Friday, April 25, 2008

Travelling on a Weak Dollar

I am taking a day off and presenting you with some travel tidbits from a contributing blogger. Heather Johnson is an industry critic, as well as a regular contributor on the subject of airline mile cards. Enjoy...

It’s time to stop blaming whomever is in charge of the economy and how the dollar pales in comparison to the Euro. Bottom line: people are still going to travel. If you’re used to staying in posh London for a jet-setting weekend, get geared up for a domestic flight to Chicago and get holed up in a Days Inn. Whatever you’re accustomed to is going to take a hit during these dog days of the weak dollar, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to have to become a hermit. Here are ways you can still go away on a tighter budget:

Hotel? No. B&B? Yes. You’ll save half on a night in a bed and breakfast than at a hotel, plus you’ll get a free meal and a cozier room. Yes, cozy often meaning tiny. But cozy nevertheless.

Skip the Hard Rock. If you’re in a foreign city, then expect them to speak their own language. If you’re searching for a place that advertises, “We Speak English,” then you’re asking to pay through the nose. They’re going to know you’re a tourist and they’ll make you pay like a tourist.

Travel during off-peak times. You only go to Paris in the summer? Tough luck. It’s time to start looking around for deals and major cities like Paris, London and Rome are fascinating at any time of the year, plus much cheaper destinations when you go off-season.

Trust the guidebook. If you’re eager to see the sights on your first day in Europe then save the potentially thousands on a guided tour and pick up a reputable guidebook. It will give you the same walking or driving tour that some local yahoo is looking to charge you tons for.

Hit up your friends and relatives. Got a distant cousin in Ireland? An aunt in Italy? Get in touch with them and make arrangements to stay with them. Use it as a chance to “get caught up,” but you’re really going to save a bundle on lodging.

Localize your tastes. If you’re used to drinking coffee and eating doughnuts every morning then take a look around and realize what country you’re in. They drink tea in London and drink beer in Germany. The customary local fare is always going to be cheaper than the novelty that you’re about to order.

Buses are cheaper than trains. The romantic train ride is going to cost you. The bumpy bus ride is going to save you. Especially in the British Isles, traveling by bus is the cheapest route. Depending on the length of your journey, you might save a hundred bucks – or euros!

Heather invites your questions, comments and inquiries. You can contact her at:

1 comment:

Deborah said...

This article has been included in the latest edition of Mom's Blogging Carnival.