Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Your friends’ Instagram and Pinterest photos of perfect sunsets may
seem priceless, but let’s be real: there’s a cost to all that
travel bragging.
And sometimes the "how can you afford NOT to travel?" inspiration can be
taken to comedic extremes.
Saving money isn’t glamorous, but it can lead to the trip of your
dreams if you play your cards right.
Follow these suggestions, and the price tag of your trip could drop
significantly.
Forget about taxis and choose walking or public transportation instead
Photo: ThinkstockUnlike EDM, travel is usually better when it’s slower.
If you walk to the restaurant in your Lonely Planet guidebook, you might just
stumble upon something better – like an underground family of gnomes.
Or maybe just a better-looking restaurant.
Also, if you’re in a city with a subway and safety isn’t a
concern, that beats a cab for local flavor any time while having the extra
benefit of being much cheaper – especially if you pay for an
unlimited-ride pass.
Make lots of friends around the world, then crash on their couchesThis
doesn’t exclude paying to crash in someone’s spare room with a
service like Airbnb, or crash on their couch for free with Couchsurfing.
But do you know who’s less likely to set inflexible ground rules, take
you someplace you don’t like, or charge a housecleaning fee for that
spilled cereal? Your friends!Making friends over social media has made this an
easier task than ever, but that’s hardly the only way – chances
are that even the friends in your home city will move away someday.
Or you’ll make friends while traveling that you can hook up with
later.
This worked for me with a couple of Contiki trips, which are geared for solo
travelers.
Photo: ThinkstockMy epic friend-crashing adventure happened when I spent
an entire month, unemployed, traveling through Australia, Singapore, Thailand,
and Hong Kong, splitting time among budget hotels, friends, and even the
relatives of friends.
What could have cost me thousands in lodgings set me back far less, and I had
tremendous company to boot.
Just be sure to follow the golden rule of crashing with friends: host your
friends just as they’d want you to host them.
And do what you can during your stay to show them gratitude, whether
it’s cooking dinner, cleaning up, or finally taking down those
Christmas lights in July.
When booking a room, only pay for what you will use Don’t pay for a
hotel pool unless you intend to use it.
(Photo: Ross G.
Strachan/Flickr)
Paying a resort fee is awfully pointless when you want
nothing to do with a resort (or that two-dumbell gym that qualifies for a
resort fee at some hotels).
So do some digging around and read the fine print before you book a hotel or
hostel.
Does the place have free Wi-Fi? Check.
Does it have a free breakfast, and ideally not the "continental" kind? Even
free coffee might save you a daily Starbucks run.
And after you’ve checked in, don’t be afraid to ask for things
like umbrellas on a rainy day – you might be surprised by what hotels
can get you for free.
5 Hotel Scams That Could Ruin Your Next Vacation  Fly in the
middle of the week and avoid holidaysThe difference between flying on a Friday
and a Wednesday can be the difference between first class and coach.
That’s exactly what happened when I used my United points on a
Wednesday night flight from San Francisco to New Orleans last year.
As for holidays, the exception to this rule is if you decide to fly on the
holiday itself.
If you can still make it in time for grandma’s Thanksgiving turkey,
you might as well fly that morning and save a bunch while probably having an
open seat next to you.
Related:  The Best Apps for Finding a Cheap Flight Pick an ATM and credit
card that don’t charge foreign fees Photo: ThinkstockDomestically,
you should know by now that you only withdraw money from your own
bank’s ATM so you don’t have to pay an extra few bucks.
Outside the U.
S.
, see if you qualify for no fees by qualifying for a premium checking account,
or look into a card such as the Charles Schwab Visa Platinum, which reimburses
ATM fees.
As for foreign purchases, these cards don’t charge fees: Chase
Sapphire Preferred, Capital One Venture Rewards, Barclaycard Arrival Plus
World Elite Mastercard.
Pick a suitable credit card for your travel needs that carries a big
bonusPeople who fly Southwest exclusively would do well to charge all they can
do the Rapid Rewards card.
Alternately, if you’re a frequent visitor to one hotel or if
you’re a road-trip demon, there are cards that rewards those habits as
well.
For some ideas, see these cards that were honored in 2015.
Pack snacks and water bottlesSure, some people would suggest avoiding dinners
at restaurants, but what if that’s exactly why you’re visiting
Paris? To you foodies, we suggest compensating for restaurant costs by
cheaping out the rest of the time.
Bring your own snacks from home and carry a water bottle you can refill at
the nearest drinking fountain.
The money you save there can help you afford that dinner for two at Chez
Fancy Pants.
Related:  Chic and Cheap Hostels Around the World
Always choose the
cheapest rental car option Photo: ThinkstockYou may have visions of riding
through South Beach in an Escalade, but if you stay patient and ask for an
economy ride instead, there’s a decent chance you’ll get bumped
up to something better.
Rental car lots always run out of the cheap cars first, and you won’t
be charged anything extra for the next level up.
And you might be able to negotiate a better price for that Escalade.
Scan websites for cheap or free local attractions Hint: the Natural History
Museum in London is free.
(Photo:  Son of Groucho/Flickr)Here in San Francisco we have Funcheap
SF, which keeps a daily calendar of activities that are easy on the wallet.
Elsewhere you might look to Time Out, Yelp, Gogobot, or another resource.
Also, if you’re going to be exploring museums, see if they have a free
day every month, as some do.
Live dangerously and look for last-minute discounts on hotels and cruises
Photo: Booking NowUnless you’re traveling during peak season or near a
major event, it often pays to wait until the last minute to book your room.
Booking Now and Hotel Tonight are two of the biggest apps for snagging deals,
and you can search for exactly the neighborhood you want.
Related:  7 Affordable Beach Hotels Around the Globe If it’s a
cruise you’re after and you have the flexibility, sign up for each
line’s newsletters and look out for last-minute discounts on cruises
that haven’t sold out yet.
Discount providers such as Travelzoo are a great resource for that as well.
WATCH: Haggling at Mutrah Souk  Let World traveling club Travel
inspire you every day.

Saving money isn't glamorous, but follow these tips and you might afford the
trip of your dreams.
.
When booking a room, only pay for what you will use Don’t pay for a
hotel pool unless you intend to use it.
(Photo: Ross G.
Strachan/Flickr)
Paying a resort fee is awfully pointless when you want
nothing to do with a resort (or that two-dumbell gym that qualifies for a
resort fee at some hotels).
So do some digging around and read the fine print before you book a hotel or
hostel.
Does the place have free Wi-Fi? Check.
Does it have a free breakfast, and ideally not the "continental" kind? Even
free coffee might save you a daily Starbucks run.
And after you’ve checked in, don’t be afraid to ask for things
like umbrellas on a rainy day – you might be surprised by what hotels
can get you for free.
5 Hotel Scams That Could Ruin Your Next Vacation  Fly in the
middle of the week and avoid holidaysThe difference between flying on a Friday
and a Wednesday can be the difference between first class and coach.
That’s exactly what happened when I used my United points on a
Wednesday night flight from San Francisco to New Orleans last year.
As for holidays, the exception to this rule is if you decide to fly on the
holiday itself.
If you can still make it in time for grandma’s Thanksgiving turkey,
you might as well fly that morning and save a bunch while probably having an
open seat next to you.
Related:  The Best Apps for Finding a Cheap Flight Pick an ATM and credit
card that don’t charge foreign fees Photo: ThinkstockDomestically,
you should know by now that you only withdraw money from your own
bank’s ATM so you don’t have to pay an extra few bucks.
Outside the U.
S.
, see if you qualify for no fees by qualifying for a premium checking account,
or look into a card such as the Charles Schwab Visa Platinum, which reimburses
ATM fees.
As for foreign purchases, these cards don’t charge fees: Chase
Sapphire Preferred, Capital One Venture Rewards, Barclaycard Arrival Plus
World Elite Mastercard.
Pick a suitable credit card for your travel needs that carries a big
bonusPeople who fly Southwest exclusively would do well to charge all they can
do the Rapid Rewards card.
Alternately, if you’re a frequent visitor to one hotel or if
you’re a road-trip demon, there are cards that rewards those habits as
well.
For some ideas, see these cards that were honored in 2015.
Pack snacks and water bottlesSure, some people would suggest avoiding dinners
at restaurants, but what if that’s exactly why you’re visiting
Paris? To you foodies, we suggest compensating for restaurant costs by
cheaping out the rest of the time.
Bring your own snacks from home and carry a water bottle you can refill at
the nearest drinking fountain.
The money you save there can help you afford that dinner for two at Chez
Fancy Pants.
Related:  Chic and Cheap Hostels Around the World
Always choose the
cheapest rental car option Photo: ThinkstockYou may have visions of riding
through South Beach in an Escalade, but if you stay patient and ask for an
economy ride instead, there’s a decent chance you’ll get bumped
up to something better.
Rental car lots always run out of the cheap cars first, and you won’t
be charged anything extra for the next level up.
And you might be able to negotiate a better price for that Escalade.
Scan websites for cheap or free local attractions Hint: the Natural History
Museum in London is free.
(Photo:  Son of Groucho/Flickr)Here in San Francisco we have Funcheap
SF, which keeps a daily calendar of activities that are easy on the wallet.
Elsewhere you might look to Time Out, Yelp, Gogobot, or another resource.
Also, if you’re going to be exploring museums, see if they have a free
day every month, as some do.
Live dangerously and look for last-minute discounts on hotels and cruises
Photo: Booking NowUnless you’re traveling during peak season or near a
major event, it often pays to wait until the last minute to book your room.
Booking Now and Hotel Tonight are two of the biggest apps for snagging deals,
and you can search for exactly the neighborhood you want.
Related:  7 Affordable Beach Hotels Around the Globe If it’s a
cruise you’re after and you have the flexibility, sign up for each
line’s newsletters and look out for last-minute discounts on cruises
that haven’t sold out yet.
Discount providers such as Travelzoo are a great resource for that as well.
WATCH: Haggling at Mutrah Souk  Let World traveling club Travel
inspire you every day.

Saving money isn't glamorous, but follow these tips and you might
afford the trip of your dreams.

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