Perhaps I should have written this a few months ago since so many take summer vacations, but I save most of my travel for later in the year, preferring to enjoy summers in New England. Regardless, these money saving travel tips remain true year round.
1. Be flexible with your travel dates. Why does everyone plan vacations that start and end on weekends? You can take the same number of vacation days and leave mid-Week. The upside is airfares are often cheaper and you have two short work weeks.
2. There have never been more lodging options. Americans tend to stick to US chains when traveling abroad, but try local chains or independent hotels. You can often read reviews of these properties on sites like TripAdvisor.com and the popularity of sites like AirBnB and GayHomestays give you even more choices if you’d like to look beyond traditional lodging establishments.
3. Check out the destination’s tourism sites. Cities in particular often have websites set up to promote tourism that include discounts to places of interest to tourists and public transportation. It is worth checking out before you go.
4. Eat where the locals eat. Every city has great “cheap eats” that locals know and love. We always go out and splurge on a few meals, but some of our best dining experiences have been at places frequented by locals. Do a little homework up front or when you arrive ask locals for tips and suggestions.
5. Check local blogs for tips. You must’ve seen this one coming from a mile away. There are bloggers everywhere now and chatting with a local on where to stay, what to see (and more importantly what to avoid) can save you more than just money.