Finding Affordable Things To Do on Vacation

affordable things to do on vacation

I know how hard it can be to plan a vacation on a budget. I also know that when I am traveling I want to make the most of my time and do all the fun things! So how do you find affordable things to do on vacation that still help you make amazing memories? I’m sharing my secret (or not so secret) tool today . The one I use all over the state, country, and world, to find affordable things to do: Groupon. Yes, seriously, Groupon.

If you aren’t already familiar with the concept of Groupon, lemme break it down for you. Groupon is a platform that allows you to access and purchase thousands of special offers from companies and brands that are only available because of the volume of people who will be purchasing the product or service. Hence, the ‘group’ part. Its like getting a bulk discount, but individually redeeming the product.

What Groupon Offers

affordable things to do on vacation

Now, Groupon has exploded beyond just local offers to restaurants or ‘things to do’. They have products, services, and even VACATIONS. Yes, seriously, vacations. I haven’t taken a trip purchased on Groupon (yet), but I have heard awesome things. For the purpose of this post, I will be discussing the ‘things to do’ type offers on Groupon, because frankly I think they are absolutely CLUTCH when it comes to trying to travel on a budget and find affordable things to do on vacation, whether that be in Orlando/San Diego/New York/Paris, etc….

When I lived in Paris, none of my friends even new that Groupon existed in France. I had been using it back home for a while to find things like wine tasting offers and paint night, but that was about it. This was when I really discovered how the service could be, even while traveling.

I used the San Diego site as an example when researching for this post, since it’s my ‘local’ big city. They currently have listed under things to do: hotel offers, harbor cruises, kayaking, whale watching, ‘jump zones’ for kids, biking tours, paint nights, Seaworld, San Diego Zoo, axe throwing, wine tasting, dance classes, rock climbing and jet skiing. And that’s on the first page.

Read Also: How to Travel Paris on a Budget

How to Use Groupon While Traveling

When you visit the Groupon site, it will likely geo-tag you at your current location or your home location, if your phone/settings allow it. If not, it will use a default location from Groupon. Here is where you can customize your Groupon offers to wherever you are, even when you travel:

  • If you are still in (or looking for offers in) your home country, change the ‘city’ or location in the top right hand corner of the site.
  • If you are going to try to use Groupon in another country, scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the “Groupon Sites” option. Here you can toggle to other countries. At time of writing, Groupon is currently listing sites in:
    • USA
    • UK
    • France
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Poland
    • Netherlands
    • Ireland
    • UAE
    • Belgium
    • Australia
    • New Zealand
    • Japan

When I have used Groupon abroad, I had no problem creating an account in for that site, and paying and redeeming vouchers overseas. It was a great way when I was living in Paris and doing my internship to try new restaurants with friends and even get discounts on things like museums and shows.

Out of curiosity, and to compare what was available in Paris versus San Diego, here are some of the offers I found on the Paris site: spas (nails, massages, etc), dinner cruises, restaurants, Zoo tickets, photo shoots, Paris Aquarium, and even movie tickets. The Paris site definitely seems (to me) to be a little more ‘local’ in that they offer a lot of services that would likely be of interest primarily to locals (car services, waxing, etc). However, zoo, aquarium, dinner cruises and movies? Those would be amazing while on vacation!

I hope you’ll give this a try the next time you travel! I know so many of my friends have no idea that Groupon exists in other countries! 

Share your favorite Groupon experiences, or any other tips you have for budget travel in the comments! What questions do you have about finding affordable things to do on vacation?

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This post is not sponsored by or affiliated with any company. All views are my own.


Callie Richards

I'm Callie, a Southern California based body-positive fashion and travel blogger who helps women discover style and travel that FITS their bodies and their lifestyles so they can live their best, most authentic lives! I test and then share the products and experiences that respect diversity and inclusiveness so that you can shop and travel with confidence without all the research!

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