FX Excursions

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10 Ideas That Work to Save on Travel

by Irvina Lew

Apr 23, 2019

Pojoslaw – Dreamstime.com


A bottle of water, $5.69; a bagel with cream cheese and salmon, $18; a small pizza, $15. Whether you spend dollars, euros or pounds, most travelers prefer to avoid paying high prices at the airport. Some bring snacks and sandwiches. That’s just one common sense way to save money while traveling; here are a few more.


Book the Hotel Next Door

Research the top city hotels, then, find a less expensive option in the same area — which is usually the safest and nicest neighborhood. A prime location raises room rates, but it also attracts bargain hotels. And, if you are near a great hotel, you’ll always be able to assure a safe place to hail a taxi, eat a meal or speak to a concierge.


Try to Book a “Suite” Hotel, Apartment or Timeshare

When traveling with a family, having an in-room refrigerator, microwave or electric tea and coffee pots all save money for breakfast, meals and snacks.


Find Free Walking Tours

Most cities offer a few “free” walking tours; assuming your children can walk or be pushed in a stroller for a few hours (or less), walking tours introduce the sights and offer opportunities to meet strangers. (Most guides depend upon tips.)


Free walking tour, exploring Bo Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa.

Free walking tour, exploring Bo Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa. Photo: Robert Mullan – Dreamstime.com


Eat With the Locals

Hotels that include free breakfast usually cost more; those that charge, usually charge high prices. Find a local eatery: You may meet locals and they may befriend you. By the third day, even the wait staff will know what your kids like to eat!


Eat at a Food Market

Food markets sell more than fresh produce, fish, meat and flowers. From Downtown Los Angeles, the Design District in Miami to central Lisbon, markets offer prepared dishes, sometimes from top chefs, to eat at tables on site.


Splurge on Fine Dining … at Lunch

Experiencing a great chef or a famous restaurant is as much about discovering creativity, artistic preparation and regional culture as it is about eating. At lunch, the fixed menu is usually a bargain, and, usually, you’ll drink less. All in all, it’s a great experience that’s less expensive. And, it’s the healthy time to have a big meal, too; you have hours to walk off the calories. Even if you take a siesta, there’s still time to digest and enjoy the venue.


Pre-Buy City Passes for Tourist Attractions and Museums

Passes for museums and attractions are usually discounted when purchased in a package and, sometimes, there’s an additional savings if you buy before you travel. Best, pass holders usually do not have to stand in line, a particular advantage with kids in tow.


Life Happens, Insurance Saves

Whether it’s an accident, unexpected illness — or event — cancellations are sometimes required. The change fees and extras are usually less costly with “free cancellation, trip insurance or annual trip insurance plans.”


Avoid High Season and Major Events

Rates soar during school vacations, business conventions, sporting events and the like. Try to travel off season or during “shoulder” season; go to a business city on weekends; stay weekdays at a resort destination.


Pack Astutely

Whatever you have to buy en route costs a lot more — in money, time and bother — than the same item does at home. Whether it’s a too-large bottle of lens cleaner that TSA took at the airport, sneakers or a bathing suit for the indoor pool, it’s usually a costly pain to find and buy what you need while traveling.


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