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10 Classic Tips
It's true: Great minds do think alike. These tips are so good someone sends them to us every week!
1. Pack old clothing. I often pack clothes that I will be discarding in the near future, wear them once on the trip and throw them away. This leaves me more suitcase room for the return trip. Shawn Mylar, Huntington, W. Va.
2. Bring mailing labels. Before leaving home, I print the names and addresses of my friends and family onto clear mailing labels. Addressing postcards has become really easy. Lisa Higgins, Oak Park, Ill.
3. Create a packing list. It's unnecessary to make a packing list for each trip. Instead, draw up a master list with everything you might need on any given trip--from ski goggles to snorkels, slippers to saline solution. Make multiple copies or save it on your computer. Before you start packing, cross out anything you don't need for that particular trip. Bonnie Herbst, Ventura, Calif.
4. Buy souvenirs at grocery stores. Easily packable, local specialty foods make great gifts for family and friends at home, and grocery stores are usually your best budget bet. At the huge Safeway in Kihei, Maui, we found a great selection of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts and Kona coffee beans in elegant gift boxes for far cheaper than in tourist-oriented shops. Jennifer Beach, Alexandria, Va.
5. Hit the public library. You can get a great many travel guidebooks free from the public library--and arrangements can often be made to keep them for the duration of your trip. Gail G. Jenkins, Idaho Falls, Idaho
6. First stop: Chamber of Commerce. Whenever I plan on spending some time in a particular city, my first stop is always the local chamber of commerce or the convention and visitors bureau. I often find coupon booklets good for discounts on lodging, restaurants, golf, etc. These can result in substantial savings. Ron Sobieck, Foley, Ala.
7. Buy a pass for public transportation. The London Underground sells its Visitor Travelcards on the Web (ticket-on-line.com) and charges nothing to mail them to you before you leave home. Cards are good for three, four, or seven days of unlimited travel on the Tube (subway) and buses. Most tourist sites are located in zones one and two; a seven-day card for these zones costs $40. With individual trips costing more than $4, the card pays for itself in less than two trips per day! Jeanette Langdell, Sunnyvale, Calif.
8. Have a picnic. The most effective money-saver you can bring with you is an expandable tote bag for the food you've purchased at foreign groceries. Our breakfasts and picnic lunches turned out to be healthier, tastier, fresher, and much cheaper than their restaurant counterparts. Tara Achenbach, Union City, N.J.
9. Check out the Entertainment books. Before traveling anywhere in the United States, especially to Hawaii, purchase an Entertainment book (800/374-4464, entertainment.com) consisting of coupons that bring you two-for-one discounts off dining and entertainment in the city it covers (the comprehensive Hawaii book includes deals on all five main islands.) The price of the books varies from $25 to $45. Paula Prindle, Orient, Ohio
10. Travel with a cooler. My husband and I took our three kids to Italy last summer and rented a car. Before we left, I bought a soft-sided cooler that had wheels and a handle. On the trip over, I filled it with all of the kids' clothing. In Italy, I stocked it with drinks and snacks. Erica Bellisario, Toronto, Ont.