Travel tips during recession???
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  1. #1

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    Default Travel tips during recession???

    Hi there,
    I realize it is ressession, and the travel should be last thing on my mind, but I need a break sooo badly. Do you have any tips on having a vacation on a budget? Please share your past travel experiences.
    Thank you.

  2. #2

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    1. PLan ahead-use the computer to look for cheap attractions,easy stops etc. (suprises cost money).

    2. Get a motel w/ a kitchenette,complimentary breakfast (this can mean anything from a croissant to full breakfast-ask)

    3. bring swim wear,stay w/ a pool free entertainment

    4. Make sure the cars in good repair,tires inflated.

    5. buy a park pass before you leave. Kids love these quick side trips. A picnic w/ a butterfly hunt or a quick drop of the line makes great free memories.
    6. bring an umbrella,walk in the rain
    7. bring a blanket. Sit. read.
    8. Bring food. PLenty of non caffiene drinks (caffiene-hypes,dehydrates,constipates kids)
    9. Consult your local chamber of commerce. Ask locals when your there. They know the good spots. (found a fantastic local beach one time)

    10. Do spontaneous things. Once I stopped to photgraph a quanset hut in the desert and saw it on "rockford Files" the next week. Once I photgraphed hang gliders they showed off for my pictures.

    11. I like to gargae sale whereever I go. I get so much info about the area this way. Much better than travel guides.

    12. Do one thing you would never do in R.L. It is a vacation. Just don't hurt yourself!!lol.

    13. Write down anythig that is bothering you or on your mind and put it in your pocket. Save it for "later" your on vacation.

    14. Have fun.

  3. #3
    Registered User elphie's Avatar
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    I am the queen of the cheap vacation! I love to travel so I've found some things that work well for us... some of them frugalwarrior already mentioned so I won't repeat them.

    -We never stay in a hotel, condos are usually cheaper and they have full kitchens and laundry facilities. We eat out no more than once a day having cereal for breakfast and cooking at the condo. The laundry facilities have saved us from having to replace clothes that were spilled on.

    -Look up local transportation before you go. We are staying near a bus stop that will take us into downtown where we can walk the rest of the day. We will only pay for gas to get there and back.

    -If you are flying book early but not too early. I usually put in some fake departure dates to the place I'm going to see when the absolute best time to buy is. The last time I went to Europe I got my seats for around $350 because I put in dates for anywhere from 2-9 months ahead and found that the best time to buy where I was going was 5 months ahead of time. Also Wednesday's are the best days to book flights because airlines put out their specials on Wednesday's but only a few seats are the special price. If you fly on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday (both ways) you will also get a better deal.

    -If you travel by car pack a cooler full of drinks and snacks so you don't waste money on gas station prices. Make sure your tires are inflated properly, oil is changed, and you aren't carrying any unneccessary weight to keep gas prices down.

    -Research. Most cities have tourism websites where you can order a coupon book. Look up as many tourism sites about where you are going as you can find and have aplan for what you want to see. Also Wherever you decide to go Google the name of the place and the words "for free". For example "Gatlinburg for free" and a whole slew of free and cheap attractions will pop up. If there is something pricey you want to do on the trip choose one thing and make the rest of the trip cheap- research and planning ahead will help you prioritize this.

    -Travel nearby. We are going to a bordering state this year. We will get a change of scenery, see things we've never seen before but will not spend a lot on getting there. I googled "cheap vacations in the midwest" as a starting point and then narrowed it down from there. I have lots of ideas for next year too.

    -Let pictures be your souvenirs. The vacation itself is your treat, don't blow the budget on trinkets you don't need. If you must buy something buy a postcard. Postcards also make great inexpensive treats for nieces and nephews- even more fun if you find one the first day of your trip and mail it to them.

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  5. #4
    Registered User rsbs's Avatar
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    The ladies have covered a lot of material, but I wanted to add... MAKE your souveniers.
    If you go hiking, collect leaves, flowers, etc (make this a nature hunt for the kids too). When you get home, turn them into shadowboxes, or bookmarks (pressed flowers or leaves on a strip of cardstock or scrapbooking paper, then laminate if you have a mini-laminator - or you can even buy cheap laminating sheets!).
    If you go to the beach, do another hunt, only this time look for cool shells that have a single hole in them. Turn them into jewelry when you get home! This is actually one of my dd's favs!
    Have a contest... have your kids come up with the best picture to use for a christmas card (I say this only having one child - forgive me!)
    Collect seeds from the flowers on the side of the road that you discover & like. STAY SAFE while doing it though! Pay attention to traffic! This one is best on quiet, country roads.
    Read a book as a family. Each person takes a turn reading a chapter, or a certain number of pages each night, right before bed.
    Sing. buy or make up mad-libs for the family to fill out together.
    Have fun!

  6. #5
    Registered User Preston's Avatar
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    if you don't have kids you can look into staying at youth hostels. They're cheaper than hotels and you can meet some interesting people.

    If you have a long multiple day drive (this applies to the US) and need to stop to rest either sleep in the car or stop by the welcome center and get the 'travel discount guide' that will have coupons for rooms and you will get an idea of where the cheaper hotels in the state area.

    Stock up at the continental breakfast if there is one with snacks. I used to keep a steady supply of cheerios to snack on when I travelled.

    Figure out which brand/octane gas gets the best mileage and stick with it.

    Inflate tires, make sure car is maintained.

    Look into travelling by train and renting a car (or bike if it's possible) when you get there.

    Drive 55-60mph instead of posted speed limit

    get behind semi truck and keep a short (enough to react to them hitting their brakes) distance. This decreases wind resistance and improves MPG

    Use Google maps to get an approximate driving time. Plan to leave at a time that corresponds to arrving about an hour before checkout time. Usually they'll let you check in.

    Go to the library a few days before you trip and get a lot of books out to read during the drive or when you arrive and you're relaxing

    Buy sunblock and vacation items at a discount store BEFORE you leave.

    Try not to travel to a major city.

    ---

    I used to travel for a living so I had a lot more things I could put but I don't think they'd apply to you.

    I have a small portable burner with a pot and pan and lived on spagehtti/soup for a while.

  7. #6
    Registered User Laurie in Bradenton's Avatar
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    I have found the biggest savings comes from staying with family and friends. We limit ourselves to one or two nights only then move on. Its nice to reconnect with friends and family most enjoy your short visit too.
    Consider swapping a home for a week with some you know in another city. Both of you get a vacation and a chance to stay somewhere less expensive.

    Laurie in Bradenton

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    Registered User frugal is fun's Avatar
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    Depending on the type of person you are you can camp for less than $20 a night.

    I'm recently divorced and I didn't take a vacation last year because of everything going on. THis year I was determined to get away. I started looking at renting a beach house on the coast of Rhode Island. The cheapest I could find was around $2,000 for the week. Considering it was just me and no one to help pay I booked a week of camping on the beach instead for $114 total.

    Still have the beach, actually closer, saved hundreds of dollars. I will more than likely cook my own food eating out only a few times. I will bring my bike and lots of books and I bet it will be the most relaxing trip of my life.

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    Registered User shortstack's Avatar
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    My kids collect the pennies from the squashed penny machines as souveniers. They usually cost .51 and put a memorable picture of your trip on them We like to look through ther collections and say remember when....

    Andrea

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    Looks like things were pretty well covered. Lots of good ideas.

    Eat breakfast out (if u eat out at all) as it can be the cheapest meal to eat out and the most filling. Take lots of your own food. It will keep longer than you think in a cooler. Freeze the liquids (other than soda) and use that for the ice.

    Will mention staying at hostels again. They are cheap and most even have family rooms that can be rented WITH NOTICE (they fill up fast). You won't find any friendlier people and have kitchens. Some even provide a meal for a small fee. They have a website www.hiusa.org and you can pay per night or buy a membership. I love them and have stayed in the middle of San Fran. for 1/4 the cost of hotel.

    Have fun and enjoy!!!!!

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    Registered User rowdy35's Avatar
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    for booking hotel rooms and car rentals I use priceline name your own price. Wait till a few days before you are going to travel and you will get some killer deals

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    a trip to london right now is 305 each way, plus a room at premier travel inn
    total for 2 weeks about 1500, not including food and expenses.

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    Registered User shortstack's Avatar
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    Wanted to add I use Orbitz for booking hotels and I use online codes to save even more money off of their regular low prices.

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    We don't travel more than a day or so away from home usually, except on business, so many of the things mentioned aren't things I do. However, I do have one that isn't listed here: buy a gallon of drinking water and refill your "sports" bottle from it. Cost? We just bought 3 liter bottles of POland Springs for $3. ONE sport drink is around .89 ...you do the math.

    Judi

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    Registered User Monner 1's Avatar
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    One thing that my husband and I try to do is stay where there is a continental breakfast and fill up with that and then lunch is cheaper than dinner so we eat a very good lunch,usually a lunch special. Dinner times comes along and we will stop at a grocery store or road side stand and get fruit and cheese or anything that is cheap and healthy and have that for dinner. We usually have dinner in a park or someplace quiet and interesting. We bring our fruit and cheese back to the inn and keep it in the fridge in our room for our dinner the next day. We also always carry a cooler and put the freeze packs in the fridge in our room for the next day.

    Monner

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    Registered User ttistin's Avatar
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    We just drove from AL to NY and then back to AL last week. Family emergency came up. We had to sell a few things to come up with the money to go so we had to be very careful with the little money we had.

    We had two larger coolers and filled one with soda, water bottles and ice. The other one we filled up with snacks, I bought some of the larger sized bags of cookies and such and sorted them into smaller sized baggies for easy grabbing and eating. I also made a bunch of pb&j sandwiches for the ride.

    We didn't need to stop for anything other then bathroom breaks and gas. It saved so much money. We drove straight through so we didn't spend anything on a hotel, but just the having all our food with us saved a ton.

    It was kind of fun when the kids would say they were hungry I wouldn't have to tell them to wait till we got to a place I could just tell them to reach in the back to one of the coolers and grab something.

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