services.

Smith’s Fort Plantation–The land was given by Chief Wahunsenacawh as a dowry for his daughter Pocahontas and her marriage to John Rolfe. The historical site is host to an 18th century manor house that preserved a large amount of original woodwork. There is a museum store, guided, and self-guided tours on the premises.


This list of historical sites and landmarks is only a fraction of what our area has to offer—take advantage of the rich history of Hampton Roads and learn more about our fascinating past.

The Coastal Virginia Wine Experience

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Virginia is in the top 10 wine producing states in the country and number 6 on the list for wineries by state, with over 280 wineries and counting. Popular and distinct varietals of our region include Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Seyval Blanc, Vidal Blanc, Viognier, Chambourcin, Petit Verdot, and Norton, which is native to Virginia. There are many blends and dessert wines as well. While most of Virginia wineries are located west of Richmond in the piedmont and mountain regions of the state, there are several nearby that afford visitors from Hampton Roads a chance for a wine tasting day trip.

With October being Virginia Wine Month, we thought it would be a fitting time to share some information about the nearby wineries and wine festivals in Coastal Virginia which offer plenty of opportunities to learn more about all the wonderful wines produced right here in Virginia, and one just over the border.

Wineries in Coastal Virginia/NC

1. Mermaid Winery – Norfolk, VA
330 W 22nd St
Norfolk, VA 23517


2. Pungo Ridge Winery – Virginia Beach, VA
1665 Princess Anne Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23456


3. Williamsburg Winery – Williamsburg, VA
5800 Wessex Hundred
Williamsburg, VA 23185


4. Silver Hand Meadery
224 Monticello Ave
Williamsburg, VA 23185


5. Hampton Roads Winery – Elberon, VA
6074 New Design Road
Elberon, VA 23846


6. New Kent Winery – New Kent, VA
8400 Old Church Road
New Kent, VA 23124


7. Gauthier Vineyard – Barhamsville, VA
5000 Farmers Drive
Barhamsville, VA 23011


8. Saude Creek Vineyards – Lenexa, VA
16230 Cooks Mill Road
Lanexa, VA, 23089


9. Martin Farm and Winery – Knotts Island, NC
213 Martin Farm Lane
Knotts Island, NC 27950


Wine Festivals

Neptune’s Annual Fall Wine Festival – Enjoy a variety of Virginia wines right on the oceanfront! Over 15 wineries will be offering samples, there will be a Rosé tasting station, food and live entertainment.
Dates: September 9 & 10, 2017
Tickets: $35-$40


Gloucester Wine Festival – This event has sold out each year so get your tickets early. Over 10 wineries, plenty of coastal Virginia food, and live music all set within the beautiful grounds at Brent and Becky’s Bulbs in Gloucester, VA.
Date: September 23rd, 2017
Tickets: $25-$35


Chesapeake Wine Festival – A very large wine festival right in the heart of Chesapeake. In its 8th season, it gets better every year. With over 20 wineries, you’ll find wines to satisfy any palate and plenty of food and good music to balance out a great event.
Date: October 14, 2017
Tickets: $30-$40


Town Point Wine Festival – The largest wine festival in Hampton Roads, this event happens twice a year in the spring and fall. The fall festival is coming up soon and if you want to check out the largest variety of Virginia wines all in one place, this is the event to attend.  Our advice is show up early!
Dates: October 21 & 22, 2017
Tickets: $30-$40


Two final notes to remember. When you taste your wine, don’t worry if you don’t like it. The more you taste, the better it gets! And more importantly, always remember to designate a driver and enjoy your wine tasting responsibly.



Virginia Wine Varietals:

14 Tips for Visiting Wineries:

Virginia Wine:

Wine Trails:

Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail –

Eastern Shore Wine Trail –

Colonial Virginia Wine Trail –

Best Parks in Hampton Roads for Dogs

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The great outdoors is where dogs come alive with excitement and energy. There is so much to experience from sniffs and smells, grass and dirt to roll around in, water play, other animals to chase and interact with (squirrel!)  – the possibilities are endless. And for us humans, seeing their joy as they run and play is priceless.  Don’t leave your furry family members at home, take them with you and go on adventures together. If you are looking for a great place to take your dog for some outdoor fun, check out this list of popular parks for dogs in Hampton Roads.



First Landing State Park
2500 Shore Drive
Virginia Beach VA 23451

First Landing State Park is not just for the dogs, but it is a dog-friendly park. If your pup loves the beach, it’s worth a visit.  The rule is that dogs must be leashed, but most folks let their dogs run free on the beach and it makes sense, especially for those dogs who love to swim in the ocean. There are also miles of hiking trails to explore and overnight accommodations at the campground or the cabins in the park.

​Bayville Farms Park
​4132 First Court Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23455

Red Wing Metro Park (1-Acre)
398 General Booth Boulevard
Virginia Beach, VA 23462

At the Bayville Farms and Red Wing Metro Dog Parks in Virginia Beach, you and your pup will find plenty of space to run, shade, and water.  The Bayville Farms location also has separate park areas for small and large dogs.  Visit the Virginia Beach website to get details on do’s and don’ts, as well as hours, and information on other parks for dogs in Virginia Beach.

City of Virginia Beach Dog Park Information:



Chesapeake City Dog Park (1.5 Acres)
900 City Park Drive
Chesapeake VA 23320

Deep Creek Dog Park (1.5 Acres)
437 George Washington Highway South
Chesapeake VA 23323

Both of these dog parks in Chesapeake are off-leash and fenced in. You’ll find benches to relax on while your pups play, shady areas, water fountains for both dogs and humans, poop-scoop bags, and covered trash cans. At the Chesapeake City Park location, you’ll also find two separate doggie play areas for small and large dogs.  Check this link for more details on hours, membership as well as additional parks for dogs in Chesapeake.

City of Chesapeake Dog Park Information:



Bea Arthur Dog Park (1 Acre)
501 Front St.
Norfolk VA 23510

The Bea Arthur Dog Park is managed by PETA and includes shady areas, a swimming ramp, a large lawn for running, and benches. Be sure to call before visiting to check the open hours. Their normal schedule has them open Wednesday through Sunday. There is also a smaller dog park there as well, called the Ben White Dog Park which is open Monday and Tuesday each week.

Ghent Dog Park (.61 Acre)
Stockley & Maury Avenues. 1300 Block of Stockley Gardens
Norfolk VA 23510

Ghent Dog Park is another popular space in the Norfolk community for humans and their furry family members to play.  This is a fully fenced park with shade, water sources for dogs, and a raised play/run area which enables the park to stay open after heavy rains.

City of Norfolk Dog Park Information:



Lake Meade Dog Park, Suffolk
201 Holly Lawn Parkway
Suffolk VA 23434

The Lake Meade Dog Park in Suffolk is a beautiful facility with areas for small dogs and larger dogs to run and play freely. You’ll find plenty of soft grass, shade, doggie waste stations, and state of the art agility equipment. There is an annual membership fee of $10 per year and all dogs will be required to be registered.

PDF Brochure:

Windsor Castle Dog Park, Smithfield
301 Jericho Road
Smithfield VA 23430

The Windsor Castle Dog Park in Smithfield offers off-leash fun in two separate doggie play areas for small and large dogs as well as benches, water sources, and dog cleaning stations.



Sandy Bottom Bark Park (.75 Acre)
1255 Big Bethel Rd
Hampton VA 23669

No Leashes. Just wide-open fun! That’s the motto at this ¾ acre dog park in Hampton. You’ll find benches, shade, and water, as well as an obstacle course for your pup’s enjoyment.

Ridgeway Dog Bark Park (1 Acre +)
85 E. Mercury Blvd.
Hampton VA 23669

Newly renovated Ridgeway Park offers over an acre of secured space for dogs and their humans to play. There are covered and open seating, water fountains as well as a small dog enclosure all surrounded by natural waterways and wildlife areas.

City of Hampton Dog Park Information:



Fido Field Dog Park
105 City Farm Rd
Newport News VA 23602

Fido Field Dog Park in Newport News offers over an acre of play space for large and small dogs along with covered benches, water fountains, doggy bag stations, and this park is also wheelchair accessible.

City of Newport News Pet Friendly Places:

Before you head out for park adventures, be sure to check on the rules and regulations for the city and park you wish to visit. Typical expectations are that you’ll have to register and pay a membership fee, that your dog be up-to-date on all vaccinations (you’ll have to show proof), must be licensed, must be leashed entering and leaving, must not be in heat, and sometimes there is a limit to the number of dogs you can bring in at one time. Also remember those basic courtesies – supervise and stay with your dog while he is enjoying the space, be sure to intervene if your dog is acting aggressively towards other dogs or humans, and always cleanup after.  If you have a small dog, you may want to find a park that has a separate space for dogs based on size.  Once you’ve done your homework, get out there with your pup and make some happy memories!

How to Do Summer Vacation on a Budget

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Vacation is an essential part of the summer for many of us. The weather is warm, we’ve been slaving away at work for months it seems, and we are ready for a break from the routine. And if you are one of the 15% of Americans who do not take vacations each year, why not? There are proven health benefits that come with a little “R&R”, including stress reduction, prevention of heart disease and better sleep.  Even if you take a vacation during other seasons, the biggest hurdle may not be time, but rather money. Maybe it’s not in the budget to take a two week vacation to Bali or spend a month touring through Europe, but we’ve got some suggestions on how you can still take a vacation, without taking out a second mortgage.


Nailing Down the Essentials

First things first. Decide on your budget. Knowing if you are working with “under $500” or a “couple grand” will make a difference in your planning.  You’ll also have to consider how many people you are going to vacation with. Are you taking the kids or leaving them with the grandparents? Or maybe the grandparents are coming along too!

Once you know how much and how many, then you can decide on a few more important details that will lead you down the right path to vacation fun and memories, such as:

  • Travel window – Flexibility in your travel dates can be boon when searching for the best prices on transportation and lodging.
  • Transportation – Are you planning to drive, take the train, fly, take a cruise, or some combination? If you are on a really tight budget, then you may be limited to fewer transportation options.
  • What would you like to do?  – Where would you like to go? Think about what you like to do – for example, do you want to ride roller coasters, go shopping, see historical sites, or simply lay on a beach and drink piña coladas?

Vacation Ideas that Don’t Break the Bank

Planning a vacation can be almost as fun as the vacation itself.  Once you know your essentials and you know where you can be flexible, you can start looking to see what is available and when.  Here are some ideas for budget vacations to get you started.

The “Staycation”

This is a particularly appealing vacation option for folks who never seem to be home.  Do you work long hours, travel for work, or just feel that you never have time to just sit down and enjoy your comfortable sofa or backyard oasis?  Why not plan a simple “staycation” and do all the things you never have time to do during a normal work week.  Have a brunch cookout on a Tuesday, sit on your patio and read a book, take several long, hot bubble baths, cook a gourmet meal, binge watch your favorite TV shows…the list can go on and on. One catch with this one though – try to avoid doing chores and remember this is your time to sleep in, play, relax, etc.

Great for: singles, couples, families, spur of the moment, really small budgets

The Day Tripper

Be a tourist in your own city or state. Odds are there are plenty of things to see and do right in your own backyard. The beauty of this type of vacation is that you can plan multiple day trips and come back home at night to avoid paying for lodging. The only cost would be gas, food and entry fees to where ever you visit.

Great for: couples, families, spur of the moment, local travel, small budgets. Can be combined with a staycation.

The Festival and Convention-Goer

If you love chainmail, sword fighting, and food-on-a-stick, you could look around for the nearest Renaissance Festival (hint: there is a really big one in Maryland at the end of each summer). Or if you are into movies/books/gaming, maybe a city nearby is hosting a “con” related to your interests.  Then there is always the option of a short weekend at a music festival too, and summer is the season for outdoor music. These are especially great options if you have kids because there is often a lot to see and do all in one place.

Great for: couples, friends, families, advance planning, small to moderate budgets

The Long Weekend Getaway

Don’t rush! Take an extended weekend vacation at a nearby resort. Driving will save on transportation costs and there is almost always a nice resort within a few hours’ drive.  Go for the spa room with the Jacuzzi and the view. Oftentimes resorts will offer packages that allow you to bundle your stay with a spa treatment or dinner.  Also, going midweek can be a little less expensive than the weekends.

Great for: couples, friends, spur of the moment, local travel, small budgets. Can be combined with a staycation.

Roughing It

How about taking a camping trip?  Campsite fees, even during peak travel season are usually around $10-$20/night and cabin rentals are still much less than a hotel.  Make it an adventure! Visit a state or national park, cookout under the stars and hike some trails. It’s a completely different kind of vacation that gets you and your travel companions away from all the technology of the day and out into nature. This can be a great way to reset from a stressful routine. Don’t forget a nice bottle of wine to sip by the campfire!

Great for: couples, friends, families, spur of the moment, local travel, small budgets. Can be combined with a staycation.

The “Off-Season” Traveler

If you have a flexible schedule, look for the off-season or shoulder-season travel windows for your destination.  This can vary based on where you want to travel, but you can save a bundle if you can get in on the off-season pricing.

Great for: couples, friends, families, advance planning, moderate budgets

The Last Minute Traveler

Another option to travel for less is to have the flexibility to travel last minute. This is especially true for cruises and tours as the operators need to fill all the open spaces and will often discount them when the departure date grows near. The only catch, is getting there. If you are getting 50% off on a tour of Italy but the airfare is expensive then it may not be worth it.

Great for: couples, friends, spur of the moment, moderate to large budgets

The “Planned it Last Year” Vacationer

Maybe you really just want to go all out.  If you have decided that you want to go somewhere truly memorable, such as Disney World or Paris, then the best course of action to get what you want for the best price is to plan as far as in advance as possible. Still consider your dates and how flexible you can be, but booking way ahead of time will offer better prices typically than if you are only a couple months out. One thing to be sure to do, when booking travel far in advance is to consider purchasing travel insurance. This will cover you in case anything happens that will cause you to cancel your trip.

Great for: couples, friends, families, advance planning, moderate to large budgets


Additional Tips to Save


  • Pack light. If possible minimize your checked bags since the airlines charge for each one now.
  • Take the connecting flights. Often, flights are cheaper when you are willing to forego the direct flight for layovers.
  • Plan in advance and be flexible with your departure and return dates. Often you’ll find lower prices on flights when you avoid the weekends.


  • Plan your meals in advance – knowing what is available in the areas you visit will help you find the best bang for your buck.
  • Take along your own snacks and food – On road trips, bring your own food (eg. Sandwich goodies, drinks, snacks, etc.) instead of stopping at restaurants along the way.
  • Look for hotels that offer free breakfast. If not, don’t go to the hotel restaurant, they often charge a lot, find an Ihop or another breakfast place nearby instead.

Car Rentals

  • When renting a car, always get the smallest one that will fit. The smaller the car, typically the smaller the fee, but also it will save you on gas.
  • Try to return the car to the same place you picked it up from. More often than not, there is a fee added on to your rental bill when you return a car to a different location than where you picked it up.
  • Check with your insurance company and/or credit card company to see if they offer coverage for rental cars. If so, you won’t need to purchase insurance from the rental company.


  • Stay nearby. Sometimes you can get better hotel rates if you stay in the town next door, especially if there is an event going on.
  • Stay during the week. Weekends tend to be higher priced in most places because that is prime time for getaways.
  • Try a suite. If you are traveling with family and need more than one room, sometimes you can save by getting a suite instead of paying for multiple rooms.


It also never hurts to touch base with a travel agent, especially when looking for last minute deals. You can certainly do the legwork yourself, but if you don’t have time, a travel agent will know where to look for you.  There are a lot of resources available however, when doing your own research and we’ve listed some of those in the references below.

The most important thing, when thinking about vacation is to reduce stress, not create it. So understanding what you want and what you have to work with helps to keep everything in perspective. Take a vacation. It doesn’t matter the size, as long as you enjoy yourself make a few great memories.



By The Numbers: The American Vacation:

4 Scientific Reasons Vacation is Good for You:

Travel Budget Calculator:

8 Great Alternative Budget Travel Ideas:

Off-Season Travel:

20 Money Saving Travel Tips:

Things to Do in Virginia:

Destination Ideas for Budget Travelers:

50 Ways to Budget Travel

29 Super Affordable Vacation Rental Destinations