Traveling on a Budget? Try These Money-Saving Vacation Ideas

Written by Jerry Windley-Daoust

If your spirit of adventure is larger than your travel budget, these money-saving tips might just put your next vacation within reach.

1. Swap homes with other vacationers If you prefer to mingle withrepparttar locals rather than other tourists, look into a home exchange vacation. One couple spent their eight-week honeymoon touring Europe without ever staying in a hotel; instead, they stayed in private homes while their European hosts stayed in their New York City apartment. Sound risky? Maybe—but tens of thousands of people have exchanged homes sincerepparttar 145051 1950s. For an annual membership fee (usually around $50), home exchange clubs help members arrange exchanges, as well as offering tips to makerepparttar 145052 exchange go smoothly. According to, a home exchange can cut travel costs by as much as half. More importantly, though, a home exchange vacation makes it possible for you to live likerepparttar 145053 locals, and perhaps make some life-long friends.

2. Rely onrepparttar 145054 hospitality of others In a slight twist onrepparttar 145055 home exchange idea, look into joining a hospitality club that will hook you up with people willing to host you on your next vacation. The largest hospitality club has more than 23,000 members in 148 countries. Membership is usually free, although members are asked to provide hospitality to others (on a voluntary basis) in return sometime inrepparttar 145056 future. In addition to saving money, staying with others is a great way to meet locals who can give an insider’s perspective on your destination.

3. Stay in a monastery or convent Monasteries and convents have a long tradition of providing hospitality to travelers. Aside from being a lot more interesting (and affordable) thanrepparttar 145057 local Holiday Inn, a monastery can be a great place to explore your spiritual landscape. Many monasteries and convents ask for a donation of $40 to $80 per night; others only ask for a free-will offering. In addition to simple accommodations, monasteries and convents often offer their guests simple meals as well as opportunities to participate in daily prayer and work. Reservations may be required in advance. You can research this vacation idea by looking up individual monasteries or convents online. Or get a guidebook such as “Europe's Monastery and Convent Guesthouses: A Pilgrim's Travel Guide” or “Sanctuaries: The Complete United States: A Guide to Lodgings in Monasteries, Abbeys, and Retreats.”

4. Win a free vacation Nothing in life is free,repparttar 145058 old adage goes, butrepparttar 145059 vacations many companies are giving away as part of promotional sweepstakes and contests come close. True,repparttar 145060 odds of winning a free vacation are remote, but if you’ve ever playedrepparttar 145061 lottery, you may as well spend a few minutes searchingrepparttar 145062 web for “vacation contest” and related terms. The only cost of entering will probably berepparttar 145063 time it takes to fill out online entry forms. (Be forewarned, though, that providing your e-mail address virtually guarantees unsolicited e-mail inrepparttar 145064 future.)

Tips to Help Make Your Disney Vacation Perfect

Written by Heather Wallace

When to Visit

The first of our Walt Disney World Tips is to carefully chooserepparttar time of year when you will vacation. Take into consideration if it is tourist season as you will avoid a lot ofrepparttar 145050 crowds if you visit off-season. You also might want to avoidrepparttar 145051 summer months asrepparttar 145052 Florida weather can get very uncomfortable. Lastly, researchrepparttar 145053 park's schedules for different times ofrepparttar 145054 year because parks inrepparttar 145055 Walt Disney World Resort tend to stay open later during various months.

Rise and Shine

Set your alarm and get torepparttar 145056 park early. Arriving atrepparttar 145057 water parks before noon is a great way to avoidrepparttar 145058 crowds. Also, Animal Kingdom closes early so arriving inrepparttar 145059 morning will give you plenty of time to relax and look around. If you want to have breakfast inrepparttar 145060 Magic Kingdom then get there early and head for eitherrepparttar 145061 Crystal Palace or Cinderella's Royal Table. Both are located on Main Street USA, which opens earlier thanrepparttar 145062 rest of The Magic Kingdom. Whenrepparttar 145063 rest ofrepparttar 145064 park opens you will have quite a headstart onrepparttar 145065 other visitors who will still have to buy tickets to get inrepparttar 145066 park.

Riding Withoutrepparttar 145067 Wait

Fastpass is your friend. Some people are underrepparttar 145068 mistaken impression that you have to pay to use Fastpass, but that isn'trepparttar 145069 case. This handy-dandy little freebie allows you to avoidrepparttar 145070 lines and get right on a ride.

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