Traveling Outside the Box
Travelzoo, which claims to be the largest publisher of travel, entertainment and local deals on the Internet, suggests these ways to save your travel dollars:
Book an all-inclusive vacation package because airfare, accommodations, meals, entertainment and taxes are included in one prepaid price.
When traveling in the United States, combine local deals with your travel deal. An emerging trend is to find local deals at your destinations and integrate them into the itinerary. This is both a time- and money-saving way to enjoy coveted attractions and luxury experiences — such as restaurants and spas, helicopter rides, guided tours, sporting events and theatrical performances — at a fraction of the price. Travelzoo offers local deals for cities nationwide.
Travelers should look for added value from hotels and resorts such as spa credits, nightlife passes, free wine and appetizer hours. Hotels and resorts often "sweeten" the deal with free extras to further entice travelers, which has been a growing trend in the industry.
Book a local vacation at an alternative, nature destination. Research local ski resorts that offer a variety of free or inexpensive outdoor summer activities. For example, while Colorado is primarily recognized as a world-renowned ski destination, the Centennial State has an abundance of summer resort activities, such as wildlife and wildflower tours, rafting and art classes.
Try visiting destinations that recently hosted big events, such as the Olympics or World Cup, as hotel inventory will be readily available. Vancouver, Beijing and South Africa all hosted major sporting events in the past three years. As a result, hotels are slashing rates on their increased inventory, resulting in deals for luxury properties and vacation packages that showcase the best of the country.
And if all else fails, try a "nakation." In this down economy, when many have lost the shirt off their back, you can take a trip in which you don't have to wear a shirt. "With the cost of airline baggage fees, if you visit a nudist resort, you can travel more and pack less," says Carolyn Hawkins of the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR). "You can take everything you need in a carry-on." Check out AANR.com (there's even an app), then check into an AANR member resort or campground for a frugally priced getaway.
Also of interest: Peter Greenberg's video about unusual hotels.