Don’t Break the Bank! Part Two

by Jodi Furman | June 22nd, 2011 | Shopping Secrets

This is the second installment in a two part series from FabuLESS Summer Travel Deals from Savvy Shopping Guru, Jodi Furman. The first installment listed tips one and two.

3. Shop the net for outstanding prices.

If you have multiple airports within 100 miles, be sure to check all of the local (and even not so local) airport for flights. By travelling an hour more to the next closest airport, you might find a fare that is significantly lower and/or a direct flight for the same price as a connecting flight. Same goes for your arrival city — consider flying into alternate airports.

You will also find that car rental prices can vary wildly from agency to agency and even from location to location– so consider renting in town rather than at the airport. Renting at one location rather than the other might shave hundreds toward rental car costs, which is well worth the additional cost of a cab ride to the off airport location (also, you can almost always return the rental car to an airport location for NO additional charge!)

And, when it comes to booking flights, hotels, and even car rentals there are a number of options:

A. Conventional travel sites where you can book online (expedia.com, travelocity.com, rentalcars.com)

B. Bid on sites where you name your own price (priceline.com, hotwire.com)

C. Book directly on the website of the airline, hotel or car rental agency (www.aa.com, www.jetblue.com, etc.)

D. Call the national reservation line for the airline, hotel or car rental.

E. Call the local hotel or the local car rental location directly– they might have an unadvertised local special, or at the very least they might be able to offer you an upgrade without an additional charge.

fabuLESS tip: When booking hotels and/or rental cars online, be sure to click first on ebates.com to get a percentage of your total spending back (generally around 2%). If possible, use a credit card that ALSO nets you cashback and/or mileage, too!

4. Consider alternative lodging options. You might get more space and have more fun, too!
Rather than renting a hotel room, consider a house swap or a vacation rental instead. Not only will the rates generally be lower, but you are also more likely to have a kitchen so you can make some meals, or at least have some snacks at home, saving you from having to dine out for each and every meal. Use vrbo.com or airbnb.com to search for unconventional lodging. Both sites have reviews and most listings have extensive descriptions and photographs of the amenities.

5. Get great deals on last minute airfare/hotel bargains.
You can often get flights, hotels, cruises, all-inclusive resorts and vacation packages for a hefty discount if your schedule is flexible, and you can travel with only a few days or a week’s notice.  Let the deal dictate where you’re traveling, and you might be able to get to Paris for less than you can get to Peoria!

Traveling on a smaller budget doesn’t mean having less fun– it just frees up more cash so you might be able to travel again sooner and more often!

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