A rule of thumb in my life is that everything is going to take twice as long and cost twice as much as I originally expected, and vacations are no exceptions. Even if I’ve perfectly planned everything out, I’ve just came to sort of expect it. If our plan is to go enjoy a nice day at an amusement park, my kid will always wants the $13 12oz. frosty instead of the bottled water I sneaked in. My wife will always want to buy the $1 Polaroid picture for $25 of us standing in front of some rock. It’s going to happen, and I’ll spend a lot more than I wanted to. Besides the idea of putting blinders on your family, here are a few tips on how to save money in Branson. And trust me, your going to need it, because that lamp your kid broke in the hotel room is going to cost as much as Aunt Bertha’s hip replacement.
Don’t Go During Peak Season
And who would really want to anyway? Who wants to go somewhere and sweat in 100 degree weather, surrounded by 1000’s of other sweaty people, and pay $100’s of dollars to only be able to go on a few rides because it’s so crowded, while taking hours to drive 2 miles in horrific traffic, while not being able to get a seat in any restaurant without an hour wait, while paying a premium on your hotel room. Count me out.
The most popular times in Branson is obviously summer and Christmas. I know, I know, it’s the only time you can go because you kids are out of school, but guess what? So is everybody else’s! And yes, Christmas in Branson in awesome, and it maybe worth it to go a few times, but try to squeeze out a trip in October or April if possible.
It’s simple Economics people. A high demand brings a high price. If you go to Branson when less people are there, hotels, condos, etc. won’t be filled allowing you to find and negotiate a better price. Restaurants will be running specials trying to lure in everyone they can. The crowds will be smaller which will make for a much more enjoyable experience everywhere, especially on the strip.
Take Time to Find Discounts & Coupons
Now this one seems fairly basic, but it’s a strategy many people ignore! How many times have you jumped in the car and just said, we will figure out what we are doing on the way, or just had a vauge idea of what the plan was? No, no, no, no, no! If you do this, I don’t even know how you found this page! It won’t work! This step takes planning and a little time investment. What are you going to do the first night? The second, the third and so on? Where are you going to eat?
The internet is filled with an infinite amount of deals, some good, and some bad, but that’s largely up to you to figure it out. If the deal requires I attend some presentation or meet someone to pick up tickets, count me out! There’s a high pressured sales pitch coming! You know the saying, if something is too good to be true, it probably is!
There are deals out there, you just got to know what you are planning on doing and put the time into research. Sometimes the simplest thing to do is call the place you are planning on going. My last trip, I called the Dixie Stampede to see if they had any deals going, and not only did I save about $15 there, I was able to get Silver Dollar City tickets much cheaper than anywhere else!
And coupons, coupons are everywhere if you put in the time to look for them. Of course we are partial to our coupon app, Branson Saver, that gives you instant access to hundreds of coupons on Branson’s best shows, attractions, restaurants, and much more all for free.
Find Combo Packages
As I just said, when I called The Dixie Stampede they gave me a discount on Silver Dollar City Tickets when I purchased both. This is an example of a combo package. Places in Branson are always partnering with one another to help cross promote their businesses. Many of these combos may be new, or even unadvertised, so I suggest calling before booking anywhere else.
One of the more expensive parts of vacationing is eating. I don’t know about you, but everything my family does is subconsciously scheduled around eating. “After breakfast, we will go do this. Then we will go grab a bite for lunch, and then we will do this until dinner time.” Eating is always part of the conversation, and when your out an about, it ends up costing a lot of money, especially if you have a bigger family. Feeding a family of four can easily cost over $100 a day!
If you really want to save some money in Branson, cut back on the food bill. Find a hotel with a free continental breakfast, pack sandwiches for lunch, then go eat a nice guilt free dinner with your family!
Go Do Some Free Stuff
Without getting emotional, family time is what is important. It doesn’t matter if your on a roller coaster or at a show every second of your trip, what matters is spending quality time with those you love. In Branson, you can still have a great time and visit some awesome places absolutely free! Here are a few of my favorite!
Shepard of the Hills Fish Hatchery
Located below Table Rock Dam, the Shepard of the Hills Fish Hatchery is one of Branson’s most popular tourist attractions. You can walk through the fish hatchery and see several large aquariums filled with Missouri’s native fish. It’s really pretty awesome, and educational too!
Henning State Forest
Take the family hiking through incredibly scenic trails at Henning State Forest. This 1,534 acre parks offers awesome views of the Missouri countryside. Not only does this place offer breathtaking scenery, it also allows you get get away from it all and relax. You might even get some exercise too!
Stone Hill Winery
This place is visually stunning, and awesome to see firsthand. Just look at some of the pictures on their website. For $5, you can even do some wine tasting!
Here’s the truth when it comes to how to save money in Branson…
When you are looking for ways on how to save money in Branson, you will find a million different resources, and many of them will say the same things. In my experience, it all boils down to one thing. Plan. I know many of you like to fly by the seat of your pants and just do whatever comes to mind, or go do what you see out the window, and that’s fine, but your going to spend more than you intended. It’s fun to be carefree and sporatic, but the whole goal of a getaway is to enjoy every aspect of it, and that includes not regretting how much you spent when you get back home!
Good luck on your trip to Branson! Have a great time!
Now it’s your turn!
What are some things you have done to save money on vacation? We’d love to hear them! Leave them in the comments below!