Hassle free travel tips to save money
Everyone knows that you can have a great time with family and friends when you go on vacation or travel to a new and far away place. However, sometimes disaster can strike when things do not go as planned or expected. Here are some tips and tricks that will help ensure your vacation is affordable and hassle-free.
Be flexible. When booking your flight, do not tell the booking agent your travel dates in advance. Instead, ask the agent to check each fare for the itinerary you want in the range of dates. Ask for the cheapest price first. If you are flexible, you may be able to lower ticket costs.
Purchase tickets after midnight on Tuesday in the time zone in which the airline is located. Generally, airlines start ticket sales late on Friday, and competitor airlines match lower fares. They stop matching lower prices usually on Mondays. Customers who book low fares are given 24 hours to purchase tickets. All lower fares booked on Monday but not purchased by midnight Tuesday are available for sale at that time.
Make reservations at 4:00 PM on Sunday. You’ll have a better chance of getting underpaid than a front desk clerk who realizes that an unsold room is missing out on revenue. Contact the hotel in the city you wish to visit directly. Don’t call 800 – you could potentially reach a national reservation clerk.
Ask for weekend rates. In some hotels, weekend rates are a third of the normal rates. If you plan to stay during the week, ask to extend the cheaper weekend rate. Make sure the price quoted reflects hidden costs, such as resort fees and taxes.
Consider alternative housing. Many hostels now offer private rooms for $25.00 to $160.00 per night. For more information, log on to Hostelling International USA at [http://www.huisa.org]. Also, some colleges rent out their dorm rooms at reasonable rates during vacation periods.
Book a cruise last minute. Often, ships sail with empty docks. Many routes regularly have more berths than passengers. If you are flexible, you can get great last minute packages. Check with a travel agent or consolidator. Be aware that cruise lines now charge for extras that were previously included in packages, such as certain fun activities.
Contact your local rental site. Local operators can offer deals to reduce a temporary surplus or base in the local market. If you call the national toll-free number to make a reservation, you may not get the best rate or the best car.
Whenever possible, avoid renting in airport lots, which can be more expensive than those in the city. Compare local and national rates at RentalCars.com. Make sure you only pay for what you want and need. Here are some things to consider when renting a car.
additional insurance –
Rentals may be covered by your personal auto insurance and the credit card company may provide rental auto damage coverage, but it still may not be sufficient. To maximize your coverage:
– Make sure you have sufficient collision and comprehensive coverage on your insurance policy.
– Pay for the rental car with a credit card that provides additional coverage.
Check with car rental companies that have an agreement with your insurance company to provide additional coverage. For example, USAA offers additional coverage for Avis, Budget, and Hertz vehicles at most locations in the United States.
Backup drivers –
Most companies allow another person to drive for free. But some charge extra for everyone else who drives, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Ask before booking. Violation of the rules may affect your insurance protection. If your spouse has an accident, you may have to pay for the repairs out of pocket.
When you return the car, you have the option of filling it up yourself, prepaying for a full tank at a flat rate per gallon, or paying a refueling fee when you return with less fuel than you started with. Refueling fees can be very expensive. You may get a better price if you fill it yourself.
– If possible, return it from where you received it, or be prepared to pay more. Drop-off fee depends on the distance between the pick-up and drop-off point.
Late fees –
Return the car on time. Most rental agencies give you a one-hour grace period, but don’t test it. Returning it late may result in higher overtime fees.
AAA makes “summer driving season” sound so mandatory, as if something terrible will happen to you if you don’t log a certain number of interstate miles by Labor Day. If you love taking road trips, here are some tips to make your trip go a little smoother.
Leave early, stay late. To avoid peak traffic, especially during holidays, leave one day earlier than other travelers, and return a day earlier or the day after.
Know your route and have a backup plan in case of traffic or road closures. Carry a safety/emergency kit in the vehicle. Make sure your car is in top condition. Long summer travel puts a lot of pressure on the car. Get a pre-flight check.
Tires must have sufficient tread. If you don’t know what to look for, have a mechanic check the entire width of the tire including the rims.
Brakes should be checked, usually by mechanical dislocation of all four wheels. Note the thickness of the brake pads and shoes. The calipers, devices that cause friction while depressing the brake pad, and rubber hydraulic lines should also be checked.
Steering components, such as the front end and steering-related parts, including ball joints and bushings, should be inspected.
take your time.
“Better late than sorry.” Plan the extra time and arrive safely. Take 15 to 20 minute breaks every few hours and stretch your legs. Don’t forget to drink plenty of fluids. Don’t eat and run. Take a walk after eating to get the blood flowing.
When traveling with children, pack toys, books, games, and snacks on hand to keep them occupied. Try a recorded story or sing along. Try these two tips as well. Hook a bag on the back of the front passenger seat to hold toys, bottles, crayons, and other favorites. Give older children maps of the United States and pencils, markers, or pens. Then while driving, they can look up