Latest Recession Travelling Tips

Even if the ‘hard times’ are here for everyone all around the world, don’t lose hope and most of all, don’t give up your travelling plans as there will be always some strategies available in order to save up money and benefit from the vacation:
1. Calculate carefully in advance. Hotel deals may differ from one night booking to fortnights. The “Better Tomorrow” promotion is currently available through March 31, 2009, at Starwood Resorts (which includes W, Westin, St. Regis, and Sheraton hotels). For every night booked you get 50% off the next night’s rate.

2. Pick a destination within driving distance. A family trip can be profitable as the price of gas went down. According to the AAA’s fuel gauge report, a gallon of regular gas now costs $2.46, on average, compared to $3.60 only last month and over $4 last summer. Still, this is not the case of airline companies.

3. Choose your own food. Especially if you travel together with your familiy is difficult to decide how much you will spend on food so choose a hotel such as Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites, or Residence Inn, which provides a full-meal accommodation. As a bonus, you’ll get much more space for your money than you would in a standard hotel room at the same price point.

4. Travel light. No matter how you slice it, hauling a lot of stuff is going to cost you. Driving? The more your car is weighed down, the more gas you’ll burn through. Removing heavy items you won’t need could save you a few cents a gallon, which quickly adds up over the course of a trip. Flying? Many major airlines are now charging for a first checked bag and Southwest Airlines is the only major carrier that doesn’t charge for a second checked bag.

5. Cheap ride from the airport. Before your trip, find your destination airport in Official Airline Guide’s airport directory. Most airport web sites have a page outlining all the transportation options, including cabs, trains, buses, and airport shuttles. Some even provide a list of local hotels that offer a cheap or free shuttle. Typically, a family can save up to $40 each way simply by nixing the cab.

6. Stay where kids eat free. Fifteen years later, kids 12 and under still eat free at nearly 900 Holiday Inn properties throughout the Americas. Kids also eat free when you book Marriott’s “Escape Family Time” package at select destinations. Tip: This kind of “soft” deal is often promoted in a low-key way.

7. Discover our parks system. Pauline Frommer frequently champions national parks as the ultimate family destination. “They are cheap and rewarding at same time. Once you’ve paid to get in, you don’t have too many additional expenses. You can camp or stay in one of the park lodges, which tend not to be too expensive.” For $80, you get unlimited access to national parks for a whole year. Since individual parks typically charge entrance fees of $10 to $20 per visit, you could break even after visiting as few as four parks.

Latest Recession Travelling Tips
Latest Recession Travelling Tips

8. Snag CVB coupons. Always visit the online version of your destination’s tourism office or convention and visitors bureau (a.k.a. CVB) before you leave home, and poke around for a discounts or coupons page. For instance, if you head to the San Diego CVB coupons page, you’ll find that it’s chock-a-block with money-saving discounts on everything from harbor cruises and meals to tickets for top local attractions such as LEGOLAND and hot-air balloon outfitters.

9. Meet some friendly locals. There’s nothing like getting shown around for free by someone who, well, knows his way around. For instance, a grassroots group of some 120 volunteers called Paris Greeters are giving tourists fun, informal walking tours of the City of Light. Here in North America, we know of free greeter programs in New York City, Chicago, Houston, and Toronto. Typically, you need to sign up for your tour in advance. Greeters will usually not accept any tips, but will expect you to pay for their local transportation fares.

10. Stay at the YMCA. Each summer, the YMCA runs over 2,000 day camps and some 339 sleepover camps for boys and girls. Much lesser known are the handful of lodge- and cabin-based YMCA family camps, including the exceptional YMCA of the Rockies, which offer vacations all year long in enviable locations in tremendously scenic areas. Best of all, prices at these not-for-profit camps are downright affordable, with lodging sometimes starting at less than $700 a week for a family of four.

11. Act like you live there. A virtue of public transportation is that it lets your kids have a more authentic experience. Before visiting New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, or Washington, DC, hop on for directions, maps, guides, and other helpful tips on getting around like a local.

12. Join the AAA. This one’s a no-brainer. The standard AAA membership costs $59 per year, but can be recouped in just a few days on vacation. Membership entitles you to discounts on an enormous range of travel services, from train travel on Amtrak and the Grand Canyon Railway to Hertz rental cars. You can chop up to 20% off your lodging bill at major hotel chains, including Hyatt, Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn, and even Disney properties. And you can shave 10% off your bill at popular restaurant chains, including and Pizza Hut. (For more good-value spends, see our 6 Genius Travel Buys.)

13. Go electronic. The cost of choosing a paper airline ticket is skyrocketing—up to a whopping $75 at United. If you opt for an e-ticket and print it out online, you pay nothing.

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