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Avoid ship tours to save money

SmarterTravel

Cruise line shore excursions provide a fabulous opportunity. You can easily book visits to popular attractions and don’t have to worry about the ship leaving without you should traffic impede your return. However, trips can be overpriced and touristy.

To save money on your port days, do it yourself. With a guidebook and a plan, you’ll experience more for less.

  • Book your own tour: You can often sign up for a tour or activity once you arrive at the pier. Or, arrange your own tour in advance. Research possible providers before your trip to make sure the company is reputable.
  • Hire a guide: A group can save by hiring a cab for a personal tour. Make sure you find a guide who speaks English and settle on a price before getting in the cab.
  • Rent a car: A car rental can be an economical option for a group of four. This choice is best for areas where you’ll want to visit small towns, or the main attraction is far from the pier.
  • Take public transit: In Europe, you can easily get around by bus, subway, or train. Look up schedules in advance, and make sure you get on the last ride back to port.
  • Take a walk: In many ports, you can easily walk to shops, cafes, and museums. Plus, strolling the streets is a great way to experience local life.

Have a great travel tip you’d like to share? Send your insider travel strategies to editor@smartertravel.com.

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