29. Buy plane tickets on Tuesday for the best deals. This article
offers other tips on obtaining optimal pricing for airline tickets.
30. Paying an additional $50 per flight for baggage-check fees can really jack up the cost of airline travel. Avoid extra costs by traveling light or sticking with airlines that offer free baggage check, such as Southwest
31. Join AARP for $16 a year to receive discounts on everything from hotels to rental cars.
32. Use a hotel-discount site like hotels.com
to obtain good deals on lodging, or Priceline.com
, which lets you name your own price for hotels. Betterbidding.com
offers you insight into what you might get while bidding for hotels on Priceline.com (example, $35/night instead of $70).
33. Cross-reference discounts available on hotel sites with user reviews on other sites, such as tripadvisor.com
, to find lodging that offers the best combination of price and quality.
34. When traveling overseas, make sure your credit card isn't charging you a foreign transaction fee on purchases--most do, and it's an extra 3% on every purchase. Capital One cards do not charge this fee and a few credit unions don't, either.
35. Do you dream about buying a vacation home? Renting a month or two a year via a site such as vrbo.com
is bound to be much more cost-effective than maintaining your own home, and you'll be able to sample a variety of locations to boot.
36. Ask if there are senior discounts available when making hotel, flight, car-rental, and tour reservations.
37. Plan to hit several museums within the same city? Many cities offer museum passes that provide a discount on prime tourist spots; other cities, such as London
, offer passes that entitle you to free admission at certain locations.
38. Live in a prime location? Sites like homeexchange.com
allow you to switch homes with other families across the globe.
39. Check out RoadScholar.org
(the snazzy new name for what was formerly called Elderhostel) for a huge array of educational/travel tours at often-reasonable prices. Your local park district or community college may also offer reasonably priced tours.
40. Take advantage of your flexible schedule to book last-minute flight and hotel reservations. The major travel sites--including expedia.com, Travelocity.com, and cheaptickets.com all offer an array of last-minute packages, as do cruise lines.
41. Consider renting a house or apartment from a rental site like vrbo.com
rather than staying in hotels. You'll save by being able to have at least some meals at home; you'll also enjoy more living space and a taste of how the locals live. Such arrangements are invariably more cost-effective than hotel stays when traveling with friends and family.
42. Try a staycation to visit all those spots in your community that you've been meaning to visit but never had the time.
43. Save on airfares by flying Monday through Thursday and avoiding the weekends. Flight costs are much more friendly to those who don't have to report to work from Monday through Friday!
44. Travel to scenic locations in the off season. Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Vail, Colo., are as beautiful in the summer months as they are in winter; Paris and Venice, Italy, are as beguiling in winter as they are in high season.
45. Consider travel in so-called shoulder seasons--the period between the peak season for a given locale and the low season (when people often stay away for good reason).
46. Shop a local supermarket (no matter what country you're in) for breakfast, lunch, and snacks and beverages; such markets often have prepared food for a fraction of what you'd pay in a restaurant, and they can also be great entertainment for foodies.
47. Soak up the local scenery by putting together a picnic lunch and parking yourself in a prime people-watching spot.
48. Walk or use public transport rather than using taxis. You'll save money and soak up a lot more local color.
49. Don't rule out hostels. Many have private rooms with ensuite bathrooms, which can be a lower-cost alternative to a full-service hotel. Hostelworld.com
is a great resource that will let you read reviews to weed out the apparent party hostels.
50. Consider staying in a guest-house in a foreign country. Such lodging options are often cheaper than a full-service hotel, and they will afford you a much more culturally rich experience (such as getting to know the owner/operator, other travelers, and so on).See More Articles by Christine Benz
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