Category Archives: Savings

4 Tips to Help You Travel on a Budget

I am always on the lookout for ways to save money while traveling and I have come across many inventive ways that people have used to save a dime here and a dollar there.  Of course, dimes and dollars add up so I try to share every tip that I find that might be of use to you.

save money while traveling

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So If you are budget constrained or are just looking for different ways to save while traveling, check out these 4 tips originally published in Bankrate .Some of these are things most people would not realize existed and some of them I have seen in other forms before ( such as planning your meals, this can be a big money saver).  So if you find yourself in a position to try one or more of these tips please give them a try.  I would like to know how it worked for you since, like you. I would like to save as much as I can and still do the things I want to do.  Please share your comments if you have tried these before.

Here are the tips from the article:

1. Go ‘old school’ with reservations”
Ninety-five percent of the people I know will book their reservations online,” says Peter Greenberg, CBS News travel editor and founder of PeterGreenberg.com.

Whether you’re searching flights, hotel rooms or cruises, “only about 52 percent of the available inventory is online,” he says. So you’re missing out on almost half of your options.

Better move: Research online, and then pick up the phone, says Greenberg.
Whether you call the airline, hotel or cruise line directly (or opt for a travel agent), that person has “access to stuff that’s not online,” he says.

The conversation costs you nothing and, when you find a better deal, you can save as much as “40 to 50 percent,” Greenberg says.

2. Switch up computers, phones and tablets
Using online sites to search or buy travel deals? When you’re ready to buy, visit the site from a different device, Greenberg advises.

The reason: Travel sites often track your visits, and prices frequently increase with successive site visits, he’s found. But you throw a monkey wrench in the system when you visit from a different computer.

Laptop and tablet tied into the same router? Use a computer from work instead, or borrow a friend’s tablet or laptop.
While you might save nothing at all, says Greenberg, “four out of the five cases where I tested it, I saved 30 percent.”

3. Skip public transit ticket machines (sometimes)
Visiting a city with great public transit, like San Francisco, London or Paris? If you’re traveling with kids or seniors, forgo the ticket machines and talk with a real live person behind a counter or kiosk, says Cynthia Ochterbeck, editorial director for Michelin Travel Partner.

“They usually have very reduced-rate transit cards for students and seniors,” she says. And the price can be half of what you would pay if you just hit an automated machine for full-priced tickets, she says.

Going to be in town for a few days? Price a weekly ticket or pass, says Ochterbeck. “It makes much more sense.”

4. Opt for two big meals a day
Maximize your time and your money: Eat a big breakfast and a nice dinner, says Ochterbeck.

In between, grab a couple of light snacks or a dessert as you go.

Or flip it: Make the second big meal a late lunch, and enjoy “a room picnic for dinner,” she says.

You’ll have more time for sightseeing and, with two people traveling over five days, you can reclaim “a few hundred bucks,” says Ochterbeck. “Save it to enjoy a really beautiful meal somewhere.”

Read the original article at Bankrate.

Can’t Afford to Fly First-Class? Here are Your Best Coach Options.

If you are trying to determine the best airline, you can find many reviews and write-ups about the many amenities provided by each airline.  The problem is that many of these are based on the first-class fares and they really don’t say too much about the coach offerings (with good reason).  If you have flown coach before you know that it can usually range from miserable to tolerable at best.

So given that, here is an article by USA Today which ranks the ‘best’ coach or economy airline offerings.  Check these out and feel free to comment if you disagree or would like to share your favorite economy airline product.

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Best overall coach-class airline in North America: JetBlue

Even after the current downgrading, JetBlue’s extra legroom still beats any other airline. The de facto charge for a checked bag, at $15 over the minimum fare, is less than on most other airlines. The satellite-based Wi-Fi is free, at slow speeds, and $9 an hour for enough bandwidth to stream movies. And seats in JetBlue’s Airbus planes are an inch wider than on any competitors’ 737s.

Most consumer-friendly coach-class airline in North America: Southwest

Its “two checked bags at no extra charge” and “no ticket-change penalty” policies make Southwest a clear winner for being nice to customers. Fortunately, at least so far, Southwest seems to have convinced Wall Street that those passenger-friendly policies gain more revenue in total customers than it would gain by imposing fees and losing customers. With other giant carriers charging checked bag fees of $25 a pop, even one checked bag gives Southwest a $50 round-trip fare advantage.

Southwest has even managed to tame the chaos of its unique no-advance-assignment boarding process: You get your boarding group and number when you check in, which you can do online starting 24 hours before departure; at the airport, you line up according to number, and get on the plane with a minimum of pushing and shoving.

Best frequent-flier program for occasional travelers, North America: Alaska Mileage Plan

At least for now, Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan seems more generous than the big-line programs that are moving toward dollar-based earnings and rewards. You still get one mile for every mile flown, and the award chart mileage requirements are less than the effective requirements on the giant airlines. Alaska still has useful partnerships with Air France/KLM, American, British Airways, Delta, Korean, Qantas and a few others. We don’t know how long Alaska will retain its current system, but it’s a winner as long as today’s rules remain.

If you accumulate miles or points through a credit card that allows transfers, such as American Express, the award chart for Air Canada’s Aeroplan is more generous than current big lines’ plans. But you get only partial mileage credit when you fly on Air Canada’s lowest fares.

Coolest coach-class airline in North America: Virgin America

Yes, JetBlue beats it by the measurements, but Virgin America keeps earning great survey ratings for its flashy decor, well-trained flight attendants, top in-flight technology and general flair. Obviously, lots of travelers like what it has to offer. You might like it, too. The “Branson cool factor” also applies to Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia.

Best ultra-low-fare coach-class airline in North America: Allegiant

The nod for best ultra-low-fare carrier for coach-class service goes to Allegiant, not because of its base product — which is down there with Spirit in terms of sheer torture — but because it alone brings the only low-fare mainline service to dozens of communities where travelers would otherwise have to rely on regional flights to nearby hubs, with the usual hassle, wasted time and high fares of hub connections.

Allegiant’s “nowhere to somewhere” business model gives travelers to/from communities as small as Hagerstown, Missoula, Owensboro, Provo, South Bend and Stockton access to non-stop flights to 16 of the country’s primary leisure travel destinations, including Honolulu, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, Orlando and Phoenix. If you live in or near a big city, you’d never even think about Allegiant. But it’s a no-brainer if you live in the sticks.

Best coach-class airline for seniors in North America: Southwest

Southwest is the only airline to offer useful senior fares for travelers 65 or over. Senior fares aren’t as low as Southwest’s initial lowest “Wanna Get Away” fares for travelers of any age, but when those lowest-fare buckets sell out or when they’re no longer available less than a week in advance, Southwest’s unrestricted senior fares are usually a lot less than any remaining any-age fares.

Best extra-legroom airline in North America: JetBlue

JetBlue, which starts out with a 1- to 3-inch advantage for regular coach, retains a similar advantage for its extra-legroom cabin. And the price, capped at $90 for a transcontinental flight, is likely to be lower than the variable prices other airlines charge.

This is a big advantage JetBlue has over Virgin America, the one airline that surveys usually place in the same class as JetBlue. On Virgin America, the extra-legroom seats, limited to bulkhead and exit rows, cost more than three times the regular-coach fare: more than $900 on a transcon, for example, compared with a base coach fare of $300. Yes, you get extras along with the legroom, but that huge fare premium is a deal breaker for someone who just wants enough space to use an e-reader or tablet comfortably.

Best coach-class airline for intercontinental flights: Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines’ new-design Sky Wider economy seats provide the roomiest international economy class you can currently find. Contrary to what most other airlines are doing, JAL is sticking with eight-across seats in its 787s and nine-across in its 777s. That’s one fewer seat in each row than the current standard among most other lines, and the remaining seats are almost two inches wider than competitors’ seats.

The new cabins also offer an industry-leading 34-inch pitch, compared with the 30- to 32-inch pitch you find on most other intercontinental airlines. The onboard catering generally earns high marks, as well; economy travelers enjoy individual 10-inch screens, and the new 777s and 787s provide satellite-based Wi-Fi.

Best coach-class airline for trans-Atlantic flights: Turkish

Like JAL, Turkish is sticking with nine-across seating in its 777s, and the onboard service generally earns high marks. Swiss International also rises above others for catering.

Best low-fare coach-class airline for trans-Atlantic flights: Norwegian

Norwegian flies 787s from a handful of U.S. cities to Scandinavia and from Los Angeles or New York to London/Gatwick. It recently started flying from Baltimore, Boston and New York to Guadeloupe and Martinique. Fares are usually — although not always — lower than on the giant airlines, and its 787 product is on par with what the big competitors offer.

Best business-class airline with coach-class prices: La Compagnie

The giant airlines will charge you around $1,200 for a non-stop summer round-trip flight between New York and Paris in a cattle-car economy cabin. But two people paying $1,495 each can move up to an angle-flat business-class seat, with business-class cabin service, on La Compagnie, the niche French airline offering low-cost business-class service from Newark to London/Luton and Paris/DeGaulle. La Compagnie’s current fare is almost $1,000 less than the premium economy fares on Open Skies or Air France.

The price gap between regular economy and La Compagnie isn’t always this small. But whenever it is, you sure feel better when you arrive in London or Paris after an overnight in business class than in economy. It’s worth considering.

Best coach-class airplane for short flights: Embraer

The Embraer 170/175/190/195 series might seem a surprise call, but seats are at least as wide as on A320 series, and they’re all two-by-two, with no middles. You never feel bottled up the way those 737s and A320s make you feel. And while it’s not technically an airline, this aircraft makes the list because you should look for it when searching for any short-haul coach-class flight.

Read the original article: The best coach-class airlines in the world

This Simple Tip Could Get You a Free Hotel Room Upgrade

So you have planned a trip, maybe with the kids, to a nice mountain or beach area. You have booked a nice hotel thinking that everything was great, you would have a spacious room, a great view, it just looked great. Then you arrive, check in, and find the room is not quite as big as you expected and your view is of the back parking lot with a dumpster in it. What do you do? Well, this video explains the ‘secret’ to getting an upgrade, and many times at no extra cost. Even if your room is not so bad and you just want to see if that suite is available this could work for you.

So watch this and I am sure you will kick yourself for not trying this sooner.

What is the Best Travel Rewards Credit Card?

We all know that most major airliines offer their own branded credit cards. What most people don’t know are the differences in each of these cards. These days if you are going to get a credit card it just makes sense to get the one that going to give you back the most.

This video by Nomadic Matt explains some of the things to look for when choosing a trave reward credit card. Some things to keep in mind are:

  • Look for a huge sign-up bonus
  • How many points do you get for each dollar spent
  • What is the spending minimum
  • What are the annual fees

These as well as how you intend to use these points all go into your decision. You could also carry several different cards, as you will see is done in this video. Just be careful as always when dealing with credit cards and use them wisely. These can be another handy tool when trying to travel the world on a budget and save yourself some money on your travel!

How to Save Even More Money on Your Vacation : Video

We are continuing to discuss ways to save money on vacation.  The following video from Good Morning America shows how a family saved thousands on their vacation.  All it took was a little flexibility and research.  If you ever doubted that these techniques worked then here is the proof.  There is no reason that anyone could not save money while traveling. It’s not too late to save for this year’s trip!

ABC US News | World News

How to Save Money for a Trip

So you are dreaming of that long holiday trip.  How about that vacation you have been putting off because you thought you couldn’t afford it?  Even the long weekend trip seem out of reach for you?  Do you think you can’t even get out of town because just the fuel or hotel is too expensive?

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If only it were this easy!

Well it’s true, it does cost money to travel.  And since money doesn’t grow on trees – yes you probably work hard for your money – you feel it is impossible for you to travel.  But you know that it would do you good to get away, maybe you have a passion for travel.  Yet you feel it is totally out of reach.

Well not so fast!  With proper planning and budgeting you may find that you can take that trip, that vacation, that holiday. But here is the catch.  It starts by taking a hard look at you spending and then creating a – wait for it – BUDGET.  That’s the key.  Start by establishing a travel budget.  Plan your trip, figure out what the cost will be, and then devise a plan to help you meet that goal.

There are several ways that you can help yourself save the necessary money for you travels.  By following some of these simple tips and tricks on how to save money for a trip you will see how easy it is to build up a travel fund even in your current situation.

Here are 10 tips courtesy of Solo Traveler.

1. Set up an automatic withdrawal from your regular account and send the money to a dedicated travel account. Would you miss $20 a week? That adds up to $1040 a year — enough for a single person to do something fun for a week or maybe more depending on your taste. If you tend toward more luxury travel, hopefully your budget can handle more each week.

 

2. Don’t think you can afford $20 a week? Make and bring your lunch, go back to regular coffee rather than lattes, walk or cycle rather than drive or take transit. Each of these changes are actually healthy lifestyle choices and will easily save $20 a week. All three could save you $60 a week. (Achieve this and you’re a better person than I.)

 

3. Buy with a credit card that has no annual fee and offers cash back on purchases. Pay the card off in full every month and don’t shop at a more expensive store just to get the reimbursement. Add your cash back to your travel fund.

 

4. Use the library for your reading needs and to borrow travel guides. For short trips of a month or less, its usually worth borrowing guides and maps from the library to take with you. This can save upwards of $30. While you’re there you can borrow a couple of DVDs and save another $10 a week on entertainment.

 

5. Drop your long distance package from your phone bill and use Skype. It may even make sense to eliminate your home phone completely. You’ll have to do the math on that one

 

6. Dine out at lunch rather than dinner — especially at fine restaurants. The quality will be the same but the cost will be much lower.

 

7. Know how you react in an impulse buy situation. Some people are stopped by seeing cash leave their hands, others by the prospect of using a credit card. Carry whichever form of money you are less likely to use.

 

8. In the same vein, have a “spend no change” policy. It will add up nicely in a jar, especially true in Canada where there are $1 and $2 coins. They add up fast.

 

9. Sell your unneeded stuff on Craig’s List. It’s amazing what you can sell and it’s cash right into your pocket. Sell a bunch of stuff at once to be efficient with your time.

 

10. Track your spending. Just by knowing how much you’re spending and where, you will spend less. I can almost guarantee it.

There are many other ways to save money on a daily basis by following general guidelines for a budget.  Things such as utilities, cutting back on non-essentials or even re-organizing your debt can also be helpful.

And remember when you start to book your travel to look for the best deals, do your research.  There are many other ways to save money when making your travel arrangements.  Articles such as this one on getting cheaper airfare can help you stretch your travel dollar.

So I hope this helps you fulfill your passion to travel.  Please feel free to comment and let us know if you have any tips of your own.

Airline Prices Are Up But You Can Still Get Cheap Flights

If you have been following the news you know that in early June several airlines hiked their prices.  That is keeping with the summer tradition of raising prices (it’s called supply and demand, more people traveling).  In our effort to help you travel the world on a budget here are several ways you can alleviate these price hikes and travel without cashing in your life savings.

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It is really all about being flexible.  Take these tips:

  • Try to avoid flying non-stop.  You will sometimes save as much as 50% if you can fly a connecting route on your flight.
  • Use a carry-on if possible.  More airlines are starting to charge for that checked baggage.
  • If you can, fly Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Saturdays.  The airlines typically need to fill up these flights and many times offer discounts.  Fridays or Sundays tend to be more expensive because these are the most popular days to travel.
  • If possible delay your flight.  By waiting until the end of August (around the 25th) you could find yourself saving as much as 20%.  That is when the airlines will be dropping prices for domestic flights (and fares to Europe could possibly drop a few days before that).

So you can see that one of the easiest ways to save money while traveling is to be flexible.  If you can handle a little delay (in the day of the week or month you travel) and inconvenience (connecting flights, etc.) you can still get a cheaper flight and get where you want to go.

Here is another way you can save –Save up to 70% by booking Airport Parking now!

Happy flying!

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