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25 Easy, Easy, Easy Ways to Save on Travel

Prices are rising…will you be able to afford your next trip? Increased oil costs, airline consolidation and market demand from business travel are pushing airfare and hotel rates upwards in 2012. But the good news is, savvy travellers can still save. Here are 25 really, really easy ways to do it.

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1. How to Save on Package Vacations

1. Book your time off in advance, then wait. Snag an ultra-deep-discount last-minute deal on redflag.ca the week before.

2. Avoid paying a “singles supplement.” If you’re a solo traveller, sign up for the roommate-finding service offered by many cruise ship and tour operators.

3. Opt for a four-day getaway. Increasing numbers of vacationers are taking shorter trips. It’s easier on your workflow, and easier on the budget, too!

(Photo courtesy of Deauville Beach Resort, Miami)

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2. How to Save on Air Travel

4. Fly mid-week: Fares are cheaper than on Friday, weekend or Monday departures.

5. Follow your usual airlines and travel sites on Facebook and Twitter so you have insider intel on sales announced first via social media.

6. If you travel a lot for business, or are planning ahead, sign-up for Low-Fare Alerts from AirfareWatchdog.com.

(Photo courtesy of Gawker.com)

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3. How to Save on Hotels and Resorts

7. Go big for maximum savings: mass destination, mega resort. Quaint boutique hotels cost more, period.

8. Nonetheless, easy-to-join “private sale” sites like Jetsetter, Tablet Hotels and Vacationist offer flash sales to high-end boutique properties.

9. Opt for a European, breakfast-only meal plan. It’s cheaper to eat off-resort – usually guarantees a more interesting travel experience, too!

10. Travel during “shoulder season,” between a destination’s high- and low seasons. Weather and service usually remain enjoyable – but at mega-savings!

(Photo courtesy of Cavo Tagoo hotel, in Mykonos, Cyclades, Greece, as featured on TabletHotels.com).

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4. How to Save at Restaurants

11. Have an appetizer. Then have a second appetizer as your main. Apps cost less than entrees and with bread and dessert, add up to a satisfying dinner.

12. Practice Meatless Mondays. Vegetarian meals usually cost less, no matter where you are.

13. Eat where the locals eat. Always cheaper than tourist haunts; usually more authentic local cuisine, too!

(Photo courtesy of Zen Kitchen, Ottawa)

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5. How to Save on Attractions

14. If you’ve befriended a local, ask them to purchase your entry tickets to an attraction. Many cities have steeper entry fees for tourists.

15. Start a travel blog. Ask managers of attractions if they’ll offer you complementary admission if you write a review on your blog.

16. If you have a museum or art gallery membership back home, travel with your membership card: many cultural institutions offer free reciprocal admissions.

(Photo courtesy of Guggenheim Museum, New York City)

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6. How to Save on the Ground

17. Explore by rental bike, moped or car. It’s cheaper than taking cabs everywhere and allows you to cover more ground.

18. Walk! Whether you’re exploring New York City, Tel Aviv, or the Canadian countryside, exploring on foot is cheap and eco-friendly.

19. Book day tours, not guided vacations. Explore a local culinary attraction, ghost walk, or historic district, with an educated guide, but save big money by doing the rest of your trip solo, on your own timeline.

(Photo courtesy of Bazzr tm/Cycle London Flickr Group and Barclays Cycle Hire).

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7. How to Save Big by Staying Safe

20. Save hundreds or even thousands with this one simple step: leave your designer watch and fine jewelry at home in your safe! Cheap costume pieces are fun, trendy… and expendable.

21. Keep your ID, credit cards, cash and traveller’s checks safer by divvying them up between a hidden pouch or money belt, zipped pockets, bag and the hotel safe. Replacing stolen ID is not only stressful, it’s expensive!

22. Avoid scams. If a new acquaintance offers to hook you up with an awesome deal on priceless gems, take a pass. If something sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is.

(Photo courtesy of Mountain Equipment Coop)

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8. 3 More Ways to Save

23. Travel with a full supply of your prescription medication. You may not be able to get more at your destination, and prolonged missed doses may lead to a costly hospital stay or even medical evacuation.

24. Drink responsibly. Being drunk makes you an easy target for pickpockets…or worse.

25. Finally: book a long-planned US vacation when the Canadian dollar bests the US greenback. When this story was being researched, the CDN dollar was a few cents above par with the US dollar; now, during editing, the opposite is true. Moral: when the price is right, book – fast!

(Photo courtesy of Park Ranger Brian Gatlin/Grand Canyon NPS’ photostream Flickr).