Vacations should be all about enjoying yourself without worrying about the high cost of getting away or the stress of planning every minute detail. Here are my top ten tips for relaxing and saving whether you are taking an exotic trip to paradise, or just taking a weekend at a nearby hotel.
1. Remember to check out FREE or Pay what you want days at museums. For example, in NYC there are a LOT of museums that are FREE or by contribution.
2. Use public transportation to get places. You'll get to see the sights for a lot less. For example - the city bus in Paris will cost you about 1.5€, whereas the Hop On/Hop Off bus will cost you 29€.
3. Lunch will traditionally cost less than dinner. Make lunch (or a late lunch) your main meal and have a light dinner.
4. Your cell phone may not work in the area that you're visiting (or have CRAZY fees), why not use Skype and your laptop to phone home for FREE?
5. If you're planning to stay in an area for a week or more, why not rent an apartment rather than stay in a hotel? You'll find the prices lower and you'll really get a feel for the neighborhood.
6. When researching your destination, use your local library to check out guidebooks. Even if they're out of day (prices) they'll still help you plan what NOT TO MISS!
7. Don't over plan, leave some time to relax and take it all in. Remember - this is a vacation (don't let it feel like work).
8. If you stay at a hotel in a city that you're not familiar with, take a few of their business cards & tuck them your wallet. That way you can give them to the cab driver to let him know where you're going (great if you're in a country where you don't speak the language).
9. Forgo the high priced restaurants and eat where the locals do. Your bill will be less and you'll get authentic regional food.
10. Visit the welcome center or visitor's center. They may have listings of free concerts, theater, etc
Check out my blog for more ways to live the good life for less.