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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION UP FRONT | TRAVEL HACKS

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Travel Hacks

Improve your trip experience by heeding expert advice from these frequent fliers By Cheryl Rodewig

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RAVEL CAN BE AN adventure, sure, but

experienced travelers know it’s not all spontaneity and selfies. There are booking hassles, flight delays and luggage that just won’t seem to fit the requisite number of shoes. Maybe that’s why Americans spend less than half their vacation time traveling, just eight days a year according to the State of American Vacation 2018 report, published by Project: Time Off, a group of

organizations working to change how Americans think about vacation time. But as the researchers also point out — and no surprise here — those who do travel more are a lot happier. So how do you make the most of your getaway and stock up on all that extra happiness? The process starts long before you leave, including both the fun part (what to see and do) and the practical (transportation, weather, costs). Set a budget early on and stick to it so you know exactly how much you can spend, building in a buffer

for extras, like that perfect souvenir or the unexpected show that rolls into town. If you’re flying, you can save on one of your biggest costs by using sites like Skyscanner.com to aggregate flights and find the lowest fares. For entertainment, look for Groupon deals or free admission days at area attractions. Most importantly, learn from the wisdom of those who have been there, done that. These expert globetrotters have distilled their best advice, from scouting savings to savoring the experience once you’re there, so you can have an unforgettable — and stress-free — trip:

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