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Saving Money on Travel

Category Travel
Traveling is expensive. Saving money on travel can allow you to travel more frequently or to spend your money on other things during your trip. This is a guide about saving money on travel.


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By 0 found this helpful
March 23, 2009

You can have an inexpensive getaway weekend or mini vacation just by trading spaces with a friend or family member. For example, my brother lives in the city and I live in the country about 45 miles away. If he is going out of town, he lets me know and then I can go spend the weekend in his apartment and experience city life. It is so much fun just to sleep in his bed; sit on his back deck with a cup coffee, etc.


Although my daughter lives in the same town as I, I enjoy staying at her house while she is gone because she has satellite TV, a whirlpool bathtub, and an in ground pool, and I get to enjoy it all for free!

By Margaret from Carrollton, GA

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March 27, 20120 found this helpful

I live in Carrollton, Ga Awesome ~ also small world

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February 9, 20070 found this helpful

Tips and ideas for saving money on travel.

Save Change As A Travel Fund

My husband and I save our change all year and use that for our vacation travel. We love to take off in the car and just drive until

we find some little town we can get a room in. Then we stay overnight and "poke" around the next day. I always pack snacks and drinks so that saves us money and when we do eat out we split meals. We have taken expensive cruises in the past and I have decided that taking a few "road" trips instead are much more fun as well as less money!

Get A Kitchen To Save On Meals

We checked out prices on places with full kitchens when we went skiing in December. We found that we saved enough money by eating our meals in our condo to pay for the convenience of being near the ski slope. Ski in, ski out, no less! Being so near the lifts, we could even eat lunch in the room and rest for a bit before going back out to ski. We saved even more by sharing the condo with our son and his wife. We took turns preparing the food. It was like going to a restaurant for the 'resting' couple. What a great time!

Bring Drinks And Snacks

My husband and I have 4 children and travel can get hairy at times. One way we have found to save a few dollars is to pack snacks and drinks inside the vehicle (not the trunk) so they are easier to get to. And we travel at night, with the kids asleep for most of the trip, stops are few and far between!

By MammaTenor

Drive All Night And Check In Early

If scheduling is not a priority, we've found that if you drive all night (open roads, no tie-ups) there are many motels that will allow you to check in as early as 7 a.m.,

We often check in, shower and sleep 'till mid afternoon. This leaves plenty of time to check out the town we are in, have dinner, indulge in whatever local evening fun we can find, pack up everything we won't need in the morning, and leave a wake-up call for an hour before checkout. It feels like you are getting two nights for the price of one. You'll actually have about 28 hours of hotel time, and get plenty of sleep before resuming your travels. Hampton Inn usually offers a nice breakfast buffet, (complete with fresh make-it-yourself waffles) which will save two people the time and money of a breakfast stop. : )

By Doggy

Stay In Hostels When Traveling

Join Hostelling International (, it will change your "hostel" image. They have facilities for one or many, sharing or private. US or otherwise. Locations usually have discounts for local attractions that are passed on to you, hotels usually keep this kickback. Also discounts on travel.

Trish Hart from Memphis, TN

Postcards As Trip Souvenirs

Here's a great tip for road trips or any vacations; the kids love it and it is a space saver! Wherever your vacation is, always get a postcard and write your highlights on it and date it. Take a hole puncher, punch a hole and collect them on a sturdy key ring. This is so easy, you can make your own and let the kids do theirs. What a easy way to remember trips, have fun collecting postcards, and save on storage space.

By Linda from Oceanside, CA

Saving Money on Cruises

A pal and her hubby prefer to book their cruises at end of season. She said the cruise staff are more at ease, as they're about to have some time off, making the cruise more like a party for all on board, more so than normally. She said another reason is they can get items in the cruise ship gift shop at drastically reduced prices (thus making some wonderful quality, inexpensive Christmas gifts!)

By Terri from NV

Saving on Vacations with Coupons

I would like to share a vacation savings tip I have discovered. I purchase an Entertainment book at (a new one is released each year) for the area where I'm planning to vacation during the summer. These books usually go on sale for about $10 by that time of year, and they offer savings on two-for-one meals, entertainment, etc. Some coupons need to be mailed in ahead of time, but most are good on the spot.

By Bobbie G from Rockwall

Take Advantage Of Complimentary Breakfasts

Look for motels/hotels that offer a free breakfast or get a room with a fridge and microwave, a coffeemaker too, if morning coffee is important. If there is a complimentary breakfast then, by all means, take some extra items, such as fruit, yogurt, etc., with you to have as snacks later. It is not frowned upon as I have heard the breakfast attendants at these places even encourage it since you are basically paying for it and entitled to it. If no breakfast, then bring some simple items from home to have breakfast in your room, especially if you're not a big breakfast eater anyway. I have found good rates at hotels by booking online. Sometimes the online rate is quite a bit cheaper and you'll pay more if you call direct. If traveling by car, pack a lunch and snacks or at least drinks. We always fix a ice water jug.

I have found out the hard way that some touristy things to do, aren't all they're cracked up to be and a big waste of money. Really think about the things you want to do and see so you aren't disappointed and wasting money!

By Debbie

Vacationing Close to Home

When I became ill many years ago, this was my only choice. However, there were so many great places and things to do nearby, I have had a ball. Since I live in Pasadena, I actually live where people travel from all over and spend a bundle to enjoy our Rose Parade, as well as all the other great things here.

I have learned that you can hop on the Internet and get information and mailings from Chambers of Commerce in nearly every town there is. Something cool like a Strawberry Festival or an Avocado Festival is fun, especially if you're a big fan of strawberry shortcake or guacamole, as I am.

Dog trials and shows, parades, all kinds of interesting activities you never knew existed that got along without you all these years exist in profusion.

Because these places aren't at ground-zero-Disney, the costs of rooms, food and everything else is usually a lot less. Plus, you have interesting photos for your friends, who missed the really good times that were right under their noses. Tulip festival, what a sight!

So, search for nearby cities' websites or the websites of their Chambers. Sign up for regular mailings. Colleges have lots of activities, too, like theater and one-week classes, such as Art and Senior hostels on Vancouver Island. Indiana University has a Madrigal in early winter--unforgettable. The Tiki Society had a Tiki Pub Crawl, including a bus, in SFO, no less.



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By guest (Guest Post)
February 9, 20070 found this helpful

If you are looking for the lowest air fare available, try Travelocity. My husband and I just traveled from San Diego, California to Columbus, Ohio for $99 each. one way!!!

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By 0 found this helpful
July 28, 2011

When traveling, take all of your older underwear. As you wear them, throw them away, thus allowing for room in your suitcase for the souvenirs.

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June 17, 2012

Many camp grounds/state parks/national parks will have camp ground "hosts". The "hosts" work a set amount of hours a day, anywhere from 4-8 at the gate booth in exchange for free camping.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 10, 2012

If you are renting a car while on vacation, you will almost always be asked by the rental agency if you wish to rent a navigation unit, or a GPS. While it is tempting to take that offer, that will often cost about 5 or 6 dollars a day, which is pricey.

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April 30, 20050 found this helpful

If you use the same travel agent every time, they could alert you to discounts and specials. Let them know you'd be appreciative to receive them.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 6, 2007

Join Hostelling International, it will change your "hostel" image. They have facilities for one or many, sharing or private. US or otherwise.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

June 3, 20050 found this helpful

Tips to help you save money while you are on vacation. Post your ideas.

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 14, 20080 found this helpful

Hotel coffee. I always check to see if it is offered. And if not, I have purchased a small 4 cup coffee maker. I was forced while on vacation at Disney to pay $2.00 A cup and that was in 2000. Never again, you can also make cup a soup and tea, cocoa etc. The coffee maker has paid for itself over and over. Plus I like my coffee while getting ready in the morning. And I don't have to go to the hotel lobby to get my first cup.

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 17, 20080 found this helpful

Calling the hotel direct saves money. I just saved $208.00 on our hotel room that I was booking and that was less than hotel/expedia/travelocity. Etc. And also they included 3 breakfast in the deal, for a 5 day stay.

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 17, 20080 found this helpful

I always take a cooler, freeze bottle water and use in place of ice on the way. And is still drinkable when thawed. I also buy larger boxes or bags of snack and portion them out in inexpensive zip-lock bags . So when you want a snack, just grab a bag and its ready to go, and if you throw together sandwiches, you have a whole meal. A bag of apples also travels well, but prewash before you leave. You can stop at a rest stop and have a meal or if there are none the truck drivers don't mind if you pull in a truck stop and eat after all they eat in their trucks all the time.

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 17, 20080 found this helpful

I always pack a medicine bag. Tylenol, ibufrophen, benedryl, gas relief, tums etc. What every you might need while at home. You can buy one of those large 99 cent weekly pill dispensers and place the items in it, just mark the lid with marker, with the medication. And I have also found old contact cases, you know the left and right cases, can be converted into medicine holders for tylenol or ibuprophen and drop nicely in your pocket or purse while traveling. Have had to look for a drug store etc, when on vacation one time and paid way more, because they know you need to buy them.

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 17, 20080 found this helpful

I make banana, zuchinni, & pumpkin breads and freeze them when traveling by car on vacation. Wrap in foil and place in zip lock. You can eat for breakfast, or snack and is filling. You can make them in muffin form, but have found the loaves travel better and don't thaw out as fast. And if you drink pop when you get to you destination find a local grocery store and buy a couple cases. You save money over machines and resort cost, a large bottle of water at a well know theme park was 6.00.In the room, read the price list they provide before you drink or eat anything from the frig, in resorts.

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