See what CafeMoms are saying about saving time this holiday season..
We can talk about packing snacks and watching fees, which is all great to do, but there are two things to do if you really really want to stay on budget when you are travelling to another country.
First, do a ton of research. Hit web sites, read books, go to chat travel blogs, hit chatrooms, reach out to friends who have gone there to get the real scoop on the tourist must-dos and the hints on how to get tickets to museums and all of that knowledge that only people know if you have been there before. Try to think like a person who lives there, getting the insider scoop. Put the question out there on Facebook - maybe someone has a cousin who is from Finland and knows all of the great, off-the-beaten path places to see and dine, which will all be less expensive than those in every guide book.
Second, plan it out. Get the best price for the hotel that makes the most sense. Make a detailed plan of what to do each day (maybe with a few interchangeable ideas in case of rain or something) while you are there to maximize your time, because, as we have mentioned on this hub again and again, time is money.
Third, be willing to let all of that research and plans go and enjoy. Once you are there, see what happens. You have done the research, you know what to really avoid, so if a museum docent suggests you hit a certain small gallery or pottery store with an old master potter or if the little old lady that you bought a scarf from points out a little hole in the wall restaurant that her nephew runs, listen to them. If you are constantly stuck to your list and itinerary, you will miss some great opportunities to do some cool, probably not too expensive once in a lifetime experience.
What was your best vacation -- and why?