5 Tips for Traveling to Chicago on a Budget

5 Tips for Traveling to Chicago on a Budget from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

It’s okay to be a traveler at heart even if your wallet doesn’t think so. There are many ways to protect your savings without spending a fortune throughout your travels. If Chicago is your next destination, here are five tips for traveling to the Windy City on a budget.

1. Visit at the Right Time of Year

If it’s your first time visiting Chicago, it’s important to know when’s the right time of year to visit. The best times to visit are when the temperatures are warm during the less crowded months of April and May, and between September and October. During this time a variety of festivals take place and crowds are more manageable. You’ll also find cheaper hotel rates and inexpensive airfare deals to make your trip more affordable. It’s best to avoid visiting Chicago during the bitter cold winters and the high peaks of summer when hotel rates spike and the city becomes a sea of crowded tourists.

2. Get Chicago CityPass

Although sightseeing in Chicago is a wonderful experience, it can be quite costly. That’s why the Chicago CityPass is a must-have for a frugal traveler. This all-inclusive pass saves you 51% on VIP admission to Chicago’s top five attractions and allows you to skip the long ticket lines. This includes admission to the Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck Chicago, The Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry or 360 Chicago Observation Deck, and the Art Institute of Chicago or Adler Planetarium. CityPass is also valid for nine consecutive days so there’s no need to rush through each attraction. In the end, you’ll save a lot of money and time so you can truly enjoy the sights and sounds of Chicago.

3. Utilize Public Transportation

Chicago’s public transportation is one of the best systems in the nation, so there’s no reason not to try out the inexpensive services. Instead of borrowing a rental car at an unsavory price, utilize the city’s CTA, which runs the subways, trains, and buses. It’ll save you from unnecessary expenses and may even get you to your destination faster.

4. Search for Free Activities and Attractions

Spending a large amount of money isn’t always a necessity when you take a trip. Chicago hosts a lot of free events, activities, and attractions for visitors to participate in. Before you leave, do some research and try to avoid as many paywalls as possible. Capitalize on the frugal opportunities available and enjoy your budget-friendly Chicago experience.  

5. Plan Where You’re Going to Eat

It’s always smart to have a plan – and having a foolproof meal itinerary is ideal for saving as much money as you can during your time in Chicago. If you budget wisely, your hesitant spending will allow you to save enough for a unique Chicago dining experience. Most high quality restaurants don’t have “budget” options, but a creative food and drink combination is worth every penny.  To cap off your adventures, try out Chicago’s most upscale eateries. By scheduling your reservation in advance, it will guarantee your spot to indulge in great food and possibly some of the upcoming events in Chicago.

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