A couple of years ago, WESTWAYS magaine (the publication of Auto Club of Southern California, i.e. AAA) published a one-page article in their March/April 2017 issue. The article was "The Frugal Traveler: 11 Money-Saving Trip Tips from Your Westways Staff." Evidently I'd clipped the article about a year ago when I cleared the house of the 2017 magazines. Reading it, it summarizes many points that we make on these forums about saving money:
1. Renting a car in cities with good transit could be done in the downtown facility rather than at the airport.
2. Bring a cooler to pack your own lunch.
3. Look for hotel rooms with a microwave and a refrigerator to be able to heat up leftovers and save money on going out to eat.
4. Never check bags, so you can save on luggage check fees. (Personally, we stick to Southwest Air when we must fly, as they don't charge for two checked bags.)
5. Book through a knowledgeable travel agent. (Hmmmm.... on that one.)
6. Use a bicycle sharing program if you ride.
7. Find the best foodie souvenirs (like locally made jams, candies, chocolates) in the grocery stores rather than pricey gift shops.
8. Always ask for AAA discounts (if you're a member). (I add, ask for senior discount if you qualify.)
9. Use public transit in a new city, as it's cheaper than a taxi or Uber and you learn more about the place.
10. Sign up for hotel loyalty programs. Some include perks like free wi-fi, or build up free nights.
11. Stay at hotels that include breakfast and/or happy hour snacks, and don't be afraid to talk to other guests if you do so. Sometimes they have some good ideas of places to visit in the area!
WESTWAYS magazine, March/April 2017, summarized