FRANCE KNOW YOUR WATERS OR PAY THE PRICE -- Understand
how to order what you want. If it's plain tap water you're
after, ask for a 'carafe d'eau'. If you just ask for water,
you will receive, and pay for, bottled water.
FIND A LESS
EXPENSIVE RESTAURANT AND BECOME A REGULAR --
My daughter and I found an inexpensive, popular restaurant
called Café Med, in Paris, France. It's located at
77 Rue St. Louis-en-Llle, in the 4th, near Notre Dame Cathedral.
It has about 12 tables, and each time we go there, it's the
same lady serving everyone. For 13 euros or 19 euros, you
can get a three course meal consisting of salad, main course
and then dessert. The food is excellent and the ambiance is
restive and interesting after a day of touring. Alas, the
price does not include wine, but you can order it separately.
If you eat earlier and miss the busier times of the evening
the wait to get inside is not too long. We are going to Paris
again this September and I can hardly wait to eat at this
café again! (Suzanne, Kelowna, BC, Canada)
BUY AN INSULATED
BACKPACK -- I use an insulated cooler backpack
as a carry-on. When I arrive at my destination it's perfect
to carry fruit, sandwiches, and cold drinks on my day trips.
I also bring my insulated commuter cup which I fill with coffee
on my way out of the hotel or sometimes I just fill it with
ice for ice water until my next stop. Target sells an insulated
backpack that's just the right size for women travellers.
(Linda, Columbus, USA)
I USED THE BAZ
BUS -- I travelled through South Africa from
Johannesburg to Cape town over the course of six weeks and
used the Baz Bus. It was a safe way for a middle aged woman
to travel cheaply staying in back packer places along the
way. I was dropped off and picked up by the bus at the places
that I had chosen. Many of the hostels had private rooms and
travelling out of season afforded me a private room at a reasonable
price. Website: http://www.bazbus.com
ON THEATRE TICKETS -- If possible don't buy
your tickets from agencies that make their money from commissions.
Go directly to the theatre and make your purchase from the
box office. Feeling lucky? Stand in line for reduced rush
tickets that go on sale just before the performance. If you
get them that's excellent. If not so what? There's a whole
big city to explore. (Evelyn, Toronto, Canada)
-- Hospital cafeterias sell well-priced food
that is prepared in a clean environment and they generally
adhere to the rules of 'the essential food groups'. They are
usually on a bus or tram line so are easy and economical to
get to if you have a bus pass.
OWN WALKING TOURS -- Before I travel I do
extensive online research. I keep a small book about hotel
suggestions, places to eat, etc. But the main thing I keep
track of is what there is to see. I look for walking tours
on line and then I print them. Many times I find information
on churches, monuments, and special areas of the city I want
to see. I bought a recorder for my iPod and that allows me
to record my own walking tours into it I get to see what I
want to see, not what others want me to see. Instead of spending
money on walking tours I have my very own on my I-Pod. London
has great free walking tours to download which I've used several
times. When I went to Germany, I found a lot of information
and read it into my iPod. It is a really great way to explore
on a budget. (Donna Horvath)
SOME OF MY BEST
MEALS WERE NOT IN RESTAURANTS -- Not every
meal out has to be a dine-in experience. Instead of white
table cloths and high price menus, I have fond memories of
eating a smoked salmon sandwich at dusk on the steps of the
Trevi Fountain in Rome, and a lovely al fresco lunch of fresh
mozzarella, tomatoes and bread on a bench in the port of Positano.
In a Santorini bakery I bought a scrumptious spanakopita big
enough for two that was consumed on our terrace. Be creative
and stretch your travel budget. (Debra, Toronto, Canada)
IS THE MENU
IN ENGLISH? -- In non-English speaking countries
be aware that if the restaurant menu is also in English, it's
probably a tourist spot and you will generally pay more. (Rette,
DAYS -- Do your research. Some museums are
free all the time, some the last hour of the day and still
others on certain evenings. As entrance fees can be quite
high in some countries, I like to make use of these museum
'free days.' I find out about them on the internet and by
picking up free tourist information at local tourism booths.
(Rhonda, Victoria, Canada)
Improve your bargaining skills...
begin, even though a fair amount of English is spoken in the
big cities, not knowing the Chinese words for numbers and
prices will cost you a lot of extra money. Before you leave
home, learn your numbers in Chinese. When I go to the market,
I try to listen carefully to the vendors first price.
Then I counter with, Too expensive for me. Then
the seller will say something like "You say" which
means...make me an offer. I, then, compliment the article
again, say it is much too expensive and begin walking away.
The Chinese bargaining system has now begun.