Tag Archives: vacation

Are You Letting The Airlines Get The Upper Hand On You?

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Today, there are so many on-line travel search engines that it can get overwhelming for the average person to know if they are getting the best fare for their flight. You can spend hours looking, searching and still not find the best fare.

Flexibility, even if you can’t be flexible, is the real key to searching for the lowest fare. If you can be flexible, even by one day, you may save hundreds of dollars. If you can’t be flexible you still need to make the airlines think you can.

Before we get to deep into how to find your flight, there’s one trick you need to know about. All booking sites record web browsing data. Some will use this information to increase prices when they know you are interested in a certain flight. Have you ever searched for a flight and get one price only to go back later and search it again only to find the price has increased? Always clear your web browser before you search again. You might just find the original price again. Now you are ready to shop.

Another tip, is don’t wait until the last minute to book your flight. Three months ahead is the best time to book and some airlines will give you an early-bird discount. Over three months really doesn’t have any dramatic advantages.

If it’s a vacation you are planning, you might want to consider going off-season. Various regions have different Off Seasons. If you can fly during these times, depending on your destination, you can usually fly cheaper. I have listed the off-seasons below:
* Australia & New Zealand – August
* Asia:January- February
* Europe: November- March
* South America: March – November
* The Caribbean: November – March

Make a list of the airlines you usually use and follow them on Twitter. Do the same for the Hotels and follow them. Some especially Jet-Blue and Virgin Atlantic are very active in promoting their hottest deals in real time. (Facebook doesn’t offer this, so its no use to add them there.) Hotels are great about posting their deals on twitter. Don’t forget that each and every time you do a search for an online fare, delete your cookies, cache and search history first.

Start your search with Kayak. It works for flexible or fixed dates on domestic and international flights. They also give you complete price, with taxes and fees, if for some reason you prefer to use another site, Skyscraper is worth looking at. It also has a flexible search tool. 52% of its customers are return users, which is a testament in itself.

Travelocity used to be the best travel search site, but today the company is not even in the running. They have a record for high-prices and poor customer service.

Some of the newer and better rated travel search sites are Vayama.com, Hipmunk.com, Google flights (www.itasoftworre.com). Google is great at pulling up every fare accurately, but the downside is you can’t book directly through google. You need to link out to anther site in order to book your flight.

Another way of getting cheaper flights is to fly into an alternate airport. Sometimes the alternate airport might even be closer to your destination. Even if you have to drive, it might be worth hundreds of dollars of savings to do so.

Now let’s talk a little more about the flexible date option, even if you can’t be flexible, Typically, how it works is you will put in a range of dates for your departure and return then you pick your original dates from the list. Some of the best travel websites to use when you are using flexible searching are :
* Kayack
* Skyscanner
* Orbit
* Hotwire – Only US flights
* Travelocity – only domestic flights

Word Of Caution: When using flexible date options with some travel searches, the taxes and fees are not added until you select your flight. Fees charged by the airport can vary dramatically.

Bottom line-Don’t make your final decision on price until your flight is selected and you receive the final total.

After you have found the fare you like, always compare it to the airline’s website, just to make sure their fare isn’t lower. One other point, when you are checking travel sites for fares, make sure you check the box to also search for alternate airports, near-by.

My last tip to help you get cheap flights is at auctions. You can save thousands of dollars, but auctions are not for the timid. If this sounds interesting, the best thing to do is first spend some time on the sites to see how they work. And always read the fine print before you bid. SkyAuction.com seems to be the best auction site, but there are others that are good also as long as you remember to read all the rules. Each one operates differently. Some of the others are LuxuryLink.com, FlightFax.com, and CruiseComplete.com – used for cruises. Priceline.com is good for rental cars and motels.

I hope some of these tips might help save you save money the next time you fly. If you find a deal using one of these methods or you have a different way that works for you, we would definitely love to hear from you, if you wouldn’t mind sharing. If you find this article useful I would appreciate you sharing it with your friends and family.

The Beginning Of Spring Break

Although June is classified as the beginning of Spring Break and more people are traveling because kids are out of school, there are still a few places you can travel to on a budget and have a good time. I’m going to list a few that I have found with reasonable rates and some may even be close enough that you can drive to.

Daytona Beach

Daytona boasts an abundance of cheap hotels, inexpensive Daytona Beachrestaurants and plenty of package deals.

Daytona residents love their cars, so you can expect to see some tricked out automobiles on the road, at the speedway, and even on the beach.

Some Things To Do:
  • Climb to the top of one of the oldest lighthouses in the United States.
  • Enjoy some peace and quite at the Museum of Art and Sciences.
  • Take a drive on the beach in your car (where permited)
  • Visit theme parks like the Daytona 500 Experience and The Dragon Lagoon.
  • Check out Main Street and Seabreeze Boulevard for a collection of Bars and clubs, some of which cater specifically to the bikers that frequent the area.
  • Spend the day at the Beach.
  • Enjoy shopping in town.

Puerto Rico

Determining Puerto Rico’s charm is a no-brainer. Less than a threePuerto Rico hour flight from Miami. this Island is a U.S. territory. So when you’re shopping in San Juan you can pay for your souvenirs with American bills. Puerto Rico has both 20-ft waves for the surfers and calm, clear waters for families. It’s an exhilarating mix of landscapes, from the serpentine jungle of El Yunque to the corkscrew caves of Parque de las Cavernas del Rio Camuy. And if you want to get away from civilization entirely, you can ferry over to the secluded- not to mention- jaw droppingly gorgeous – islands of Vieques and Culebra.

Puerto Rico2Puerto Rico offers year-round affordable packages so travelers can relax along it’s blanched sands. Follow a pulsating beat to the dance clubs in the Santurce neighborhood, catch some live music in a Ponce lounge or grab a casual drink at a San Sebastian bar.

Many Puerto Ricans speak English, but Spanish is the language of daily life. Packing a Spanish phrasebook is handy, and Puerto Ricans welcome your efforts to converse with them in Spanish. Since Puerto Rico is part of the United States, the island’s currency is the U>S> dollar and credit cards are widely accepted. Tipping etiquette is the same here as in other parts of the United States; 15 to 20 percent is considered the standard, but more is appreciated for exceptional service.

With my comparison between motels and homeaway.com, it seems that homeaway.com might offer the better prices. Make sure you check them out while checking out your favorite travel site.

Myrtle Beach

The clean beaches are the main draw to Myrtle Beaches, but there’sMyrtle Beach more to her than miles of brown sand.   One of the best East Coast family vacation destinations, boasts hundreds of Golf courses for golfers at all levels, amusement parks that fling the kiddies around on water rides, roller coasters, and race tracks, and Ripley’s Aquarium, which dares visitors to commune with the sharks.

Conclusion

I found that some of the links below offered some of the best prices on places to stay. If you want to find some of the best prices for the beginning of Spring Break, try clicking on them or use your favorite booking site, either one.


Bookingcom

Need a Vacation? Rent a Private Villa, Home, or Condo. Click here!


HomeAway: Book it Now


BookingBuddy


Hotelwatchdog

Is a Cruise One of The Vacations You Are Looking At?


Great Family Cruises! Click here

 

Cruises seem to be one of the fastest growing segments of travel, so we can’t overlook it when we are talking about vacations. Cruise Direct offers some of the lowest prices no matter how many are traveling and no matter where your destination is.

Cruise Direct offers an easy booking process,  Best Price Guarantee, Flexible Payment Plans, Low Price Assurance, No Booking Fees, eTickets, freebies and discounts. If a cruise is what you are thinking about for your next vacation, take a look at what they have to offer before booking anywhere else.

Low Budget Vacation Ideas


Are you trying to plan a vacation for yourself, your family or maybe a boys weekend or even a girls weekend away? Are you looking for some low-budget ideas that won’t break your bank, but can still afford you a good time? Well look no more, my friend. I have some great ideas for you to look over.

These places offer some of the lowest room rates and some even offer lower rates, by offering camping if that’s what you might be looking for. I will list the places and give you a small summary about each place, but then you just need to click on them and see for yourself what’s offered.

ACE Adventure Resort – Oak Hill, West Virginia lodging ranges from rustic camping to cozy log cabins and lakeside Chalets. Ace Adventure Resort is located in a prime area on the New River Gorge National River, known as the East Coast’s Grand Canyon.

If you are an outdoor enthusiast, I would highly recommend checking this site out. The possibilities are almost endless with white water rafting, zip-line tours, rock-climbing, kayaking, horse-back riding, and back at camp, there is wild water park fun with inflatables on the lake, almost anything for the thrill-seeker to the person who just wants to leave the city behind.

Sea Mist Oceanfront  Resort  – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – Lodging encompasses almost any type you can imagine, hotel, condos, cottages, bungalows, villas, even rental houses. If you can’t find something you can afford here, I would be greatly surprised. But, their rates are very good and they have some accommodations where you can bring your pet.

They offer so many packages to choose from, but even if you don’t choose a package, you already have free admission to so many exciting events and places already located on the resort.

Donate Your Car, Get Free Vacation

sell your carI was out just out surfing the web and I came across this page, Carangel.com. I’m not going to tell you I recommend it, because I have never heard of them. It looks like it might be something worth checking in to if you have an older car,truck, boat, rv, or motorcycle (running or not) that you would like to get rid of.

They are offering you a 3 day, 2 night stay at one of 13 destinations with 47 different locations to choose from in exchange for your trade.  It appears they have several places in Florida, Virginia,  Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, California, Hawaii and Mexico.

They donate these cars to help out the less fortunate in poorer countries and they donate books to prisons among many other types of outreach programs. The books they donate to inmates are actually relevant to their situations and include different types of books such as motivational books. These books are stored in the prison library and are available, free, to all inmates. Your donations help make all this possible.

They offer fast, nationwide towing free, print you an instant donation receipt then you sign over the title and give the keys to the driver. You get to save on your taxes plus get a free vacation.

They also take many other items for donation and you  get to choose where your donation goes. If I had an old vehicle setting around, I would give them a call and at least check it out. Go to their website at carangel.com or call them toll-free at 1-800-227-2643

 

Best Budget Vacation- How Much will I Sacrafice?

 

Being a Budget Traveler and getting the Best Budget Vacation doesn’t just mean saving money, but also traveling in the smartest, most stylish way possible. How do we do this? Keep reading and you can join the millions of people already using these techniques.

Haven’t you ever wondered, “How in the world, can that person afford to travel that way?”Stay with me and you, too, may be traveling, better, yet cheaper then you have in the past.

There’s a Reasonably Priced Hotel Room With Your Name on It

Don’t just snap up the first room that seems reasonably priced. Do your research – how close are you to the attractions you are looking for? Call the Hotel and ask for the best price, the most appropriate room options, and for a free upgrade. You will be surprised at what some Hotels can do that is unadvertised.

I usually like to find at least 2 or 3 different Hotels that interest me and then call each one. Sometimes you can even pit once against the other. The more often you do this, the better you will get at it.

Did You Know There is A Best Day To Buy Airline Tickets?Plane

Yes, believe it or not, there is. Buy your airline tickets about two months before you fly, and buy them on a Tuesday. You will likely get your best price by doing this. Another good tip is to follow all major airlines on social media, sign up for there rewards programs, and subscribe to their free e-newsletters to get the inside track on deals.

There is Also A Best Time of Day to Pick up Your Rental Car!

You want to pick up your rental car first thing in the morning. Budget Travelers book the smallest car and pick up time as early as possible. The early bird gets the free upgrade. Most travelers won’t have returned their small cars yet and they will be out of stock . The Rental Agency is obligated to give you a car and therefore will have to offer you an upgrade.

The Two Best Times to Book a Cruise.

Booking your cruise 6 mts to a year in advance is ususaly the first time of getting a better price. Supply is high and demand is relatively flat. The next best time to book a cruise is in the last two weeks. The Cruise Line may scramble to fill cabins and once again you swoop in and find a deal.

National State Parks – Beautiful and Affordable-

ParkCompared with any other vacation spot on earth, our national parks—and many state parks for that matter—deliver serious bang for the buck. Sure they normally charge an admission fee, but it’s per car not per person.  Lodgings inside a National Park can be around $200.00 per night, but once inside the park, the wildlife, trails, ranger talks, evening presentations, junior ranger programs, and just about everything else is on the house. Sometimes that can be a real deal.

The Biggest Secret In Travel

Airlines and hotels are willing to practically give away their inventory rather than see it go empty. That’s right. Airlines sell their seats at rock-bottom prices. Hotels do the same for their rooms. Why haven’t you heard this before? Because they don’t exactly go parading down the street announcing it to the world. Instead, they roll those empty airplane seats and hotel beds into package deals. When you book a package deal (such as the Real Deals that Budget Travel publishes each week), you’ll get a good rate on airfare and hotels, some meals, often guided tours, and some ground transportation. Don’t believe us? Take a look at a package deal and then try to book the airfare and hotel separately—the package will almost always be significantly less.

couple

Trying to Get Away on a Romantic Getaway

Tell everybody! Sounds a little strange  when you’re trying to get some alone time with your Significant Other, but mentioning your romantic status to flight attendents, waiters, and hotel managers can yield complimentary wine, upgrades, private balconies, and other surprises.

Your Next Trip Can Also be Right at Your Fingertips

You don’t have to Fly or go on a Cruise to have a great vacation. Some of the best trips are to be had on America’s Highways. Budget travelers love ‘one tank escapes’. You can start by exploring locales within acar two-hour drive from your home. For most Americans, that includes gorgeous parkland, cool small towns, food you won’t find at home, and often the kinds of surprises that most of us travel for.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading my tips and suggestions. Please feel free to leave comments and maybe you even  have some tips you would like to include.