smart spending

10 more ways to save on travel

Whether it's a day's drive for a week at a relative's lake cabin or an around-the-world cruise, everyone would like to have more money to spend on vacation.

That little extra cash usually isn't difficult to find. It's probably already in your total vacation budget -- you just need to figure out how to save on some things so you have more to spend on others.

10 extra ways to save
  1. Don't be afraid to ask.
  2. You'd better shop around.
  3. Go with a pro.
  4. Waive fees goodbye.
  5. Be a contrarian.
  1. Bend with the times.
  2. Don't discount discounts.
  3. Wet your whistle.
  4. Eat cheap.
  5. Shop at home.

1. Don't be afraid to ask. Travel with the principle that it never hurts to ask for a little more. You can always ask for upgrades, whether it's a hotel or transportation. But save your negotiating efforts for those in management positions.

2. You'd better shop around. Comparison shop on the Web for your airline tickets, car rentals, hotel rooms, cruises and resort packages. Be sure to visit multiple sites for price quotes and information.

3. Go with a pro. Book your own travel arrangements for quick, familiar trips.Use a travel agent for complicated travel arrangements, such as a honeymoon, package tour or cruise.

4. Waive fees goodbye. Ask to have fees waived. Agents typically charge a per-ticket booking fee. If you can bundle up services and buy more than one ticket, agents will often skip their fee.

5. Be a contrarian. Travel to destinations during their off-season: Europe in the winter; the Caribbean in September and October; Hawaii in May or September. Do your research.

6. Bend with the times. Be flexible with travel dates and times. By changing your travel dates even a day or two, you can save hundreds of dollars.

7. Don't discount discounts. Don't forget discounts. If you're a member of any organization, such as AAA or AARP, ask about travel discounts.

8. Wet your whistle. Travel with a cooler so you're not purchasing drinks and snacks at every rest stop.

9. Eat cheap. Sample local fare from a farmer's market and enjoy a picnic dinner at a peaceful stop along the way.

10. Shop at home. Tourist spots sell everything from film to sunscreen, bottled water and aspirin for prolonging your fun -- at a higher cost. Purchase these items before you leave home and save.

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