Stretching your travel dollars


COOL DEALSHave you put your holiday on ice in the face of a fitful economy? You may not need to, thanks to hot bargains. >> Read moreThere are more choices -- and more discounts -- out there than you realize.Even if you can't take your dream trip abroad, there are alternatives that offer foreign flair right here on U.S. soil. PhotosU.S. currency is making a comeback when it comes to Canada, cruising and the Caribbean. PhotosTips from readers:The Times Travel section asked readers to share their tips on saving money while still enjoying vacation.Affordable family getaways:Take the road to adventure via trips and deals for nearby hotels, destinations abroad and ocean cruises. PhotosIf you're willing to be flexible and spontaneous, you and your perfect match can find hotel bargains -- and scenery -- to love. Elderhostel, volunteering and cruises are among the options that won't break the bank for single travelers.

More budget travel tips:

  • Travel on the cheap

    Think you have to settle for a summer in staycation mode? Here are some savvy tips to stretch your budget in surprising ways.

  • 9 ways to keep those airline rewards miles alive

    9 ways to keep those airline rewards miles alive

    Did an email from your favorite airline warn you that your miles are going to expire? Rather than risk losing them, the airline might suggest redeeming those unused miles for premiums as diverse as magazine subscriptions, gift cards and flat-screen TVs. There are, however,  easier and cheaper ways...

  • A bad economy adds up to good vacation deals

    A bad economy adds up to good vacation deals

    Southwest Airlines offered coast-to-coast round trip flights for $180, hotels are engaging in rate wars and cruises are throwing high prices overboard.

  • When a layoff cancels a trip

    When a layoff cancels a trip

    Some companies are offering terms under which someone who suddenly loses a job can get a refund.

  • Olympic deals for Vancouver, Canada? Not yet

    The world economy may be schussing down the fall line, but you would never know it from the price tags on lodging-and-ticket packages for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, which start at more than $3,000 for two nights. What's a cost-conscious sports fan to do? Get creative, or wait...

  • Costs drop for 'repositioning' cruises

    As a former resident of England and Northern Ireland, I've flown across the Atlantic too many times to remember, but I'm not boasting. No, I've spent too much time inside a too-dry, too-noisy and too-confining tube as I traveled back and forth across the pond. Next month I need to go to Britain...

  • Bargains for spring break

    Bargains for spring break

    Overall, trips are cheaper than in 2008, and some discounts are still available. Even a student who didn't ace econ may find a deal.

  • All-inclusive vacation? Not always

    All-inclusive vacation? Not always

    Here's a siren song for the stressed-out traveler: "all-inclusive vacation." Pay all your costs upfront, this seductive sea nymph croons, and whip out your wallet no more. It's not always a lie. But to avoid scuttling the family budget on faraway shores, figure on extra expenses that can add hundreds...

  • As rates rise, pare cost of car rental

    As rates rise, pare cost of car rental

    Fasten your seat belt. Car rental rates have hit overdrive. Even an econo-box can command $35 or more a day in the U.S., plus taxes and fees. But your wallet needn't be flattened by rising prices. Few travel costs are more flexible than rentals, and careful choices about where and how you book...

  • Strategies to stretch your travel dollars in '09

    Strategies to stretch your travel dollars in '09

    The economic tailspin ensures that 2009 will be a travel year like no other. We're already seeing hefty discounts, but beyond that, who knows? So rather than deliver dubious prognostications about prices and trends, I offer five New Year's resolutions for the savvy vacationer. I will beware of...

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