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How we save money while enjoying Traveling

I love finding travel deals and I do not sacrifice quality either. For instance my Father and I have been taking Repositioning cruises to Europe to see different countries that we may want to return to. We use Rick Steve's tips in every city even if its just for a day.

Next week we are leaving for the Basque Country and found a VRBO rental for $100 with all fees in Bayonne with 2 bedrooms a kitchen and a living room with a TV. Its so nice being able to come home to an apartment rather than a cramped hotel room. In Paris I found an AirBnb for $100 with all fees per night for 4 nights on the first floor a 15 minute walk to the Effiel Tower near Motparnass.

As I had a Delta voucher I booked myself on the Air France nonstop to Paris and my Parents found a $900 r/t on American/ British Airways from San Jose via Dallas going and London on the return. We booked our flights from Orly at $170 r/t to Biarritz. Our apartment is 6 kilometers from the airport and found a rental car at Sixt.

In April my Father and I are going on a repositioning cruise from Tampa-Amsterdam for $800 per person in an interior cabin(we don't mind saving money to spend it for Europe). Normally we would go in an Oceanview cabin but it was running $1000 a person so by saving this money we can enjoy 4 nights in Amsterdam and Rejkiavik.

I was able to use miles on Delta for both of our tickets to Tampa. I even got myself First Class and my Father does not mind flying in Coach as he does not appreciate First Class like I do. We will spend the night at the Westin Tampa Harbour.

Our cruise stops at Punto Degalda, Dublin, Cobh and Dunmore before docking in Amsterdam. I found us an AirBnb in Watergrafsmeer for $100 per night with all fees and taxes with breakfast included daily, Nespresso Coffee in the room and it got very good ratings. The hostess offers dinner for 12.50 Euros per person with dessert if we want.

In Rejkavik i found an apartment for $100 with all fees and taxes per night. Both apartments have two bedrooms, kitchen and everything that we may need.

I love having an apartment coming home to as you can really live like a local and cook like a local while saving money. My gosh the hotels were running $170+ and some without breakfast.

I love to spread out. Also we love eating at local restaurants where the menu is only in the local language and we see locals eating there. We do not sacrifice our comfort and still save money. I love going to the supermarket even just to buy a local Wine or beer much better than soda.

Saving money is fun and it takes time. For instance I found my Father and I a $596 return one way on Iceland Air which includes 1 checked, 1 carryon bag, seat assignments and Inflight Entertainment. So what if meals are not included we can survive by buying the snacks offered or bring on our own. Other airfares were $800+ one way.

Money saved=a more interesting trip. Oh and picnics are so much fun.

Posted by
2 posts

Where did you find travel deals? I will be traveling to Europe (Germany, Hungary, Spain and Scotland) in September and would like to find some travel deals especially hotels.

Posted by
11681 posts

We love to stay in apartments too, for the reasons you mention. But you do need to be very careful with AirBnB in some cities, where it is restricted or banned. Paris is one such city.

Posted by
1 posts

One more thing you can do that is, purchase local grocery and make own food.

To mention one of the biggest expenses during traveling is eating out and also because you often don’t know where to go, how to find the best food and cheapest rate or you are not privy to any special deals. Frankly, we can't find everything online.

If you want to stay somewhere take care you get a kitchen access and then try buying fresh vegetables and cook it for yourself.

Posted by
17659 posts

But you do need to be very careful with AirBnB in some cities, where it is restricted or banned.

In addition, while AirBnB might be a good choice for someone not familiar with finding apartments any other way, but I find it is not the least expensive way to find an apartment.

For instance, in a small town on the Main River where I spent 9 nights in an apartment in October, there was only one apartment in town listed on AirBnB. There were 14 apartments in town shown on the town website (plus another 6 too far out of town to be considered). Of the 14 apartments shown on the town website, the average price was 37€/night; only two were more than 40€/night. The apartment shown on AirBnB was 65€/night if you booked on the apartment's own website but 74€/night on AirBnB (mostly because of a service fee).

Posted by
4078 posts

AirBnb adds a huge mark up. Make arrangements with the host directly and you’ll save $$$. Did this recently and saved about $200 on a six night stay. Compare properties across VRBO, HomeAway and Booking.com, as each company adds different middleman fees.

Posted by
1720 posts

For our 3 trips to Italy, we have transitioned from eating all meals per day out, to having snacks/rolls in the room, to having an apartment and shopping at the grocery for breakfasts and sometimes lunches, and finding a good inexpensive dinner out. At least in Rome, in our neighborhood we were able to find espresso for around 1 Euro and gelato for under 2 E.

Found this quite a bit harder to do in Paris and Lucerne, Switzerland, but if I were to return to either place, I'd sniff the deals out!

Posted by
22 posts

This is really helpful and there is some good information here! I am planning on doing quite a bit of travelling next year.. thanks Daniel.

Posted by
1084 posts

I have had some great apartments with Airbnb; but they are now one of the most expensive options for renting apartments.
HomeAwayand TripAdvisor are now my choices; far less fees.
You can also deal directly with owners.