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Accommodations: Hotels, Hostels, Condos, B&B's

In today's world there is a plethora of places to accommodate one when traveling, most of the usual ones are listed below. ​

  • Hotel 
  • Resort
  • B & B 
  • Hostel 
  • ​Pension 
  • Motel 
  • Lodge 
  • Capsule or Cube 
  • Inn 
  • Resort 
  • Parador 
  • Guest House 
  • Campus or Dorm Room
  • Home exchange or House Swap 
  • Apartment Rental or Flat 
  • Bungalow 
  • Villa 
  • Extended Stay​​

​As I will be discussing accommodations in another blog, I will leave it at this.  Suffice it to say, you will have everything from very inexpensive hostels to luxury resorts to choose from.  But remember, most people who travel are going to want to see the place they are traveling to and are not looking to remain in their room.  So unless you are wealthy, don't blow your budget on a high-end accommodation and leave very little wiggle room for your day time adventures.  Again the word is compromise.  For my Hawaiian vacation we went moderate and booked a hostel and a condo.  I booked a cheaper hotel for the beginning of my trip as I was arriving earlier than my friend.

Because travel is so expensive I have provided my readers with many ideas to save both by making them aware of opportuniies to save and by having these at their fingertips without having to look.

I personally have used some of these and others I haven’t.  Some look so wonderful I plan to use them to save for my next three trips: the Caymans, Australia and Italy.  If you are a traveler, like I am, saving money actually becomes a lifestyle choice. These are some of the options available for all of us, whether we travel or not!

Keep a change bucket.  I have done this for many years.  It lightens the weight of my purse, saves wear and tear on my wallet, besides giving me an extra dinner or two out on a trip.
Have a yard sale. I have had several.  This is a good way to get rid of a few items you wouldn't put in a consignment shop.  
Sell your unused silver or gold. I did this just this last year with some old silver and gold from my college jewelry classes.  I made 60 dollars.
Buy generic brands when possible. Always at Woodmans.
Open up a new savings account I will open one in February and will switch my auto deposit, hopefully making myself $300.
Apply for a new rewards credit card.
Cut your cable cord, and use a smart box instead
I plan on doing this in February and will save myself 100 dollars a month.
Cancel your landline.  I did this when I moved from my house and saved $60 a month.
Use Cricket or another discount cellular service.  I do.  It costs me $20 as I bundle with other family members.
Sell your unwanted belongings.  There are many options for doing this from upscale consignment shops to second hand clothing shops, to selling online. But keep track of where you have your items and how much they pay.  I have some up in Algoma, on the lake. 
Cancel unnecessary memberships and subscriptions.  I did this years ago and read online.
Invest your spare change
Brown bag your lunch.  I did this for two years to save enough to go on a return trip to Australia.
Download and use money saving apps to save and earn money:

  • BerryCart
  • Cartwheel (Target)
  • Checkout 51 
  • Darwins Data 
  • Download Smart Panel ($75/ Year)
  • Ebates
  • Favado
  • Fetch Rewards
  • Gas Buddy to compare gas prices.
  • Groupon Snap
  • IBotta
  • InboxDollars
  • Jingit App.
  • JOANY Take a 10-Minute Health-Insurance Survey for $25
  • Just 4 U (Safeway)
  • Lucktastic
  • MobileXpression for Android ($25+)
  • MobiSave
  • National Consumer Panel
  • Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel
  • Paid Viewpoint
  • Paribus
  • Punchcard
  • Receipt Hog
  • ReceiptPal
  • SavingStar (In the USA)
  • Shopkick
  • Shopmium
  • Southern Savers
  • Shrink App.
  • Walmart Savings Catcher

Take surveys and get paid

  • American Consumer Opinion (ACOP)
  • Cash Crate
  • EarningStation
  • Global Test Market
  • Inbox Dollars
  • iPoll 
  • Ipsos i-Say
  • Media Insiders Panel
  • MindSwarms
  • MintVine
  • MyPoints
  • My Survey
  • Opinion Outpost
  • Pinecone Research
  • Screenwise Panel  
  • Smart Panel
  • Survey Club
  • Survey Junkie
  • Survey Money Machine
  • Survey Savvy
  • Survey Spot
  • Swagbucks
  • Toluna
  • Vindale Research
  • VIP Voice
  • YouGov


Find free entertainment.

  • Go to the Farmers Market.  I always do this in the summer instead of going to the stores.  It helps the local economy and organic food is so much cheaper when you buy it from the source.
  • Offer pet sitting services.  My sister and her husband do this.  They have paid for at least one of their vacations in the short time they have provided this service.
  • Set up an automatic savings account.  I still need to do this… It’s at the top of my list.
  • Follow new ideas on Money Hoarder website.


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Venice 2014 - By Cameron Fitter

Kona Condo - By Vicki Kralapp

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

Food: Cooking vs. eating out 

Going out for dinner when you are on vacation and having someone make your meal and wait on you is divine.  But eating out can be very costly, especially if you are in a place that caters to upscale visitors.  I get it that when one is on vacation, you want to be totally on vacation. But when you are at the mercy of expensive eateries, it can make or break a trip.  However, there are several ways to budget for travel.  A good option for stretching your budget is to buy fruit and take along healthy lunches that don’t spoil and eat out in the evening. Another option is to alternate eating out and staying in.  But more about this in the chapter on eating abroad and saving money.  I have researched how to save money in the area of food, something near and dear to most of us.  This is what I have found.  

If you chose to eat out, research the area you will be staying in to find the best prices of the restaurants.  There are now apps that allow you to find restaurants within your area at the prices you wish to spend, without having to be surprised.  Remember the old saying that if they don't show the prices on the menu, you usually can't afford the price!  Also, for me, the food that is usually served on flights is generally not on my diet plan, so I take along healthy alternatives like protein snack bars and granola.   It is cheaper than buying unhealthy meals that cost big bucks. Also when you get to your destination, watch where the locals go, or better yet ask.  They will be happy to tell you.!

The Oyster Bar near the Opera House in Sydney, Australia - By Vicki Kralapp

The cost of living in various countries

The cost of vacations in different countries may vary wildly.  For example, a flight to a country like the Maldives may not cost an extreme amount for the flight, but the prices of most hotels are very high.  Flights the African countries of Kenya and Tanzania are not extreme, but stays and safaris can be quite pricey as they are targeting people who have the money to vacation and go on safari.  At the present time the following countries are the most economical to travel to according to Telegraph and Skyscanner, although looking at the list there may be a reason that some appear here, others such as Ireland and Vietnam are simply stunning!

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On Captiva Island - By Vicki Kralapp

How much do you want to spend?

Ah! to be 21 again and going on my maiden journey abroad! (1977) - By Millie Kralapp

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Things To Do Everyday To Save

Location, Location, Location

Once you have your country or place you wish to vacation picked out, it is time to look at the distance from where you live or your nearest airport, then from the airport to your vacation spot.  Obviously, countries that are far away are going to be more expensive than those nearby, but some provide incentives to tourists every once in a while to get more tourists in to their country to spend more money.  If you are open as to where you are going, you may save a great deal.  But some places like the islands of Indonesia or Micronesia are quite remote and may involve more flights or transportation once you have arrived.

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Transportation: Trains, buses, car rentals and taxis 

Ah!  To be 21 again and going on my maiden journey abroad!  Luckily most young adults are much more savvy travelers than I at that age. But for those who aren’t as versed in transportation abroad, here is my take on it.  When you first travel to a different country, it probably is better to take public transportation such as a bus or train or go with a group.  

Most of the time we will find that we will need transportation within the areas they are visiting.  For example after I land in Hawaii I will be using a shuttle to get to my hotel, a bus to the west side of the island to visit, a van for a photography op tour, a taxi back to the airport, flying from Oahu to the Big Island with a friend and renting a car to drive around the island, so essentially using all of the following except for a train!

  • Planes – Puddle jumpers or longer flights within the country
  • Trains - Weekly or monthly passes, Europe Interail or Eurail passes
  • Buses - City passes or coaches to destinations
  • Taxis - Very expensive wherever you go
  • Shuttles - To and from the airport when possible
  • Car rentals for those who are who are adventurous - Country or multi- country passes

Dominican Republic 2008 - By Vicki Kralapp


Airfare can make or break a trip.  I have paid as high as $2,100.00 for a round trip ticket to Australia from Wisconsin and as low as $275.00 round trip from Wisconsin to Florida.  The price can vary considerably depending on the following items

  • Where you are going.
  • Time of year that you are planning to leave - Peak season, off season, or shoulder season.
  • ​The day of the week that you are leaving.
  • How long you plan on staying.
  • Will you be staying over a weekend.
  • The airline itself or alternative airlines.
  • Whether you are booking first class, business class or economy class.
  • The weight of your luggage and number of carry ons.
  • Extra food or drink on board the flight.
  • Special deals the airline may be running.
  • Special needs.
  • How many stops the airline will make.
  • Alternative airports.

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A villa in the Tuscany region of Italy - By Vicki Kralapp

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  • Algeria 
  • Argentina
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Egypt
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Indonesia 
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Kazakshan
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Mongolia
  • Nepal
  • Qatar
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen

The most expensive countries are the following according to Business Insider

  • Switzerland 
  • United Kingdom
  • France 
  • Australia
  • Norway 
  • Israel 
  • Denmark 
  • Sweden 
  • Italy
  • Austria

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Whitsundays, Australia - By Vicki Kralapp

Roatan, Honduras 2010 - By Vicki Kralapp

Contact Info

Travel and The

Solo Woman

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Sightseeing: - Mini trips, tickets 

When sightseeing, there are many things to consider, but one of the main things is buying tickets for venues.  Thirty years ago, we had no problems with lines in Europe, but it is a very different story now.  Today lines can be hours long just to get a ticket.  So, because time is money and restricted when traveling, you might consider purchasing tickets beforehand if possible or go through a tour company.  I traveled through Trafalgar in Italy.  Everything was taken care of, including all of the tickets for all of the venues.  All we had to do was to have fun.  No long lines, no being turned down by hotels and no researching to find the best places.  It was all done for us.  

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Come see the world with me!
​​​Next month I will be sharing information on how to save and what to spend for travel.
See you on Sunday, March 4, at 6:00 PM!
​​​ Happy travels! Ciao!  😎


The three main rules for shopping are budget, budget, budget!  I cannot say this enough.  Remember that unless you are mailing what you buy home or can use or eat it while vacationing, you will have to carry it with you for the rest of the trip.  My last big trip to Florida, I only bought a few small items for myself and my nieces and nephews. I opted for collecting shells on the beach, which made nice presents and saved money as well. 

If you head to the airport early enough before your return flight, most large airports will have customs-free gift stores so that you can save money.  Do not head to the touristy areas as most of them are very expensive. 

Giverny, France- By Vicki Kralapp

Kona Airport - By Vicki Kralapp

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Most of us are not made of money and let's be honest, traveling is expensive.  Long gone are the days of travel on $10. a day.  In most places, you will spend 100.00 a day, if you are lucky.  So having a bottom line when dealing with travel agencies or when planning on your own is absolutely necessary.  Compromise is the name of the game here.  But make sure that you do a little research of your own (or a lot) so that you know about how much it will cost to go on your dream vacation. Here are some of the things you will have to take into account​:

Shopping on vacation - By Vicki Kralapp

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A hostel room in Hilo, Hawaii - By Vicki Kralapp

​Ways To Save While Planning


  • My top strategy is to do your homework, then go to a travel agency to book your flights.  If they cannot match your amount, then go to someone else.
  • Book flights on Tuesdays.  This is a general rule in travel, so check your search engine to make sure. I have done this the last 2 times that I have traveled.
  • Join a Frequent Flyer program.
  • Shop for discount airlines.  Our round trip to Florida in February was only $275 including taxes and baggage because we booked through Allegiant.
  • Book during off seasons or shoulder periods.  This will often save you substantial amounts of money.  But look at the weather trends during this time before you book.
  • Always try to buy package deals when you can.  Trips to Dominican Republic are amazingly cheap for an entire week and I felt like a queen, and was treated like one.
  • Shop around for the cheapest airport to fly from.  But you must take into account stress, parking and time.  Use Skyscanner's 'nearby airports' search.
  • If possible be flexible with your travel dates.
  • Be flexible with your travel hours.  Fly a red eye or early morning flight. 
  • Shop around for the lowest prices on different site.




        Rome 2 Rio.

  • Ask about student discounts at STA Travel.


  • Book a room with a refrigerator/microwave or kitchen area so that you can cook and eat in.  We did this in Hawaii and ate most of our meals in.
  • Call the hotel you would like to book directly.  They may give you a discount if they have any left over rooms at the last minute.
  • When traveling to a foreign country always think of currency exchange.  Check to see where you can get more.  When I was in Australia back in the 80’s, the exchange rate was about 78, which means I made out like a bandit in my travels.
  • Book your accommodations in budget motels, hostels or use AirB&B or
  • Organize a home exchange.
  • Look into WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms)  You do the work, they provide the food and housing.
  • House sit.  My friend did this for 10 years as a way to have a house to stay in after a divorce, but I have other friends that do this on vacation.
  • Look into VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner)
  • Bid for hotels at
  • Look into Homeaway.


  • Always book a parking spot at the airport in advance when you can.  It is usually much more on the day.   I paid over $60 when I went on my cruise 8 years ago…  I could have saved a substantial amount by booking ahead, or by asking a family member to drop me off and pick me up.
  • If you are gone for a longer amount of time and have to drive a distance, hire a limo for your ride.  Chances are it will be cheaper than a cab and oh the ride!

E-Mail and Social Media

  • Sign Up for e-Mail Notifications
  • Follow on Social Media
  • Sign up for e-Newsletter Deals
  • Join local Facebook groups with alerts
  • Sign up for:   (Most of these are in my inbox right now!)


        Cruise Critic

        Deal Base Travel Deals


        Hidden City Ticketing

        Secret Flying


        The Flight Deal.

        Travel Zoo


        VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner)

Always look for deals for the young, college students 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!  And being a senior doesn’t always have a lot of perks when it comes to everyday life, but dining and travel are two that you must ask for.
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

  • Restaurant Discounts
  • Retail & Apparel Discounts
  • Grocery Discounts​
  • Activities & Entertainment Discounts
  • Other Discounts

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


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


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


  • Alamo: up to 25% off for AARP members
  • Amtrak: 15% off (62+)
  • Avis: up to 25% off for AARP members
  • Budget Rental Cars: 10% off; up to 20% off for AARP members (50+)
  • Dollar Rent-A-Car: 10% off (50+)
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car: 5% off for AARP members
  • Greyhound: 5% off (62+)
  • Hertz: up to 25% off on Hertz Daily Member rates for AARP members
  • National Rent-A-Car: up to 30% off for AARP members


  • Allianz Global Assistance Travel Insurance. Get a free quote.
  • CruiseDirect: Limited inventory on Last Minute Cruise Deals. Best Price Guarantee & No Booking Fees - Book Now!
  • - Best Rate Price Guarantee! - save up to $500 on a Vacation Package