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In peak season, rooms at Casa de Campo in the Dominic Republic start at about $650 (U.S.). Off season? You can book a room for $219 and get your food and drink, tennis, horseback riding and skeet-shooting thrown in for good measure.
In peak season, rooms at Casa de Campo in the Dominic Republic start at about $650 (U.S.). Off season? You can book a room for $219 and get your food and drink, tennis, horseback riding and skeet-shooting thrown in for good measure.

Our readers' 38 best money-saving vacation tips Add to ...

Last week we shared cheap-travel expert Domini Clark’s top 10 ways people waste their travel dollars, and invited readers to respond. We were inundated. Here are the best tips, tricks and pieces of advice sent in by our readers.

WHERE TO SLEEP

Look for alternative types of accommodations. On my last trip to Amsterdam, we rented a houseboat for less than the average hotel room. We were right on the Amstel River in the heart of the city; got to be part of a “local” neighbourhood rather than a tourist area. Cheri Elferis

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If you're travelling as a family, apartment-style hotels or vacation rentals can help you save money. Often these apartments come with a kitchenette. I convinced my husband to go to an apartment hotel in Washington, D.C. It was wonderful: located in a quiet, centrally located neighbourhood near the subway and walking distance to many sites and restaurants. The best part about these places is that they are located in regular neighbourhoods and not in tourist zones. Sarah Bandey

Going to Hawaii? Costa Rica? Almost anywhere? There are invariably people who have bought investment properties and are desperate to rent them out. In Hawaii, a nice three-bedroom condo/house just minutes to the beach can be had for $150 to $200 a night. These places are usually fully equipped (boogie boards, coolers, towels, etc.) and eat-in breakfasts/lunch preparation becomes much simpler Michael Bentley

Booking “with your feet” can save you a ton of cash and get you some amazing places. If you are on a long trip, book a hotel for a few days and walk your favourite neighbourhoods to find that guest house. Whack-a-Troll

Stay in a family-run two-star place. Often the service is great and warm, the owners are more helpful and the rooms are neat and clean but not fancy. How much time do you want to spend in your room? dog's breakfast

MEALS AND MUNCHIES

Pack baggies or other resealable bags, and buy nuts and other healthy snacks that you can throw in your bag every day for the midmorning munchies. Or if the hotel offers a breakfast buffet, grab a banana or other piece of fruit for later in the day. Bag clips are handy to if you buy snacks that will last a few days, or if you taking a train or bus trip and need something to munch on. Margaret Buttner

Airport prices are still exorbitant, eating before heading to the airport, or on the way to the airport can save a bundle. – John S Lee

I would suggest eating your main meal “out” at lunchtime, when prices are much less at most restaurants, and have a picnic in your room (wine, cheese, etc.) at night. Dorothy2707

Find hotels that have free continental breakfasts, which in Europe is usually included in the price of the room. Go nuts on it. Pig out. officematt

For breakfast, most rooms have a coffee maker – therefore, a source of hot water. We bring our own Starbucks instant coffee and use Irish cream liquor as our creamer. We also bring packets of instant oatmeal. Carefully tear off the top of the package of instant oatmeal and place the whole package in a coffee mug. The packages are waterproof, so pour in the hot water, stir, and eat the oatmeal out of the package. When done, put the package in the garbage and the coffee mug is still clean – no dishes! J56

SCORING A DEAL

Typically renting a car at an airport is significantly more expensive. Many rental car companies have off-airport locations that offer a much cheaper option. Better still, some of these locations are often in the hotel lobbies of airport hotels that offer a free shuttle to/from the airport. A quick Google map search can locate these off-airport rental car locations. If there are no airport hotels with rental car offices in their lobbies, then take public transit to the nearest one. Adam Frost

Before I go anywhere on holiday I go to a local newspaper site and see if they've got Daily Deals e-mails you can sign up for. We just spent three weeks at Christmas travelling the coast from Vancouver to Newport Beach California and enjoyed discount dinners, facials and tours every stop along the way! Tracy Nice

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