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    Post #1 - April 5th, 2006, 12:23 pm
    Post #1 - April 5th, 2006, 12:23 pm Post #1 - April 5th, 2006, 12:23 pm
    Cathy2 asked me to pass along some of our money saving travel tips, so here goes...some of the tips are for traveling by car, others by plane.

    These are just some of the things we do to save money. Not all of the tips will/can be used by everybody.

    First off, usually one needs to be flexible with dates and times to get the really good deals on lodging and air fare. Off peak usually means less money.

    -We always do LOTS of internet research before we travel anywhere. Look for message boards, reviews, etc. Just google in the destination. Also, check out the travel section at the library and book stores.

    -Go to travel websites and sign up for email notices of sales (lodgings, air, train, bus, etc.)

    -Always check for coupons. Do a google search for your location.

    -We always watch sales for several months before we travel and buy what we need when it's on sale.

    -Check thrift stores for items that you might use only once and then not use again. A piece of clothing, shoes, beach umbrella, etc.. You might be surprised at what soap, water and bleach can clean up/disinfect.

    -Check for free days at museums, free local activities, look for discount coupons for activities (AAA, websites, local newspapers, tourist boards, rest stops, guide books, toll free #'s, etc,)

    -Bring a collapsible cooler to keep drinks cold. Get ice from the hotel machines if possible.

    -We always carry a backpack with us and take turns wearing it. It carries food, drinks, cameras, ponchos, umbrella, sunglasses, etc.

    -An over-the-door plastic/cloth shoe holder is great to take. It has lots of pockets in it to hold everyone's tooth brush& paste, deodorant, sunglasses, make up, hair brush,etc. Everything in its own pocket for an easy way to keep all of your everday necessities out in the open, but still out of the way. Saves time digging for things in a suitcase and saves room in the bathroom.

    -We bring peanut butter and jelly with us, powdered drink mixes, packable candies and water bottles when traveling by plane. By car, we bring lots of food, snacks and drinks so that we eat out only 1 meal/day.

    -We usually eat breakfast in our room (bring/buy milk, cereal, pastries, fruit). Or try to get a hotel that has a breakfast included. Some of the hotel breakfasts have a large selection of foods.

    -We pack our own lunch to eat while out and about during the day. We use fresh tortillas (20 cents for about 2" stack of tortillas) when in Mexico and make PB & J rolls, drinks and snacks in our collapsible cooler to take out.

    -We ALWAYS order water for our drinks when dining out. It quenches the thirst, is good for you and saves at least $4/meal for a family of 4. (The exception to this rule is when when we traveled in Mexico-we don't drink tap water there and bottled water costs the same as a soda, horchata or jamaica drink, so we get one of those drinks instead of tap water).

    -Shop at grocery stores at your destination for food items that you didn't want to bring along. It's cheaper than eating out 3 meals/day. Buy local foods that are in season. Cheaper and much better tasting.

    -Look for lodgings that are not in tourist areas. Off the beaten track usually means lower price, but not necessarily lower quality.

    -Eat at local places away from the touristy areas. Here's where message boards come in to help. Locals can almost always give tips on local eateries. Much cheaper and usually much higher quality food.

    -We bring 4 washable plates, bowls, cups, cutlery, paper towels and small container of dish soap with us.

    -Also bring McDonald's package types of ketchup, mustard, salt, pepper, etc.

    -Look for non-hotel type lodgings--B&B's, apartments, college dorms during the summer, hostels (do your homework first on these, some are not as clean as I would stay at. We may travel on the cheap, but we insist on cleanliness). Don't discount camping if you are so inclined or able.

    -Ask questions when researching your trip. You might be surprised at the deals you get if only you ask.

    Hope this helps.