Here's a list of frugal travel booking tips that work well for me.  Moving forward I'd like to fly less and explore more in my own country...but who can resist the occasional trip abroad to new places and new adventures?  Travel safe.


Step One: go to and use their airfare search to find the cheapest flight.  I love this site because itasoftware has developed the software that other search engines like Orbitz and Kayak use for their airfare searches.  However, nine times out of ten you find a cheaper flight using directly.  Hmm.  You can't book your flight through this website but it will give you an exact itinerary which is what you need for step two.

Step Two: once you have your itinerary from, go directly to the airline site and book your ticket.  Plug in the exact flight details you've discovered in step one.  If you don't have time to book your own flight, provide your travel agent with the itinerary and have them try and find something better OR book it for you.

No more guessing which departure and return to select to get the best price.  This two step process is quick and I feel pretty confident I'm getting the best price possible.


Check and search for "hotels".  This will provide you with some online (or printable) coupons that you can put towards your hotel booking.  I want to love but find it isn't as comprehensive as it could be.  Having said that, I still make sure to visit it each and every time before making an online purchase in hopes I can find a promo code.


If you like to gamble and take some risks (sometimes I do!) is still a great way to book cheaper hotel stays.  Before I bid on anything, I go to  This is a fascinating forum because it lists successful bids people have made on priceline (or hotwire) for different cities around the world.  Once you know which bids are being approved you can go to and bid with knowledge and will likely have a high rate of success.


Talk about one powerful app!  TripIt is pretty amazing and is so popular it's now available for almost all handheld devices and also as a PC or Mac application.  We all know keeping track of all your confirmation details and reservation numbers can be a hassle when traveling.  TripIt solves the problem by consolidating all your trip information into one place.  With some friendly graphics you end up with a cool app that keeps you organized while you're on the road.  It's pretty simple to use...just email all your confirmations (flight, hotel, car rental, sport events, etc.) to one email address and TripIt will build your itinerary for you so you can access it easily in one spot.

Add a bottle of club soda to your green cleaning kit. It works wonders on stainless steel appliances.

Here's how:

Pour a bit of club soda into a spray bottle. Spray onto your stainless steel surface. Use a clean microfibre rag and watch grease and grime disappear to reveal a shiny surface. The carbonic acid in the soda helps make it a good cleaning agent - a bit more powerful than just plain water. The fizz is not important so you can store the spray bottle in a cupboard or fridge for several weeks.

NOTE: It's really important to use a clean cloth!
This is a fabulous way to make use of dryer lint from home! These fire starters cost basically nothing to make.

You'll need...
Cardboard egg carton
Dryer lint
Unscented candle
Microwave-safe glass bowl

Here's how...

Remove all metal bits from the candle and place it in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt into liquid wax - shouldn't take more than thirty seconds. Fill each egg carton ¾ full with dryer lint.  Drizzle liquid wax on top to keep lint in place. With scissors, cut each egg carton into individual fire starters. Store fire starters in resealable bags and make sure to keep them dry.  These are great for camping, emergency kits, or for building a roaring fire in your fireplace.

Lint is extremely flammable so be careful to not leave these anywhere near an unattended flame!
Tired of plain white furniture, walls and accessories?  Here's a cheap and fun idea.  Decorate them with wall tattoos!  

You can find wall tattoos at lots of home stores like Home Sense.  They are basically big cut-out stickers of patterns on clear adhesive sheeting.  You simply peel them off and then stick them to walls and furniture.  This is a great solution for renters because you can add some visual interest to walls...and it's temporary.  

BIG thanks to designer Jo Alcorn for sharing this frugal tip.  She picked these floral tattoos for me and added them to my den wardrobe and accent wall.  Fun!

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