Tried-and-true travel tips for holiday savings

MYSCHA THERIAULT
Last updated 14:30 03/12/2013

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With all of the new-fangled mobile phone apps and tech gadgets available these days, travellers can start to feel like the cost of a trip is spiralling out of control before they even pack their bags.

Turns out, some of the best savings solutions can still be found by kicking it "old school."

So before you throw down for the hottest new must-have items, consider these tried-and-true solutions for pinching your travel pennies.

Surplus: It may have fallen out of fashion, but shopping at military surplus stores is still a great way to get a superior value for certain goods.

Camping gear, extreme-weather clothing and even emergency medical supplies can all be found at such establishments, along with rucksacks, canteens and other storage solutions for carrying your supplies on the road.

Coupons: Janice Temple, a travel agent, former flight attendant and founder of the Black Travel Bloggers writing group, favours good old-fashioned coupon books.

Her source? Temple contacts the tourism board of her chosen destination several weeks in advance via its website. Not only does she procure the latest coupon book with current savings opportunities, but is also able to research museum freebies and other deals ahead of time.

Layovers: While most travellers research savings opportunities for their final destination, many overlook the fact that airlines allow ticket holders to stop and spend time in their layover city at no extra charge.

Budgetnista Tiffany Aliche, best-selling author of "The One Week Budget," sees this as a chance to see two destinations for the price of a single airline ticket.

The Budgetnista put this tip to the test herself when travelling to Costa Rica with friends. Since their tickets had them stopping in Panama for a time, they took it as a sign.

Says Aliche, "My friends and I purposefully extended our stay there to explore the beautiful country and go to the Panama Canal."

Discounts: Aliche also advises staying in school, even if it's just a course or two at a time. It may be an old-fashioned budget tip, but many countries in Europe and elsewhere still offer steep savings to those carrying a student identification card.

Museums, historic attractions and other sought-after travel experiences can cost significantly less if you just remember to put yours in your pocket along with your passport.

Theriault is the best-selling co-author of the book "10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget," and founder of TrekHound, a website for independent travellers.

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