The Deal Mommy

One Simple Strategy I Use to Save on Travel

One of my favorite shots of Italy's Adriatic Coast, August 2014

One of my favorite shots of Italy’s Adriatic Coast, August 2014

When I discuss something three times in a week, it’s time to write about it.  This week three people have mentioned Italy’s Capri, and three times I’ve advised against it in favor of the Adriatic Coast.  But this post is not about Puglia– it’a about how I ended up on the Adriatic Coast in the first place. I use one simple strategy to save big on travel: focus on the experience, not the destination

Last year in Italy I knew I wanted some time at the shore. Of course Sorrento and Capri rose to mind first because they’re the ones most visited by Americans. And the most expensive. And the most crowded. And yes, Sorrento was beautiful on the day I visited. And crowded with Americans. And Expensive. I was grateful to have only done a daytrip from Naples.

My experience on the Adriatic side felt distinctly different. It was still crowded (it was August after all), but the tourists were mostly Italian. It was more families going to the beach for the weekend as opposed to hard core vacationers. My favorite meal in Trani was a Foccacia from a seaside bakery costing 2 Euro. In Metaponto the beach umbrellas were rented by families whose women- no matter their age- rocked bikinis.

Down the Shore Near Metaponto

Down the Shore Near Metaponto

The best part? My hotel room, through British flash sale site Secret Escapes was $81/night including dinner and breakfast. By focusing on the experience- beautiful Italian coastline– instead of getting wrapped up in which town I saved big.

Sure, there’s only one Eiffel Tower, but there are lots of Roman Ruins, lots of gorgeous mountains where you can zipline, and of course lots of coastline. By asking WHAT you want from travel instead of the specific WHERE you can have an amazing trip…while banking your savings for the next adventure.

One Simple Strategy

Where has the experience taken you? Please share in the comments.

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15 thoughts on “One Simple Strategy I Use to Save on Travel

  1. MickiSue

    Darn you! Now it won’t be only Brits I have to contend with when I visit the coast nearest my daughter and family.

    She lived in Bari for several years (try Polignano a Mare for jaw dropping views; it’s a short train ride from Bari, which has a decent airport) and now lives in the Veneto.

    I have my heart set on spending a few months, every year, in a small town on the coast, as soon as Husband can retire (3.75 years till he’s 59).

    We’d be only about an hour and a half from Daughter, in a small town with mile upon mile of beaches. And I won’t tell you the name.

    So there.

    1. Dia

      How funny! (And I hear you…it how I felt about Ko Samet, Thailand.) The first pic is actually from Polignano a Mare. It’s a close fight between it and Trani for my favorite. Polignano has more tourist stuff, but Trani was just so workaday in its beauty- almost accidental.

  2. Lesley

    I often consider the experience before the destination when I’m creating my yearly bucket list. There are some experiences so unique, like gorilla trekking, that they pick the destination for you. 🙂

  3. Keryn

    I totally agree! We went to Italy this past spring and I really wanted to stay IN the Cinque Terre, but bookings and price kept us out. We ended up staying at a well priced apartment in Levanto, just nort of the 5Terre and it was perfect for our group. I don’t regret it at all. We still had easy access for day trips, but a lot more available for the kids in Levanto.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      It’s funny how some specific region becomes de rigeur while the one right next door is identical but untouched.

  4. Kirsten

    I love this post! We travel in a similar manner and while we do visit a lot of the big cities, we are always looking for local rentals to save money. Our favorite “hidden jewel” is the Dordogne. Many amazing small towns untouched by tourists.

  5. Debbie @ Traveling Well For Less

    Well put, Dia. Because when it boils down to it, travel is really all about the experience and memories.

    That’s why even though I have a bucket list, there’s no order to it. So if a great fare comes up, I’m going vs waiting until I’ve crossed off all the other destinations on the list above it.

    Love the beach shot with the umbrellas.

  6. Pingback: Shop Talk: Showdown Edition. Disneyland vs. Disney World. -

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