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Planning budget-wise holidays in your own city

<strong>Q:</strong> My husband and I are trying to plan a summer getaway butafter looking at our finances, we’re wondering if we can even affordit.&nbsp; Do you have any suggestions for getting away for less?&nbsp;&nbsp;

Q: My husband and I are trying to plan a summer getaway but after looking at our finances, we’re wondering if we can even afford it. Do you have any suggestions for getting away for less?
— Sarah S.

A: As summer approach­es, more and more of our readers are expressing similar concerns. But even if a vacation seems out of reach this year, there is a way to get away.

Who said travel had to involve leaving your city? In every town, there are tons of attractions which locals never visit or may not even know about.

Here are a few tips on being a tourist in your own town, Smart-Cookie style.

First things first. As a tourist, you’ll need to research as to what your hometown has to offer. Hit your computer and look up your city’s visitor centre’s website. Also, check out sites such as tripadvisor.

com to find out what tourists are visiting in your city and when.

Most metropolitan cities throughout Canada offer cultural neighborhoods and districts, as well as theatre and entertainment districts. Try experiencing a new ethnic cuisine, or hit a local theatre. One of our favorites is our local Chinese night market where you can find anything from cheap knockoff purses to the latest kitchen gadget. And for last minute theatre and entertainment tickets for up to 50 per cent off, check out www.ticketstonight.ca.

Think that hotels are only for out of town guests? Think again. Getting away from your regular surroundings and staying in a hotel for a night could be exactly what the doctor ordered.

Many hotels offer discounts to locals — all you have to do is ask! And if you have the flexibility to stay at a hotel mid-week, rather than the weekend, or even in the off-season, prices can be even better.

To truly experience the city and to help save the planet, leave your car at home and travel like a tourist. Most major cities offer transit systems or special tourist buses which can get you to all the major attractions. And with the price of gas these days, you will likely save money as well. The key is to have fun without spending a fortune.

Let’s be honest, we could all use some time to recharge those batteries and if a trip away is a bit too pricey right now, there are ways to ‘get away from it all’ without actually leaving your own town.

If you have questions for the Smart Cookies, e-mail us at smartcookies@metronews.ca.

And don’t forget to check us out every Wednesday on the W Network in our new time slot at 9 p.m. EST/PST.

 
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