Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

7 Sensational Recipes to Celebrate Passover (That Won’t Cinch Your Wallet)

Like so many holiday celebrations, the Passover celebration is centered around the dining table. Stories of long ago are shared while tasting foods that symbolize the meaning of this holiday. This is a time to appreciate a delicious and creative meal together with family and friends. But a holiday feast for all does not have to be a budget stretch. Here are delicious, affordable spins on traditional recipes taken from all around the world that would make any Passover feast (or any feast at all) a memorable one.

Moroccan Charoset Truffles - Recipe for a Passover traditional food, Charoset, usually prepared with apples & walnuts, takes on a Moroccan spin with dates, raisins, and walnuts, served up as little truffles. Easy recipe from Zabar’s Chef, and author of Fistful of Lentils, Jennifer Abadi

4 Passover Recipes with a Mediterranean Spin  - Culinary anthropologist Tori Avey (aka: The Shiksa in the Kitchen) shares the history of  ancient food traditions and gives three recipes that are fresh and healthier and have a twist on the traditional: Cucumber Salad with Pickle & Mint, Mushroom Quinoa Risotto, Seared Salmon with Creamy Dill, and an Apple Pecan Pie.

Honey Chicken Recipe – Cookbook author and founder of  kosher.com, Jamie Geller, shares an easy, affordable Honey Chicken recipe that is perfect for holidays or an elegant dinner party.

Potato Kugel RecipeQuick & Kosher: Meals in Minutes Cookbook author Jamie Geller shows how to make Potato Kugel. A savory and budget friendly vegetarian addition to any meal, any time of day, and perfect for Passover.

Noodle Kugel - Food TV’s “Good Deal” host and cookbook author Dave Lieberman shares his grandmother’s quick, easy, and budget friendly recipe for noodle kugel, a creamy and crispy sweet baked dessert.

Passover Fruit Cobbler - Fruit cobbler recipe is a refreshing alternative to Passover’s usual desserts. This clip is part of “Sweet Dreams” show on the TV Food Network hosted by cook book author Gale Gand.

Passover Coconut Macaroons- TV Food Network’s “Barefoot Contessa” Chef Ina Garten shares her recipe for coconut macaroons, a traditional Passover sweet dessert cookie.

More budget-friendly holiday entertaining ideas:

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Party on St. Patrick’s Without Blowing Your Pot of Gold

photo: “Rainbow Over Knocknara” Ireland

You know spring is right around the corner when St. Patrick’s Day arrives. Green is springing up everywhere, and that alone is enough reason to celebrate! Here are seven videos with tips on meals, recipes, decorations, games, and crafts to bring some festive green and great luck to any St. Patrick’s Day party… with these budget-friendly ideas, you won’t need to tap into your pot of gold to enjoy a great time!

St. Patrick’s Corned Beef & Cabbage – Irish Chef Bobby Flay shows how to cook an affordable enhanced version of corned beef & cabbage, a perfect recipe for an impressive traditional St. Patrick’s Day feast.

St. Patricks Day Dinner, Under $35 - Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Chef Gerard Reidy’s classic recipes with a twist from Ireland’s Delphi Mountain Resort: mussels, a traditional lamb and vegetable stew, soda bread, and  banana bread dessert.

St. Patrick’s Day Party Ideas - Leanne Mumm Pardo and Christopher Hughes, founders of One Hour Parties, share St. Patrick’s Day party ideas that are perfect quick, casual and affordable fun for any budget. Included: green beer, rainbow cupcakes, Leprechaun bottle covers, rainbow crunch mix, kids puppet activity and more.

Marble Green Fingernails for St. Patrick’s Day - When will it be a better time to wear green marble nail polish than on St. Patrick’s Day? What a budget friendly holiday idea! Here’s an easy tutorial on how to do it!  (cup is filled with filtered water).

Make a Bowler Hat from Newspaper - Crafting expert, Ginny Larson shows how to make a DIY St. Patrick’s Day bowler hat from newspaper – easy!

Kids Crafts for St. Patrick’s Day - Crafty Creations, the Abilene PublicLibrary librarian duo, Tremain Jackson and Alyssa Crow, show two DIY craft projects, a potato shamrock stamp & a tissue paper rainbow. They also suggest two children’s books relating to St. Patrick’s Day.

The History of St. Patrick’s Day - Is St. Patrick’s Day just about green, shamrocks, leprechauns, gold and beer? What is the origin of St. Patrick’s Day? And who was St. Patrick? Find the answer here & impress with your St. Patrick’s knowledge!

More ideas to enjoy St. Patrick’s without breaking your budget in our previous post:

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9 Lucky Links to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Style and On Budget

4 Leaf Clovers - 9 Lucky Links to Celebrate St. Patrick's in Style and On Budget

4-Leaf Clovers found in Jamie’s yard in 2002.

Looking for fun and festive to enjoy St. Patrick’s day? You’re in luck – we’ve found a pot of gold in the videos featured below; they’re full of tips to have you celebrating in style while keeping your pot of gold growing, so go ahead – go (and save) green!

St. Patrick’s Inspired Eye Makeup - Tutorial for green green green green St. Pat’s party eyes.

St. Patrick’s Day, Host a Party - Tips to make your budget bash a success from BillSavings.com

St. Patrick’s Day Last Minute Party - Marley Majcher, author and founder of ThePartyGoddess.com gives elegant and affordable tips.

How to Throw a St. Patrick’s Day Party - The title says it all!

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner, 3-Course, Under $40 - Chef Dundon from Ireland’s famous Dunbrody Country House Hotel & Restaurant shows recipes! Mushroom Chowder, Sheperd’s Pie, Bailey’s Creme Brulee.

St. Patrick’s Irish Bread Recipe - Easy, easy YUM from StartCooking.com

St. Patrick’s Day Four Leaf Clover - Decorate in one minute! Easy clovers from OneMinuteCrafts.com.

St. Patrick’s Day Music: Stephane Grappelli, Frankie Gavin – Oh The Days Of The Kerry Dances - The legendary Stephane Grapelli on violin with Frankie Gavin and group in a stunning performance filmed in 2008.

John Mayer – “St. Patrick’s Day” - Nice live performance from John Mayer singing his piece titled, “St. Patrick’s Day,” filmed in 2006

And… we turn now to: St. Patrick’s Day — Trivia:

  • St. Patrick is supposed to have removed what from Ireland?
  • Why does a leprechaun wear green?
  • What is a leprechaun’s profession?
  • The first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the U.S. was held in which city?
  • Click here for St. Patrick’s Day trivia answers.

More St. Patrick’s Day budget tips in our post:

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Winter Car and Driving Money Saving Tips

It’s winter, and if you haven’t done so already, it’s not too late to take the proper measures to be sure your vehicle is in good shape to get you safely where you want to go. Whether you do it yourself, or have an auto shop do it, the pointers in these videos will serve as a guide to steer clear of potential costly car maintenance and driving mistakes to keep you safer on the winter roads.

Stuck in Snow? Don’t Rock Your Car - Rocking a car stuck in snow back & forth to free it could end up costing thousands in broken engine mounts, stripped wiring, & transmission problems. The Monday Morning Mechanic, David N. Rogers, shows how to free a trapped vehicle without damaging it.

Winter Tires, Choose Right - The right winter tires can make a BIG difference when driving on the ice & snow. David Rogers, explains and gives some tips that could save you lots of money, too!

Winterize Your Car -  Several quick  & simple tips from a Metro Tech instructor, that you can do or request an auto shop to do, to get your car ready for winter. A little preventative attention could save you big.

More car and driving money saving topics in our previous posts:

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Save Money on Holiday Travel

Are you ready for the busiest travel season of the year? Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time for driving, but we were surprised to learn that the fall and winter holidays are not the busiest airport travel days… mid-July carries the busiest days for flyers.  But travel around the November, December and January holidays sure do feel like the busiest all around. They absolutely are high in-demand airport travel times and carry big price tags in every travel category, from transportation to lodging; couple that with family expectations and specific time constraints with limited options, and it all translates to:  the pressure is on.

If you’re traveling for the holidays, you can save yourself some stress, time, and money by preparing early with the excellent tips in these videos… and then you can sit back and really enjoy the holidays!

Cheapest Days to Fly – Another clip from FareCompare.com, video gives best days to book for big savings – Nice to know for Holidays!

Holiday Air Travel Deals – A segment from  Travel and Leisure Magazine features director, Nilou Motamed, giving websites & pointers.

Holiday Air Travel Planning Tips – Clip gives simple tip could save you stress & money during the busy holiday season (wouldn’t that be nice?).

Hotel Booking Tips – Great pointers and tips from the LA Times Travel Editor.

Top Secret Hotel Booking Tip – This single tip could bring you big savings from MoneySavingExpert.com founder, Martin Lewis.

Cheap Car Rentals, 22 Money Saving How-To Tips – Rental cars can be a high priced drain. This SpendLessTV blog post gives all the best tips we’ve found, which could save you a bundle on your rental car!

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How To Avoid Costly Travel Hassles

No one wants travel hassle. No matter how far from or close to home you venture, travel is an exciting and enriching adventure. We spend days, sometimes months planning and making arrangements. We may spend several years saving up to make a vacation happen. We want everything go to as smoothly as possible. But… we’ve just got to face it, travel is the perfect opportunity for snags, and those glitches can be very expensive, draining you of your time and costing you in extra unplanned fees, change charges, impromptu overnights, and even fines. However with a little forethought and planning you may be able to save yourself some real travel trouble, time and money. The more you can prepare ahead, the less opportunity for snags. We’ve gathered these tips and videos from some of the best travel experts – handy ideas to help you avoid or quickly smooth over some of the potential pitfalls that come with the travel territory.

  • More people are handling their own travel personal and business arrangements these days. Sites like tripit.com allow you to have your whole itinerary easily accessible to yourself, and anyone you choose.
  • Write it all down and make copies. Even if you’ve created online records, there’s no replacement for paper.Be sure you have it all in one easily accessible place for quick reference.Even the simplest information is important.
    • A copy of the name of your airlines, flight numbers, ship, train line, hotels, length of stay and dates for each destination.
    • Emergency contact info: Write down who you would contact in case of an emergency ie: your embassy, bank, credit card company, etc.
    • Leave a copy with someone you can reach at home of all documents, itinerary and details.
  • Be sure you have all that is required for travel to the country you have selected to visit…the valid required health documents, visa’s, passports, money, taxes.. etc.
  • Find out ahead of time which countries will not accept your visit based on a prior visit to another country which they may have problematic relations with. If you know this ahead of time, you can ask to have a separate piece of paper stamped instead of a page in your passport.
  • Have all boarding passes, tickets, passports, identification, and other necessary papers altogether and ready to show. This is especially handy to have when dealing with customs both entering and exiting a country. Often it’s these simple details that can get forgotten when you are rushed and frazzled and can’t even remember what day of the week  it is after a long day  or night of travel or have awakened at 4 am and haven’t had a cup of coffee yet.
  • Prepare ahead for a last minute change:
    • Have a list of airport hotels direct numbers (not 800 numbers) If you need to stay overnight a direct call will go further than an online or central reservation.
    • If you have to rebook a flight, you may do it faster by calling rather than waiting in line to book the change. If you carry or have online access to a flight guide you’ll be several steps ahead.
    • Pack a change of clothes, medications, and mobile device re-chargers in your carry-on bag.
    • Bring a sweater, light jacket, shawl or lap blanket to have available on the flight, or to use if you need to sleep over at the airport. Catch this site for the ultimate in airport sleep-over pointers.
    • Have a money belt in your carry-on ready to use if you want to protect valuables should you need to sleep in the airport, also a good idea while sleeping on the plane.
    • When waiting for your flight, be sure to locate electrical outlets, in case you need to re-charge your mobile devices, very handy if you need to sleep over at the airport.
  • Get the most comfort possible for your money.Know before you book by checking sites like seatguru.com which show you exactly what is what, size of the seat, location, proximity to the restrooms, etc.
  • Get a boarding pass ahead of time if you can. You may be able to do this online.
  • Arrive at the airport early, early… and did we say, early?
  • Avoid checking luggage. Carry-on is the only way to be certain your bags won’t get lost. Make sure you have proper identification on the outside AND inside all your luggage.
  • Will your carry-on bag actually fit in the overhead or under the seat? Check ahead, many smaller planes will require gate-check-in, but you can avoid a surprise and the accompanying hassle if you know this ahead of time.
  • Check ahead for luggage weight limits, too. Find out the weight limits on luggage for your airline. Many smaller and foreign carriers have weight limits even for carry-on bags.
  • Separate your liquids.Make sure they are in the proper sized bottles (under 4 oz.). Put them all together in one quart-sized clear plastic bag and take them out of your suitcase for separate scanning.
  • If you have prescription medications, it’s best if you can also have a copy of the prescription, but if not be sure the package/bottle is properly labeled, especially if the bottle is over 4 oz. Be sure to pack medications in your carry-on bag.
  • Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off, and easy to run in.
  • Dress simply. Avoid wearing anything metal: belt buckles, jewelry, metal hair clips, watches, pocket change, nail clippers, etc. anything which might set off the metal detectors at security. If you do have these items, don’t forget to take them off and put them in a bin for separate screening.
  • Bringing gifts? Avoid gifts that are wrapped, security will ask you to unwrap them.
  • Have your computer and mobile devices out from their cases and out from your luggage for separate scanning.
  • Put proper identification on your mobile devices, like your name, phone number, and where you will be lodging.
  • Travel Trip insurance and Travel health insurance may well be worth the few dollars it costs in order to be reimbursed for your expenses should a last minute cancellation be necessary, or for any accident or illness that might occur while you are traveling abroad.

Related videos with even more insight on avoiding travel snags and the expense that goes with it:

Traveling & Lose Cell Phone Charger?Have you ever lost the charger for your cell phone or mobile device when traveling? Here’s an idea that could save your mobile devices’ life when you’re on the road, from  travel reporter Peter Greenberg

Keeping Track of Your Luggage- Peter Greenberg gives simple tips that can make a big difference toward preventing lost luggage, so both your suitcases and you end up at the same destination.

How to Avoid Losing Your Luggage- More tips to prevent lost luggage and the extra worry and expense that goes with it.

Avoid Airport HassleExcellent pointers to save you airport travel hassle from radio host John Tesh on checked baggage fees, early check-in, re-booking & security tips.

Consider Travel InsuranceTravel insurance could save you a lot more than just a travel headache. Consider these tips before planning your next big trip from June Walbert, USAA Financial Planner.

Traveler’s Health Insurance - Travel and health insurance may be a good idea, especially for travel outside of the country, and for more costly trips, but navigating the coverage can be complicated. Travel agent Sally Watkins advises on health insurance for travel abroad.

Identity Theft? Stolen Wallet?No one wants to deal with this, ever, but especially while traveling and away from home. June Walbert gives pointers so you can be prepared, just in case.

Be Prepared Travel TipsWorld traveler Jacquelyn Richey gives her favorite pointers on staying safe while traveling with valuables, money, important papers and more.

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How to Save Money Dining Out, Traveling or At Home


Whether you are on the road traveling or touring your own home town, dining out can be a real wallet drain. You are at more of a disadvantage when you are in new unfamiliar places with limited resources and in a rush. But you can still enjoy dining out without busting your budget even while traveling, vacationing, or touring your own town by simply keeping a few easy tips in mind.

 

A Hotel restaurant may be convenient, but… that little bistro or cafe down the block may be a far better value. For example, we randomly selected the Hilton Hotel on Ave. of the Americas in NYC. We checked the weekday breakfast menu at the New York MarketPlace Cafe. The full American Breakfast Buffet is $35 per person. The lowest priced item on the breakfast menu was $12 for granola with yogurt, berries and honey. At the Europa Cafe, just two blocks away, you won’t get the Hilton atmosphere, granted, but you’ll get a lot of local flavor and a spinach and cheddar cheese omelet with potatoes, toast, and coffee or tea for $7.53 – that’s a savings of $27.47 over the hotel cafe. Europa Cafe’s large homemade granola with yogurt and fruit is just $4.25 – which is a $7.75 savings over the New York MarketPlace Cafe.

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Hidden fees can appear on your dining tab. Before you pay or sign ask if a gratuity has already been added in. This applies anywhere, including in your own home town neighborhood. Some countries customarily add a gratuity in, or a “service charge”. Often a gratuity is included for larger parties of 6 or more. Ask your lodging hosts or hotel ahead of time how much of a tip is customary. Watch for extra platting charges for splitting an entre; it might be worth it to order something small and pack the extra to go, instead of incurring a $6 fee that you get nothing in return for. Ask before you order if they accept credit or debit cards, and if there is an extra surcharge for using them.

Ask your hosts or hotel if there are any specials, vouchers or coupons for restaurants.  However, when asking for a recommendation, keep in mind some concierges get kickbacks for sending you to pricy tourist traps so be sure to ask for their unbiased opinion and suggestions.

Some establishments may offer lower prices or freebies on certain holidays, or on specific days of the week, or during certain hours, like before 7:00 pm or after 9:00 pm. Check the specific restaurant you are interest in online for any current promotions, and also check online for coupons and specials at sites like Restaurants.com.

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Eat off the beaten path. Head for eateries in areas that outlie the more popular busy tourist centers. These restaurantuers livelyhoods depend on serving local residents and business people quality fresh regional dishes for reasonable prices daily, and that works in your favor.

More tips in this video:

Street Food. This can be a great way to have a quick sample of local cuisine at a real bargain, but this can also be tricky.  You want to be sure the vendor is well equipped, hygienic, and the food is good quality and fresh.

Catch this video from a curbside cuisine expert for tips on how to do that:

Cook in. Of course, a big dining money saver is to prepare at least some of your own food. You can do this, even if you’re traveling.  Shop at local farmer’s markets or nearby grocery stores and prepare a picnic. Creating your own meal just once a day can easily save you $35 or more, per person, per day.

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How to Get Free Gasoline! Gas & Travel Savings Perks

No matter what we “hear” on the news and in reports, the price of gas has remained high in the U.S. for several years, and that’s most likely how it’s going to remain. The gas price-crunch is a discouraging situation for those planning vacation travel that includes any driving. But there is some good news: there are ways to find deals and save some money when filling your car’s gas tank. One resource for savings is our own SpendLessTV.com’s Car & Gasoline Channel which is loaded with videos giving tons of tips on ways you can get better gas mileage and find the best prices at gas stations. Another way to receive some fuel tank savings AND enjoy your vacation at the same time, is through hotel promotions. Hotels are feeling the travel pinch too, and in an effort to entice visitors, hotels are appealing to traveler’s gas pump price woes! Here is an excerpt from the July 15, 2011 edition one of our favorite resources, the Bottom Line Personal Newsletter, which lists some current hotel promotions via USA Today:

Hotels are offering gas discounts.  Many US hotels are promoting fuel-related discounts this summer to entice travelers. Promotions include free gas gift cards, discounts on rooms when you provide gas receipts and special deals for people who carpool or take mass transit.
Examples: At Affinia Manhattan in New York City, guests can get a $20 gas gift card if they show a mass transit ticket and receipt.  Napa Old World Inn in Napa, California, gives guests who carpool a two-bedroom suite for the price of a standard room through July.  At the Barefoot Resort in Myrtle Beach, south Carolina, guests can receive a $50 gas gift card and free night if they book a seven-night stay and check in on a Saturday.

We did a Google search using the term: travel and gas promotions 2011. We found tons of current deals listed… worth taking a few moments to do an online search, or place a call, to see if your destination may be offering a special.

More travel and gas savings tips in these posts:
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How to Save Money at Theme and Amusement Parks

Whoo Hoo! Theme parks, amusement parks, rides, thrills, adventure, fantasy… all spells big vacation bucks! Or does it? There are ways to save while spending time in amusement and theme parks whether that’s for a week long vacation or a day-trip adventure. Here are the expert’s pointers to getting the most for your thrill-packed dollars!

Tickets:

Purchasing your amusement park’s passes or tickets in advance, before you get to the ticket booths, can offer a real savings. Check online for specific special offers at sites like ThemeParkInsider.com, AmusementPark.com or MouseSavers.com. Do an online search using terms like: coupons theme parks, or coupons discounts Disney.

Timing can make a huge difference. If you can go “off season” you’ll save money and avoid crowds. The time of day may also make a difference for example, discounts are frequently being offered for visits after 4:00 p.m.

Opt for multi-day passes and package options. Also, before you purchase passes, consider how you want to handle your dining and food options. You nay want to include a food pass as part of  your admittance package as well. (see below “Food: Off-site may not be better for food”)

Ask for discounts: Ask if they accept membership discounts from groups like AAA, AARP, Sam’s Club or Costco, veterans, emergency workers, unions, etc. No harm in being creative and asking whatever you can think of!

  • Check with your credit card company to see if they have a promotional deal in effect.
  • Your employer may also have discount offers.
  • Always ask if there are price differences for seniors and/or students and/or children/youth.
  • Groups receive discounts. Find out what qualifies for a “group” discount; if you qualify you could receive some nice savings.
  • Locals may receive discounts. Many parks offer discounts to local residents, be sure to ask about this if you live nearby.
  • Celebrating a special event, birthday or anniversary?
    Discounts may apply, or a special acknowledgement, coupon, freebie or upgrade.

Lodging: Both on-site and off-site offer advantages, and either may end up being better for lodging. It’s well worth a little time do to some research on hotel and transportation rates and package deals that are offered both in the park itself, and in surrounding areas a little ways out from the park.  If inquiring on lodging in an area outside the park perimeter be sure to  ask if there are discounts on their room rates, and in addition, ask if they offer discount packages for park admission, and/or transportation to and from the park. Sometimes a package deal from the park with lodging on-site will be the better option but you won’t know until you check.

Food: Off-site may not be better for food. Sometimes a pre-paid package for all you can eat on-site is the better bargain. This really depends on how you anticipate spending your days and nights. If you plan on being on-site for the bulk of the time, a pre-paid package will probably be the way to go.  But if you plan on splitting your time between the park and touring or relaxing around the pool or shore, you may be better of on your own.

Shopping:  For souvenirs off-site and in nearby towns will almost always be the better way to go.

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Road Trip Money Saving Travel Tips

ROAD TRIP!! There is something about the allure of the road;the freedom to be spontaneous, to take that side road just because you decided in the spur of the moment that you couldn’t possibly miss the world’s biggest ball of string or the museum of gum wrappers, or you just have to taste some local barbecue or explore that hidden waterfall. The opportunity to view the world and enjoy the scenery close and up front is often irresistible.  But even though it may seem like a more affordable mode of travel, a road trip can still be more pricey than what you had anticipated, especially with gas prices on the rise.  Well, we can’t steer you clear of potholes, but we can help you avoid some of the steep prices with these tips on how to save money while keeping your eyes on the road.

Off season. Just as it is with any other mode of travel or vacation planning, traveling during the “off season” will be a big money-saver on everything from lodging to renting a vehicle to park admissions and tourist attractions.

Book Early. Especially during the “on season.” This applies to hotels, parks, camp grounds, etc. It also applies to renting an RV. The earlier you book, the better deal you may be able to secure.

Consider a travel agent. Travel agents often have special promotional packages available to them that you cannot find elsewhere.

Go for smaller when renting a vehicle. Consider the size of your party and the amenities you’ll need, then determine the smallest vehicle you can rent to accommodate that. The smaller the vehicle, the more you’ll save on rental costs and fuel costs.

Rent RV time in bulk. Check the rental packages for buying your time in bulk, they are often better rates.

Check the RV or car rental company’s terms on mileage. Know before you go. There may be limits and penalties. Some discounts may apply to in-state only travel. Ask if any mileage discounts or specials may apply to the trip you are planning.

Avoid Purchasing Extra Equipment. Unless you are going to be doing this type of travel often, it may not be worth it to purchase extra equipment like bike racks and camping equipment. Check with your RV or car rental dealer to see if they offer packages which may include such equipment. You may be able to find good deals on this type of gear from other sports and camping equipment rental companies as well.

Rent an RV direct from an owner. You may be able to save mark-up fees and extra charges by renting a vehicle directly from the owner. One site which does this: 2RVGuys.com. Another which may also have mobile homes available is homeexchange.com which specializes in swapping homes, apartments, boats, and sometimes recreational vehicles.

Be sure you’re getting the most out of your vehicle. Before you leave and frequently during the trip, make sure your vehicle is in good condition, some estimates indicate that a poorly tuned engine uses up to 50-percent more fuel than one which is running well. Make sure your tire pressure is correct; low air pressure can be a considerable gas waster.

Easy does it. You’ll save wear and tear on your vehicle, and save on fuel costs (and traffic tickets) if you keep your speeds under 60 mph; make your accelerations easy and smooth, and ease into stops. Heavy on the pedal and blasting quickly from traffic signal to traffic signal burns up the fuel fast!

Overpacking the car can be a real fuel drain.  The heavier the vehicle, the more fuel it requires, so keep it light.

Food and snack shopping at pricey service stations and convenience stores add up; shop from farmer’s markets or grocery stores to create your own light meals, snacks and drinks.

Watch out when using your debit card at gas stations, they may withdraw more than the amount of your purchase to hold on deposit until after the transaction is completed by the bank.

Use the proper grade fuel for your vehicle. It’s not worth using a supreme-grade fuel if the manufacturer doesn’t specifically require it  or if the car is performing well on regular-grade fuel without engine knocks or lugging.

Service stations in the U.S. change prices between 10:00 am and noon. So keep in the know on price trends; if prices are on the rise, get there before 10:00 am, and if prices are dropping get there after noon.

Gas prices usually rise on the weekends. If you can, try for weekdays to fill your tank.

Use gas finding apps to locate cheaper stations nearby, andkeep in mind if you’re driving a heavier vehicle like a camper or RV, it may not be worth driving too far out of your way.

Gas discounts can be had from various sources. For example, some super market shopper loyalty programs have partnered with gas companies and your accumulated grocery shopping reward points are good toward fuel discounts at those stations. Another discount resource: save an easy 10% off your fuel bill if you purchase gas gift cards in advance from a discount gift card site like ShopAtHome.com or GiftCardGranny.com.

Lodging. Even though you might be staying in your vehicle you may still need to secure a reservation in a campsite, trailer park, hotel or motel along the way. Try to plan ahead for those, particularly during the traditionally busier times of year as parks can often be booked several years in advance.  Check the internet, or road assistance groups like AAA, for coupons and special discounts.

Make sure you have a good road-side assistance program. The small monthly premiums of these programs can save you thousands of dollars in towing and repair fees, and can be well worth it for the convenience alone.

Insurance. Check with your car and homeowners or home renter’s insurance company to find out specifically what you and your vehicle will be covered for. Depending on your existing coverage, you may or may not need an additional Traveler’s policy for the trip.

Anytime you are making a reservation for anything – ask, ask, ask. Ask if that’s the best they can do for you, and if there are any special offers or discounts that are being offered which you may not be aware of.

More road trip travel money saving tips in these videos:

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