Reader Travel Tips

by Kelly · 2 comments

in Frugal Organization

One of the things that I love most about writing this blog is the reader and community interaction. But often times comments are tucked away, and not every one gets to see them. So I thought that today I’d highlight some of the best comments left by readers on the theme of travel, as the summer travel season is almost upon us. Enjoy!

poetloverrebelspy, whose blog is entirely about frugal travel, left a comment on my Tightwad Gazette giveaway. Here are the highlights:

  • Next, save money on accommodation. For nearly four years now, I have avoided ALL HOTEL/HOSTEL COSTS by staying with locals who welcome me into their home. I find them using the free website Hospitality Club.
  • Camping (as someone else mentioned) is a good alternative, if you can borrow equipment from and return it to your family before you leave (since I assume you won’t want to pack a tent from France).
  • Visiting and staying with relatives is another way to save – make sure you’ll be welcomed back with open arms!
  • If you’re not one for staying with strangers or sleeping on the ground, make sure you don’t spend more than you have to on a hotel.

Kathryn said:

  • I pack a frozen water bottle for everyone. These stay frozen for hours, and I don’t need ice in my cooler…two birds, one stone. I also pack an unfrozen water bottle for everyone. These bottles are washed and reused everyday, and then recycled.
  • Everyone gets a sandwich and 2 snacks for long trips.

Funny About Money said:

  • Carry clothing that can be washed by hand and that will dry quickly. For a trip to Australia & New Zealand (with a man who was open-handed enough to put us up in hotel rooms!) I took one, count it, one reasonably attractive wash-&-wear dress made of some synthetic stuff that washed beautifully and dried in a few hours. Since few people saw me twice, I didn’t feel at all bad wearing it every day for three weeks. We carried a single suitcase between the two of us.

I just recently wrote a post on frugal travel tips, from which comes a few good tips.

Amanda says:

  • I agree with you about the souvenirs. I usually try to get something that is a useful item, not just something to sit around and look pretty.

PenguinLady says:

  • This may not sound frugal on the surface, but sometimes taking an organized tour can be more cost efficient (and cost efficient can be frugal sometimes, right?). You really have to shop around, but I’ve gotten incredible deals on trips to London/Paris, Tokyo and Egypt by keeping my eyes open. The London/Paris trip included meals, transportation, hotel and some tours of the cities – so much less than had we booked it all separate. Our Egypt tour was amazing, included some things we probably would have never done on our own (donkey riding to the Valley of the Kings, camel riding in Aswan). For Tokyo, we happened to find a fantastic deal through Yahoo! Travel, which was airfare and hotel (a really nice hotel) for an absurdly low price, and the day we arrived was the day the cherry trees started blooming. With some research, patience and luck, you can have some amazing adventures.

David G. Mitchell offers another perspective on where to stay:

  • When I travel, I think a big part of the experience is dining in local restaurants – not the high end restaurants that attract tourists but the out of the way places that cater to locals. As for hotels, well, suffice it to say that I am too old for a hostel and too fearful of campgrounds!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these readers’ tips on how to save money on traveling. How do you save money on your vacation? And where are you going this summer?


1 Gypsie April 28, 2009

I have to agree with taking a tour. Mom and I went to Thailand for 13 days with airfare, hotel, english speaking guide, attractions, some meals all for only $1299. Airfare alone would have been that much.

We only take one carry on and a back pack each. You have to carry alittle more but you dont pay for your luggage either.

Suviniers are always keychains. they take no room to store and bring back great memories when you use them.

2 Dana May 5, 2009

I generally avoid purchasing souvenirs per se. Instead I surprise family and friends with postcards that are more like mini-letters… much more than the usual “Wish you were here.” Postcards don’t require dusting or cleaning and many people like to put them in their photo albums. I also buy thick skinned fruit whenever I come across a stand or market place that’s selling it. Having a few bananas or oranges on hand makes me less likely to spend a ridiculous amount on a meal. Lastly, rather than rent a car, I like to use the same transportation that the locals use. It makes the trip feel much more authentic and tends to cost much less.

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