50 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Travel Dollars
AT AN UPSCALE HOTEL GET MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK --
In San Francisco and in Charleston, SC I stayed at small hotels
that included breakfast and also served wine and cheese from
about 5:00 to 7:00 in the evening. If I had a late lunch,
often at a museum cafe, I found that the wine and cheese were
sufficient for dinner. The wine service included cheeses,
crackers, fruits and nuts. Fellow travelers would gather and
compare notes on what we had done that day. Since I don't
always feel like having dinner alone in a restaurant this
took care of the problem and also gave me a chance to mingle
with people. The hotel in San Francisco was the Inn
at Union Square. In Charleston it was the HarbourView
Inn. The HarbourView Inn also had cookies and milk available
in the lobby at night. Coffee and iced tea were available
in the lobby during the day. I appreciated being able to sightsee
or shop and come back to the hotel for an iced tea and a brief
rest before setting out again. (Nancy, Springfield, USA)
TRY NOT TO USE
TAXIS -- Do your research ahead of time to
know what your transportation options are. For example, either
bus #350 or #351 from Charles de Gaulle Airport into Paris
connects to the Metro. It's a little longer than a taxi but
much cheaper. Cost is three metro tickets or 4.80 Euro. The
bus terminal is next to the train terminal. (Rette, Boston,
Check out www.ihatetaxis.com.
This site is the first of its kind global ground transportation
website that empowers you, the traveler to make well informed
decisions and reduce your personal stress. Pertinent information
on all of your available transport options, costs & schedules
from the airport, scams to watch for, tipping customs, health
information, country profiles and much more.
BE A VOLUNTEER
-- A money saver for me has been to volunteer
at a place that provides room and board. Your living costs
are minimal and time off can be used to explore on a shoestring.
I did this for seven months at a conference center in the
SW USA and got to see many amazing National Parks (using a
Golden Age pass, again on a shoestring). A surprise on one
jaunt was a stay in a 4-star Las Vegas hotel in January at
$29./weeknight, booked at the state line welcome center. I
stayed so long (5 days) that I got a visitor's pass for the
library. I couldn't afford to leave. (Lucretia, Tennessee,
LOOK FOR COUPONS
ONLINE -- My favourite tip for saving money
is researching the destination online well in advance and
searching for any coupons or special offers in the destination
city. I did just that when I won a three-day trip to New York
but didn’t have much in the way of extra spending money.
I visited nycgo.com, and
as it turned out, the city’s tourism office decided
to extend the annual winter discount program until the end
of March. I literally had to stuff dozens of printed coupons
into my carry-on luggage, but it was worth the effort. We
enjoyed discounts on everything from theatre and dining to
lots of museums, including the Guggenheim. (Heather, Toronto,
YOU NEED WATER
BUT DON'T PAY TOO MUCH FOR IT -- Keeping hydrated
while flying is important. Buying water in airports is expensive
and during the flight attendants aren't always available when
you're thirsty. My solution is to take an empty water bottle
with me through security and then fill it at the drinking
fountain on the other side. When traveling abroad, I go to
a local grocery store and buy a large jug of water from which
I keep refilling my small water bottle. (Dorothy, USA)
STAY IN CAMPGROUNDS
-- I bring a lightweight tent and stay in
campgrounds when possible, especially if I'm doing wilderness
trekking in tropical countries. If that's not possible, I
stay in hostels. Anyway, all I need is a place where I can
sleep safely and shower. (Emmie, Manila, Philipines)
||IF POSSIBLE DON'T
USE ATM MACHINES OFTEN -- Before you leave home
find out about ATM fees and how much you can expect to pay for
each transaction. Fees add up quickly so don't keep going back
for individual small amounts. Take out a bigger amount and keep
it in a money belt under your clothes and next to your skin.
for an excellent explanation of how ATMs work.
EAT YOUR MEALS
ON A UNIVERSITY CAMPUS -- Whether you're 18
or 80, pay a visit to the local colleges or universities.
They usually have a cafeteria that serves both students and
staff. Alternatively, look for eats close to universities
and pop into any crowded place. The food will probably be
cheap, fresh and good.
PACK AN EASY
RECIPE AND COOK DINNER AT A HOSTEL -- Tuna
casserole is a cinch to make, the ingredients are inexpensive
and the finished product can be shared with new travel friends.
You'll not only save money you'll be the star of the hostel.
ARE YOU A MEMBER
OF A MUSEUM AT HOME? -- Take your membership
card with you when you travel. Chances are it will be honoured
at museums abroad and you might even get a discount on purchases
made in their museum gift shop.
Travel off season and save...
This is the
simplest rule of all. It's called travel supply and demand.
More people can travel during the summer so airline prices
go up. If you can travel in October when everybody is at home
settled into their Fall routine, your tickets as well as your
hotel will cost less. And there's a further wonderful bonus
to travelling off season; there aren't hoards of tourists
where ever you go.