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Jan 21, 2010 7:38 AM by News First 5

Top 5 ways to save on travel

All this month for our Thrifty Thursday segments we're teaming up with local mom Carrie Isaac of SpringsBargains.com to help stretch your dollars. This week Carrie gives us her top five tips for saving on travel.

Be flexible about where you stay.

Carrie says you should try a hotel booking site like Hotwire.com, where you can select your dates, area of town, and star-preference (three star, four star, or five star) and get a great deal on a room. You won't know which specific hotel you've booked until the order is placed, but by selecting a high rating, like 4 or 5 star, you can be assured you'll get a nice hotel for a great price.

You can also save money by researching hotel rates at different times of the month and planning your trip when rates are cheaper.

Visit national parks instead of amusement parks.

There are many amazing national parks within driving distance of Colorado Springs. Admission is inexpensive, and there's nothing to pay for once you get in - unlike amusement parks where you often spend your admission twice over once inside the park! You can visit a natural landmark, pack a lunch, and enjoy a relaxing day without spending much money at all.

Take smaller trips

It's expensive to travel for a week and pay for a hotel, meals, and all the other expenses. Try vacationing for four days instead of seven - long enough that you'll still feel like you had a vacation, but shortened enough to save hundreds!

Check for local coupons ahead of time

Many stores and restaurants in the locale you're headed to will have online coupons and deals, but instead of spending all your vacation time on the computer looking for deals, plan ahead and find those deals and coupon websites before you leave on your trip.

Don't eat out for every meal

Dining out is one of the biggest expenses of traveling. Pay a little more for a hotel with a small kitchenette and make a trip to the grocery store when you get there. By purchasing quick, easy meals like canned soup, frozen entrees, and grocery store deli items, you can save big on eating out. Save the eating out budget for a few special meals and make the rest of them in your hotel.

For more tips from Carrie click here

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