Frugal Travel Tips For Road Trips

What better way for the frugal traveler to stretch both her budget and her vacation allotment than by taking road trips during long weekends? Here are some of my top tips to reduce that cost even more.

Keeping The Cooler Cool

Packing an accessible cooler full of drinks and snacks is a great cost reducing option. To maximize cooler space, instead of filling with ice, freeze water bottles and low filled beverages (including drinking boxes, makes a healthier juice slushy). No more soggy sandwiches or spilled water in the backseat.

Eating Where The Truckers Eat

For longer road trips, travelers may have to look outside the cooler for a meal. Instead of haunting the usual fast food chains, keep an eye out for any local roadside restaurants with transport trucks parked outside. When truckers find a spot with good, affordable meals, they tell their buddies.

Note: Just because the sign says truck stop, doesn’t mean the truckers stop. The vehicles never lie.

Keeping The Kiddies Entertained

This is a trick I’ve stolen from my Mom. Whenever we went on a long road trip, she would dig out the coloring books and crayons. That may not seem exciting except it was…to us. During a road trip was the only time we were allowed a new coloring book.

Updated for today’s kid, keep a few toys or video games only for use on road trips. This could be a brand new toy or a favorite. The novelty of the toy will keep kids busy and looking forward to the long car rides.

Prepping The Vehicle

Road trips mean relying on your vehicle so prep work is essential. Check all fluids, oil, antifreeze/coolant, windshield washer solvent (for the bugs all road trip vehicles collect). Check the tires, ensuring that they are properly inflated and in good condition. Check all belts and hoses, looking for wear and tear.

AAA Or Other Vehicle Assistance Programs

Frequent road trippers should consider an AAA or other vehicle assistance program membership, especially if they have an older vehicle. One tow and the membership pays for itself. Plus no scrambling for local mechanics/tow trucks.

One of the benefits that I love about AAA is their TripTiks which are route maps complete with information such as road works (very helpful during the summer road work season) and rest stops. There are even blurbs on each town passed.

Road trips are a great way to see more local destinations and to stretch the travel budget.

Frugal Travel Tips For San Francisco

San Francisco is my favorite city hugging the west coast. It is also one of the most expensive especially for hotels. Lucky for the frugal traveler, many of the sights are free.

Note: When I first went to San Francisco (driving up from L.A.), I was very surprised by the decrease in temperature. Check the weather before arriving.

Fisherman’s Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39 and Ghirardelli Square cover about 6 blocks along the waterfront. This tourist destination offers great views of the famous Alcatraz, souvenir shopping, seafood vendor and street performers. Some of the local “residents” include pelicans and sea lions. The souvenir to take back for chocolate loving Moms? Ghirardelli chocolate. This is where it all started.

Cable Cars

While at Ghirardelli Square, grab a few photos at the Cable Car Turnaround (the end of one of the lines). The cable cars, calling San Francisco’s living monument, are a good break for the weary.

Note: There are no transfers with cable cars. Each ride requires a new ticket.

Chinatown

The Chinatown in San Francisco is second in size in the U.S. only to New York City. It is great place to get cheap supplies and an inexpensive meal.

Lombard Street

Known as the crookedest street, Lombard is another one of those photo opps tourists love. Walking down is free.

The Golden Gate Bridge

Another famous and picturesque walk is across The Golden Gate Bridge. On a clear day, the views are fantastic (and will work off all that great Chinese food you’ll be eating). This suspension bridge is a little less than 9,000 feet long so plan your round trip accordingly.

Cable Car Museum

Love the cable cars? Then visit the Cable Car Museum on Mason Street. Admission is free and the museum deck overlooks the huge engines and winding wheels that pull the cables. Great photos can be taken in the vintage cable cars.

A city of different cultures, bordered by the sea, San Francisco has a perfect mixture of historic attractions and modern sights. Many of them free.

Themed Cambodia Tour: Travel Options in Cambodia

Despite poverty and reconstruction from the terror of Khmer Rouge, Cambodia is still a great place to visit. Other than the Angkor, the country is rich with natural and manmade attractions that will truly make your Cambodia tour worth the time and money.

There are different ways to enjoy your trip. You can make it as personalized as possible by thinking of themes that suit the kind of trips you like best. Here are some suggestions that will help you enjoy the best attractions that Cambodia has to offer.

Laid Back Getaway

If you want to simply relax and be comfortable when you are not touring the great temples of Cambodia, you choose from a wide range of five star hotels and guesthouses in Siem Reap. One of the most popular and fastest improving cities in Cambodia, Siem Reap is a charming tourist hub where you can enjoy the local restaurants and food in the area.

Backpacker’s Getaway

If you are not into large scale tourism but enjoy backpacking to get a better view of the country, then there are plenty of places to visit in your Cambodia tour. For instance, the small town of Kratie is one of the best places for backpackers who wish to see the beauty of the central marketplace. It is also bordered by French colonial buildings that have been in the area for many years.

The best part about backpacking in this side of Cambodia is you get to see the Mekong River, which is home to the very rare Irrawaddy dolphins. These dolphins are slowly becoming endangered. In fact, there are about 66 and 86 remaining dolphins in the upper area of the Mekong River.

Other than the Kratie, you may also add the Tonlé Sap to your Cambodia tours. The lake is known as the largest freshwater lake in the entire South East Asia and it dramatically shrinks and expands depending on the season of the year. The lake drains to Phnom Penh and Mekong River during November to May. During the month of June, heavy rains pour water on the area resulting to the formation of an enormous lake.

Temples and Historical Getaway

There are plenty of temples and historical places that you should include in your Cambodia tour. One of these is the Khmer temple of Preah Vihear found in the Dângrêk Mountains. This temple found in the border of Thailand and Cambodia is considered to be the most spectacular among the many Khmer temples. Constructed in the 11th and 12th century, the temple is dedicated to the god Shiva.

Another must-see in Cambodia is the Silver Pagoda which contains many national treasures and Buddha statues. You must also see the Bokor Hill Station in Kampot, Koh Ker, Banteay Srei, Angkor Wat, and many other historical temples and buildings.