If you want a free flight, use the cards that help with that. If you want free hotel rooms, get a hotel card. You don’t need to sign up for very many cards; pick one or two and focus on those. Do this the moment you decide you want to travel. Don’t wait — waiting equals lost miles, which means less free travel.
Sometimes their mishaps lead to some great deals for you through “error fares.” Error fares are airline tickets that are, temporarily, a WAY lower price than they’d normally be (typically through technical or human error). These fares often mean travelers can get tickets from mainland U.S. to places like Europe and Asia for a few hundred dollars or less.
*Unless otherwise noted, fares include ROUNDTRIP AIRFARE via U.S. certified air carrier, hotel transfers (in Mexico and the Caribbean), hotel tax, resort baggage handling, fuel surcharges and all pre-collected U.S. and foreign taxes and fees including September 11th Security Fee. Packages in Turks and Caicos or San Juan, Puerto Rico do not include airport transfers. Packages flying into Cancun but staying in Cozumel require supplemental ferry transfers at an additional cost. More details
This guide is incredible! So detailed and informative. Although, we’ve never used a pre-paid travel card. When we started out most of them had bad reviews so we opted for a joint bank account -with the lowest fees we could find – which we’d transfer to as and when we needed. I’ve definitely seen more people suggest them these days. Maybe it’s something for us to consider!
When you are planning a trip sometimes your important documents get misplaced. Companies can lose your booking reservation or there is a communication breakdown between the price you paid and the expected service.
The best part is that it employs flesh-and-blood people who spend their days seeking out the best fares. It’s kind of like having a personal travel shopper. Airfarewatchdog does the research while you sit back and wait for the deals to rush in.
Hi Craig and Caz, since contacting you for planning advice last year we are now booked and on our way to Australia in just over a week. We are doing the Sydney to Brisbane drive over 3 weeks by hire car. I’ve planned most of our time using your brilliant ideas but just wondered what you would advice for travel around Sydney, we are there for 4 days staying in surry hills, no car hire until we leave Sydney. So I was thinking of getting us all the opal card for traveling around, or would you suggest the hop on and off tour bus, we are a family of 4, 3 adults & a 12 year old, planning on doing the bondi to coogee walk, circular walk and some ferry cruises to Manly, darling harbour etc. We live in rural England so are not particularly city wise, lol. Would love to get your advice. Best Wishes. Nicky
Normally a woman would eat 2000 calories a day and on fast days you only eat 500 calories that is a 75 percent saving on food bills per fast day. Or a 21% saving on weekly food bills which for me works out about £5 per week saving or £260 per year to go in the holiday fund. Also just signed up for the British Airways American Express Credit Card who are giving 9000 Avios points if you spend £1,000 on their card in the first 3 months – thats enough for a flight from the UK to Europe – no monthly fees either, just pay off the card at the end of each month and ‘bingo’ you got yourself a totally free flight.
Call the local tourism office. Most every country, state, and city will have a tourism office that’ll be more than happy to help you with your travel plans. Simply ask them, “When’s your peak season months?” (For a comprehensive directory of tourism offices, follow this link.)
A vacation is supposed to be a fun and relaxing break from your everyday life. However, a poorly planned vacation can end up being a major headache. Be ready to enjoy your time off by planning your travel, accommodations, and activities ahead of time. Giving yourself plenty of time to plan can be a fun way to build up excitement for your vacation.
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“One site I really like is i-escape.com,” suggests Naveen. “They have sweet deals for hotel accommodations at different price points. Another great one is Hotels.com. They have a program that holds 10% of your spend with them, and eventually they give you a free night. So every 10 nights or so, you can get a free night in a hotel.”
Next Vacay. This is Naveen’s (one of our Zero To Launch graduates) very own site that helps travelers find the best deals. Next Vacay automatically crawls through various airfare sites to find you the cheapest flight possible.
We look forward to making your vacation dreams a reality! Our team looks forward to hearing from you!  P.S. don’t forget you simply need to complete our vacation planner and we will start to plan your vacation dreams.
[…] Planning for a trip is difficult in a sense that you have a lot of things to consider. Once the trip is over, you feel content because you have finally visited places you never knew you would. At the same time, you are totally broke. You have spent a lot of money during the trip and it is difficult for you to recover at this point. Here are some tips so you won’t have a hard time in terms of finances once the trip is done. […]
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The rule of thumb for apps is you want to maximize the ability to use these apps offline in case you are in a remote, unserviced area or don’t want to splurge on an international SIM card / roaming plan. Before you go, here are some handy apps to keep in a travel folder.
Though it is similar in many ways to sites like Priceline and Expedia, I am consistently impressed with Travelocity’s travel packages. Instead of just booking a flight and a room, you can combine airfare, hotels, rental cars and more.
All-Inclusive means you can truly relax and indulge on your vacation, because it’s all included for one incredible price. Apple Vacations packs just about everything in our all-inclusive vacation packages — including transportation, your hotel stay, meals and drinks. Vacationers love the financial predictability of all-inclusive getaways, because our ‘one price buys all’ means you get to leave your wallet at home.
Love hotels? They won’t save you money, but you can sign up for some hotel credit cards and get free rooms, too. Marriott has a great rewards card whose sign-up bonus is equal to one week’s free stay. Starwood’s AMEX card is wonderful too, but the spending threshold in order to get the points bonus is higher.
Decide why you want to travel. If you know why you want to leave home, choosing a destination will be easier. Determining whether your goal is to relax and unwind, have new adventures, see famous or ancient sights, or provide your children with lifelong memories will determine what kind of destination you should choose.[1]
Double points on dining and travel: If you’re automating your finances and have a Conscious Spending Plan laid out, you’ll be able to have plenty of money left over each month to earn points through travel and dining purchases.
Choose when to travel. Depending on the season, a destination which is normally too hot or cold for you to consider might have a more enjoyable climate at a different time of the year. This might also be reflected in a lower cost, if you decide to travel out-of-season.
While a lot of people think “I’m healthy, I don’t need travel insurance. I won’t get sick,” travel insurance is much more than just medical protection. It covers you when your camera breaks, your flight is canceled, a family member dies and you have to come home, or something is stolen.
Beware of hotels or airlines labeled “top picks” in your search results. These aren’t necessarily of a higher quality or better value. Instead, they are often a business partner of the booking site, and therefore get populated at the top of your search.
“[My wife and I] were in Switzerland a couple of years ago and we stayed at a hostel in a private room,” recalls Naveen. “There are no budget hotels in a place like Switzerland. It’s either a hostel or ultra-glamorous hotel. The hostel we stayed at was still very comfortable and affordable for us though.”
It also maintains a friendly tone throughout the message AND you give a good reason for your absence. You’ll want to send this email weeks — possibly even months — in advance. It’s far easier for your boss to say “yes” when the company has time to plan for your absence.
But if that’s all you do with it, you’re missing out. Google Flights has some amazing features that make planning that vacation so much easier. Click here for five secrets to using Google Flights for the best deals.
Pick a destination out of a hat. If there is no compromise on the horizon, let fate choose for you. Write down all of the destinations and put them in a jar or a hat. Then have someone (ideally, an unbiased third party) pull a name out. That’s where you’ll go!
And depending on your situation, you might break from the suggestions in this article — and that’s okay! I only want to provide a framework you can work from. What you do with it is ultimately up to you.
Most banks allow you to create a sub-savings account along with your normal savings account (you can even name them too!). You can put money into this account each month and know that it’s going towards your traveling goals.
On a previous trip to Thailand, we had an issue accessing our money using our ATM card because our account in Australia was a checking account. For it to work in Thailand it had to be a savings account.
Regardless of your mode of travel, consider packing a first aid kit, snacks, and entertainment for the travel time. Car trips and air travel both involve long periods of potential boredom, so consider bringing along games or activities for the travelers, especially if you are traveling with children.
Travelmuse: Enter your departure city, season you want to travel, and budget, then your preferred trip themes, activities, and mode of transportation. The search results will be tailored to your preferences and prices.
Holidays. You know what’s more expensive than vacationing in New York City? Going to New York City on New Year’s Eve. And if you’re budget conscious, you’re going to want to keep in mind the holidays when YOU travel. Depending on the destination, flights and hotels are going to be more expensive if it lands on a major holiday.
Time to start saving! Write down all your current expenses so you can determine where you are spending money and how you can cut back. People bleed a lot of money every day through small purchases: that bottle of water, the dollar for that snack, that extra coffee. All of that adds up and creating this breakdown can let you know where you need to cut and save.
Check your passport if it has enough pages for the countries you are going to. Some countries take a page. Check the validity as well. You are safe to have at least 6 months before your entry to any destination.
It’s important to keep in mind that flight is not the only thing to consider in your overall budget. A flight to Thailand might be on the pricier end, but things even out once you arrive since cost of living is lower there. (The opposite may be true about a trip to Iceland.) So weigh these out carefully before committing to your destination. Don’t forget to consider visa entry requirements, too, depending on your country of citizenship.
Research destination costs. While you may take more time after choosing a destination to find great deals on travel and hotel arrangements, doing a quick online search of approximate costs to travel to each destinations may help you narrow your choices based on your budget.
First and foremost the pricing is the same, when booking with a travel agent you have someone that has your back.  If you have a problem in destination and you booked it online who are you going to contact?

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Compare flights and hotel prices for different dates online. If you find that the date you’re trying to book is WAY more expensive than another one a few months away, you might be booking on peak season.
Travelzoo has won a lot of accolades for its quality, especially when it comes to international flights. Want to backpack through Europe, and you’re not picky about where you start? You can even search for deals by continent. Click here to learn more about Travelzoo.
Skyscanner is a comparison site that searches millions of flights from over a thousand airlines, and once you’ve found your flight on Skyscanner you are taken to the airline or agency to make your booking (no extra fees added).
No. Many resorts go above and beyond what you might expect, offering a wide range of specialty restaurants serving gourmet cuisine plus abundant international buffets, premium-brand alcoholic beverages, room service, supervised kids’ clubs and world-class spas. Even avid cruisers may want to re-think their vacation options when considering the cost differential between a cruise and a land-based all-inclusive vacation. Check our hotel descriptions to see what is waiting for you at an All-Inclusive, Unlimited-Luxury®, Unlimited-Fun® or Endless Privileges® Resort.
Hey Tomasz, glad to hear my guide on how to plan your trip is useful. Yes, for immunizations always best to be done with plenty of time before your departure. Hope you make it to Ethiopia eventually, but best to be on the safe side.
Expedia makes it easy to book European vacation packages. With top deals on international flights & hotels, anyone can discover Europe’s hidden treasures – often at a discount. From Ireland to Italy we are your one-stop shop for your dream getaways. On Expedia, you can compare prices on your favorite vacation destinations. Learn about what each destination has to offer. We let you in on secrets on how to create cheap and affordable vacations. Wherever your European vacations take you, you will spend more time making the most of your trips when booking with Expedia.
Many cities around the world offer local ride-sharing or taxi-hailing apps, so it’s worth checking if that’s something you’re willing to splurge on and download in advance. Having this tied to your credit card will eliminate to need to have cash handy first thing when you’re leaving the airport and getting a ride to your hotel. If you want to have some cash handy, however, you are more likely to get better rates exchanging it in advance with your local bank than to do so at airports.