updated 3/27/2009 10:51:46 AM ET 2009-03-27T14:51:46

While Budget Travel has a wealth of tips that are timely right now, here are five that feel particularly newsy.

  1. Don't miss these Travel stories
    1. Lords of the gourd compete for Punkin Chunkin honors

      With teams using more than 100 unique apparatuses to launch globular projectiles a half-mile or more, the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin event is our pick as November’s Weird Festival of the Month.

    2. Airports, airlines work hard to return your lost items
    3. Expert: Tourist hordes threaten Sistine Chapel's art
    4. MGM Grand wants Las Vegas guests to Stay Well
    5. Report: Airlines collecting $36.1B in fees this year

1. Cash in those bank rewards travel points
Citibank, Chase and Capital One have been hit hard with the financial crisis, and they're watering down the value of credit card rewards points as a result. If you have 20,000 or fewer points (or miles) in any of the major credit-cards rewards programs, consider cashing then in before they're devalued further.

2. Save money on fancy restaurants
Go to and buy a $25 gift certificate for a fine restaurant near you (or at your destination) for only $10. Hundreds of eateries are willing to sell $25 gift certificates for only $10 because it helps encourage customers to dine at their establishments.

3. Packages can offer the best savings, but a new Web site helps verify the quality of any given deal
To fill rooms and seats, hotels and airlines will resort to rock-bottom prices, but they don't want to publicize these discounts. So they sell a certain number of rooms or seats to companies that bundle them in packages. How good of a deal are these packages? trawls the Internet for package deals. Its computers then figure out how much it would cost to book the component parts of the package (such as the hotel room and spa credit) separately, estimating for you how much you will (or won't) save by booking the package.

4. Use envelopes for easy budgeting during a trip
If you have trouble sticking to your budget or keeping track of numbers, try putting cash into different envelopes marked for each day. Only spend the cash in your envelope. Use your debit card for emergencies only.

5. Try a ‘supermarket souvenir’
Instead of loading up on $20 T-shirts nobody likes, seek out local supermarket staples that may seem exotic back home. Examples include chocolate-covered macadamia nuts from a Safeway in Hawaii or a nicely-packaged box of tea from a Tesco supermarket in Britain. Check out our gallery of inspiring supermarket souvenirs from our staff and our readers.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments