As a somewhat seasoned traveler, I am always looking for more affordable ways to travel the world. The travel niche has hundreds of ways to save our money while experiencing other cultures. More people are traveling than ever, because they have found bargain basement deals that so many companies offer. We will take a look to see if discount online outfitters such as VRBO, Expedia, Travelocity, Kayak, BookIt, and even timeshares actually save you money. Let’s see if they really offer the best price to their customers. We’ll do some comparisons and you will know where you can really find the best deals. Families are traveling together now more than ever. Make sure you read the section below about traveling with children to make your trip a pleasant one. Travel and money saving tips will be peppered throughout this post that you can take advantage of as well. Let’s dig in.
Travelocity’s television commercials are a riot. I love the little hobbit guy standing on the beach sandbar or floating up in a hot air balloon. He is cute and loveable. He tells you to “Go and Smell The Roses”, a brilliant marketing campaign indeed. What the hobbit is not telling you is that as an online customer you may be charged more to book anything on that site if you are not a member. Cheaptickets and Orbitz non-members receive a $12 higher quote than active members. This article in the Wall Street Journal goes into depth about this practice. This practice works because many of these sites such as Cheaptickets and Orbitz track your usage by following your computer’s ‘cookies’ or memory of what you search for online.
The more expensive items you search for and buy online will prompt many of these discount traveler providers to charge you more. In this study conducted by Northwestern University this is called Price Steering. The practice of Price Discrimination is used by search engines like Google, streaming services such as Netflix and popular sites like Yelp. They do this by using complicated algorithms’ that are tailored to each user. Have you ever noticed the same or similar ads popping up when you are on Facebook or Amazon? That is called Personalization. You have been tagged as a certain type of spender and will be given quotes via popular online providers accordingly. The Roses aren’t Smelling so Good anymore, are they?
**Tip #1: Secret Savings on Airfare – Fly when others don’t want to. Simply put, fly on Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday afternoons while the majority of folks are at work. Consider Red Eye flights as well. You can save up to 16% by booking a domestic weekend flight departing on Saturday arriving on Monday. For week long International flights departing on a Tuesday and arriving the following Saturday could save you up to 21%.
To save on both hotel and airfare consider traveling during the ‘shoulder’ season. This is the best time to travel anyway because you get: 1. Good weather 2. Great prices (low season) 3. No crowds. I love this time to travel. I love it so much that I did this for my honeymoon 17 years ago. My husband and I got married April 25 which was in the middle of shoulder season. Our airfare and hotel room in Ixtapa, Mexico was 30% less than during the ‘high season’ which was during the winter months. That made the honeymoon even better! The standard shoulder seasons are Fall and Spring in the Northern Hemisphere; opposite in the Southern Hemisphere.
Let’s talk about timeshares for a moment as a discounted way to travel. Many of my friends have timeshares and they think it’s the best thing since sliced bread. One of my friends, Carol, has a timeshare in Canada. She loves it and goes during her fixed two weeks every year. She paid approximately $25,000 for this privilege. Unfortunately Carol couldn’t go during her week this year because the resort was undergoing a major re-model. So, Carol lost her week. To add insult to injury, she confessed that she pays $900 per week per year in maintenance fees. That’s $1,800 in fees per year. This scenario happens over and over and over again in the timeshare industry. My close family relatives own a Marriott timeshare in Florida. They have to call at 3 am one year in advance to secure the week of their choice. I’m sorry, but this does not seem convenient or practical for spending $30,000 on that time share. And you know the maintenance fees are similar to Carol’s. Does this seem like a discount way to travel? Not to me, or to many people who have seen much better travel alternatives.
Another alternative for really saving thousands of dollars per week are travel memberships. Wholesale Traveler has partnered with Global Resorts Network, a travel provider who has been in the business for 28 years. Out of all my travel and research, GRN, provides the best value per week vacation, bar none in the business. As a member you have access to 3, 4, and 5 star properties throughout the world for a little as $400 per weeks stay.
I have shopped and compared many timeshares to the Wholesale Travelers business partner: Global Resorts Network. It is a hands down much better way to travel and save money, lots of money. Take a look: http://wholesale-traveler.com
**Tip #2: Active travelers: There is a new pant out that is comfortable and flattering. It’s called the Arc’teryx Cayley pant. These easy to wear pants can be worn on a hike through the Andes as well as out to dinner in the City. Check them out: www.arcteryx.com
Wholesale Traveler has been partners with Global Resorts Network for the last five years. As a subscriber to Wholesale Travelers weekly Newsletter you will find interesting trips, tips, discount weeks, and even cruises. You will even see how you can have week long vacations throughout the world for only $400 or less! If you are not already a free subscriber you can go here to start receiving the wonderful Newsletter: http://wholesale-traveler.com . We want to hear about your dream travel destinations. Feel free to give us a call at 925-362-8057 for more information on how we can get you to that dream destination, while saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
**Tip #3: Super Important! Frequent – Flier Programs are changing. For many years we have all earned frequent flier miles based on the mileage you flew. Next year you will earn miles based on the money spent! This is happening with Delta and United. Check your favorite carrier so you don’t encounter any surprises.
Flying with your children can be fun.
It doesn’t have to be a dreaded event. Let’s make your flight with your children enjoyable. You don’t want to be at the ‘back of the bus’ with people rolling their eyes in fear of child screams, crying and fussiness. Here are some suggestions for flying with children:
*Fly the Red Eye with children under 1 year old. They get to sleep during their normal sleep hours, if they wake up, give them a sip of milk and they should go back to sleep quickly.
*Consider mid-week flights which are less crowded and less expensive for your family trip.
• Use your iphone to take photos of things that will help your traveling be smoother. For example, take a photo of where you parked or a list of the taxi services, so you have a reference. Just delete it when you leave your destination.
• Wear slip on shoes, and do not wear a belt. Put wallet, keys, phone, games, any loose items into your luggage and check it in. I know most people like to carry on their luggage, but it is a lot to handle when you already have kids to watch. In all my travels, I always check my luggage and have felt relieved.
• When flying with kids who are walking, have everyone wear a bright colored shirt so you can spot them from far away.
• Always do bathroom stops before boarding.
• Bring your ipad, good sugarless candy and comic books for the kids to pass the time.
For more information and great tips for traveling with kids go to: www.minitime.com
Traveling is so good for the heart and soul. In closing I want to leave you with some great quotes by famous travelers.
**“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain
**“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” ~ St. Augustine
**“The bold adventurer succeeds the best.” ~ Ovid
For your travel knowledge and pleasure feel free to stop by http://wholesale-traveler.com to see what adventures are in the works.
Travel More, Pay Less