Monthly Archives: May 2016
In the last couple of years we’ve been enjoying some fairly low priced airfare, but taking a few minutes and putting in a little extra effort could potentially save you even more onyour next flight. With these few hacks, you can look forward to savings of up to hundreds of dollars!
Using Hopper, the popular fare predictor app, should be your first step before searching for flights. Hopper’s prices are MUCH higher than almost every other app or website so I would never recommend actually buying your tickets here, but their calendar showing which days are the cheapest (and most expensive) to fly can be very helpful in planning your trip.
THE FLIGHT DEAL
The Flight Deal does not have an app, but if you’re willing to navigate their website you’ll find it’s definitely worth it. Flight Deal finds amazing ‘mistake’ airfare deals that often slip by unnoticed by airlines for a day or two, so you can find some great steals if you’re willing to pull the trigger on buying tickets immediately.
This is a great option if you don’t have a particular place you’re looking to go, given most of the departing airports and destinations – domestic and international – are pretty random. There are a few cons: there are almost always blackout dates, you generally have to buy more than two weeks in advance, and these deals only last 1-3 days; however, roundtrip flights for as low as $70 (taxes and fees included!) are hard to pass up!
KAYAK FLIGHT PREDICTOR
Although you should aim to book tickets 54 days before a flight when prices are at their lowest, listen to KAYAK’s ‘farecasting’ advice if it tells you to wait. Frequent flyers have experimented in the past and found that they were more likely to save money using the ‘wait’ or ‘buy’ feature, so double check the fare predictor before booking.
KAYAK also has an Explore feature that lets you limit your airfare budget and gives you destination options that are within your price range. It’s a fun visual tool that makes planning budget travel easy!
Another great option for those spontaneous travelers, Skiplagged only requires a departing airport and travel dates to give you an inexpensive getaway. This is the only travel app/website I’ve found that lets you choose “Anywhere” as your destination, so take advantage of three-day weekend and jet off somewhere unexpected!
The catch? Skiplagged uses “throwaway” tickets, where your destination is a layover en route to a cheaper airport, and you get off on this layover rather than continuing your flight. Because the final destination on your plane ticket is NOT where you will be staying, you cannot check bags.
The practice of using throwaway tickets is frowned upon by airlines, so only bring carry-on luggage and don’t let on that you ultimately will not be continuing the flight. If saving money is your ultimate goal, then take advantage of this loophole and bend the rules!
With its historic buildings and gorgeous canals, Venice is one of Italy’s most famous attractions. This floating city consists of a group of 117 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges. Planning a trip here can be overwhelming, but keeping these tips in mind before you depart will make your trip much easier!
TOP TRAVEL TIPS FOR VENICE, ITALY
FERRY TICKET TIPS & TRICKS
A one-way ferry ticket costs 6.50 Euros and it is good for 60 minutes — including switches. If you can’t find a ticket machine, you can purchase a ticket onboard for 1 Euro more, but you must tell the staff immediately upon boarding. Failing to mention it upon boarding will result in a hefty fine of 60+ Euros. If you do purchase your ticket at a machine, you MUST validate it by running it through a machine at the water taxi stop.
If you plan to use the ferries often, look into purchasing Venice’s all-inclusive transport pass before your trip.
BOOK A HOTEL NEAR A WATER TAXI STOP
I highly recommend staying at least two nights in Venice Proper and booking a hotel near a water taxi stop. Trust me, you do not want to drag your luggage very far in Venice.
I stayed at Hotel Palazzo Vitturi, which is within a 5-minute walk from both the Rialto and San Marco water taxi stops. This hotel is in the perfect location for exploring the top spots in Venice — including the Piazza San Marco, Riva Degli Schiavoni, and Bridge of Sighs.
The rooms are HUGE, the WiFi worked great, the staff was extremely helpful, and I was amazed with the spread they served for breakfast which is included in your room price. I stayed in March and it was just over 100 USD per night. Keep in mind, prices everywhere in Venice increase during the summer season.
HEAD TO THE OUTER ISLANDS
Some of the most photogenic places in Venice are on the outer islands. The small islands of Burano and Murano are not to be missed. I recommend spending the day island hopping and plan on having lunch on one of these islands. Fish lovers must try Gatto Nero on Burano. For those searching for more of a sandy beach experience, head to Lido!
WHERE THE LOCALS EAT
Do your research beforehand on the best restaurants frequented by locals in Venice. If the locals eat there, that usually means it’s authentic. Yelp is a great app and usually the first thing I check when I arrive in a new city. For a few specific restaurant recommendations, here are four local eateries near the Rialto Bridge.
BE PREPARED TO GET LOST
Even the most directionally gifted travelers get lost in Venice. Google maps will even lead you astray, giving directions to a dead end down a small alley. If you just plan on getting lost, you’ll be much less frustrated. You never know what you might accidentally find.
As the whole world is now well aware, Britain has voted to secede from the European Union and Europe has gone into a frenzy.
Great Britain’s economy is tanking by the second, Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned, and the value of the British pound has dropped $0.12 USD in value overnight that’s lower than it’s been in over three decades.
This, of course, is terrible news for the Brits but wonderful news for tourists. Here’s how to take full advantage of Brexit and finally plan your dream vacay to the UK.
HOW TO TRAVEL BRITAIN CHEAP AFTER BREXIT
CHOOSE YOUR LOCALE
Contrary to popular belief, Great Britain consists not only of England, but Scotland and Wales as well. Between these destinations there’s a wide variety of places to go and things to see, so choose your country based on the type of trip you want to have. Are you craving the hustle and bustle of London, or a quieter stay along the picturesquePembrokeshire Coast in Wales? Does island hopping in the Scottish islands sound like a fun getaway? Do a little research, and go from there.
BOOK AIRFARE NOW
We’ve been enjoying low-cost airfare for a while now, but that may change just like the UK’s economy has. It seems the British are putting a halt to traveling to the U.S, so airlines (particularly British Airways) are scrambling to fill seats; by booking now, you may avoid steep price increases later on.
EXCHANGE YOUR CURRENCY
The value of the British pound sterling has plummeted, and it’s currently the lowest it’s been since 1985. Once you’ve planned your vacation, trade in those dollars for pounds before terms are settled between Britain and the EU and the Pound’s value stabilizes.
TRAVEL NOW, AVOID COMPLICATIONS LATER
It’s said that it could take several months for Britain to officially secede the EU, but when it does, traveling between countries may become more difficult. The “Open Skies” policy between the EU and United States has allowed airlines to fly and land anywhere with American and European Union territorie Brexit has caused no immediate change in this arrangement, but could possibly do so in the near future.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LOW ROAMING CHARGES
Roaming charges for tourists in the EU have been on the decline and are even predicted to be abolished next year, but with its newly struggling economy Britain is unlikely to implement such a luxury. By traveling now, you’ll be dodging these fees.
Just a few weeks ago, the State Department issued a warning to U.S. citizens traveling to Europe due to the recent increase in international terrorism, and unfortunately Brexit will likely only add to the chaos. Thankfully, the Tour de France is the main reason of concern so travel destinations within Britain (with the exception of London) are not predicted to be particular targets. Be safe and have fun!
If you can’t plan a trip now, don’t worry! Britain may be the first to exit the EU, but there’s talk that other countries – including Sweden, Denmark, and even possibly the Netherlands may move to make their exit in the next few months as well.