If you’re here because you’re planning a visit to Richmond, welcome! There are so many amazing things to see and do in Virginia’s capital, and I’ve made it my mission to show you how you can do them for less!
A great place to start is the Richmond Region Visitors Site.
The other main website categories (Eating out, Shopping, Playing) can provide you with pointers about frugal places to dine and free fun activities. And for the latest news on all things saving money in Richmond, check out the Blog!
Hotels are a big chunk of travel budgets. Here are some ideas for reducing the bite of lodging costs:
Priceline – It’s no secret, I’m a Priceline fanatic. I love the high of winning a hotel bid, and I LOVE how much money it saves me. If you’re flexible about exact location and aren’t bringing a family (Priceline can only guarantee rooms that will sleep 2 people), Priceline can be a big budget saver. You do need to invest a little bit of time learning how the zone and bidding process works, but you don’t have to bid completely blind – Online forums betterbidding.com (Virginia page) and biddingfortravel.com (Virginia page) offer Priceline guides and lists of hotel wins sorted by Priceline zone.
Hotwire – Like Priceline in that you don’t get to see the hotel name before purchasing. You are able to see the amenities it offers, as well as its average user rating, but you’ll pay a little extra for that privilege.
Room Saver – Another option for those who like to live a little dangerously. You can print special “Walk-In Rate” coupons, which offer a discounted flat rate for a night’s stay based on availability, and can only be applied the day you check in (though you can call hotels in advance to see if they will honor the rate). Rates for some hotels start at under $50 a night. The Room Saver coupon books are also available in various businesses, and there is a Room Saver iPhone app.
Entertainment Book – If you have an Entertainment Book (for any city), you can take advantage of the “Direct to Hotel” option. Several hotels in the Richmond area participate, and offer 10% off the best publicly available rate. Hotels in the program: Holiday Inn I-64 West End, Hotel Sierra in Short Pump, Omni Richmond, and Sheraton Richmond West. Some of the major chains also participate in offering discounts to Entertainment members – check the book for codes.
AAA/AARP/Military/Etc – Whatever organizations you are a member of, ask if there are any discounts!
Hotel packages – Compiled by the Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, this is a list of some “themed” hotel packages offered by local
The bottom line is that you will probably need to have or rent a car to get around Richmond. If you are staying in a downtown hotel and only attending an event downtown as well, you might be able to avoid it.
GRTC Buses – The only public transportation option available. Fares start at $1.50.
“To the Bottom and Back” buses – If you’re interested in checking out the nightlife in Richmond, this free bus service runs loops to many major downtown areas from 6pm to 3am on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.
Megabus – With free wi-fi and fares starting at $1 when booked far enough in advance, Megabus is a new Richmond travel option that can get you to Philadelphia, Charlotte, Baltimore, Washington DC, Hampton, or Raleigh/Durham
A few of my favorite FREE attractions are the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Maymont, the James River/Belle Isle/Canal Walk, the Capitol, and Hollywood Cemetery.
If you need additional assistance or have questions, feel free to contact me and I’ll do my best to help you out or hook you up!