smart spending

Finding free vacation travel perks

 

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For air travelers, free travel comes in the form of frequent-flier miles. You can accumulate miles through credit card bonus points, hotel stays and credit-card purchases.

Those frequent-flier miles can be redeemed for airline tickets, car rentals from most major companies and free lodging, although you're typically restricted to major chains.

But that's not the only way to get a free place to stay. Websites such as HomeExchange.com will help you trade living spaces with someone. And CouchSurfing.net offers a way for find a place to crash for free, with nothing required in return.

Once you get to your destination city, you'll need to get around. Many airport and downtown hotels and casinos offer shuttles to and from their site. If you spend time at a hotel close to a major tourist attraction such as the Disney theme parks, nearby hotels often provide buses to the park. For totally free transportation, package airport and hotel shuttles with subway or bus passes.

For more frugal travel tips, go to Bankrate.com. I'm Jessica Patel.

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