Monday, October 23, 2006

Plan a Vacation Under Budget

If you're planning a vacation and are on a tight budget, there're many ways to cut the cost of traveling whether it is airfare, rental cars or hotel rooms.

Saving money on airfare

If you plan your vacation a few months ahead, you can spend significantly less on airplane tickets. You could even plan your trip around a special offer. A round-trip tickets that generally costs a thousand dollars may sell for two hundred dollars on a few specific dates in a years. If you've been traveling a lot and have accumulated a lot of frequent flier miles with your favorite airline, you could get a few tickets at no cost.

Saving money on your next hotel room

Besides the saving on airfares, you can save a lot or stay for free if you have traveled in the past and collected enough frequent flier miles. Many hotels and motels offer savings for holders of frequent flier miles. Check to see which programs are good for hotel savings. Not all airlines miles can be used at hotels and motels. If you are willing to be flexible, you will have more options for savings in hotel rooms. Hotel rooms generally fluctuate by season and whether your stay falls on a weekday or weekend. You can usually save the most on the weekdays in the off season. However some hotels and motels that cater towards a business clientele are usually under booked on the weekends. The Internet is another useful tool to shop around - for instance, search for forget calling hotels. You could get a better rate if you place the order online as many hotels and motels are starting encouraging people to use the Internet to book the rooms. You save the money and they save the time of booking rooms over the phone.

Saving money on Your Travel Phone Bills

Phone cards and International Phone Cards are a great help when traveling in the United States or oversea. Prepaid phone cards are available everywhere. You'll spot calling cards at checkout in almost every super-market, or grocery store. The cost per minute of using calling cards is much less than calling from a hotel, an airport or a conventional pay phone.

Natalie Aranda writes about travel, travel planning and inernational travel. Phone cards and International Phone Cards are a great help when traveling in the United States or oversea. The cost per minute of using calling cards or phone cards is much less than calling from a hotel, an airport or a conventional pay phone.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

How To Buy Cheap Air Tickets

When buying an airline ticket, take this advice "Think in advance". Availability determines the cost of your ticket. Be ready to arrange your travel plans at least 3-4 months in advance. This gives you the advantage of special low fares as well as early bird specials for early shoppers. Be aware of the weekend surcharges and the peak season. Every airline company divides their low, mid-season and peak seasons differently. If your itinerary requires a transfer, a transfer point determines the taxes you pay on your ticket.

Now that we have the shopping tools the question is "Where to shop?"

Internet is holding the first place in sales of airline tickets. Most of the internet booking engines offer discounted low fares which are sold for the minimum commission. The only problem with a internet booking engine is the disability to put a flight on hold or to wait list a cheaper class of service. A travel agent on the other hand has right tools to see the flight availability and to wait list and confirm a cheaper flight depending on a flight status. So call your local travel agent and check what they have to offer and compare it to what you have found on the internet before you buy.

If you prefer an airline company check their low, mid and high seasons. This will give you an idea when to plan your travel. Sign up for web specials so that when any specials are posted on the site you will be advised via e-mail. Also tell your local travel agent your itinerary in advance so that he can contact you when a special fare is available. Also, if you are unsure of your travel plans call your travel agent. He can put your reservation on hold which you can change, rearrange and even cancel with no charges applied.

The low fares you get are usually valid for 90 days. The early specials and other extremely low fares are valid for about 30 days. If your travel exceeds more than 90 days then you do not qualify for the lowest fare even if it is available.

One very important tip to consider is your flexibility. A lowest fare that you want might not be available on the day you wish to travel but if you play around with the departure and arrival dates, you will notice a change in price. That's why in order for a booking engine or an agent to give you a fixed price they require fixed dates of travel.

With all this in mind you are ready to plan your next trip. Remember, at a right place, a right time there is a cheap air ticket waiting for you.

Vlade Grubisic is professional travel agent. For the best airfare deals, cheap air tickets and air ticket consolidator visit

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Really Cheap Plane Tickets

To begin with, the best place to buy really cheap plane tickets is online. Travel agencies can't compete with discount ticket sites. Search Google ("cheap airfare south america", for example), or try the well-known sites, like Expedia, Travelocity, Cheap Tickets, Hotwire or Priceline.

Just now I checked fares from Tucson, Arizona to Traverse City, Michigan on the five sites mentioned above. The cheapest quotes ranged from $704 to $432. Nevermind which was cheapest (oh, okay, it was Expedia), because you never know from day to day which sites will find the cheapest flights.

Check at least three places. In this case, it would mean a savings of $272. The flight durations are within minutes of each other, by the way, and the food is probably equally bad on all the flights.

Flexibility For Even Cheaper Airfare

The more flexible you are, the better your chance of getting a really cheap plane tickets. Try different departure and return dates if you can. Check the box "2 or more connecting flights". Mark the "anytime" departure, even if you don't want to leave at midnight - the savings might change your mind. Try all the options. If the savings aren't enough, you can always book first class, direct flights, or whatever you prefer.

Really Cheap Plane Tickets - More Ways

You can buy two tickets. The cheapest airfare from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Tucson, Arizona costs $451 roundtrip right now. Las Vegas to Tucson is only $161, however, and there are regular $199 specials to Vegas from Grand Rapids. It's up to you whether saving $91 is worth booking two flights. (It saved us over $1000 when we went to South America.) There is the problem of whether you'll get a refund if your timing is off on the connections (you probably won't).

Check for package deals, where you pay for plane tickets and your hotel room. I haven't had much luck with these deals, but it can't hurt to look at them.

Buying ahead of time gets you cheaper plane tickets. Any thing less than a week away tends to be expensive, although you never can tell in the mysterious realm of airfare pricing. Sometimes the "last minute specials" are the best thing going.
Priceline still has their "Name Your Own Price" feature. Make your bid, and the airlines say yes or no, depending on whether they have empty seats to fill. First search for the cheapest tickets you can find, then bid lower than that. If your bid is rejected, you can return to the website where you found the best deal and book it.

If You're Really Cheap

My wife and I once took a bus from Michigan to Miami, and flew from there to Ecuador. For us at that time, saving a couple hundred dollars was worth 38 hours on a bus. This won't save you much on domestic flights. Right now, for example, taking a bus from Traverse City to Detroit, then flying to Los Angeles, would only save about $70 (allowing for cab fare to the airport) over flying directly.

There are other options beyond the scope of this article. Courier flights, for example, can be a great deal if you don't mind letting a company use your baggage allowance (you get carry-on only). There are also stand-by deals and last minute deals and other ways to get really cheap plane tickets. Good luck!

Steve Gillman hit the road at sixteen, and traveled the U.S. and Mexico alone at 17. Now 40, he travels with his wife Ana, whom he met in Ecuador. For more on cheap plane tickets, and to read their stories, tips and travel information, visit:
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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Cheap Airplane Tickets - How to Find Them

Finding a cheap airplane ticket is something of an art, one that you can learn in a very short space of time, but can spend the rest of your life trying to master. Being able to buy cheap airplane tickets is a very handy skill, and it's surprising they don't teach it in school. Spending a whole year learning calculus in college didn't provide me with anything that I have since used in real life. Maybe if I'd instead learnt how to get cheap airplane tickets, I’d be an expert by now, quite apart from all the money I'd have saved in my lifetime.

Okay, so my school never taught me how to get a cheap airplane ticket, but I've found out quite a lot just by stumbling blindly through the airline industry. Probably the best way to get really cheap airplane tickets is to own your own airline. It's amazing how easy it is to get a cheap airplane ticket when there's a bunch of your own airplanes just waiting to head off wherever you want to go.

All joking aside, owning an airline is probably a bit expensive for most of us, so you'll have to find simpler ways to get your cheap airplane ticket. One of the best and most overlooked ideas is to travel during the ‘off’ season. What time of the year is actually the "off" season will vary a lot, depending on your destination, but basically it just means the time of year when less people want to go there.

The funny thing is that the place you're going will be basically same even if it is in the off season. Those words conjure up an image of something being bad or "off" about the destination, but it could simply be that the timing doesn't fit in with when most people can get the time off work to travel there. For example, there's hardly a place in the world with an "off" season over Christmas - simply because that's when an enormous number of people are available to travel. Having said that, there are parts of the world where the weather at certain times of the year is very definitely off, and a good reason why so few people want to visit. While it may make it easier to get cheap airplane tickets by travelling at that time, you're possibly going to have a miserable holiday if you're stuck in hurricans or snowstorms.

Another thing that many people don't know is that the earlier you book, the cheaper the plane ticket is likely to be. Buying a plane ticket at the last minute is almost a guarantee that you'll pay top dollar for it. Whereas airlines often begin selling a flight with a whole range of ticket prices - and naturally the cheap plane tickets go first. So it's always a good idea to take a look at prices as far ahead as possible, circumstances permitting, to give yourself a great chance of finding some really cheap airplane tickets.

To find out more about finding cheap airplane tickets, check out
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