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Tips on Cutting Vacation Costs
Let's face it, traveling can get expensive. Here are 25 great ways you can save money on your next vacation.
  1. Travel during the off-season. Some prime tourist destinations increase their rates exponentially during peak times. You can save a lot of money by researching when peak season and holidays are and avoiding them.
  2. Plan ahead. Get the vacation you want with a little strategic planning and look for early-bird discounts on flights and car rentals.
  3. Don't wait until the last minute to get or renew your passport. The longer you wait, the more it costs. Routine applications generally take up to six weeks to process whereas an urgent rush on getting your application can cost you double.
  4. Purchase travel insurance from a third party for better coverage and/or a lower rate than through a travel agent.
  5. Consider flying from an alternate airport. Often cities are near multiple airports and fares can vary dramatically from one to the next based on location and air carrier service.
  6. Slip an easily compressed duffel bag into your suitcase. If you learn your luggage is too heavy when you check-in with your airline, you can quickly repack and avoid airline fines and hassles.
  7. Fly on small, low-cost air carriers. You may not get luxurious leather seats but the price is often worth it.
  8. If making flight connections in Europe, bypass major airport hubs such as Heathrow in London and Charles De Gaulle in Paris. Switch planes in less trafficked Dublin instead.
  9. Shop around for the lowest airline fares and also check the airline's own website before booking. Some offer special discounts available on their website only.
  10. Stay overnight on Saturday for a lower weekend airline fare.
  11. Consider hopping on a shuttle or subway from the airport to the city center and then catching a cab from there. Many taxis are often required by their organization or local government to charge higher rates within airport boundaries.
  12. Shop around before booking a car rental. Get an estimate from one company and then see if a competitor will beat it.
  13. Hop on a bike for a fun and affordable way to tour a new area.
  14. Purchase a prepaid cell phone before hitting the road to avoid roaming charges or purchase an international calling card for affordable calls via a pay phone.
  15. Book your adventures after arriving in your vacation destination, not before you leave. Often local tour operators will offer better rates.
  16. Buy theater tickets the day of the performance for substantial savings.
  17. Purchase a multi-day subway pass if you plan on making several stops. It is well worth it.
  18. Many art museums offer free times to visit. Investigate before hand to find the savings.
  19. Consider purchasing a yearly park pass instead of daily. Depending on how long you plan to stay in a park, it may lead to some great savings.
  20. Visit small neighbourhood markets instead of big, flashy shopping venues. Shop where the locals shop.
  21. Convert money at a local bank for the best exchange rates.
  22. Pay with a credit card if possible. Most credit card companies offer the lowest possible exchange rate and you will have the added protection from unauthorized charges.
  23. Instead of staying in a hotel, rent a condo or villa directly from owners through Owner Direct Vacation Rentals. All the comforts of home and savings galore!
  24. If the food budget is tight, consider cooking in the kitchen provided through an Owner Direct Vacation Rental and then splurging on a dessert on the town.
  25. Head off the beaten path to find small neighbourhood dining. Often less expensive and a more authentic dining experience.
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