Posted by & filed under Travel Writing.

Hotels love to add surcharges onto every long-distance call you make from your room.

And I love to sneakily avoid them.

Here’s how: When you’ve got more than one long-distance call to make from your hotel room, don’t hang up between calls. Instead, wait for the person on the other end of the line to hang up first, hit the # key, wait for the dial tone, and make your next call. On your hotel bill, you should only see a charge for one call.

I love money-saving travel tips like these. Why? Because they save me money and they make me feel like a travel spy. And I love it even more when I hear from time to time that the tips we share here at The Right Way to Travel are turning our readers into travel spies, too.

Just yesterday I got an email from a reader who’s been using a tip from a few months back about how to get free rental car upgrades. Since then, she’s been getting them every time she rents a car. Here’s what she had to say:

“So I’ve used your technique for getting free upgrades on my last 4 car rentals – and it totally worked. I got a mustang convertible in Hawaii (up from an economy car)… a Jeep Wrangler upgrade in Hawaii (saved $250)… a Jeep Cherokee in Florida (much better than a PT cruiser!)… and a full-size van in Texas for the wedding which I desperately needed to accommodate my girls (instead of the minivan I reserved) saving me $200!”

— Rebecca M.

Here’s another travel tip I like: 9 Odd Travel Uses for Toothpaste

When I was young, my mom would take water rings off our coffee table with toothpaste. Today, I use toothpaste for a number of things when I’m traveling…

An overnight zit cream if my face breaks out… jewelry cleaner… shoe cleaner (it’s great for cleaning the white rubber parts of my tennis shoes)… bee sting ointment… goggle defogger… bathroom mirror defogger (when I’m in the shower and my husband wants to shave)… bug bite itch remover… cold sore ointment… and I’ve even used it to fix a scratched DVD on the plane.

Again, I love tips like these. If you have a tip to share, you can email me at We’ll publish the best of them in an upcoming e-letter.

In the meantime, you might also check out our newly updated e-book — Travel Better for Less: 101 Secrets for Traveling Well (And Even Getting Paid to Do It)…

…it’s full of tips like the ones I mentioned above… and what I like to call MacGyver-like tips (that is, uncommon travel uses for things like Dawn dish soap, garbage bag twist ties, bread clips, and pillow cases).

You’ll find it in our online bookstore here.

— Lori

Lori Allen
Director, Great Escape Publishing

P.S. In the Travel Better for Less book, you’ll also find hotel reviews from International Living and AWAI staffers. One recommendation is a lighthouse hotel in Croatia that’ll take you lobster fishing in the Adriatic.

You can also find a bunch of cool hotels like this online at It’s a free website with listings that include tree house hotels in Australia, igloos in Switzerland, and a hotel shaped like a Beagle in Idaho (seriously, the whole hotel looks like a giant dog. The rooms are in the dog’s belly and head).


P.P.S. Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.

Simply sign up to receive our FREE daily e-letter, The Right Way to Travel, and we'll immediately e-mail you our quick start guide to Travel Writing "What You Need and Don't Need to Be a Travel Writer"... Absolutely, a special offer for our online training program.

Travel Writing Resources

How To Become A Travel Writer – The Easy Way

Easy Steps To Landing Your First Byline As A Travel Writer

Marketing For Travel Writers: 5 Ways To Get Started

22 Travel Story Ideas To Get You Published

10 Reasons To Become A Travel Writer

5 Tips to Get Started Travel Writing From Home