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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 ...

Pack light for multiple reasons: 1. Some airline loyalty programs allow for overages on the level of weight or pieces of luggage, but even on the same program, the actual allowances may vary. 2. The second reason is to be mobile, and being willing to switch hotels to minimize the total cost outlay, some hotels maintain drastically different rates for different reasons and being willing to switch hotels can greatly reduce the total cost. John S Lee

Get an account at a bank that has reciprocal arrangements with banks around the world – in this way you will not be charged any banking fees when using international banking machines. For example ScotiaBank cards can be used in Australia and New Zealand at Westpac Bank without any fees. If you can, carry both euros and U.S. dollars – some places offer better deals if you pay in one currency over the other. Keith Clark

Remember ground transport may be cheap at the destination. A flight to Varadero is cheaper than to Havana and the round trip Viazul bus trip is only $25. Andrew Douglas

Absolutely, positively, take your Rogers/Telus/Bell phone SIM card and pitch it into the nearest toilet upon arrival. If you have a smart phone, find out how to “unlock” it. When you arrive, buy a local prepaid SIM card with a local phone number. mcmikex

Ask housekeeping staff where is an economical place to do laundry or get it done; generally hotel laundry services are expensive. Ruth Hillman

Train travel, like local bus, can help you meet so many interesting people. After all, isn't that why we travel? raider

WEBSITES OUR READERS LOVE

If you want a good deal, you need to know where to look – and click. Our readers share their favourite money-saving travel websites:

Sign up for deals in the cities you are planning to visit, just make sure you read the fine print on blackout dates. Great for activities and restaurant offers. OneSpout.com is a good resource. MandyJ1

I have used HomeAway.ca a couple of times and look forward to travelling to Italy later this month and staying at two more apartments. Petunia04

Use Google Street View: If they've done the area you're travelling to, it gives you a real feel of where you are going before you get there. Whack-a-Troll

For travel to London, use the excellent website LondonTown.com. It offers a number of types of accommodation. Small-budget hotels cost around $150 (Canadian). Judy Fleming

Booking.com has become my new site for hotel bookings, especially when I can plan ahead of time. Their rates are great and most of the time, you can make changes if you need to. Margaret Buttner

If you are taking a cruise, join CruiseCritic.com and network with people on the same cruise. Keith Clark

Try viator.com for savings on tours and events. West End Boy

I got a great hotwire.com deal in Savannah with the assistance of hotwirerevealed.com, which helped me narrow down my hotel choice. I've also used HolidayLettings.co.uk for rental accommodations. TJ2

Always read tripadvisor.com comments about hotels and restaurants. People like me do take the time to make good and bad comments and I am so thankful to others who have done that, too. LucyQ

Use vrbo.com. Great variety, great pricing, much better rates than hotels (2,500-square-foot house rather than a hotel room), and usually better locations. Plus it's a lot of fun as well. Great for family vacations. The RealMucker

Airbnb.com is a site where you can find an awesome room in someone's apartment, or sometimes get a whole apartment, in central locations. Usually you'll have access to a kitchen, laundry and a local who will give you awesome advice and get you off the tourist track. Each host is reviewed by people who stayed with them, so you can have a good idea of what you're in for. Kristy

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