Art Fair Insiders

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Next Podcast: How to Save Big Money While Traveling


Veteran travelers (and cheapskates) share their secrets for traveling and scoring lodgings frugally. This podcast has useful information for all of us who travel a lot or whose goal is to be on the road. 

Artists Melanie Rolfes, jeweler Margaret Aden and photographer Evan Reinheimer tell how they really score. Learn their insider secrets of leveraging Air BnB, VRBO, Hilton Honors Points, KOA, couch surfing, Corporate Lodging cards, Ebates, loyalty rewards programs and so many more tips to save you money and have more fun on the road! 

There is a mother lode of information and places to get deals:, Trivago,,, HotelTonight, Hotwire -- getting kickbacks along the way to fund the next trip is one of the favorites. Click here to listen.

We'll do a Part 2 to this podcast about RV's and camping. I've found there is just too much to cover in this one program.

I know we've got lots of experts on this topic. What is one of your best tips?

Views: 621

Comment by Ron Andrews on May 11, 2017 at 11:35am

In the past we have done hotels.  We travel with our little dog so we did mostly "La Quita".  They do give you one free night after 10 nights.  This year we did shows in Florida and because I got in late I was not able to secure many of the good shows so my show revenue was not great.  We started with Motel 6 but that's unpredictable and $125.00 a night just ate into my revenues too much.  So we bought a tent, sleeping bags, a camp stove and a coffee pot and we stay at campgrounds for about $30.00 a night.  We are close to nature, can enjoy campground amenities like the pool.  Take hot showers, and we have electric so we can plug in all of our devices at night and even watch movies on our I-pad.  It works for us.  Mostly we stay at KOA's because they are the most predictable and always very clean.  We do have an RV but leave that at the campground that we are staying at for the season because of the cost of towing it (it's 40ft).  $30.00 a night versus $125.00 a night is a big difference and we can cook our own meals if we choose to.

Comment by Connie Mettler on May 11, 2017 at 11:51am

So for $125++ you were able to equip yourselves to stay in the campground. Have you been a camper in the past?

Comment by Ron Andrews on May 11, 2017 at 12:34pm

The 4 person tent was $49.00.  The sleeping bags under $30.00 each and the campstove was $29.00.  We had the coffee pot.  Just think of how much money we save on not eating out?  Yes, we have been campers.  Were in our early 70's so if we can do it and enjoy it others can also.

Comment by Denise Buff on May 11, 2017 at 1:16pm

I've just come from a festival last weekend in the home town of an old friend of mine. When I was asked to participate in the festival I contacted her and asked if she was going to be in town and if she would mind me staying with her. Not only was she excited to have me but during the previous months she has shared my online information with her friends, shared my artwork photos on her social media and really built up interest in my coming. By the time of the festival I felt like a celebrity! Now I'm thinking of looking into festivals in towns and cities where I have friends or family I could stay with.

Comment by Lynn Long on May 11, 2017 at 1:48pm

How do I join the podcast at 6pm?

Comment by Connie Mettler on May 11, 2017 at 3:03pm

Click on the link above, Lynn, to listen. Did you have a question or something you wanted to add? If so, please email me ahead of time: with your phone #.

Comment by carrie jacobson on May 11, 2017 at 5:15pm
First, I see if I know someone in the area. Then, I see if my Corporate Lodging card will get me anywhere.
I find Best Westerns to be relatively mid-range and generally clean and safe, and I get free nights with them, so my next step is to look for Best Westerns. Also they have pretty good breakfasts, generally, with good stuff that I can take for lunch as well.
I like LaQuintas because they let dogs stay, and even though I don't travel with a dog, I like seeing the dogs, so they are next on my list. And I get free rooms pretty quickly. And ditto the breakfast/lunch menu. 
If worse comes to worst, and I am tired and don't have a place to stay, I find the newest hotel in the area and stay there, no matter what it is. I know it will be clean, and sometimes the new ones are cheap. 
Sometimes I sleep in my van, or go to a camping place, but honestly, I like the luxury of a shower and bathroom, a TV, breakfast. 
If I am just doing a show for a weekend, I use or, or Air B&B, and choose lodging that way. The above is for when I am driving driving driving.
Comment by Joel Lockridge on May 11, 2017 at 7:19pm

I search for hotels first, then AirBnB, then campgrounds. If it's less than four hours away, I usually bring a camper. If it's more than four hours, the gas costs outweigh the cost of the hotel/rented room so I go with that. Sometimes the hotel is about the same price as the AirBnB depending on the area, so I go with the hotel most times.

I don't stay on the road like most artists -- I have to come home during the week and make new inventory, fill orders, etc. Driving home I nearly always make it in one go, but in desperate tiring drives, I'll stop at a campground and sleep in the truck, or at a rest stop and grab a nap.

That's my usual travel!

Comment by Larry Sohn on May 12, 2017 at 12:53pm
I just listened to the podcast.
Very nicely done. Thank you!!!

A couple of points:
1) When it was discussed about using "rewards" or "loyalty" points for hotels.
Be aware, I recently stayed at the Cambria Suites for the Rockville Maryland show. Although I am a Choice member, they will not credit my account with the stay because I had a discounted rate. The Show had a discounted rate for all us Artists. Therefore no points for my stay even though I was there for 3 nights.

2) The idea presented about going on a cruise, in Florida, between shows. I've done that. I am a frequent cruiser with NCL & others. So much that sometimes I cruise for free. The prices quoted were not exactly accurate.You must remember. If 2 are in a room, they charge double. If cruising alone a surcharge is added. There is always port charges and taxes. Gratutities are automatic at about $13/day. Parking at the pier is around $30/day. It is still a great value, but not likely for $150/week total.
3) Another great resource for inexpensive lodging is Skyauction. I've used them many times. They are legit.

4) Also look into timeshares. If you own a timeshare you can often buy a week without using any of your time at many places. I've taken a week at beautiful places for $200/week. This gave me a great resort, full kitchen, free parking for the full week. Even if you only use it for some of the days it is cheaper than a hotel. And you have great amenities.

Thanks for putting on a very good podcast.
Comment by margaret luttrell on March 6, 2018 at 11:51am

We did a cruise this year between Delray Beach and Coconut Grove since hotels in Miami were exorbitant( as always) and we were too late to get a decent airb&b. It seemed a good deal to Nassau and Freeport with a day at Turtle Cay. Plus, drinks were free. It cost 249 dollars per person on NCL and I thought I had hit the jackpot. It came to over 700 dollars with taxes and port fees. That seemed ok and was still under what we would have paid for 10 days in Miami. Parking for our van was 80 dollars. Then, with gratuities at the end it came to 300 more. I didn't know that if you eat in the restaurants there is a 20 dollar immediate gratuity fee (which is fair but not told to us) . So if you do decide this is for you....and you want to keep it on the cheap, make sure you eat at the buffet and not the restaurants or you will have a couple of hundred dollars tacked onto your fees. Lesson learned. Although I might have made up for it by having about 5 pina colada's a day. (ahem) 


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