Ohio Holiday Tips for Saving Money
Ohio. A place of idyllic nature, beautiful seasons, esteemed produce, sport, art and recently a curious arrival to humorous dialogues around the nation, this state holds so much to see, take in, tour and experience from Lake Erie to the Appalachian Mountains. Wherever your travels take you here in Ohio, you’ll probably wish to economise and save as much as possible. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered. Read on for our guide to saving money around Ohio and some of our picks for any itinerary here around the Buckeye State.
Tour Local Cuisine, Produce
Ohio is an esteemed link in the national food chain and around the world not only for Apples, but also Tomatoes ( 3rd largest producer in the nation ) Corn, Hogs ( 8th largest producer in the nation ), Soybeans, Eggs ( 3rd largest producer in the nation ) and most of all, Swiss Cheese, as the top producer of this variety of cheese in the entire nation. With so much produce in abundance nearby and a strong tradition of agriculture throughout the state, Ohio is a great place to sample fresh, organic produce and dishes. Whether this is browsing many fresh-from-farm stalls and marketplaces or other community centres around Ohio, or visiting a farm yourself, enjoying and learning about the local produce and agriculture of Ohio is usually pretty affordable. Beyond this, there is also local fare, such as famously fresh Apple Pies, a long history of German – American dishes including the likes of Bratwurst, Mettwurst and Pretzels, as well as other regional specialities such as Goetta. Come explore Ohio with your sense of taste, and leave with a full wallet and a full stomach.
Don’t count out smaller towns
Ohio, while having a number of larger cities, is also notably less centralised in population compared to other states that might revolve very tightly around a single city or number of cities. There are many small towns all over the state that are hidden gems of local history, hospitality, rare sights, one-of-a-kind dishes and the charm of a smaller, more relaxed place. Whether you are making a Road Trip of the state, or will revolve around one region of Ohio during your stay, we recommend keeping small towns on the table for an addition to any itinerary, as small town Ohio has so much to offer ! Away from the bustle of places like Columbus and Cleveland, places like Bowling Green, Chagrin Falls, Athens, Yellow Springs and Oxford offer much more than meets the eye, with acclaimed local restaurant scenes, walkable and inviting downtowns, lively universities and tons of nature nearby. Whether just wanting to enjoy the good vibes of a small Ohio town, the activity of a college or lost in one of many national and state parks, small towns are just as much big attractions in themselves as are their bigger counterparts. And most importantly, they’re usually much more forgiving with parking and lodging costs, meaning you’re seeing Ohio for less money.
Visit Amish Country
Ohio is also one of the states in the country with a proud and vibrant Amish population. A people revered in the region for fine craftsmanship, welcoming and friendly demeanour and prized dishes, any visit to an Amish stall, market or village is well worth the visit. These are visits to a rare community in most of the nation outside of the region, and another unique insight to the midwest and Ohio. With an emphasis on good ingredients, farm-fresh sources and food made with lots of care and attention, it’s no wonder locals rave over the baked and cooked goods sold by Amish where they are found. If you’ll be in Ohio for your holiday, be sure to consider any Amish markets or communities near you.
Ohio is also a terribly underrated state for natural beauty, spanning the vast expanse of Lake Erie’s shorefront, the heights of Ohio’s Appalachia, the mighty Cuyahoga being just some of the sights to behold here. Ohio’s vast system of national, state and local parks make for endless opportunities to camp, hike, bike, tube, canoe, kayak and on rare occasions, even surf ! Ohioans love the outdoors and benefit greatly from their surroundings, and making the most of this preserved wilderness is not only a great choice for your itinerary but also a very cost effective one, especially if packing and reusing your own equipment. The great outdoors and countless sites for enjoying nature are never too far away anywhere in the Buckeye State.
Tying in with Ohio’s love for the outdoors is also a thriving local tradition of sport, most famously exemplified in the face of Akron’s very own Lebron James. Football, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey and more, these many sports make up important focal points for the community to get together and bond in competition and athleticism. In many of the smaller communities and suburbs, these games can be either quite cheap or completely free to spectate – a great opportunity to enjoy the thrills of sport with the local community, and get to know Ohio on a different level.
Don’t be afraid to join the community
While you may only be visiting Ohio for a brief time, this also relates to the previous point – don’t write joining in any community events or community spaces ! Open-air farmers markets, artisan markets, art shows, drive in restaurants and drive in cinemas, while they all might be favorited and dominated by locals, never let that push you to look elsewhere during your holiday. Ohioans are famously warm and hospitable to people from all walks of life, and by joining in these events, you’ll be sure to run into a local welcome. Meeting local residents and joining on these activities is a great way to discover those truly local spots and secrets of towns big and small, as well as creating a lasting and more memorable time in Ohio.
Browse local boards and forums
You don’t even have to wait until you are physically in Ohio to start learning from the locals – plenty of online forums and social media groups are great ways to learn about all the secrets, insider tricks and best local spots well before you’ve even left home. Not to mention, the possibility of making a local friend online is also there. And who better knows where to get the best deals than a local ?
Choose dynamic and diverse locations
If you will be travelling with a group that has markedly different interests, probably lean towards a place in Ohio that is quite diverse in activities. This is so that you are saving money on transport and not having to change location too much, as well as making yourself more eligible for longer term discounts on lodging as is common with platforms such as AirBnB.
Be open to different modes of transport to reach Ohio
Finally, Ohio has many modes of transport to embrace, from Rail to Boat to Car in addition to simply flying in. Seeing Ohio by road or rail or on the water can make the journey just as memorable as the destination, and is a great way to accidentally discover many gems of Ohio not as widely advertised.