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Oct 28 / Amy

Tips for Saving on Your Next Trip, Part 1

Last weekend, I begged Josh to come with me to the Atlanta Travel & Adventure Expo at the Cobb Galleria Center.  I hadn’t heard about it until I saw tickets on Groupon, so not only did I learn about it, but we were able to get a discount on tickets!

We got there around 11 am to check out the scene.  There were plenty of booths set up from people representing locations all over the world.  I was like a kid in a candy store!  In addition to all of the great booths with people to talk to, they had some great speakers.  I was mostly excited about seeing Pauline Frommer and Samantha Brown.

Pauline Frommer gave her thoughts on when you should scrimp on travel, and when you should splurge – plus a few tips and site recommendations.  I’d seen and used a few that she’d mentioned, but there were some I’d never heard of that I’d thought I’d share!  Since she gave a lot of information, I’m going to break it up into two posts – so look for the second one soon!

 

Accommodations – Scrimp or Splurge?

Scrimp!

For the most part, when you’re on vacation somewhere, you’re really only using your room as a place to sleep at night.  That being said, you should scrimp wisely!  Some great sites that you can use to find deals are:

  • HotelsCombined  – This site searches other travel websites like Priceline, Expedia, etc., and pulls the best deals.
  • Hipmunk – This site will lay out all the hotels on a map, so you can find the best one for the location/area you want to stay.  You can also filter by where the restaurants are, or where the nightlife section of town is.

Want to stay somewhere other than a hotel room?  Why not rent a home?  Rent directly from the owner, get a little more room to stretch out, and in many cases save more than you would if you were in a hotel.  Helpful sites for finding home rentals:

Other option for saving some cash is to do a home exchange.  Pauline’s best tip was to use a site that requires a membership fee, so you’re working with people that truly want to do an exchange.  Often when you require people to pay, you weed out more of the seedy people that might not be as honest.  One site mentioned for this type of accommodation is HomeExchange.

 

Airfare – Scrimp or splurge?

Scrimp!

Because airlines aren’t making profits like they used to, they’re decreasing the number of flights/planes in action, which is driving the cost of tickets up.  In order to save along the way she suggests:

  • Booking on Tuesdays or Wednesdays
  • Never booking on the weekend
  • Never book more than 4 months out (unless it’s during a peak season or big travel time period)
  • Buying two one-way trips may be cheaper (via 2 different airlines)
  • Follow airlines on Twitter and Facebook, they’re starting to give out promo codes for social media promotions
  • And if you’re going somewhere you’re not really familiar with, use local agencies with special knowledge of the area you’re traveling to.

Helpful sites for saving money on airfare include:

To see the plane’s layout before your trip, check out SeatGuru.

And if you just want to find some place to go, within a certain flight budget, check out Kayak Explore.  You put in a price, and it’ll tell you where you can fly!

Next post will include Pauline’s tips on purchasing activities, food, and cruises!

 

Do you have any tips or great sites that you use when booking accommodations or airfare that weren’t listed above?  Please share!

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