Budget travel tips

msprettykyApril 20, 2008

I have been wanting to start this thread for a while but havent had time. I thought maybe we could all share our budget or "cheap" travel tips with each other. I love to travel and attempt to take trips several times a year. With gas prices and just inflation, I find myself looking for bargains everywhere I go. So come one everyone, give us the downlow. Share your travel tips here....


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I just returned from a trip, so I will start the thread....

My trip was wonderful. I flew out of Cincinnati into Fort Lauderdale. Let me start by telling
you, that I am what they call a budget traveler. To me, this means, I
save money on things like lodging and food, so I can explore more. I
dont mind staying in a 2 star hotel if it means I can shop more! :)
Some people call me cheap, some call me smart, but they all ask for
travel tips, no matter what.
Fort Lauderdale has a great public transportation system, so you dont
have to rent a car. If you visit in high season and are staying on
the beach, a car can be a nuisance with parking and traffic. I took
the number 1 bus to the main terminal and then the number 11 to the
beach. The bus dropped me off almost directly infront of the hotel. I
stayed at a hostel which was 2 blocks from the beach. You could hear
the waves behind us. The Deauville hostel is located on North Ocean
blvd and for the price, is a great place to stay. They have dorms or
private rooms. I stayed in a co-ed dorm the first two nights and the
girls dorm on my 3rd nite. My flight out got cancelled on Monday, so
I ended up back at the Deauville and this time I stayed in a private
room. The dorm rooms cost $22 a nite and the private room ran me $49.
Decent and cheap! Just what I like. You can get a all day pass on the
bus for $3 and ride all day or you can spend a little extra and ride
the water taxi. The water taxi cost $12 for an all day pass and the
scenery itself is the worth the price. You get to see the million
dollar homes built on the inter coastal. It is not a offical tour,
but the captain and his first mate give you the "low down" on what
they know. They even give some interesting facts about the huge
yachts anchored all over the harbor. They stop at all the major
tourist points along the beach and even have a stop that will put you
in the downtown shopping district. The beaches are beautiful and the
people are great. I didnt spend much time shopping on this trip. Most
of my time was spent either walking the beach or sitting next to the
pool at the hostel. Very relaxing. We ate at a couple of nice family
style places, one was called Julians on NE 32nd st. Great for
breakfast and you cant find a better price for any meal. My breakfast
cost less than 5 bucks there. Oceans grill is a great place, also
very reasonable. Located on N A1A, excellent food, friendly staff and
a great menu. A must see, if only for drinks and appetizers, is
Taverna Opa, a Greek restaraunt where they dance on the tables. I
have attached some links below. I hope you take a look!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 7:58AM
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This past September, was my first experience
traveling out of the country. We went to Italy. We had been trying to
go for two years and finaly managed to go this time. We visited
Venice, Rome, Naples and Capri. We flew out of Cincinnati on a direct
flight into Rome. After landing in Rome, we took the train to Venice.
It was a 4 hour train ride after a 9 1/2 hour flight. We flew 1st
class, so the flight was comfortable. The train ride was enjoyable.
Not only do you get to see the countryside, you can move around more
freely and recover from a long flight.

First stop - Venice
I absolutely loved this city! Very laid back and the people are
wonderful. As soon as you step off the train, it's a whole different
world. Venice is a very calm and slow moving city. The locals are
friendly and more than willing to help when you get lost, and you
will get lost. It's no big deal, just keep walking. You will get
where you want to go eventually. The streets are crowed with tourist
as well as vendors, selling anything from Vino and Lemoncello to
fresh fruit and vegetables. There are bakeries and gift shops
everywhere. Pleanty of shops full of carnavale masks and Murano glass.
St.Marks square is beautiful and you can see some beautiful scenery
from the Campanile. We stayed at the Hotel Leonardo. Maria and the
rest of the staff are great! Clean rooms at a good price. They
provide breakfast in the morning. Not like what we eat in the states,
but good coffee and rolls. I had some of the best panini's in the
world during our visit. We stayed in Venice 3 nigths but could have
easily spent the whole trip there.

Next stop - Rome
We took the train back to Rome. Rome is very fast paced and crowded.
We arrived at the termini and decided to walk to hotel, which was
only a 5 minute walk. We stayed at the Andy and Lu bed and breakfast,
which is housed in a large building along with three other hotels.
They give you a ticket in the morning to have breakfast at the bar
downstairs. Good coffee and a selection of rolls and danish. The
hotel is clean and secure. The rooms are small but we slept well.
Once you get used to the noise from the street below, you sleep like
a baby. One warning about the hotel. No air conditioning, so I dont
suggest you stay there in the summer months. You will not need to
rent a car, transportation is one of the easiest parts of visiting
Rome. You have many options, bus, train, taxi, and walking. We
visited all the major attractions easily using our nike's and the bus
system. I had the best pizza I have ever tasted in my life at a
trattoria by the Vatican. I can honestly say, I had never really
tasted peperoni before that day. Make sure you visit the ancient city
and the as many museums as you can. Some of the art work you see will
stop you in your tracks.

Next stop - Naples and Capri
We took the train from Rome to Naples, so we could catch the ferry to
Capri. The countryside between is beautiful. When you arrive in
Naples, it's a short walk to the dock for the ferry. In this short
walk, you will encounter many street vendors and hustlers. By
hustlers, I mean people who are trying to sell you anything from a
watch to a laptop. There is a beautiful castle that sits across the
street from the port. Some great pics waiting to be taken. The ferry
to Capri took around 30 mins. It was a nice ride and you can go
outside to take pics. Capri cannot be describe in mere words. Breath
taking, unforgettable, and amazing come to mind. We visited the Blue
grotto and then took the stairs to the top and had a nice lunch. My
husband says he liked the panini in Capri the best, but in my opinion
we had the best gelato in Italy there. Capri like Venice is very laid
back and the people extremely friendly. I purchased some lemoncello
and creme of lemon, made right there on the island.

I hope I didnt rattle too much. Italy is hard to sum up in a few
words. Here is a link to my albumn. Hope you take time to look at my


    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 8:15AM
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I take a lot of genealogy trips to different states. I always map out my arrival and things to see and do via the internet. I have always traveled alone.
Most of the small cities I visit are a day trip on road, so I always rent a car. I pack very light, a pair of overalls and a couple of T shirts, and tennis shoes. I usually stay at a motel, in the city, and keep it cheap...like $35.00 a day or less, and I always spoil the people at the front counter of the motel, bring them gifts from home, and get to know them well. They enjoy this and it really helps make where you stay seem more at home. Plus, they will throw in a few extras sometimes.
I always have a fridge in my room and microwave, so after I get settled, I hit the grocery for food to eat in the room, and the dollar store for eating utensils and plates etc....I always leave these things in the room when I depart, with a note of how I enjoyed my stay. I have never ever had a bad experience yet.
I have always made friends with the librarian in town or the museum curator, ahead of time and they will always yea or nay the motel I have chosen. Small town people are friendly like that. It is nothing for me to take a week long trip for under $650.00 including airfare and motel. It takes practice, but it can work out well.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 10:32AM
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When traveling with kids, carry bottled water and be prepared to make many stops. Looks for free things, and ask for local museums, family type eating places, and look for the specialities in area--food, if they make things, parks etc.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 8:13PM
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definately plan ahead. In our city there are alot of free days for families but they are on certain days so you have to plan. Same for restaurants some have free times for kids so we may eat out on those nights and eat in on others. You can make a great meal out of what you find at the grocery store (baked chicken, potato salad, bread, fresh fruit for around $10 feeds 4-6).

We also buy lots of drinks at the grocery store and bring them with us to parks, movies, hikes, etc...it seems like the drinks alone will break the bank. We try anticipate thirst and hunger to avoid impulse buying of drinks, candy, etc.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 2:03PM
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My husband I go to Mexico frequently. We always stay in a condo with a full kitchen. To ensure being able to cook a quick late night snack the first evening of our stay (in the event we don't make it to the Commercial Mexicana grocery store) we always bring sample size foods and condiment packets.

This last trip we brought 2 ziplock baggies with ketchup,mayo,soy sauce,mustard,olive oil,bullion cubes, vac packed chicken,relish,dry soup mix,tea bags,sugar & creamers,crystal light,salt and pepper,rice and curry powder among other things I'm sure :*) the liquid samples are all under 3oz for airline approval.

With that we were able to create a fabulous chicken curry with rice and still had enough packets left over so we didn't have to buy full sizes of things we would only use once or twice!

I leave behind anything we don't use since it was mostly free anyway and the maids or the next occupants are welcome to anything we didn't consume.

I book car rentals far in advance and check prices frequently. I usually book and rebook an average of 4 times~ sometimes saving over $150 from my first reservation!

We have plenty more tips ~ let me get my thoughts together and post more later.

Keep 'em coming people! :*)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 3:19PM
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I am in need of some good travel reservation sites. I have about checked with ALL the well known ones. Maybe someone has one that I've not heard of?

I can pass on one GEM of a site, that in the right situation can be a great source of cheap tickets (www.lastminute.com) their prices include air fare AND a car rental.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 11:24PM
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I enjoy the nice trips I take and will not travel cheap. I may cut back on how many trips I take if I have to, but will always travel well. I did the cheap stuff when we were raising a family.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 4:43PM
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My favorite tip is to make lunch the meal you eat out. We eat breakfast in the room (I learned the hard way to always make sure there's a microfridge), pack our own drinks and snacks, and take along the cooler. I do my homework before we travel, so I know which places offer lunch deals. Most of the time, you get the same quality food at lunch for a significant savings. I always make sure to bring along zipper-seal bags or throw-away containers for the leftovers. Many, many times, we have leftovers from lunch topped off with "bag o' salad" for dinner. And if you order water with a meal instead of any other beverage, you can save as much as $2 per person per meal. That adds up quickly!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 11:37AM
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