Keeping track of what’s going on with airline fares these days is almost a full-time job.
That’s why I’ve turned to Scott Keyes of Scott’s Cheap Flights — whose full-time job actually is keeping track of airline fares — to help navigate through the turbulence.
In this guest post, Scott tackles the real story behind the recent wave of U.S. airlines dropping change fees. As usual, it’s a mix of good and bad — or at least middling — news for the consumer. But for all the uncertainty, we’ll take what we can get.
By Scott Keyes
Last week, four airlines—United, Delta, American, and Alaska—announced they were permanently axing change fees, which for domestic flights had typically been $200 (plus any fare difference). Hooray!
On balance, this is a positive move for travelers, but it’s not nearly the panacea that airlines would have you believe. There are still… Continue reading
Are you getting the most mileage out of your travel credit cards?
And I don’t mean just airline miles, but other, lesser-known perks as well.
Today’s guest post from consumer writer Andrew Rombach should give you some ideas about how to leverage your travel credit cards to their maximum advantage — and make your travel experience just a bit easier and more economical as well.
By Andrew Rombach
These little-known travel benefits can save you plenty of money and make your travel a lot more convenient.
Today’s guest post, by writer Anna Kucirkova, lays out the basics of “travel hacking.” If you aren’t familiar with the concept, read on — it may help to inspire you to invest the effort it takes to start seeing the world for free, or at least less.
Baby boomers with the time to devote to forming a comprehensive strategy and with credit scores sufficiently high to become accomplished hackers may use these methods to land free flights, hotel rooms, and other travel perks.
Hacking is really no more than capitalizing on money you might spend anyway to take full advantage of all those enticing credit card offers you see on TV — and seeking out others as well.
But be sure to heed Anna’s warnings about common travel hacking mistakes. If… Continue reading
Did you know that Chicago, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh are the best places to celebrate Christmas in America?
And I’m sorry to have to tell you this, residents of Hialeah, Florida, but you finished dead last for Christmas cheer in a survey of the 100 biggest U.S. cities, conducted by the financial site Wallethub.
You Hialeahans might as well stoke up the coal furnace right now, because all you’ll get in your stockings are lumps of the sooty stuff.
But back to the merry cities of Chicago, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh, followed close behind by New York City and Seattle, all dubbed tops for Christmas joy — and affordability, although some might question the latter.
Orlando, Atlanta, Washington, DC, Las Vegas (NV), and Portland (OR) rounded out the top ten.
How These Results Were Determined
Wallethub surveyed “29 key… Continue reading
Today’s guest post, by Aussie-expat writer Brittnay, is about some ways to save money while traveling in Europe — which can be a very expensive destination these days. I’ve added my own comments after each tip, usually to expand on them a bit.
While these tips only scratch the surface of the topic, they’re all valuable ones to keep in mind while planning your next European vacation.
Although travelling through Europe can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be.
We’ve put together five tips that have allowed us to visit 21 European countries in the past two years! Using these tips enable you to experience the cities and towns you visit more like the locals do — and that’s usually a good way to save money.
- Get a City Welcome Card
City… Continue reading
For baby boomers, saving money on accommodations can be tougher than for young travelers.
Dormitory-style hostels and CouchSurfing may have much less appeal than for those in their 20s or 30s.
Camping — at least the type (unlike “glamping” or glamorous camping) that leaves you trying to get a decent night’s sleep in a bag on the ground — can be tough on the back (with legitimate concerns that you might not be able to straighten up at all in the morning).
But, as guest poster Jesse Miller contends, “It’s still possible to enjoy a five-star housing experience without paying a five-star price.” The key, Miller says, “is to live like the locals do. This means avoiding more traditional options (such as pricey hotels and resorts) and immersing yourself in opportunities to interact with the… Continue reading
While I don’t usually wade into the credit card wars — too much fine print and peeking behind the promotional curtains can quickly turn great-sounding offers into not-so-hot — the personal-finance website WalletHub has done its homework in determining what it calls Winter 2017’s Best Travel Credit Cards.
With holiday travel season approaching, this might be a good time to take a look at the offers on hand. Applying for certain cards now will give you enough time to earn up to $625 in “free” travel — at least if you’re willing to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars first.
Note that they all come with annual fees, so these cards are ones you’ll want to use if you successfully apply for them. (And they all require good-to-excellent credit.)
Be sure you have definite… Continue reading
Over 8 million consumers are part of the U.S. military community when you count active duty, retired personnel, reservists,… Continue reading
No more almost-free senior lunch at U.S. National Parks: The price of a lifetime America the Beautiful Senior Pass rises sharply from $10 to $80 on August 28, 2017.
The Senior Pass, available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents age 62 and above, has cost just $10 since 1994, making it one of the great travel bargains in the world.
At $80, it will still be a good deal, just not the steal it is now. If you already have one of the $10 passes, it will be honored for your lifetime.
Senior Passes provide access to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by six federal agencies:
- National Park Service
- US Fish & Wildlife Service
- Bureau of Land Management
- Bureau of Reclamation
- US Forest Service
- US Army Corps of Engineers
Senior Pass Benefits
The passes cover entrance and day-use recreation fees… Continue reading
Getting travel insurance may seem like an afterthought, but there are times when it proves vital.
When my mother broke her hip in Pamplona, Spain — I’d like to say running with the bulls, but actually slipping and falling on her way out of a museum — she had a week’s stay in a hospital there and then a first-class flight home complete with nurse accompaniment, all covered by travel insurance.
It was one of the best investments my parents ever made, because the bill ran to something like $30,000-$40,000.
Many personal health insurance policies don’t cover medical costs abroad, so it pays to be on the safe side. For an outlay of perhaps five to 15 percent of the total cost of your trip, you could save yourself a significant… Continue reading