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50 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Travel Dollars

Evelyn Hannon

We asked Journeywoman readers around the world to tell us how they make the most of their travel budgets. We weren't disappointed.. Your responses were varied, resourceful and exactly what we hoped for. This list of 50 recommendations contains some tips that are useful for travellers who will be on the road for extended periods of time. Others address the needs of women on a one or two week adventure. Some will be appropriate for your style of travel, others will not but we're sure everybody will find some new little money-saving tidbits to incorporate into their next travel plans. Safe, economical journeys, everybody.


USE CRAIGS LIST -- On a recent three week visit to Tucson, I accessed Craig's List - Tucson and found an 18-speed Schwinn bicycle for sale for $25.00 After test-riding the bike I bought it and happily cycled around Tucson during my visit. It would have cost $20/day for a bike rental while the transit system is not very comprehensive in Tucson. I got lots of exercise and enjoyed being under my own power. Website: (Jan Janovick, Vancouver, Canada)

CARRY ID THAT ALLOWS YOU A DISCOUNT -- If you're a student, a government employee, a senior (CAA/AAA ) or in the military, bring membership ID to prove it. Many places offer discounts for museums, amusements, shopping or accommodations. (J.C. Lam, Toronto, Canada).

DON'T EXCHANGE YOUR FOREIGN CURRENCY YOU HAVEN'T SPENT -- You lose something every time you buy or sell foreign currency. Didn't spend all your money? Unless it's thousands of dollars hold on to it for the next time you travel.

BUYING BOOKS ABROAD IS EXPENSIVE -- Some hotels have a ‘leave one/take one’ library. I have read some great books this way. Also, consult Journeywoman's listing of bookshops to browse around the world. See if you can sell or trade the books you brought with you for credit towards new or used books along the way. (Debra, Toronto, Canada).

SHARE COSTS IF YOU CAN -- When I travel with my sister we have found that ordering one entree to share along with a salad and appetizer is usually more than enough at most restaurants. When we feel extra hungry we get recommendations for a nearby Indian restaurant. Most offer a buffet style meal at very reasonable prices. (Kathy)

JOIN A PEACE ORGANIZATION LIKE SERVAS -- SERVAS is an international network of hosts and travelers building peace by providing opportunities for personal contact between people of diverse cultures and backgrounds. Through Servas, travellers have opportunities to meet hosts, their families and friends, and join in their everyday life. Where convenient, hosts may offer two nights (or more) accommodation and invite travellers to share a meal.

FLY MID WEEK -- More people fly on weekends. These travellers also often try to make it a long weekend so Mondays and Thursdays are busy, too. If your schedule allows it fly Tuesday and Wednesday for the best fares. That's what I do. (Helena, Winnipeg, Canada)

USE YOUR RESOURCES WISELY -- If you are staying where breakfast is provided, eat the perishables (yogurt, egg, dairy) and take the fruit, bread, rolls, etc. with you for lunch. This works well on the pocket book and also conserves your sightseeing time. Just find a bench or nook and observe life as you eat your ready lunch. P.S. This is also better for your waist line. We don't usually eat as big a breakfast as what is served to us in a B&B. (Lucretia, Afton, Tennessee, USA)

CREATE GIFT BAGS FOR CREATIVE PALS -- Do you have friends who enjoy scrapbooking and collage? When you travel to an exotic destination keep your eyes open for paper freebies like maps, business cards, postcards and small inexpensive finds like decorated notepads from dollar store equivalents. Your craft pals will enjoy this new material better than another mug that you paid ten bucks for. (Linda, Australia)

JOIN WOMEN WELCOME WOMEN -- This organization aims to foster international friendship by enabling women of different countries to visit each other. Members are of all ages and backgrounds and come from many parts of the world. Any woman may become a member, regardless of nationality, religion, home circumstances, etc. Visit


Bonus! No shopping in main tourist areas...

The people who run these shops pay more rent to be in the center of all the action. So it makes sense that they will have to charge you more for their wares.

Take a little stroll down some of the side streets or wander into the neighbourhoods. Or, wait until you take a side trip into the country. This is where you'll get much better value.

I still have two fabulous Italian pottery plates that I bought for a pittance in a little grocery store in Positano.

Bonus! Savings right under your nose ...

red piggy bankEvery month tour companies worldwide list their HOT Specials in the Journeywoman Newsletter and at the Journeyman website. Choose from a potpourri of Early Bird Specials, Single Supplement offers and money saving codes. Each month there is something new. You never know what you might find. Click!

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