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Travel - Vacations
Written by The Frugal Nomad   
Tuesday, 17 November 2009 14:12
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Stretch your vacation dollar by taking longer trips
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The cheapest way to roam the planet is to control your overhead expenses. If you break down the cost of an overseas vacation, airfare is the single largest expense. And one of the ways you can really extend your vacation dollar is to plan for  longer vacations. If you spend $900 on a round trip ticket to Europe for a nine-day trip – your daily overhead is $100. It’s actually a bit higher when you consider that it takes a day or two to get to your destination and recover from jet lag. Add another lost day to get packed and make the return trip and you’re left with six days of what I would consider quality travel days. That puts the daily overhead at $150.

If you take that overhead into consideration, saving a few Euros at that out-of-the-way café you read about in your travel book hardly makes a dent in your budget.  Take that $900 fixed airfare expense and spread it out on a 21 day vacation and the results are remarkable. You’ll still eat up three days getting there, recovering from jet lag and making it back. But then you’re left with eighteen quality days to do your own thing. That cuts the daily ‘airfare’ overhead to $50.

Eiffel Tower

A longer vacation offers other tangible cost saving opportunities. Many hotels in Europe will offer discounts for longer stays. There are agencies that will arrange for nice furnished apartments for extended stays in Paris and London at prices that break down to a very reasonable daily rate when compared to hotels. If you have at least 3 weeks you may be able to rent a place for a month at a much, much lower rate.  An additional benefit is you don’t have to eat all your meals at restaurants and cafes. You can put together a few simple meals at home and a score a great bottle of wine at the local grocery store for under 5 Euros.

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