How to find the lowest airfares?
It’s a vexing question in this day and age in which many of us essentially act as our own own travel agents.
This usually means combing a variety of Internet search engines and airline sites, taking a stab at sometimes obscure “airfare hacks” that may be overly complex or irrelevant to our situations, or just quickly booking a flight and hoping for the best because we simply don’t have time for all the other stuff.
Of course, one thing is always in the back of your mind: Could I have saved hundreds of dollars or more by checking more sites, trying more hacks, booking on a different day?
Steve Cuffari, Senior Content Marketing Manager at couponbox.com, an international savings website that includes a travel component, feels your pain. He notes that “Flight hunting is… Continue reading
A recent British Airways survey of 2,000 randomly chosen U.S. baby boomers (aged 55-70) asked what their biggest regrets were in life.
About one out of five (women 22 percent, men 17 percent) responded that they wish they had traveled more.
The majority of those respondents cited responsibilities at work and home that ate up their time — and what they believed would be prohibitive expense — as to why they hadn’t pursued their travel dreams.
About half the men surveyed and more than 60 percent of the women had never gotten passports, mainly due to the perceived expense of international travel.
More than a fifth of all those surveyed now believed that not taking vacations had had a negative effect on their health. And of those who did take vacations, 10 percent said they had worked more than an… Continue reading
While I’m traveling in Antarctica for a few weeks I’ll be reprising some of my most popular posts from the past three years. This post — now updated — originally ran in June 2013.
Cut-rate Spirit Airlines has developed an interesting marketing approach. They’ve traded in customer service and comforts for ultra-low fares, and are charging extra for everything from rolling carry-on bags ($35-$55) to water ($3 a bottle), and printing a boarding pass at the airport ($10). Can pay toilets be far behind?
Spirit hypes what it calls its “bare fare: No’free’ bag. No ‘free’ drink. A ticket with us gets you and a personal item from A to B.”
For “personal item,” think average purse size or a small backpack. Measurements are stingy — 16” x 14” x 12” — and if you don’t pay… Continue reading
Now that April 15 has passed and (if you live in the United States) you’re eagerly awaiting your tax refund — should you be so fortunate as to get one — the big question arises: what to spend it on?
Sure, you could pay off some bills, maybe put food on your table, add to your kids’ or grandkids’ college funds — or do what 13 percent of Americans plan to do with their refunds: take a vacation. (This according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.)
It’s been a long, hard winter in much of the country, and tax season is no fun, either. We fall squarely on the “take a vacation side,” especially if you can make your tax refund go farther at your chosen destination.
Puerto Rico — Caribbean… Continue reading
I love Croatia: walking the walls of medieval Dubrovnik, viewing the ruins of Roman Emperor Diocletian’s 3rd-century AD Palace in Split (the city is literally built into the ruins), wandering through the winding streets of the historic town of Trogir, being astonished to come upon a beautifully preserved Roman amphitheater in Pula, exploring larger cities like the double-Z combo of 3,000-year-old (!) Zadar and culturally rich Zagreb (the capital), and cruising among Croatia’s 1,000 islands, which sit like sparkling jewels in the Adriatic.
They’ve made Croatia one of the hottest destinations in all of Europe, and a favorite of baby boomers. (Both Super Bowl head coaches, Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks, are of Croatian descent.)
But despite two trips there, there’s still much of Croatia I’ve yet to see, including the intriguing-sounding… Continue reading
“The Savvy Path to Breathtaking Travel, Without the Hassle”
“Less Planning, More Experiencing”
“A Journey of a Thousand Smiles Begins With a Single Click”
These are some of the taglines that express the essence of the new travel website, StrideTravel.com, where I worked for more than a year as Content Director. (My job is now in the capable hands of Content Coordinator Samantha Scott, who, together with co-founders Gavin Delany and Jared Alster, comprise a formidable team.)
In practical terms, Stride aspires to be — and in many ways already is — the best place on the Web to survey the wealth of multi-day, pre-planned trips that are now available from hundreds of travel suppliers around the world.
“Pre-planned trips” may encompass guided group or private tours as well as independent journeys… Continue reading
Every fall and spring, a number of ocean-going cruise ships leave one area of the world — say, Europe, Canada, or Alaska in the fall — for another, such as the Caribbean, South America, or Hawaii, to take advantage of the warmer winter waters in the latter spots.
These are called repositioning cruises (repo cruises for short), and they tend to be longer — sometimes quite a bit longer — than a typical cruise.
The cruise lines don’t want to run the ships empty, of course, so they sell the cabins often at much-reduced rates, especially considering the length of the voyages. You might find a 17-day October repositioning cruise from Italy to Brazil, for example, for about the same price as a regular 10-day cruise.
In the spring, you might find a… Continue reading
Today I’m featuring my first-ever guest post, from Robert Waite, an ex-colleague of mine from the 1970s, when we both worked for Pacific News Service in San Francisco; I was an editor, Robert was a writer, and we still got along well. Bob now writes frequently for the Huffington Post, where this piece first appeared, from his home in Toronto.
By Robert Waite
When you are in the wealth-creation phase of life, discipline is critical. You may secretly lust after an F-Type Jaguar, but prudence prevails and you select a Ford Fusion or Toyota Camry, knowing that the 70 grand or so you are saving can instead be plowed into an investment that might actually appreciate.
The same goes with dream vacations.… Continue reading