1. Arm yourself with lots of information regarding your destination of choice. Write to obtain information from a variety of sources like the tourism boards, local chamber of commerce and tourist information centres. They all offer and share information gladly with would-be travellers. Best of all, it costs you only the time and maybe the phone call or postage required on a self-addressed stamped envelope, to access this treasure-trove of information. Sometimes the information is even online, at your fingertips, readily accessible and without any associated costs. Knowledge is power! It will save you money.
Avoid being taken advantage of, exploited or extorted by excessive prices and/or misrepresentation by arming yourself with the facts! Ensuring that you are familiar with as much background and localized, relevant, up-to-date travel, general information, will better prepare you for the details of your trip, assist in planning your event schedule more effectively, and being a smart and informed tourist never hurt anyone!
2. Travel resources and destination guides are a great help and good place to start gathering topical, destination and relevant information. Consult many of them and check often for new and helpful resources in print and online that contains destination-like travel information.
Save money if you are an AAA member and take advantage of their free travel guides. Avoid costly mistakes and unanticipated costs, for hotels for example, by knowing what is happening in the area at the time you are planning to take your trip. Are there any conventions, major sports events or concerts, trade-shows and other happenings in and around where you plan to be? Might any of these factors influence cost and availability? Ensure informational detail provided is reliable and current. Be smart, check, and verify the information provided to ensure that it is up to date and accurate.
3. Be informed and show local interest. Read and do research about your destination, location and surrounding areas. Hidden treasures are found this way! Enjoy travel previews and other multimedia sources that can be a good way to “rehearse” and prepare for your trip. Talk to others who have been there and ask them about places to stay and things to see.
4. Remember to budget some additional funds for taking care of those dear ones who cannot do so for themselves. We are referring to our animal friends and pets. Special arrangements for pets should be made prior to any trip and well in advance. This applies, whether pets are being cared for at home by a neighbour or friend, placed in a kennel (taking a mini-vacation of their own!), or accompanying you on your trip.
Save money by checking your options at your destination. Some rental holiday homes, apartments, hotels and resorts are pet-friendly and encourage owners to bring them along. Avoid unnecessary costs of boarding. Make it a rule of thumb however, to verify any details pertaining to animals, prior to departure. Be smart and get all vet visits, guidelines, travel documents and other paperwork that applies, done way in advance. If you do not have any pets, looking after your domicile and belongings should be left to a trusted and responsible party you trust and value.
5. Being practical goes a long way to save you money and unnecessary, self-inflicted ‘pain’ away from home! Be sure to pack some common sense too. Save money by not giving in to impulse shopping repeatedly, especially on ‘must-have’ shoes! Avoid wearing or trying out the newly bought pair of semi-uncomfortable shoes on your travels. Your feet and pocketbook will thank you.
6. In preparation for making your travel dream come true, assembling a personal travel file is also not a bad idea. Include the exotic and far-away lands you are considering, as well as your local visitors attractions and destinations in and around where you live, for those shorter trips. This will assist you in realizing your travel goals and dreams you worked so hard on putting together and getting ready to execute!