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For Travel Savings in 2013, Go Retro

You’ve mastered the art of modern travel savings: your airfare alerts are set up on Kayak; you flit around Europe on cheap carriers like EasyJet and Ryanair (with vacuum-packed clothing in a carry-on to avoid baggage fees). You stay in apartments rented through Airbnb when you’re not bunking with locals through CouchSurfing, bidding on Priceline or snapping up last minute rooms on HotelTonight. From the remotest corners of the earth, you stay in touch with your significant other over Gchat and your folks over Skype — when Grandma will let you off FaceTime, that is.

You could probably shave a few more cents off travel costs by downloading five new apps and bookmarking 10 new sites. But in 2013, the real savings will come to those who go retro — not by sending postcards with actual stamps (that’s what the Postagram app is for), but by stepping away from the screen, or using it differently, to find old-fashioned tactics that can save you big. Here are nine old-school tips for getting the most out of your travel buck this year...


I still carry a Moon or Lonely Planet or Frommer’s travel guide around when I travel — as backup, if nothing else. But those books are pricey, and there’s so much free information online that, with a little copying and pasting (and printing out), you can come pretty close to matching them with your own bespoke travel guide. So, in a retro twist, no Wi-Fi needed.

Even better, turn it into a PDF file (easily done through programs like Microsoft Word) and send it to your tablet device. I’ll admit that some additional technology can make things even easier: helps you create a guide with maps that can be printed or retrieved on your mobile device, and TripAdvisor’s new City Guides allows you to download 60 cities’ worth of maps, information and user reviews to be used offline, free...