smart spending

7 tips for a frugal, hassle-free road trip

Locate deals on lodging, meals and attractions
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If you walk up to the hotel front desk at 2 a.m., you're going to get the worst rate, says Julie Sturgeon, owner of the travel agency Curing Cold Feet in Indianapolis.

Instead, for last-minute lodging arrangements, check or if you have a travel agent, call and ask her to check the wholesaler database for you.

To get the best price on restaurant meals, look for coupons in the local newspaper or on the local convention and visitor's bureau website. When you know of a restaurant you'd like to try, you can also follow it on Facebook or Twitter to see if they post deals.

For attractions, Sturgeon says Google is your best friend. In the search box, type the name of the attraction followed by "discount."

Other suggestions to save money include:

  • Read the Cities on the Cheap website for travel route and destination.
  • Check to see if the location offers a pass for discounts to attractions in the city.
  • Find out if AAA offers member discounts on your vacation route.
  • Visit for travel information worldwide.




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