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- Ultimate Waterpark Experience! Enjoy 3 fun filled days at 3 of Americas Largest Water parks, & lodging.
Here are a bunch of ways you can save money on your Wisconsin Dells vacation. Most of them are common sense but easily overlooked. Besides all the practical stuff, one other thought is this; Stress will cost you. If you find yourself getting stressed on on vacation, take a break, even if it’s just sitting in a parking lot watching the world go by for a few moments. A clear head will help you avoid overspending and make for a better vacation over all.
Save Money on Activities
Know What Activities Will Cost in Advance. Both the Visitor Bureau & Dells.com offer rate sheets. By comparing rates and setting a budget before you go, you won’t overspend in the heat of the moment.
Get Into Nature! – One of the greatest features of all the cities and towns in the Wisconsin Dells area is the many natural attractions. Many are free or really inexpensive. Explore the many area state parks and natural areas!
Discount Tickets - Discount Tickets often available for popular attractions through local civic organizations. Baraboo Parks & Recreation Department is just one example. Call 608-355-2760 for Ticket availability.
Ask For Discounts – There are discounts everywhere and they are not always advertised. You need to ask. Just to avoid sounding like a cheapskate, I sometimes call ahead a day or two before I leave and check with some places I’ll be visiting. Remember too there are commonly discounts for AARP, Auto Clubs and other organizations.
Save Money on Lodging
Visit the Big Resorts but Stay Somewhere else – Water Park Resorts Are Expensive. While sometimes the exclusive deals can be a bargain, other times they are not. It’s sometimes still much cheaper stay elsewhere and purchase day passes to the waterparks.
Water, is water is water – In Wisconsin Dells it’s all about the biggest, baddest water parks. Thing is, most kids don’t care. It’s a parent trap. Many local hotels have indoor water play areas and outdoor pools that your kids will love. No lines mean they can play all day as well. Don’t feel pressured to go to the “biggest, wettest, wildest” or whatever other adjective they give you. For young kids it’s probably just not worth it.
Go Camping! – Fox Hill RV Park & Campground reminds you that there are many area campgrounds with cabins and campsites that are a fun and often more affordable alternative to expensive area hotels and resorts! Local State Parks have camping as well, but are often reserved way in advance for peak weekends. The money you save on lodging of course is extra money in your pocket for a nice meal or additional entertainment.
Find Small Family Owned Motels – Small motels may not have all the amenities of the big chains, but they often make up for it in price and friendly service. You will find many lodging links to small motels here.
Stay in the Town Next Door – If you don’t mind the extra 15 minute drive you can stay in Baraboo or Reedsburg. Lodging outside of Wisconsin Dells often get’s less expensive. Plus you get to escape the craziness for a bit each day.
Save Money on Food
Bring Breakfast – Bring cereals, bowls and spoons. Just buy milk and juice. Better yet, bring a cooler. Avoid stocking up at “quick marts”.
Have a Picnic – If you can avoid even one meal in a restaurant a day you will save some cash. There is a park in Downtown Wisconsin Dells just about 1 mile past the shopping district. Ochsner’s Park in Baraboo is only 15 minutes away and has a great playground, grills and a small zoo.
Pack Snacks – Food and drinks from attraction vendors are expensive. We’ve all paid for the $3 coke!! By taking time to prepare your own snacks you’ll save money, have more choices, and can eat healthy along the way.
Bring your own water bottles – Bottled water is bordering on a scam as it is. Bring your own water bottles, and fill them each morning at your hotel or campground before you leave for the day.
Save Money on Transportation
Find Central Lodging (Sometimes) - Staying Downtown in Wisconsin Dells or on the Wisconsin Dells Parkway can save you the hassle of driving to some attractions. Often though you will pay for the convenience. You’ll also see advertised “walk to attractions”. Yes, you can. But after you try crossing the Wisconsin Dells Parkway on foot a couple times, you may not want to again.
Don’t Drive into Downtown Wisconsin Dells on the weekends – Here’s the thing. It’s fun visit and shop in Downtown Wisconsin Dells. However, the traffic bottlenecks on the Wisconsin River Bridge which can cause some spectacular traffic nightmares. Shop downtown stores during the week and in the mornings. If I have to be downtown in the Dells on a weekend, I find parking on the West side of the Wisconsin River bridge and walk across.
Study a Map - Take a little time to know where you’re going and how to get there. Avoid main arteries during peak hours. Travel between Baraboo & Wisconsin Dells using County Highway A instead of the more congested Highway 12.
Some General Ways To Save
Use Coupons – Coupons are everywhere. Discounts tickets and coupons are now widely available at attraction and motels websites. You just have to know where to look. Dells.com offers a coupon book.
Get vacation savings with Package Deals. Every couple years someone sits around and tries to find a new way to package a package deal. Well, whatever name they go by they can be a great way to save some hassle and some cash. The advantage with some offers is simply receiving all your attraction tickets upon check-in and avoiding the hassles of standing in long ticket lines. DellsPackages.com offers the largest selection and is the original theme package leader.
Avoid ATMs – Those little ATM fees add up quickly when you seem to always be needing more cash. Consider using Traveler’s Checks. (or Credit Cards IF you will pay them off right away.)
Visit off-Season - Most general attractions are open weekends at least into October. Lodging in the autumn is also much more affordable. Wisconsin Dells is also investing heavily into off-season attractions. You can enjoy many indoor water parks, movie plazas, live shows and more.
Visit During The Week - As you know lodging rates are higher on the weekend. Why not visit during the week and enjoy a less crowed atmosphere.
Shop At The Box – I hate to say it, but sometimes it’s just best to go to Wal-Mart or other local box store. Don’t get caught up getting supplies at convenience marts or from the shop inside the motel or resort. Go to a proper grocery store or box store.
Parking – Convenient parking is expensive. In Downtown Wisconsin Dells park on a side street if possible and walk. However, watch signs to be sure you can park where you are parking. A parking ticket sure adds to the cost of your vacation.
Don’t Buy Souvenirs (well, not many) – Every Store in Wisconsin Dells is packed with costly junk with the name “Wisconsin Dells” on them. Many are mass produced trinkets you can buy anywhere with just a different city name on them. It’s normal to want a memento of your vacation. If you must, you must but before you buy consider if what you are buying will seem worth the price in a month or a year? Still think so? ok then buy it.