I have been traveling and been broke all of my life. I have learned how to do it so well that people assume that I actually have money. Well, I do not, lol I do EVERYTHING on a budget. Why not? I love finding new ways to save money and be thrifty. So let us (lettuce lol) get into how I saved these coins in Chicago.
The first step in traveling to Chicago on a budget was figuring out how to get there. I live in South Carolina, so Illinois is not walking distance. I had to get a flight. I booked roundtrip ticket to Chicago from Atlanta for only $78. How you ask? Two words. Spirit Airlines. Spirit Airlines and the rest of the budget airlines are my best saving-money-hacks. Spirit Airlines runs specials throughout the month on deals for one-way tickets from varies cities. If you sign up for their newsletters, you can always stay in the loop. Okay, I got my flight down now, where am I going to stay?
I will choose Airbnb over a hotel any day of the week. Why? Because travelers receive authentic recommendations from locals and the spaces are cheaper. Hotels do have their own advantages, but as far as saving money, I will choose Airbnb. My Airbnb was great in Chicago; close to the train and restaurants for late night snacking.
Here is the direct link to Daniel’s place www.airbnb.com/rooms/27936189
that I used while visiting Chicago for four days totaling $190.
Also, if you sign up with Airbnb you can use my code to get $40 off your first booking.
See, I just gave you more ways to save money.
I am sure you are wondering when are we going to get to money saving tips once you arrive in Chicago, well without further ado, here they are! Getting around Chicago is super easy with CTA transit pass. I purchased a three-day transit pass for only $25 (including trains/trams; NOT included buses but you can add it on for a small fee.) Daniel’s place is right around the corner from the Kimbell Brown Line. This line literally goes everywhere. Plus I just love trains so I will always advocate for them-great for the environment and cheap. When travelling always look for coupons. You can look for coupons or deals on websites like Groupon, Viator, and ThePointsGuy, just to name a few. You can find discounts for restaurants, tours, admission to events and/or museums. The best bundle deal for visiting Chi-town is the CityPass or combination pass. The CityPass is great for people who want to visit all the big attractions such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck Chicago, the Field Museum, and either the Museum of Science and Industry or 360 Chicago for only $89. By bundling with the CityPass you save more money vs. going to every place individually to buy tickets, and you get the ticket right on your phone, so no paper to keep track of. The only print out you need is for the Skydeck. That MUST be printed. However, if you feel like I do not have time to go to all of those places, or you are just uninterested in some of those locations, try the one of the combination pass which includes the Art Institute of Chicago and Skydeck for $47 and/or Art Institute of Chicago and Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier for $12.
Here is the link to purchase all passes
Aside from the CityPass stops, Chicago has several museums that are less than $20 for Admissions:
Quick question: what is better than free? (Besides cheese sticks or chocolate ice cream, NOTHING!) There are SO many free things that you can do in Chicago. Take a free tour of the city with Chicago Greeters. Totally free, you just have to make a reservation at least 10 days in advance. Sightseeing is usually free in most cities, so go window shop on the Magnificent Mile (Hello Cartier, Can’t afford you, but I adore you), go take a walk through Millennium Park, take a bomb Instagram photo with The Bean, go dance in front of the Chicago theater sign (or have a police photo bomb you, like me lol), go to Lincoln Park Zoo (YES FREE) and go take a stroll down Navy Pier. I just gave you a WHOLE list of free things to do!
So what is your excuse for not visiting Chicago now?