17 Frugal, Fabulous Travel Tips!

Travel Tip #1 : Turn a layover into another vacation

travel1aNormally layovers are annoying and often necessary evils, but this need not be so.

Use layovers to explore two countries for the price of one!

Two years ago I went to Costa Rica with friends to volunteer.

Before going to Costa Rica we spent a couple of days in Panama (a neighboring country). Panama was a layover stop on the way to Costa Rica, but my friends and I purposefully extended our stay there to explore the beautiful country and go to the Panama Canal.

(Image via Flickr)

Travel Tip #2 : Set up fare-watchers

travel2bThis is especially helpful if you’re flexible with your dates and times.

A FREE fare watcher will help you get the best deals at the lowest price. Use sites like Airfare Watchdog.

I just got an alert for plane tickets from NJ to Cali for only $268!

Now I can go and visit my friend Diesa in San Diego next month.

Travel Tip #3 : Be a guest

travel3When I travel, I hardly ever stay in hotels. I prefer to travel where I have family and friends.

This works two-fold.

First, I save money by staying with them.

Second, the host provides a “behind the scenes” tour of the destination I’ve traveled to (including all the FREE, fun stuff I’d never know about).

I repay my host by grocery shopping and making most meals while there. In this way I save on eating out as well!

(Image via Flickr)

Travel Tip #4 : Be a tourist in your hometown/state/region

tip sightseeing“Familiarity breeds contempt.” Many of us turn our nose up at the amazing things to do located right in our own back yard!

Go to your local tourism website and explore and enjoy all the local tourist attractions without spending the big bucks on transportation and lodging.

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Travel Tip #5 : You CAN use a travel agent

travel5aDecide how much you want to pay first.

Do so by finding deals online and printing them out and asking your agent to do better or match them.

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Travel Tip #6 : Menu please!

travel8If you travel to Europe and want to eat out, do so during lunch.

Many countries have special low-cost menus that usually include several courses.

A meal like that would be double the price at dinner.

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Travel Tip #7 : Stay in school

travel7When traveling, bring your student ID (expired or not).

Students get major discounts on tours, museums and other tourist attractions in many countries.

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Travel Tip #8 : Gift giving

tip9Buying local coffee, sweets or treats while on vacay are great low-cost souvenirs.

Your family and friends get a “taste” of your vacation, and you get to save money.

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Travel Tip #9 : Eat for less

tip 8bIf your hotel isn't all-inclusive, make sure that it at least offers a free continental breakfast and is close to a local market.

This way you won’t have to worry about buying your first meal and you can cook/make the rest of your meals inexpensively with goods from the market.

(Image via Flickr)

Travel Tip #10 : Bigger is better

tip10Bigger airports mean more competition.

Choose the biggest airport near you to save on ticket prices.

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Travel Tip #11 : It can pay to be late

tip11aDon't buy your plane tickets too early.

Airlines don’t start releasing cheaper seats until 3-4 months before domestic departures dates & 4-5 months before international departure dates.

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Travel Tip # 12 : Pack Lightly

tip12With airlines now charging for every possible fee they can think of, checked baggage is a bit of a luxury for those of us on a budget.

The solution is to pack light and avoid the baggage fee.

(Image via Flickr)

Travel Tip #13 : Be flexible

tip13Flexibility is the main key to scoring cheap tickets -- flexibility of the days and times of your desired travel.

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Travel Tip #14 : Check individual sites

southwestDon’t forget to check low-cost airlines individual sites (Southwest, Spirit Airlines).

They are often not quoted on group, discount sites.


Travel Tip #15 : The best time to buy

Toshiba LaptopFor airline tickets, the best time to shop for travel (domestically / USA), is Tuesday at 3pm EST.

(Image via Flickr)

Travel Tip #16 : The cheapest time to fly

tip16The 1st flight in the morning is the cheapest. Next best times are flights during or directly after lunch and dinner hour.

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Travel Tip #17 : The cheapest travel days:

200547695-003Wednesday, Tuesday and Saturdays are the cheapest days to travel.

No more excuse! Now that you're armed with these 17 Frugal, Fabulous Travel Tips, start planning your vacation today!



(Image via Flickr)