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Traveling on a Budget

Saving money while traveling takes a little creativity, planning and work. By paying attention to details, the trip will not cost a fortune and you’ll have money left over.

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Save Money while you’re Traveling

Research your destination

Study your destination a few months before you leave. Write or email the local Chamber of Commerce or local Tourist Bureau for information about lodging, places to eat, places to visit and so forth. Ask about are any tourist discounts or coupons you could have. Keep these in a safe place, and plan to use them on your trip.

Plan your route

Carefully plan your driving route to take advantage of scenery and gas prices. If you have any memberships, such as AAA, AARP, and so forth, check each “stop,” that is each gas station, diner, etc., for discounts. Use the highest discount available in each area.

Look for coupons

Purchase an entertainment coupon book for your destination. Plan part of your itinerary around the discounted events, dining and lodging. Purchase two- for- one dinners, and take part back to your hotel room. Eat the leftovers for lunch the next day and save money on an extra meal. If the coupon for your hotel is for “three days stay,” check another hotel for other discounts and move to maximize savings. Run the numbers first to ensure doing this will save you money.

Snack Smart

Take a cooler filled with drinks and food so you won’t have to buy snacks at gas stations, which often cost higher than grocery stores. Replenish your supplies at a chain supermarket.

Check Car Rentals

For the best rental car prices, call different companies and give them the mileage of your trip, length of stay, etc., and compare the prices. Call your club memberships and see if there is a contracted discount with rental companies. Apply that to the prices and choose the best price. Choose the smallest vehicle to suit your needs and save money. The larger vehicles often cost more to use and operate, and their insurance is higher.

Plan your Meals

Choose hotels/motels with kitchenettes and buy your food at local supermarkets. This saves a bundle by not eating in restaurants every day. Stop at farmer’s markets or roadside stands, which are often cheaper than grocery stores.

By doing a little homework, it’s not hard to save money and have a fun trip at the same time.

How do you save money when you travel? Got any tips I’ve missed?

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