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How Can You Save Money While Traveling

How Can You Save Money While Traveling

Any time you travel, you have to spend money. There are expenses associated with nearly every trip you take, regardless of whether it is a two day excursion not far from home or a cross country adventure with the entire family in tow. You will have the costs of gas, tickets, food, hotel bills, and everything else you least expect to have to pay for. However, neither trip nor any in between is a reason to go broke. You can save money without skimping on the fun or the quality of your trip. And, in these economic times, any way to save a few dollars is worth the time.

The one thing you have to do to start saving money before you set out on a trip is to plan ahead. You should start investigating where you are going, where you plan on staying and how you are getting there as early as possible. Once you have all of the details ironed out, you can set an initial budget. Before the trip, join any and every discount travel club that pertains to the kind of trip you are going on. If your car is how you are getting there, invest in AAA. Likewise, if you are flying, look into your frequent flyer miles and details. If you are staying in a hotel, check out their member loyalty clubs. Any discount you can apply before the trip is money in your pocket. Every club has special rates and offers just waiting for you to ask about. Don’t be shy about asking, you may be surprised to find out all of the perks of being a member of any club.

The best place to check for discounts to save money while traveling is online. With so many discount sites out there, you can almost and literally name your own price for anything from rooms to rental cars. You can find deals online directly from the sightseeing establishments you wish to tour or the restaurants you want to eat in. You can usually find museums and tours that are virtually free on certain days of the week. Both the actual places and the discount sites are vying for your business. Take some time to also look up chamber of commerce and tourist information online, as you can usually get free maps and public transportation information. If you ever bought a map in a gas station, you know how overpriced they can be.

Once you have all of the discounts lined up that apply to your trip, there are still countless little things you can do to save money while traveling. Every traveler needs to eat. Be mindful of the food money you allot. No matter where you are going, convenient stores, hotel snack shops and amusement park prices for food is considerably expensive compared to the local grocery store. If you can load the car up with food from the grocery store that travels well, you can save a lot. This keeps your family form buying over priced chips when you stop for gas. Some snacks to bag up that are easy to eat in the car include cut up veggies and fruit, along with crackers. Also be mindful of drinks. You can pack a case of water and the new handy packets of flavoring to add to it so there is variety.

Even if you fly and stay in a hotel, investing in your own food for the room is wise. Often, you can get a free upgrade to a room with a refrigerator or kitchenette just by asking. Even if you don’t have a kitchen, you can store fruit and snacks that can serve as a light lunch to go when sightseeing. Ask the hotel staff where the cheapest grocery store is load up on food and drinks so you are not always visiting the vending machine. Also, try to stay at a hotel that offers a free continental breakfast. If you get there early and everyone fills up, you have already saved a lot of money. With these simple food tips, you can focus your finances on one good restaurant meal a day rather than three.

When looking to save money while traveling, don’t spend like a traveler. Spend and live like a local. Touristy shops along with tour buses or guides can be pricey. Learn the local area and study the public transportation system before you go. This can save you both time and money because you will not be paying for rental cars and parking or waste gas trying to find your way around. Take the bus or the subway and see and visit everything just as the locals do.

You can save money while traveling once you start paying attention to the basics. Discounts are waiting to be snatched up and you don’t have to depend on pricey restaurants for every meal. Stick to a simple plan for transportation and you can be incomplete control of just how much the trip may cost you in the end.


Last modification: Thu 6 May 2010

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