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Travel and The

Solo Woman

Ways To Save During Your Trip

1. Accommodations - Stay in budget motels or use Air B&B. 
2. Airplane Food - Bring your own airport snacks. 
3. Alcohol - Buy your own when you can.
4. Attractions - Get tickets in advance for less.
5. Car rentals - Watch out for high airport rates.
6. City Tourism Cards  - Look for these to save.
7. Cook most of your dinners in.
8. Dinners - Follow the so-called "six-block rule." "That is, never eat within six blocks of a major tourist sight. The food is double the price and half as good.  Ask the locals where to eat!
9.  Farmers Markets - Go to Farmers Markets on your trip.  You can pick up both fresh fruits and veggies and locally made crafts to take home as souveniers!Public Transportation - Catch public transportation whenever you can.
10. Stopovers - Take a "free extended stopover."
5. Can you stay in one place? This will reduce the amount of in-country transport you have to purchase. If you do stay at an apartment-style accommodation, it will also allow you to cook.


Ways To Save During Your Trip

Accommodations 

  1. Try to stay in one place to save money.
  2. Get a place with a kitchen so that you can cook.
  3. Stay away from beachfronts and use public transportation to the beach or walk.
  4. Stay for more than one night.
  5. Stay over a Sunday.
  6. Couch Surf
  7. Camp
  8. Stay in Hostels – Try Hostelworld
  9. Stay at Guesthouses
  10. Use Hotel Reward Programs
  11. Stay with friends in other places and return the favor when they come to see you.


Shopping

  1. Bargain or haggle in street markets – I never knew this was an option until my semester abroad in Germany in the late 1970’s.  I believe it has now reached an art form in Italy!
  2. Farmers Markets - Go to Farmers Markets when you visit a place.  In Hawaii, we visited both the Kona and Hilo markets where we were able to get most of our produce and souvenirs at a reasonable rate.


Transportation

  1. Car rentals - Watch out the high rates at airport.  I found this out because of my upcoming move to another state. It is more convenient, but oh how you will have to pay!  Travel Jigsaw and VrommVroomVroom are two good sites to use.
  2. Public Transportation – Again, I caught the bus several times in Hawaii, and use the Metro whenever I am in Paris.
  3. Taxis or tours – If possible share a cab or tour.  It will help both of you!
  4. Take a "free extended stopover."  I did this in California on my last trip and stayed for 4 days.  It was great to see my cousin again and the stop was free. Check out iStopovers
  5. Don’t always assume that travel passes are the most inexpensive way to go.  Shop and compare.
  6. Check out BlaBlaCar for carpooling or message boards like Gumtree
  7. You can buy European train tickets online directly from the official national railway sites up to 3 months in advance.


Eating Out

  1. Breakfasts – Look for hotels that have free breakfasts. If you are staying a long time, it will save you a substantial amount.
  2. Lunches – Pack a lunch that won’t spoil or buy street food.  This is often times more tasty than restaurants and always cheaper.
  3. Cook most dinners in.  When I was in Hawaii on my last trip, we went out 3 evenings out of the 8 days we were there.  Most of the time we cooked in, saving us mega bucks.
  4. Dinners – When eating out, follow the “6 block rule” and never eat within 6 blocks of a major tourist place.  Simply ask the locals where to eat.  They will be happy to tell you!
  5. If you must eat out, opt for breakfast and lunch, as they are less expensive and go to the market for dinner.  Or, you can have a brunch and find a place that serves an early, reduced price for dinner.
  6. Alcohol – Alcohol is always expensive in a restaurant, even during happy hour.  Forgo the alcohol and have it at your hotel.


Attractions and Sightseeing

  1. Getting tickets in advance will usually save you money. 
  2. City Tourism Cards  - This is a no brainer and will save a lot on sight seeing.
  3. Free and discount days – Check out local tourist sites and use their free and discount days.
  4. Use coupons from the following sources:
  • Tourist offices
  • Tourist booklets and brochures.
  • Back of supermarket receipts.
  • Websites


Take in the free things to do while traveling

  1. Walk or ride a bike – One of my most memorable days was a walk from the Arc d Triumph down the Champs E’lezie through the Twillery Gardens to the Louvre.  And except for a cappuccino everything was free!
  2. Swim or beachcomb – Beachcombing is the bomb!  It is something that is free, gets you out for a walk, gives you your daily dose of vitamin d and if you are lucky, you will come back with some kind of treasure.
  3. Go to a concert in the park – In Australia in 1988 I went to a beautiful concert in Sydney’s Gardens.  I still remember them playing the 1812 Overture and hearing the sound of the cannons going off.
  4. Many cities have free walking tours!  I haven’t used this yet, but hope to do so in Florence when I visit the next time.
  5. Hike up a mountain – 3 beautiful hikes in Austria when I was young and 3 beautiful memories!
  6. Watch a sunrise – I watched the sun come up over Cape Tribulation in Australia and came back with a coconut from the beach.  All free.
  7. Go to a street fair – Warning!  This is only free if you sight see!


Phones and internet:

  1. Take advantage of free phone calls
  • Facebook – I talk to my friend this way through her car phone while she is on the way to work!
  • Google hangouts
  • Skype (Sometimes)
  • Vonage Mobile

    2. Be sure to turn off your cellular data to avoid roaming charges.
    3. Look for free wifi.

Age:

  1. Always look for deals for the young, college student and senior citizens. When visiting Australia for the first time, I found a deal: 6000 Km for 600 Australian dollars!  That allowed me to travel to Alice Springs, Darwin, Cairns and nearly back home, all because I was a student!
  2. Seniors always have some sort of discount but you won’t get it unless you ask.  In the US we have some for over 50, some 62 and some 65.  Discounts for Seniors
  • Accomodations
  • Airlines
  • Auto
  • Restaurant Discounts
  • Retail & Apparel Discounts
  • Grocery Discounts​
  • Activities & Entertainment Discounts
  • Other Discounts


These companies are known to offer travel discounts to boomers and seniors:

Accommodations

  1. Best Western: 10% off (55+)
  2. Cambria Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
  3. Clarion: 20%-30% off (60+)
  4. Comfort Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
  5. Comfort Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
  6. Econo Lodge: 20%-30% off (60+)
  7. Hampton Inns & Suites: 10% off when booked 72 hours in advance
  8. Hilton Hotels AARP members 5% senior discounts at all Hilton properties
  9. Holiday Inn: 10%-30% off depending on location (62+)
  10. Hyatt Hotels: 25%-50% off (62+)
  11. InterContinental Hotels Group: various discounts at all hotels (65+)
  12. Mainstay Suites: 10% off with Mature Traveler’s Discount (50+); 20%-30% off (60+)
  13. Marriott Hotels: 15% off (62+)
  14. Motel 6: 10% off (60+)
  15. Quality Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
  16. Red Roof Inn: 10% year round and 15% off some dates
  17. Rodeway Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
  18. Sleep Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)


Airlines

  1. Alaska Airlines: 10% off (65+)
  2. American Airlines: various discounts for 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
  3. Continental Airlines: no initiation fee for Continental Presidents Club & special fares for select destinations
  4. Southwest Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
  5. Trailways Transportation System: various discounts for ages 50 and up
  6. United Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
  7. U.S. Airways: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)


Car Rental

  1. Alamo: up to 25% off for AARP members
  2. Amtrak: 15% off (62+)
  3. Avis: up to 25% off for AARP members
  4. Budget Rental Cars: 10% off; up to 20% off for AARP members (50+)
  5. Dollar Rent-A-Car: 10% off (50+)
  6. Enterprise Rent-A-Car: 5% off for AARP members
  7. Greyhound: 5% off (62+)
  8. Hertz: up to 25% off on Hertz Daily Member rates for AARP members
  9. National Rent-A-Car: up to 30% off for AARP members





 

People go on vacations for different reasons.   Some to relax, some to enjoy the foods, some to enjoy the natural beauty and on and on.  Many have a philoso-phy of much like myself: to travel as much as my income will allow and as much as my body can handle.  For many, travel is a luxury, and others a way of life.

 

What things can you do to save money while traveling?

Come see the world with me,
footloose and fancy free!

Many in the last category are like myself; we measure what we buy against what that amount saved would allow us to see in the world.  We go to thrift stores, visit Famers Markets and save our change in a jar to pay for the extras.


For those of you who don't have pockets lined with gold, the following are some suggestions of how to save some money for the other adventures out there that might be waiting...

Come see the world with me!
See you on Sunday, 
August 4, at 6:00 PM!
​​​Happy travels! Ciao!  😎