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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 ...

Train rides in Europe can be as much as half off if booked in advance. I paid €52 for the London-Paris train by booking three months in advance, I saw prices around €100 if purchased the same day. It's true you have to make that exact train but it worked out great for us. And if you're on a special vacation like a honeymoon or an anniversary – tell everyone! You'll get upgrades, extras, smiles and better service. Jeff Roberts

Look for coupon codes. I'm saving 25% on renting a car this summer because I did a search on Google for “Europe car coupon codes.” TVworker

Sign up for group coupon e-mails for your destination. I signed up for Groupon e-mails about two months before our trip to L.A. We got a lot of ideas about places to go and got Groupons for: the Grammy museum, the Santa Monica Pier (midway), a great deli in Santa Monica and a thrift store in Santa Monica. NorthVanDMo

Always look for CAA/AAA specials. Check their website for deals on hotels, rental cars, tickets for attractions even shopping discounts. In many cases, it's “ask and you shall receive.” Also, CAA offers benefits on car rentals such as free child safety seats and a free second driver. mva1

WHERE TO GO

Research your event tickets and read the fine print. A three-day pass in Paris for all of the museums seems like a deal at around 75 euros, but if you spend the whole day at the Louvre, it's cheaper to buy a single entrance ticket for about 12 euros than to use up 25 euros worth of your pass. Jeff Roberts

One more way to waste money: Only travel to the most modern, trendy places. There are still some places you can travel to that are very inexpensive as long as you are not at the most touristy locations: Vietnam, China (outside the megacities) and Cambodia to name a few fascinating Asian examples. We went to a little-known island beachside resort in Vietnam, stayed at a simple but nice place for $25 a night. Noviwan

Try travelling to a desired location off season ... example, Paris in the winter, amazing, beautiful still, no crowds at any of the sights, great restaurants are attainable and on top of all that, you get better airfares and better rates on hotels. Nicky125

The same is true in reverse for tropical destinations. Some of them may be risky due to weather risks, and the summer will be hot, but crowds will be small, prices will be lower, and if you have access to a beach and some shade, it can still be great. We've even done Disney in August and had a great time, every ride except one had lines of less than 10 minutes. Some, no lines at all. SS Ontario

SIGHTSEEING

Arrange private tours at ports of call instead of taking the ship's tours. You will usually get the tours at half the cost and also avoid the crush of people from the tour buses. In some places this may not work, but most places it will. Keith Clark

If you search online for free walking tours and the city you're in, there's bound to be one of those organizations. You get a bit of a personalized lesson, get good exercise, and hear about things from a local perspective. Of course, a tip is appreciated, but the experience is well worth it since it's done by students. The Silver Shadow

MORE TRAVEL TIPS

Use your credit and debit card for emergencies, or at least limit your use of plastic. Some countries add extra fees when paying with plastic or using bank machines, especially in Asia. Plus, when you pay cash using the local currency you have the opportunity to bargain, even if you don't speak the language. As long as you understand how the currency works you can always write down your offer. If your trip is more than a week, bring enough cash for the first part then either cash in your travellers cheque or make an ATM withdrawal for the latter part of your trip. That way you limit the amount of fees. Gisella Chung

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