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Niagara Falls is a popular destination for millions of people around the world. It’s easy to overspend while on vacation to Niagara Falls. But this article will give you some tips for your family vacation to Niagara Falls to save some money but still enjoy all the favorite sites.
Recently, my family and I enjoyed a long weekend in Niagara Falls. We drove 4 and a half hours from our home near Cleveland, Ohio to Niagara Falls. We stayed in a 4-star hotel over a weekend and enjoyed many of the tourist sites that are family friendly with a 5-year-old and a 17-month-old.
Our biggest expense was our hotel. Luckily, in Niagara Falls, there are numerous of places to stay. You’ll pay the price for convenience and view though. Convenience was our biggest factor when choosing our hotel, but we were still able to grab a great deal!
Here are the biggest ways to save in Niagara Falls on your family vacation.
1. Use Priceline to Name Your Price on a hotel.
This is the way we were able to stay in a 4-star hotel for $135/night over the weekend when it was listed at $189/night plus hotel resort fees and jumped up to $209/night for the Friday and Saturday nights.
We saved $277 on our hotel stay. Got an amazing city view and was connected to the water park for convenience since we still had to accommodate nap times for our 17-month-old.
2. Parking- Park at the Casinos, grab a member card, play a little and/or eat at the buffet the day you are leaving.
We had read ahead of time to park at the Casinos to get free parking, but it wasn’t clear how other than that you needed the member players card (which is free). I read online that you need to play a certain amount of money or you could eat at the buffet and get parking validated.
There are 2 casinos near the falls and either casino allows for free parking with the member card. Luckily, one of the casinos was also connected to the hotel we stayed at and they shared a parking garage.
On the day we were leaving, my husband went to the casino, signed up for a member card and played $20 on the video roulette, betting $10 on black and $10 on red…either way we had about a 97% chance to get our money back. Since there’s no set amount the casino posts that you have to play to receive free parking, he also went to eat breakfast at their restaurant for $6.95, brought the receipt to the member card desk and had the parking validation put on the card. (Just a note, anybody under 19 can not enter the casino, even to eat. That’s why only my husband went to eat.)
This saved us $105 ($35/night) parking for free.
3. Pack drinks and snacks.
Pack food for those long days out of the room site seeing. This way you aren’t paying the higher “tourist” prices to grab a snack or drink.
4. Eat breakfast in your hotel room.
You most likely will be eating out for lunch and dinner. To save some money, pack a box of cereal and bring a half gallon of milk (if your room has a mini fridge available).
We packed muffins, a box of cereal, and some fruit to eat at breakfast instead of going out to eat. Don’t forget to pack the plastic spoons, paper plates, plastic cups, and paper bowls!
5. If you have a fridge in your room, get bigger portions of a meal and save half for lunch the next day.
One night, we decided to get some pizza. Instead of only buying a slice of pizza each, we bought an entire pizza and saved half for lunch the next day.
6. Buy the Niagara Falls adventure pass to see numerous attractions without having to pay individually.
Plan out ahead of time which attractions your family plans to go see and price it out. It may be cheaper buying the adventure pass (which you also get a 2-day pass on the We-Go bus to get you around)
7. Look for deals on the water park
This is a great time for the whole family! It was the highlight of my son’s trip! When we were planning out our trip, we saw that it was $49 per person to go here! I couldn’t believe that price but we knew our son wanted to go to a water park so we started to look for some deals.
There are $10 off coupons available at most hotels for the water park, but we were lucky and were able to purchase tickets from Costco Canada (even without being members) for $20 off the ticket price!
**Another tourist tip, go to the water park on a weekday. We went on a Friday and it wasn’t busy in the slightest bit. I think this helped make our experience at the water park a little more amazing!**
8. Keep a look out for coupons on the flyers at your hotel.
The attractions are all competing with each other for your business so there’s bound to be coupons to get a better deal.
9. Plan to go on off-peak times.
Luckily, my son had a day off from school on a Friday after Labor Day. The difference in the prices for hotels between Labor Day weekend and the weekend after was incredible!
If you can, plan your trip during a time that it won’t be busy.
10. If possible, try to eat away from the tourist area to avoid the inflated food prices.
The restaurants with a view will come with an inflated price! Even some of the places without a view will have inflated prices!
We went to IHOP one of the days for lunch because we figured breakfast will be cheaper. It wasn’t! The IHOP inflated their prices 2 times the usual prices!
11. Turn off your cellular data!
Take advantage of this time and unplug! Your phone may ping back and forth between Canada’s towers and US towers. To avoid any unexpected fees on your phone, turn off the cellular data.
Many hotels offer WiFi either for a fee or free WiFi in the lobby.
You can still have an enjoyable experience at Niagara Falls, but for a much lower price tag. Use the tips to save on your family trip to Niagara Falls and enjoy the memories you have together!