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Best Budget Tips for Barcelona and Madrid (and the rest of Spain)

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Hello Fodorites, I’d like to introduce myself as the editor of the Fodor's Spain guidebook. I’ve been following some of your fabulous threads about your experiences in Spain and the advice you give to fellow travelers, and I'm hoping you can help me out with a new feature I'm working on for Spain 2009. It's about “beating the euro,” and I’d like to start a thread with tips on how to save money in Barcelona and Madrid, as well as in the rest of the country. I did find a great recent thread about saving money when you’re traveling with kids, but I’m also looking for some more general advice: is it cheaper to rent an apartment instead of shelling out for a hotel? What you think about splurging at recommended restaurants for lunch instead of dinner? Can you make a dinner out of tapas? Has the cost of transportation between cities (rental cars, train, and bus), stopped you from exploring outside the big cities, or are you finding good deals, and doing day trips?

Just like our other Word of Mouth features, if you're quoted you're eligible for a complimentary guide of your choice. It's hard to find a free lunch these days, but but here’s to finding at least a reasonably priced one, even with the exchange rate. Thanks for all your help!

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