Saturday, January 07, 2006

Traveling Smart

Traveling smart is a great way to save money and time. Here are some useful tips culled from recent U.S. News and World Reports articles by Christopher Elliott, Michelle Andrews, and Alex Kingsbury.

  • Prices will stay low on common destinations, due to carrier competition.
  • Search sites that connect you to many other sites, such as,, and
  • You can save money buy buying a ticket directly from the airline's site.
  • Bring anything you will want for the flight to prevent yourself from paying for things you already have.
  • Keep your luggage within the airline's guidelines to avoid paying extra fees.
  • Look into online agents. Sites such as Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity may charge a small fee; however, they commit to helping you if something goes wrong with your travel plans.
  • Earn points through various programs to use towards rewards at a later time.

Car Rental
  • Orbitz provides a fast car booking experience.
  • Understand what your personal insurance covers on a rental car. Consider paying with a Visa card, as all cars rented with this card will be covered.
  • Do a thorough examination of the car for dents before taking it off the lot. Photograph the car when you return it. This will provide proof of the condition the car was returned in.
  • Avoid pre-paying for gas through the rental office. This will cost you more than filling the car yourself, unless you return the car on "empty."
  • Enjoy renting an exciting car, such as the vehicles in Hertz's "Fun Collection."

  • Pay the full bill as early as possible. If you wait, you may incur extra charges, such as a fuel-related surcharge (up to $10 a day).
  • Check with a travel agent about repositioned ships. These have had to change their itineraries, usually due to weather, and therefore reduce their prices.
  • Make sure your trip is covered with cancellation insurance.
  • Hipper ships and low nightly rates can often be found at EasyCruise.

  • Calling a hotel at the last minute, or looking into or may allow you to access prices below the initial published rates.
  • Some hotel rooms, such as the Conrad London and select W Hotels, are coming equipped with an IPod docking station.

  • Amtrak offers a free companion fare for a parent and a child who is college-hunting. Visit

  • Carry the $3 Tide to Go stain remover pen to help stains disappear on the spot.
  • Joining a travel club will grant you access to free upgrades, spa visits, and luxury trips.
  • Research to learn about environmentally friendly trips.
  • offers a services where if you affix a sticker to your items, they'll cover the cost of having your items returned you to.

Build a stronger business by using tips that make you and your budget go further.

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