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Before You Travel-Frugal Travel Planning

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Frugal travel can be as fun as it is affordable. Follow this simple recipe for a memorable trip with a manageable price tag.

Start with Cheap Lodging

Shopping for affordable lodging doesn't have to mean limiting your options. Snag a bargain rate on a hotel room, book a stay at a bed-and-breakfast, bed down in a hostel, arrange a home swap or pitch a tent and enjoy a night under the stars. When it comes to finding affordable lodging, persistence pays. Decide what you want and how much you’re willing to spend, then go after it.

Add in Bargain-Priced Transportation

Transportation is likely to be one of your biggest travel expenses. First you've got to make arrangements to get to your destination (car, bus, plane, train, etc), and then you've got to make additional arrangements to get around town for the length of your stay (car, taxi, subway, bus, etc.). The good news is that transportation deals are easy to come by. Some of the easiest ways to save: travel off peak, use discount providers, order your tickets online and take advantage of mass-transit whenever possible.

Sprinkle on Some Vacation Food Savings

Food costs can be especially hard to control while traveling – you’re eating out more and you may not have access to a kitchen. So, what’s the solution? A big dose of creativity – search out the cheapest eateries, track down coupons and brainstorm simple meals that you can prepare in your hotel room, on the road or over a campfire. Your frugal-mindset is portable, even if your fridge isn’t.

Serve with a Side of Destination-Specific Savings

Save even more money by searching out discounts and offers that apply specifically to your travel destination. What to look for: off-season deals, days when attractions are free, buy-one-get-one-free offers and anything else that sounds like it will make your trip more affordable and fun.
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