Tuesday, May 24, 2005

10 Tips for Saving Money

Some people claim, St. Maarten is expensive, even more St. Martin. Yes, and no! Compared to, let's say, Antigua, Turks and Caicos, or the Bermudas, this island has very moderate prices. Yes, it is more expensive than typical main land destinations, or the USA. There are still plenty of opportunities to stay within a budget. Here ten tips for reducing your expenses:

Money Savers
  1. Go local. Instead of calling a taxi, use a mini bus or "jitney". Just wait and wave at the road side. Typical fares are $ 1.00/person. Plan your trip, get a map!
  2. Buy at Cost-U-Less* in the Dutch part, when you require bigger quantities. Good choice of wine, US food, ... It's a Sams Club type of outlet, no membership required.
  3. Fill gas at CADISCO* at $ 0.72 a liter, approx. $ 2.60 a gallon. There are two stations, one next to Orient Bay, one at Marigot in direction to Nettle Bay. It's about 10 - 20 cents cheaper than at other gas stations.
  4. If you smoke, a carton of Marlboro is as low as $ 9.00 in Philipsburg at Tobacco Plaza*, side street, off Front Street 23 at Touch of Gems. If it has to be the US-version, PRIME Cash & Carry or Cost-U-Less has them for $11.00 - $12.00 a carton.
  5. Internet access at no cost? If you have a notebook with a WiFi card, try public access at the Philipsburg boardwalk area. For a limited time, the provider Smitcoms* provides free service (see the blog of Jan. 17 on this subject) during the trial period.
  6. Can you say 'No' to a sales person? If so, get one of the timeshare promotion vouchers for a reduced rental car rate, or a free meal,and free drinks, often a value of $ 100. The flipside: You got to listen to the sales pitch for buying a timeshare slice. The vouchers are available at various locations, car rentals, along the road, on websites, who offer you freebies with the little string attached!
  7. You need to load your cooler? Shop at Carma Importers* at Cole Bay, and get inexpensive beer and water, or see Netco*, same area, next to PDG (everybody know them), and buy a case of beer (24) for roughly $ 15.00.
  8. Gamble with other people's bucks! Some of the casinos, e.g. Atlantis* , attract people by giving them chips for $ 10, when registering at the courtesy desk. No obligations, just use them as your start capital!
  9. Prepaid mobile phone cards for US phones are best to buy at ECC*, 13 Richardson Street, Philipsburg. It saves you expensive roaming, if you get it working at all. Their cards start at $ 10 only and per minute charges of 29 cents to the USA! More info here under mobile phone.
  10. Departure day has come, you are early at the airport, check in is done, what to do? don't pay the high airport snack bar prices. Go right, like going back to Philipsburg, after 200 yards on the lagoon side, you find 'Turtle Pier'*. This little oasis, right at the water, is a great dining and drinking place. Save and enjoy!

* All quoted companies are unrelated to me, and I don't get commission, or whatsoever!


Benoit Lapierre said...

ah s'il vou splait il y a déjà assez d'anglais sur le web, si l'on commence nous aussi à s'auto assimiler. Où va-t-on ?

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