Frugal Traveler

Spend less on vacation essentials

November 24, 2012 

While many vacation expenses are unavoidable, there are certain areas where you could easily be spending less than you already are. Follow these four areas of savings advice to start shaving expenses and reduce your bottom line.

Dental: Paying 99 cents for less than a one-ounce tube of travel-sized toothpaste can seem a tad pricey when two bins down there are full dental kits that include a new toothbrush for the same price. Find greater savings in the children’s section, where the same dollar will buy you a tube that’s triple the size yet still within acceptable TSA standards. Granted, it may be a challenge to find one that doesn’t sparkle or taste like bubble gum, but they do exist. Dollar stores often have the same size of tube in a suitably adult peppermint flavor for a comparable price.

Transportation: While certain transportation costs are unavoidable, you can often save money on rental cars by choosing a hotel within walking distance of the attractions you’re most interested in seeing. This is more than possible in cities like Florence, Paris, Montreal and even London. Sometimes your transportation options come built into the cost of your accommodations. For example, at the Delamar in Southport, Conn., bicycles are available to guests at no extra charge. The Delamar also has a program that provides complimentary transportation within a three-mile radius of the hotel, based on vehicle availability.

Sunscreen: For those trips where a basic factor 15 sunscreen will suffice, save yourself an easy 50 percent by shopping in the section where the regular lotion is located as opposed to the general sunscreen aisle. Certain hand and body lotions come with broad-spectrum SPF 15 included in their formula and offer significant savings. While I still need to purchase higher SPF ratings for sunbathing and days spent on the snow or water, I’m more than content with this alternative option for day-to-day hand and neck coverage when I enjoy walking tours and other basic travel activities.

Eyewear: Basic readers in a variety of colors are typically available in packs of three for roughly $10 at Marshalls, where I’ve also found reasonably priced protective cases for those same glasses. For those who need a specific prescription, however, savings can still be found at dollar stores for things like repair kits, disposable cleaning cloths and even reusable buffing fabric.

Myscha TheriaultMcClatchy-Tribune News Service

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