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Planning a holiday trip or vacation doesn't have to be expensive or tedious. There are many ways you can save money on trips without a lot of hassle and extra planning. In fact, some money saving strategies can save you time and energy before and during the trip.

Car Rental
Does your car suck gas? Renting a hybrid or fuel efficient car may save you enough money in gas that it more than pays for the car rental expense. Plus, with a rental car you don't have to worry about expensive tune-ups before the trip.

To get the best deals on a car rental, visit the company's website. Often, car rental services feature deals that you can't get at a rental counter. For example, most sites have last-minute deals or deals during holiday weekends. Also, look for sites, like Enterprise, that have free concierge services. They will pick you up at your home and bring you to the rental location, which saves you gas money.

Ship Souvenirs
Most airports charge high fees for extra checked baggage and baggage that is excessively heavy, so what do you do with all of those souvenirs for friends and family back home? Well, the easiest thing to do is to head to your nearest post office. Mailing souvenirs in flat rate boxes is often much cheaper than checking an extra bag or overstuffing a checked bag. Besides, by mailing the trinkets you save yourself from extra packing, lugging and bag checking.

Book Tickets the Smart Way
If you're spontaneous, it may save you money. Last minute plane tickets, hotel rentals and car rentals can often be purchased at discount prices on websites such as Expedia and Priceline. Un-booked tickets mean lost revenue for vendors, so they slash prices in hopes that they will at least cover operating costs. It's a win-win for everyone.

The best way to take advantage of last minute deals is to cruise bargain ticket sites a few days before you want to leave. Getting quotes at several sites insures that you get the best deal since some will have price cuts that others haven't posted yet.

When booking hotel rooms check these features to save the most time and money:

  • Use the site's map feature or Google Maps to see how close the hotel is to the areas you want to visit. This saves on travel time, fuel and frustrations.
  • Look for hotels with complementary breakfasts and dinners. This allows you to grab meals and go when you're in a hurry to see the sites. It also lets you eat two meals a day for free.
  • Don't waste valuable time washing clothes in the hotel laundry room. Book rooms with laundry pick-up service. It may seem to cost more, but just think about how many quarters you would load into those washers and dryers. You could come out ahead be having someone else do your dirty work.

Now that you know some money saving tips and some time saving shortcuts, you'll have more time and money for fun without all the hassle.

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