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Second Annual Budget Travel Resolutions
Part 1: Airports and Crowds
 More of this Feature
• Part 2: Skipping and Bidding
 Related Resources
• Four Money-Saving Resolutions (for 2002)
• Budget Travel 101
• Four Tips for Frugal Travel
 
 From Other Guides
• New Year's Resolutions for Cruise Lovers
• Resolutions for Campers
• Resolutions for U.S. Park Visitors
• Saltwater Fishing Resolutions
 
 Elsewhere on the Web
• Rick Steves' Travel Resolutions

Many people hate New Year's resolutions. But last year, a strange thing happened.

Our Four Money-Saving Resolutions article was among the most popular content on this site in the previous year. My conclusion: people might not want to be told to lose weight or stop smoking, but they don't mind some suggestions for changing their traveling habits.

So, again this year, I bring you four resolutions you actually can keep. Any one of them could save you considerable money, too!

  • Resolution #1: I will price my airfares using several nearby airports.

    I recently priced a trip from Cincinnati to Las Vegas. The Delta hub at CVG offers quite a few flights to Vegas, but all the prices were ugly -- up to $400 USD for a roundtrip ticket. But just 80 miles to the south in Lexington, Delta was offering a Las Vegas roundtrip for $220.

    Now, here's the kicker: guess where that Lexington flight stops en route to Vegas? Cincinnati!

    I'm willing to drive for an hour each way to cut my airfare in half, aren't you? If you take three or four guests, you can multiply that savings. This strategy also can pay off nicely on international flights.

    Many of the search engines offer the option of checking airports within a specified radius. If they don't, do the work manually.

    >More information

  • Resolution #2: I will visit at least one place off the beaten tourist path.

    Most people who visit Europe go to Paris, London, Rome and Munich.

    There is nothing wrong with that whatsoever. All those cities are worthy of lengthy visits.

    But visitors to the relatively lonely German region of Ostfriesland will enjoy much lower prices for lovely hotel accommodations, excellent if simple cuisine, and uncrowded beauty. You can find such places in Italy, France, Great Britain, and any other nation, too. Find these out-of-the-way destinations, and you will learn a lot about the nations you've chosen to visit.

    This strategy works within your home country, too.

    A variation is to look at places that are normally popular, but might be quiet at a certain time for some reason. For example, travelers willing to go to New York or Washington, DC soon after the terrorist attacks reaped tremendous bargains. Some might view that as gain from another's misfortune. But most in both cities saw those bargain-seekers as honored guests rather than vultures. Restaurants and hotels were virtually empty.

    Lose the crowds for more convenient, economical and enlightening travel.

    >More information

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