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Fifth Annual Budget Travel Resolutions

Times are Changing

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Budget travel, like many things in life, means something different with each passing year.

We take trips today that our grandfathers would have thought extravagant and almost beyond imagination.

But you don't have to go back to the horse-and-buggy years to see a lot of change in the way we travel or the way we seek out bargains. In fact, if you look at the past 12 months, you'll see new techniques, new trends, and new opportunities.

Perhaps that's why my annual budget travel resolutions are among the most viewed articles of the year on this site. People are looking for new ways to save money, and they're willing to change with the times.

I started this annual endeavor in 2002. The success that year led to more resolutions in 2003, 2004, and 2005.

These suggestions that make up the Fifth Annual Budget Travel resolutions are simply intended to get you thinking about ways to make your money do more for you. Here's wishing you a healthy, prosperous, and frugal 2006.

Resolution #1: I will seek out the lesser-known cities, where prices are often cheaper.

About.com's Guide to France for Visitors laments the fact that most people focus their trips exclusively on Paris. She even made a list recently of the top French cities you probably won't visit, but should.

How many people enjoy Miami Beach but leave Florida thinking the state's beaches are all lined with high-rises and packed with visitors?

No one is suggesting there is anything wrong with visiting Paris or Miami Beach. But you should make an effort on every trip to leave the beaten path for "the road not taken."

It might mean spending time in Romania rather than Prague. Perhaps it will be Belize rather than Cancun. Maybe some time away from Gatlinburg on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

By the way, the best French meal I ever had was not in Paris, but Strasbourg, over on the German border. You will discover plenty of hidden treasures in cities much smaller than Strasbourg, and pay a fraction of the prices charged in bigger cities.

> More about leaving the beaten path

Click "next" or "2" to the right to learn about frugal travel in Europe.

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