10 ways Gadling readers save money when they travel

Sometimes, when you travel, it can feel like you’re bleeding money. Often, the problem starts even before you go, as you stock up on the right gear for the trip and make sure you have all your (expensive, not-covered-by-insurance) shots.

There are endless ways you can thwart this problem, and we wanted to know what readers like you do to save money. We asked our Facebook fans to give us their tips, and the tips we got were, as we expected, totally freaking awesome.

Here are our top 10 ways Gadling readers save money when they travel:

1. “We try to find a hotel that offers breakfast, Then we split our main meal of the day!” — Shelby

2. “I don’t stay at $300+/night hotels. Unless its a resort vacation, I’m not going to be in the hotel other than to shower and sleep. As long as its a nice stay with good reviews and good location, I’m all set.” — Saadia

3. “By spending more time in fewer places!” — Craig4. “I try to find an affordable place with a kitchenette, or, at the very least, a mini fridge. You can save a lot of money when you don’t have to pay $10/glass for a decent wine, and when you can make a simple lunch with what you pick up at the grocery instead of buying a $15 salad at a sit-down restaurant!” — Kristen

5. “We leave the kids with the grandparents!” — Karen

6. “Ask for ‘Tap’ water (when in countries with decent water systems) at restaurants.” — Dale

7. “Do your homework – the more advance research, the better. Local innkeepers, merchants and restaurateurs seem to be more appreciative and more candid with recommendations when they see you took the trouble to learn something about them/their town beforehand.”

8. ” I do tons of research before leaving and order tourist information packets. Usually we end up with a few coupons and talking to the tourist office workers garners a few tips. I also check out igougo.com to see what others have found in the area.” — Megan

9. Dress respectfully but not too touristy. It’s hard to get a response to “what’s not too expensive?” while carrying a fancy camera, purse, bags of souvenirs, or otherwise look like the tourist with money to spend.” — Lillian (again)

10. “Walk as much as you can, keeps you fit as well … public transport makes you feel like a local … but the MAIN TIP i can give is NOT SPENDING when I’m at home … SAVE, SAVE, SAVE … I’d rather have one great holiday a year, or once every couple of years, so I can enjoy it and do the things I like and want.” — Yvonne

Got a better tip? Want to join in the conversation? Visit the Gadling Facebook page!

[Photo by Annie Scott.]

Top 10 jet lag strategies from Gadling readers

Jet lag is a complex problem. It can be embodied as an annoying propensity to yawn through some of the grandest experiences of your trip, an embarrassing incapacity to stay awake for drinks after a business dinner or a highly inconvenient invalidity upon returning home. It can cost you time and money. It can lose you a business deal or even cause you emotional distress. Everyone hates it, and while some say you can get used to it if you travel a lot, no one really knows how to cure, prevent or outsmart jet lag.

Like in the field of love, no one can be an expert in jet lag. It’s different for every body and every trip. What might work is to read how other people (real people) deal with it and find a plan that works for your style and schedule. We asked our sharp community of readers on Facebook about their jet lag strategies — and we hope one of these speaks to you!

Top 10 jet lag strategies from Gadling readers

  1. “Up til midnight local time, three espressos on day 2.” — Jana
  2. “‎(1) Try to adjust to the new time (meals and sleep time)
    (2) Eat lots of protein, avoid carbs
    (3) Drink lots of water” — Raul
  3. Carbs.” — Terry
  4. Take a pill on the plane and sleep most of the flight, and then stay up the first day to get acclimated to the new time zone. Eat an early dinner and get to bed around 9 PM. Also, no alcohol.” — Alyce
  5. Vodka.” — Kathy
  6. Massage.” — Lawrence
  7. Work out when you arrive, eat healthy instead of high sodium plane food, don’t get all boozed up, and make it to your first night without sleeping too hard during the day (Europe) or crash early and make yourself sleep in a little (Asia).” — Justin
  8. “Slowly adjust body time clock wk b4 u travel … Goin west go 2 bed later … Go east bed earlier … Break travels in 4 hour blocks …” — Troy
  9. “Plenty of water and vitamin B.” — Martha
  10. “A short sleep when I arrive, lots of water and an espresso to top it off. A good long walk always does one good.” — Laura

Got a better idea? Want to join in the conversation and see what today’s question is? Visit Gadling on Facebook.

[Photo by Skunks via Flickr.]

Ten things Gadling readers love about airports

The airport can be a depressing, frustrating, even infuriating place. I was staring blankly at the plastic-wrapped apples at JFK, bored out of my gourd, when I decided to try and get some perspective, so I tweeted a question about what people like about the airport. I didn’t hear anything for hours, then I got a few chirps about people-watching.

I knew that some people must like the airport, or at least have found things to like about it so as not to go through every queue in anguish. I found that group of folks on the Gadling Facebook page. Here are Ten things Gadling readers love about airports (we’re at 43 comments and counting):

  1. “The fact that it means you’re going somewhere.” — Carrie
  2. “The excitement of where people are going and the destinations/locations!” — Shane
  3. “When I arrive after a long, amazing trip and my partner is there to greet me with a hug and a kiss.” — Lisa
  4. “Good public art.” — Catherine
  5. First class lounges” — Frank
  6. “The sense of being in-between” — Jay
  7. “The shops & grocery store in Frankfurt airport.” — Jessica
  8. “The exit door” — Wendy
  9. “The opportunity to be a blessing to some who are not having a blessed day there, particularly our soldiers.” — Dean
  10. “The fact that i could go anywhere! and the duty free naturally :p” — Maia

So, maybe have a re-read over that list before your next journey. To see more and to participate in the conversation on Gadling’s Facebook page, click here.

[Photo by Uggboy via Flickr.]

John Updike: One of America’s most beloved authors dies of cancer

One of the most revered American writers passed on yesterday from a long battle with lung cancer.

I have long been a fan of John Updike, as he is truly a master of the written word and wrote evocative complex stories about America that nearly every willing reader could enjoy. His Rabbit series and short stories like “A & P” spoke to a whole generation of people from small town, middle America. He also selected the Best American Short Stories of the Century.

Updike has been an inspiration to both writers and readers alike, as he was one of the few writers in America who could cross genres between novel, short story, poem, and essay seamlessly and effortlessly, but also touch the heartstrings of readers by bringing to life even the most mundane characters. His final novel, Terrorist, published in 2006, was an opus that set in motion his views of the September 11 attacks.