Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Where the Travel Deals Are

According to the Trip Advisor app I have installed on my Facebook page, I have visited 89 cities in 11 countries. Not bad. 

I'm no travel expect, but I do get my fair share of questions related to my travels. Namely, "how'd you find that deal?" In all honesty, the credit goes to my husband. He's kind of like the Gandalf of travel. He tracks airfare as a hobby. But believe you me, it all pays off in the end. 
Travel planning can be daunting, but nowadays it's easier than ever to plan a dream trip that fits within the confines of your budget. Here are a few of my favorite places to find great travel deals:
For domestic travel, Southwest can't be beat. The seats are comfortable. The staff is friendly. And if you download this free application, you're likely to find some killer deals on airfare. My husband and I recently flew to Denver for $105 each. Other airlines were charging double. This is the beauty of DING! You have to check everyday, and you have to be relatively flexible with your travel dates, but it's all worth it. I'm still waiting for Southwest to come up with a DING! app for iPhone...are you listening, Southwest???? If Southwest doesn't currently service your market, keep checking back. They add new routes all the time. 
Behold the holy grail of cheapskate travel rags: Budget Travel magazine. A subscription will only set you back $12.00 and the information is invaluable. Seriously. We have stacks of these saved for future reference. Don't miss the Real Deals section - loads of vacation packages at amazing prices. (Example: Paris and Barcelona, Air/6 Nights Hotel from $1,099)
I read this magazine cover to cover. Totally worth the twelve bucks, trust me.
Fantastic website for package deals all over the world. We booked a trip to London several years ago with this site. Search deals by region, and customize your package to suit your specific needs. Many packages include airfare, hotel and in some cases, ground transportation. You'll also have the opportunity to see photos and reviews of the hotels you have to choose from.
I could go on forever, of course. But these three sites will get you started. And like everything else in life, patience is a virtue. What may seem unattainable now may be totally affordable in six months. Case in point -- Last year at this time, a trip to Italy seemed like a pipe dream. Airfare was sky high and the exchange rate was atrocious. Fast forward a year later and plane tickets were less than half the original price. 
What are your favorite travel resources? Leave a comment and share with the group!

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