Guest Author - Christine Wilcox
I know this might be a shock to some of you, so you may want to sit down. Here goes.
Print is NOT dead.
And moreover, when you pay attention, you can actually find, clip, and use coupons to reduce your overall travel expenses, which is SO important not only economically nowadays, but also to help increase the potential frequency of solo vacations.
Enter The Travel Coupon Guide - found at my local Shari's restaurant when my folks were visiting. This handy reference is chock full of discounts on hotels throughout an 8 state area, and it has handy little reference maps of each area with each ad marked with a corresponding reference number, so in the event that you're directionally challenged... you have a back up plan.
While some of the ads specify that they're good for walk-ups only (not my favorite way to travel, but it does work out well sometimes), some will have a "book it now" rate that's generally just $5 more than the coupon rate. So if you're on the fly, you can still contact the hotel in advance and guarantee a room for your arrival.
The nice part about the Travel Coupon Guide, I've found, is that it has area hotels all together on facing pages with rates and amenities listed. I usually like to find hotels that have a restaurant on the property or ones adjacent, and this little guide tells all in that regard.
Now, if the Travel Coupon Guide isn't available in your area, you DO have an online option: HotelCoupons.com. Nationwide listing of printable coupons for hotels on your next vacation are at your fingertips. I know you're asking yourself - "Is it worth it?"
In my estimation, I'm giving it a thumbs up. I compared three hotels in my city that I'm familiar with (so that I'm doing an apples-to-apples comparison, and know what I'm looking at) with 3 other online booking sites, and found that on average, the coupon savings was at least $10.00 a night, and even went as high as $25.00 a night!
That kind of savings is definitely worth it to this solo traveler, because every penny I don't have to spend on lodging can be invested in the next excursion!