Tag Archives: hotels

Money Saving Travel Tips

With gas prices going up everyday, many of us are looking for ways to save money. Another “staycation” may not be what you want to do, but there are ways to save on your trips. It may take a bit of research but its worth theĀ  money savings in the long run.

At a the recent LA Times Travel show, three travel writers gave their tips on how to save money. Here are their tips.

Here are a few more tips we found to save money on your next vacation.

a) Be flexible on dates and locations:
The day you travel can affect the price of your airfare. Also, if you are not looking for a specific location but maybe just a beach locale, search a variety of destinations to find the best deal. Also, if you don’t mind the time it may take, connecting flights vs direct flights can save you money.

b) Travel during “shoulder seasons”: This is the time between peak and off-peak season. You can often find a better deal during these times.
c) Buy package deals: A hotel/airfare combo deal is usually better in the long run.
d) Useful websites and codes: Check out the following websites for help with airfares and special discount codes: Travelocity, Airfarewatchdog, Kayak.com/explore, Yapta.com, Itasoftware.com, and bing.com/travel.
e) Smartphone Apps: many travel sites offer special offers through their mobile apps that you cannot get via their website.
f) Know your Hub: Try to book with the airline that has the closest hub to your home. It will offer the most flights and usually the best deals from your city.
g) Fees: Know the fees that an airline charges.

a) Family travel: research family-friendly hotels that over perks and discounts for kids
b) City next door: Often the city next door to where you are going may have cheaper hotels. Investigate on if the drive is worth the savings.
c) Vacation homes: planning a longer trip than a few days? A vacation home most likely will be a better deal than a hotel.
d) Home Exchanges: save on hotel costs completely by exchanging homes with someone. Check out Homeexchange.com.
e) Opt for suites: Typically a two bedroom suite will be less expensive than two individual rooms. Check to see which is the better deal.
f) Useful websites: BiddingTraveler.com (helps you execute the optimal bidding strategy on Priceline), Hotels.com (find good last minute deals on Tuesdays and Wednesdays), Luxurylink.com (discounts on high end villas and hotels), and homeaway.com (rentals).

Car Rentals
a) One way car rentals: When you are visit multiple locations, you may pick up a car at one spot and then return it at a completely different spot. If you can split the car rentals between the destinations, you can usually save a some money.
b) Insurance: A lot of auto insurance companies and some credit cards provide rental insurance. Check to see if your insurance or credit cards provide this to save on rental insurance from the car rental business.
c) Size: Don’t need much room, opt for a smaller car to save on cost and gas
d) Filling up: It is usually a better deal to fill the car up on your own before returning it vs. taking the car rental business’ offer.
e) Autoslash.com: Offers discount coupons on car rentals, continually checks on lower rates and coupons until your trip date and will automatically apply any discounts that it finds.
f) Car seats: check to see how much car seats are to rent. This cost to rent the car seats may be cheaper than the fees you will have to pay with the airlines for checking them.

Food and Entertainment
a) Deal sites: Sign up for Groupon or Living Social where you will be visiting to get deals on restaurants and more. Or use Yipit.com that gives you deals from 787 services in 118 North American Cities.
b) Ask your Concierge: Often your hotel concierge will know about the best deals around the city and will have coupons and connections for you.
c) Food: Bring snacks and your own water bottles to your hotel room. If your room has a microwave, stop by a local grocery store to pick up some meals that could save you on meals during the day. Ask the restaurant where you are eating dinner if they will give you extra bread. You can use that bread for the next day for breakfast.

Social Media
Use your social media sites to find recommendations from friends and family. Follow airline and travel site Facebook and Twitter pages for special deals. Follow bloggers that have the inside scoop on deals and more.

It may take a little digging but the money savings and the getaway will be worth it. What are your saving tips when you plan a vacation?



“Snore Absorption” Rooms Make their Debut

Could your next vacation be snore free? Crowne Plaza hotels recently tested out their new “snore absorption rooms” in nine hotels across Europe and the Middle East. The hotel found from some recent UK research that couples lose one to five hours of sleep a night when they have a snoring partner. This adds up to almost a decade of loss sleep during a lifetime. 3 in 10 couples have come close to splitting up because of snoring and 50% of UK couples interviewed said snoring can ruin a vacation.

The snore absorption rooms debuted on June 27th and include the following:

* soundproofing in the walls
* sound absorbing headboard
* anti-snoring bed wedge that encourages the snorer to sleep on their side or upright
* anti-snoring pillow that uses magnets to create a magnetic field that is supposed to open the airways and stiffen the upper palate.
* white noise machine to drown out the snoring.

No results have been released yet on the trial done in the nine test hotels and at this time there are no plans to try out the rooms in the United States. You can take advantage of Crowne Plaza’s Sleep Advantage program that offers quiet floors, sleep cds, sleep amenities, aromatherapy. luxurious bedding and more to guarantee a peaceful night’s sleep.

Does snoring cause problems for you when you travel?

Summer Travel Tips

It’s the first official day of summer and we know that many of you have planned or will be planning trips during this peak travel season. We have compiled some tips for you to use on your next trip. From saving money, TSA tips and more, we’ve got you covered for summer travel.

Tips for Saving Money:

1)Refunds: If your airfare drops, check into getting a refund. There are different fees and policies for ticket refunds depending on the airline. Alaska, JetBlue and Southwest Airlines all will offer refunds if the price of their airfare drops. A few of the airlines charge change fees so the refund may not be worth it in the long run but its worth checking out.
2) Research, Research, Research: Use sites like Bing Travel, airfarewatchdog.com and hotels.com to find the best fares and room rates. Bing Travel will forecast if they think fares will go up or down based on patterns seen. Look out for flash sales on hotel rooms. Also, call hotels in the area and ask them for unpublished rates. Sometimes you can find better deals this way.
3) Coupons: Find local deals where you are traveling via Groupon, Living Social and the hotel that you are staying at on your trip. Sign up for G-Trot to get more information on social deals. Don’t be afraid to search online for specials and deals for your destination.
4) Save on Gas: All of us are concerned about rising gas prices. Use tools like AAA’s mobile app, aaa.com/mobile to find the lowest pump prices in the area you are driving. You can boost the gas mileage on your car by driving the speed limit and not accelerating or breaking suddenly.
5) Trip Insurance: Look into trip insurance. This protects your trip from unforeseen circumstances such as weather that may cause your trip to be cancelled. www.insurancefortrips.com is a great resource.

Here’s a great video from ABC News on some summer saving tips:

Tips for traveling by plane: (information found on www.travelsense.org)
1) Arrive Early: Those who arrive earliest for an overbooked flight stand the greatest chance of staying on board.
2) Keep a close on all belongings: Be aware of your surroundings and keep a close eye on your tickets, wallets, purses and other belongings at all times.
3) Avoid getting bumped: Get an advanced seat assignment. Check in online within 24 hours of departure. If all else fails get to the airport early.
4) Know your Airline’s limits: now all the size and weight limits of your airline for your luggage. Weigh your luggage beforehand to ensure it is not overweight.
5) Remember 3-1-1: You may take toiletries that 3 ounces or less that fit in a one quart-size clear plastic bag and one bag per person must be placed in the screening bin.

Click on this link from the TSA on some other tips to remember when traveling this summer.

Tips for Traveling by car:
1) Plan your itineraries and arrange accommodations well in advance. Hotels, restaurants and rental car places get booked quickly during the peak summer travel season. Ask your travel agent for special deals. Make sure you have an appropriately sized vehicle that will accommodate your travelers, luggage, and souvenirs you may buy.
2) Get a Tune up. If you are traveling with your car, make sure you have your oil changed, and your brakes, fluids, tire pressure and windshield wipers checked.
3) Get an early start: Travel during late night or early morning hours to avoid traffic gridlock. The worst times are typically after meals since most travelers wait to leave after they have eaten. Make sure that your driver is rested and prepared with the appropriate directions for your trip.

Stop by one of our stores to find lightweight luggage, luggage scales, travel accessories and more that will save you time and money on your trips this summer. What tips do you have for summer travel?