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How to Beat the High Cost of Travel

How to Beat the High Cost of Travel

Here are The Traveling Professor's best tips for saving money on your next vacation.


Go Shoulder or Off-Season:  Not only is off-season cheaper, but it is also a lot less crowded.  I am not sure I would go to the Highlands of Scotland in the winter, but the only time I would go to Rome is in late February or March.   Hotel bargains are to be found in places like Ireland in the late Fall and early Spring.  Some research is needed to find out when off-season really is.  With the exception of 2024 and the Olympics, Paris can be off-season in August when all the locals go on vacation.  Of all the tips presented here, this is probably the biggest money-saver.


Be Smart About Where You Stay:  Probably the most expensive element of a vacation overseas is lodging.   In most cases, a vacation is most enjoyable when staying in a centrally located hotel.  But take the case of Venice for instance.   It is not unusual for a moderately priced hotel to be $400 or more per night.  26 easy minutes away is the beautiful city of Padua, a great destination within itself.  So instead of spending $400 a night for 5 nights in Venice, why not do 3 nights in a 4/5 star hotel in Padua for $200 a night and then splurge on the Venice hotel for 2 nights?


Dining:  Always book a hotel that offers breakfast.  That will save you about $20 a day.   Of course, you know that lunch is going to be a lot less expensive than dinner.   So, for a few days, why not do a few nice lunches and take it easy on dinner?  Then, go ahead and splurge on a couple of nice dinners.   If in Italy for instance, visit an enoteca.   That’s a wine bar that offers a big splurge on appetizers like cheeses, salamis, veggies and pastas for free.   Another tip is to take a look at meals served at museums.   We love the elegant fixed priced lunch at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris.   The Musée Jacquemart-André (also in Paris) has the nicest tearoom in the city and offers outstanding meals at more than reasonable prices.   And our last tip for dining is to stay away from the tourist piazzas and main drags.  It is their poor food, lousy service and high prices are to be found. 


Buy the Museum Pass:  Almost every city has their version of a pay-one-price card that gives admission to the best attractions in the city.  Most of them even give VIP admission.  On top of that, some others provide free transportation in the city.   Used correctly, they could be a great bargain and a time saver.  In Oslo, there is the Oslo Pass.  In Rome it is the Roma Pass.  In Paris it is the Paris Museum Pass.  They have the Bergen Card in Bergen and the Firenze Card in Florence.


Be Careful How You Book Flights:  Probably the second highest expense of a trip is airfare.   The Professor has published many tips on how to save on airfare and we’re not talking about saving $25-$50.  Look at the blog post and save hundreds of dollars on booking your next airfare. Do you know how to book an open-jaw flight that can save you hundreds of dollars?  How about discount airlines like Norse Airways whose planes fly just as fast as those Delta, American, and United have?


Wisely Use the Number of Days Traveling:   On our Traveling Professor small group tour to Copenhagen and Norway for instance, we book a luxury overnight ferry.  It is a great adventure to travel from Copenhagen to Oslo and we get a night of lodging out of it too.   When going from London to the Scottish Highlands the Caledonian Sleeper train provides a first-class overnight train experience. 


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The Traveling Professor is one of the most well-known and popular travel bloggers on the web.   His blog posts provide useful travel information that drill right down to what matters.

Some of his most popular travel blog posts have been:

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