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Tips on getting the most of your travel buck

October 10, 2011

With so much going on out there in the digital world, you can save a lot of money by doing some homework, some planning and making use of some of those deals out there. Here’s a list to look out for and getting more bang for your buck.

Air Travel

airtravelWith increasing baggage fees and ticket prices because of fuel surcharges, flying these days is not cheap. It’s good to look up the airline fees and ways to avoid them. Some airlines post $1-$9 deals frequently on their website and on social media like Facebook and Twitter. But if you prefer not to scan through the crazy, extremely fast Twitter-world, then sign up for flash news alerts from deal-sites like Travelzoo or Airfarewatchdog.

Prefer not to receive daily deals? Check out these options which will send an email to you only when they find specific deals for the itineraries you fed in them:

  • Compete 4 Your Seat– Travel agents bid for the least expensive prices for your itineraries. You can pick the one you want.
  • Yapta– Submit an itinerary and this website will track the best prices and alert you; not only before you book but even after you book. If fares drop you’ll be advised how to apply for a refund.
  • CheapOair – If you like, you can set an “alert” for fares to specific locales.

Apart from setting up alerts or browsing for deals on social networks, look out for specific airline credit cards that offer good deals on signup and offer frequent flyer miles. Websites like Cardratings.com compares all the reward-cards and list the best that the industry has to offer.

Rail Travel

railtravelThe best way to travel across the European continent or specific countries like India is their amazing and speedy train network. Although some countries like India pr Peru will not offer deals on the train bookings, other like Japan and most of Europe do. And you can find the deals and book online on their websites.

For example, you can save a lot by ordering a Japan Rail Pass while you’re still in U.S. For bookings in Europe, try Rail Europe sells discounted advance tickets, but depending on your travel plans, a multi-day pass or a “Flexi Pass” might be more cost-effective.

Metro networks in cities also offer multi-day passes for unlimited travel at a discounted price. The reloadable Oyster card for London Tube or buses is the best bet for visitors to London. It charges almost half the price of an in-cash fare and never more than a set daily limit no matter how many rides you take. New York City also offers a 7-day unlimited pass to use their subway or bus (MTA) for $29.

There are free public transport apps for smartphones like MetrO that lets you check routes and schedules in more than 400 cities.

Land Travel

Services like Megabus offers tickets as low as $1. Although they have limited routes that cover certain regions only, but a total of about $3-$5 on a trip from Philadelphia to New York or London to Cardiff for £7 is a steal. They offer services in United States, United Kingdom and Canada.

Another cheap service like Boltbus also offers cheap travel on limited routes in U.S.

Chinatown’s ApexBus offers deals like buy two get one free has services in U.S.

Hostels

International aggregator websites like HostelBookers allows bookings for almost any hostel in the world. They are cheap, mostly safe and a great way to meet fellow travelers and share experiences. The last time we were in a hostel was in Paris and talking to a couple from Austria led us to this amazing restaurant for great Parisian food that we’ve never heard of!

And with all those smartphone apps out there one can find a great deal on last-minute-hotel bookings.

Free Accommodation

Concepts and websites like Triposo offer free guides to more than 30 destinations (and growing).

  • Check with the hotel or hostel you’re staying at for free walking tours.
  • Coffee shops, libraries, museums and college boards also offer free or discounted tours.


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