Sunday, March 2, 2008
For my bookseller and other friends who like to (or must) save money while traveling:
1. Have you tried "googling" for cheaper airport parking? I was able to park for $7.00 per night in Tampa (FL) with a free shuttle that ran just as quickly as the on-site car shuttles. I also printed a coupon from the internet search and saved one night's charge. I had no problem retrieving my car or using the coupon. I wish we had have thought of this option when we went to Hawaii.
2. Lifting boxes of books over the years has taken its toll on my back and sitting on the plane for hours sounded like an invitation to pain. I purchased and used Heat Wraps during the trip - I experienced no back pain. These are air activated 8 hour heat items which evidently prevented the muscle spasms (and kept me warm on the plane). They sell smaller ones for your shoulders also. I bought them at the drug store on a 2-1 sale so this hint was very lost cost. Worked for me.
3. I took packages (not the box to save room) of flavored instant oatmeal in addition to a plastic bag full of regular instant oatmeat. By mixing them together I didn't need to take sugar, etc. and I didn't have to eat out for breakfast. I took and added trail mix (nuts, etc) to the oatmeal mixture to make it just like eating at home to keep all systems active and my weight and cholesterol down!
4. Without a doubt I took my own coffee in a plastic bag. I don't want to have to get dressed and "made up" just to have a cup of coffee in the AM (sounds too much like going to work for me). I think the trick is to take just the right amount of coffee in a plastic bag so it is gone when you come home and you then have room for gifts.
5. I used Price Line to rent the car for my last trip and saved 30%. I don't know why the cost of a week's rental car in Detroit, MI was more in February than a rental car for the same number of days in Hawaii in January but I was able to save using Price Line. Again, I wish I'd thought about it for the Hawaii trip. NOTE: There are no refunds with Price Line - if your trip is canceled for weather or illness or whatever you pay for the rental anyways.
6. The one thing I won't do again is book the side trips through Expedia when I make a plane reservation. They advertise as being the guaranteed lowest cost - which, I'm not going to argue - but I found that having to GO TO ANOTHER LOCATION to get the tickets to be annoying at best and impossible if your trip is tight in the scheduling department. And there is no refund if you don't go get the tickets, you need to keep track of the reservation numbers - blah blah blah. I didn't read that little detail at Expedia when I booked and am glad I only booked for one ticket that way.
7. The last money savings tip I tried was my first and probably last time we'll do it but we saved the most by actually going to one of those time share presentations. I know, I know...but, we couldn't get into the condo until 4:00 PM and we had a lot of time to kill so we decided to take them up on the free lunch and tour of the new facility.
I actually found the presentation to be interesting and the lunch very good - an event unto itself. Of course, there was no way that we were likely candidates for spending $44,000 for "8000 points" so we could vacation there or anywhere else they have properties...well, they say they don't expect everyone to buy and we saved $125.00 on the tour of The Road to Hana - which we enjoyed lot.
Well, that is it (besides actually cooking in the condo for lunch or dinner but you all know that cost savings trick).