Travel http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/254/all en-US 8 Best Cities for Frugal Lovers of the Outdoors http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-outdoors <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-outdoors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_outdoors_000021612624.jpg" alt="man loves outdoors and on his bike in the city" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Reconnecting with nature is one of the best things we can do to improve our mental and physical health. In fact, researchers at the University of Minnesota found that our physical environment has a direct <a href="http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/enhance-your-wellbeing/environment/nature-and-us/how-does-nature-impact-our-wellbeing">impact on stress levels</a>.</p> <p>Here are eight cities that make it easy and affordable for their residents and visitors to access nature.</p> <h2>1. Portland, Oregon</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/portland_000030723434.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>In Portland, Oregon you can pick your weather. It's a short drive to skiing in the winter, or surfing in the summer. If you have a penchant for camping, hiking, and exploring on your own two feet, Portland makes it easy to do that all year long with its temperate climate and abundant natural beauty. Portland's residents are some of the most passionate environmentalists in the country, and the city has been named one of the most bike-friendly places in the word.</p> <h2>2. Burlington, Vermont</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/burlington_000041492728.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The summer I spent in Burlington, Vermont was one of the best summers of my life. I could bike or walk everywhere. The city itself is covered in trees and green space, and it's surrounded by deep woods complete with lakes, streams, and mountains. The integration of the city into its natural environment lends an easy-going, friendly atmosphere to its residents and visitors alike.</p> <h2>3. Fort Collins, Colorado</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/fort_collins_000018270979.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The Rocky Mountains are icons of the natural beauty that's so abundant in the American West. Nestled into the foothills of Rocky Mountain National Park, Fort Collins is a city that provides a perfect blend of urban culture and nature. Whether your vehicle of choice is a bike, kayak, or your running shoes, Fort Collins offers plenty of ways to get around and enjoy the scenery. It's no wonder that it's consistently a receiver of <a href="http://www.fcgov.com/fcfacts.php?ID=6">best city awards</a> lists in multiple publications.</p> <h2>4. Charlottesville, Virginia</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/charlottesville_000016738009.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>I would think I'm a bit biased toward C'ville because I went to Darden Business School at UVA. However, publications were <a href="http://www.charlottesville.org/index.aspx?page=158">raving about Charlottesville</a> long before I was there, and have continued to do so in the eight years since I graduated. With the Blue Ridge Mountains at your doorstep, you can't help but have an amazing time outdoors in this charming quintessential college town.</p> <h2>5. Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/minneapolis_000057139250.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>With the twin cities, you get two for the price of one. While cold in the winter, Minneapolis and St. Paul are phenomenal choices for bike lovers in the spring, summer, and fall because of their extensive park systems. You can enjoy boat access to both the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers. Hiking is also a common and much-enjoyed pastime for residents and tourists.</p> <h2>6. Buffalo, New York</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/buffalo_000015689720.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Buffalo is booming. Recent revitalization efforts have transformed downtown and brought a much-increased sense of culture to this former industrial town. A stone's throw from Niagara Falls and Toronto, another scenic nature-loving city, Buffalo is perfectly situated for people who want to combine urban convenience with plenty of time spent close to nature. New York State's wine country is also an easy drive from Buffalo.</p> <h2>7. Nashville, Tennessee</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/nashville_000022666432.jpg" width="605" height="341" alt="" /></p> <p>In case you haven't heard, the travel world is buzzing about Nashville. Long known as the seat of country music, this vibrant city is also a nature lover's dream. Situated on the banks of the Cumberland River (a tributary of the Ohio River), Nashville's mild winters along with long spring and fall seasons make it easy to enjoy the outdoors for most of the year. Two new riverfront parks are under construction on the east and west banks of the city, and will include an outdoor amphitheater for those who want to combine their passions for the arts and the outdoors.</p> <h2>8. Charleston, South Carolina</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/charleston_000020519230.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>This fall I took my first trip to Charleston and I fell in love with it. Its scenic river views, rich history, and southern charm gracefully build a bridge (literally) between nature and the built environments. People in Charleston also take the time to enjoy the view, and when you're around them, you do, too. They know how good they have it, and after one visit you'll be planning a return trip.</p> <p>If you've been longing to get back to nature in an affordable way, these eight cities are well worth a visit. Who knows? You might just find a new hometown to call your own.</p> <p><em>What city brings you closest to nature? Tell us where to go in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-outdoors">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">How to Book an Amazing Cheap Vacation Package</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-outdoor-adventures-that-dont-cost-a-dime">6 Outdoor Adventures That Don&#039;t Cost a Dime</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel biking camping cheap vacations cities nature outdoors Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:00:07 +0000 Christa Avampato 1357946 at http://www.wisebread.com Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Credit Card for You http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_credit_card_000048180644.jpg" alt="Woman shopping with her credit card cash rewards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Should you earn <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=inarticle">cash back rewards</a> or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=inarticle">travel rewards</a> from your credit card? Frankly, it is a question that is nearly as old as reward cards themselves, and the answer has always been &quot;it depends.&quot; Here's a breakdown of the ins and outs of the world of rewards credit cards. Now, you can decide which one will get you the biggest bang for your credit card buck.</p> <p>Of course, you need to be aware that rewards are only rewarding if you pay off your balance in full each month. Otherwise, the interest that you accrue on your balance will always be much more than the rewards you're gaining.</p> <p>But if you're itching to get into the credit card rewards game, here's everything you need to know.</p> <h2>When You Should Choose Travel Rewards</h2> <p>Earning and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work?ref=internal">redeeming travel rewards</a> can be extremely complicated, so the ideal reward card user should be someone who is willing to put in the time and effort to deciphering their <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better">favorite airline</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-hotel-rewards-programs?ref=inarticle">hotel programs</a>. While earning free travel sounds like an amazing deal, some cardholders may find it frustrating trying to redeem the miles or points they've accumulated.</p> <h3>Earning Travel Rewards</h3> <p>Most travel rewards credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for spending in travel categories, like airfare, car rentals, hotel stays, dining, and entertainment.</p> <h3>Value of Travel Rewards</h3> <p>Travel rewards offer the opportunity to get a higher value for each mile or point earned. Rewards are most valuable when redeemed for international flights in business class, expensive last minute flights, and luxury hotels. These points and miles are less valuable when used for domestic flights in economy class, especially when travelers have the ability to book flights with plenty of advanced notice.</p> <p>But when points and miles are redeemed strategically for high value award flights and luxury hotel stays, then it is often possible to receive three to five cents in value per point, which is much better than the best cash back reward cards.</p> <h3>Redeeming Travel Rewards</h3> <p>The opportunity to redeem award travel is different depending on the credit card and loyalty program it is connected with. Some credit cards guarantee no blackout dates or restrictions when booking an award flight or stay. Others only offer a limited number of seats or stays for those redeeming rewards. Others, still, will simply allow you to redeem a statement credit for any travel purchase you make. How you prefer to travel will be the determining factor for which program to join.</p> <p>Co-branded airline or hotel cards will allow you to directly use your miles to redeem award flights or stays through the loyalty program connected to the card. Many times you can book travel with their partner airlines and chains as well. General travel cards might require you to book travel through their portal or allow you to transfer points to the available programs.</p> <p>It can be very hard to redeem airline miles for flights during peak travel seasons, so these programs are not very well suited to those who only travel during the holidays. Furthermore, some avid travelers who have particular travel requirements aren't very well served by traditional airline frequent flyer programs. For example, someone who wants to take shorter flights on routes with healthy competition will never receive much value from 25,000 miles on a flight that might only cost $100-$200. In addition, large families will usually be frustrated in their attempts to find more than two or three award seats available at the lowest mileage levels. Also, those who don't like to stay in large, chain hotels aren't going to have much use for hotel points. Finally, those whose schedules preclude searching for award seats months in advance will also find their miles to be less valuable.</p> <h3>Travel Perks</h3> <p>A big benefit of travel rewards cards are the included <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had">travel perks</a>. For frequent travelers (or those who simply hate the discomfort of travel), perks like priority boarding, status upgrades, lounge access, and free checked bags may prove to be valuable on its own.</p> <h2>When You Should Choose Cash Back</h2> <p>For many credit card users, even some who love to travel, cash back credit cards remain their best option. Using a cash back card like this allows cardholders to use their rewards for travel, paying bills, or for any other purpose they choose.</p> <h3>Earning Cash Rewards</h3> <p>Many cash back cards offer bonus points in general shopping categories, like groceries, department stores, and gas. They may also have a shopping portal that offers extra points for shopping with their partner merchants.</p> <h3>Value of Points</h3> <p>While the best travel hackers are able to get anywhere from three to five cents per point, cash back points usually have a one cent per point value. While the opportunity for point value is lower, cash back programs are simple and cardholders are guaranteed a predictable rate of return from their credit card rewards, without having to decipher loyalty programs or search for award availability. For those who have trouble redeeming their travel rewards, they run the risk of getting no value from the points they've accumulated.</p> <h3>Redeeming Cash Rewards</h3> <p>Redeeming your cash rewards is usually as simple as getting a statement credit or direct deposit into your account. Some require a minimum amount before redemption. You may also have the opportunity to redeem gift cards or products.</p> <h3>Shopping Perks</h3> <p>Many cards offer invaluable <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about">perks for shoppers</a>, like extended warranties, purchase and price protection, and credit monitoring services.</p> <p>Reward credit cards offer valuable points, miles, and cash back for your spending, but choosing the best reward card is not that easy. By considering the type of travel you prefer, you can decide if travel rewards or cash back card are right for you.</p> <p>See our picks for best credit cards:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">Best Sign-Up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out">Best Credit Cards for Dining Out</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-premium-credit-cards">Best Premium Credit Cards</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards">Best Low Interest Rate Credit Cards</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-annual-fees">Best Credit Cards with Annual Fees</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-no-annual-fees">Best Credit Cards with No Annual Fees</a></li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had">12 Travel Perks You Didn&#039;t Know Your Credit Card Had</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work">How Travel Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel cash back rewards credit cards travel rewards Tue, 24 Mar 2015 13:00:09 +0000 Jason Steele 1351239 at http://www.wisebread.com 39 Tips That'll Save You Hundreds on Your Next Trip http://www.wisebread.com/39-tips-thatll-save-you-hundreds-on-your-next-trip-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/39-tips-thatll-save-you-hundreds-on-your-next-trip-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young-woman-eiffel-tower-france-travel-backpack-iStock_000017104925_Small.jpg" alt="Young woman saving money while on a trip " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Travel can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can pay for. However, it can also be one of the most expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to cut costs so you can afford your dream vacation. Read on for some of the best tips to save on the upfront costs of your next trip.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Do-New-City-36647439#photo-36647439">Want to Truly Love Your New City? Start With These 14 Things!</a></p> <h2>1. Flash Deal Sites</h2> <p>If you already have several destinations in mind, then check out travel flash sale sites, which can save you hundreds of dollars! Here are a <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Travel-Flash-Sale-Sites-21586317">couple to browse through</a>.</p> <h2>2. Check Out Underrated Places</h2> <p>Try up-and-coming cities for some of the best deals. Big cities like New York, Rome, San Francisco, and London are always popular, but other places that may not make the rock-star list often offer you more bang for your buck.</p> <h2>3. Cruise Deals</h2> <p>If you're planning on stopping by a lot of locations, then take a look at some cruise deals. It may be cheaper to travel by boat with an all-inclusive deal. That way, you may be saving on additional airfare, lodging, ground transportation, and meals.</p> <h2>4. Use Your Memberships</h2> <p>Check with your organizations to see what kind of travel discounts they offer. Some to consider include AAA, the AARP, or warehouse clubs like Costco. Get discounts on your flight, hotel, and even your planned activities like visits to amusement parks.</p> <h2>5. Cancel Within 24 Hours</h2> <p>If you change your mind on traveling, then cancel your plane ticket within 24 hours in order to get your money back without penalties.</p> <h2>6. Price Predictor</h2> <p>Use tools like <a href="http://www.bing.com/travel/about/howAirPredictions.do?FORM=TRHPGN">Bing's Price Predictor</a> feature to see if the ticket price is predicted to drop or rise. The tool even gives a &quot;confidence&quot; percentage in its evaluation for a better gauge of accuracy. A third-party audit has found that the Price Predictor works 75% of the time.</p> <h2>7. Book Unpopular Times</h2> <p>It goes without saying that booking unpopular flight times, such as with red-eyes, weekdays, or off-season periods, will garner better prices. Travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays also tends to be cheaper.</p> <h2>8. Use the Right Travel Credit Card</h2> <p>Signing up for a credit card that will give you great travel rewards would be worth considering. Before doing so, keep in mind that you should only charge what you can realistically pay off soon.</p> <p>That said, if you know you can pay off what you owe, then travel reward credit cards will be a neat way of earning free flights and hotel stays. Here are <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Best-Travel-Reward-Credit-Cards-2012-24441826">some good options</a>.</p> <h2>9. Currency Exchange</h2> <p>When you're in a foreign country, you can get some of the <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41282577/ns/travel-travel_tips/t/traveling-abroad-how-exchange-currency/#.UICZD2k-ukY">best currency rates</a> by swiping your credit card or withdrawing money from a local ATM with a debit card.</p> <h2>10. Go City Card</h2> <p>Research to see if the <a href="http://www.smartdestinations.com/">Go City Card</a> will save you money. It's available in nine US cities and lets you visit selected attractions for free for a fee. It's worth getting if the attractions you are planning on visiting are on the Go City Card's list.</p> <h2>11. Buy Your Tickets at the Right Time</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Best-Time-Buy-Plane-Tickets-13504509">best times to buy your tickets</a> are Tuesdays and Wednesdays. More specifically Tuesday at 3 p.m. EST. Don't buy your tickets on the weekends, as they are the most expensive then.</p> <h2>12. Lock Down Your Seat</h2> <p>If you don't want to commit, some airlines give you the option of <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Holding-Airplane-Seats-11617032">holding your seats</a>; Continental lets you <a href="http://www.continental.com/web/en-US/apps/onepass/promotions/registrationDetails.aspx?Mobile=1&amp;SID=661B0D4180264A168D3BA92E1E243690&amp;promoCode=A5753">hold it for 24 hours</a> and allows you to cancel without penalties. You can also <a href="http://www.continental.com/web/en-us/apps/onepass/promotions/registrationDetails.aspx?promoCode=A9405">lock down the fare</a> for three or seven days, but it comes with a $5 or $9 fee depending on your chosen time frame.</p> <h2>13. Track the Prices</h2> <p>If you buy your ticket early, then be sure to track it on <a href="http://www.yapta.com/">Yapta.com</a> to see if the price changes. Yapta will send you an email alert when it finds that you can change your ticket without taking a loss on rebooking fees.</p> <h2>14. Book Through the Airline</h2> <p>Oftentimes it's better to book through the airline so you'll be able to to see all the hidden fees that are not necessarily revealed through a booking website. You can also sometimes find deals that are only available on the airline's website.</p> <h2>15. Pick the Right Site</h2> <p>There are some companies like <a href="http://www.orbitz.com/">Orbitz</a> that will refund the difference to you if you find a lower rate on a ticket on another site. Research the different travel sites and see which one offers a similar service. After you buy your ticket, keep looking at other sites to see if the ticket price goes down.</p> <h2>16. Check the Hotel Site</h2> <p>Often, third-party sites don't show many specials that are featured on hotel sites. Check both the hotel and the third-party site before booking the best deal.</p> <h2>17. Airbnb</h2> <p>Fancy a stay with a homey feel? Check out <a href="http://www.airbnb.com/">Airbnb.com</a>, a site where individuals rent out their rooms or house to travelers. I found some pretty great deals on the site, with discounted pricing on rooms situated in prime locales. The multiple pictures will give you a good idea of what the rooms look like, and if you're still a bit hesitant, there are plenty user-generated reviews for you to check out.</p> <h2>18. Couch Surfing</h2> <p>Want to not spend any money on your lodgings? Explore <a href="http://www.couchsurfing.org/">CouchSurfing.org,</a> a volunteer-based network in which you can crash on someone's couch for free. It's a great little community that may enrich your travel experience, because your couch-surfing pal might show you some of the local sights. What better way to view the city than through the eyes of a local?</p> <p>Bonus: You might even make a lifelong friend!</p> <h2>19. Show Your Loyalty</h2> <p>Becoming a loyal member of a hotel chain will get you lots of benefits, such as discounted prices, better service, and the ability to collect reward points toward a free hotel stay. And if you play your &quot;I'm a loyal member&quot; card and negotiate, then you can even get a full refund on your money when you cancel your stay. I've had to do that a couple times and saved a ton of money in doing so.</p> <p>Some of the more famous hotel reward programs include <a href="http://www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest/index.html">Starwood Preferred Guest,</a><a href="http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/pc/home">Priority Club</a>, and <a href="http://hhonors.hilton.com/">Hilton HHonors</a>. And there is good news for those who prefer independent hotels. Turns out, there is a <a href="http://travel.nytimes.com/2011/06/05/travel/small-hotels-offer-new-loyalty-programs-practical-traveler.html?ref=todayspaper">growing trend of boutique hotels</a> grouping together to form their own loyalty programs; check out <a href="https://www.stashrewards.com/">Stash Hotel Rewards</a> and <a href="http://www.vhr.com/default.aspx?p=52&amp;lang=1">Voila Hotel Rewards</a>.</p> <h2>20. Craigslist</h2> <p>Check out the local Craigslist for short-term vacation rentals, but be careful! People who don't do their homework can end up forking over cash to a scammer for a vacation rental and not seeing any of it back. Read these <a href="http://www.craigslist.org/about/scams">safety tips by Craigslist</a>, and try to have a friend check out the place before you send them money.</p> <h2>21. Hostels</h2> <p>Trim off travel costs by staying at a hostel, and spend about $15 to $35 a night. A popular place to find hostels is <a href="http://www.hihostels.com/">hihostels.com</a>. Hostels have evolved from their traditional image, and some of the choices on the website even include private rooms for couples, families, or groups of friends.</p> <p>If you're a first-timer, then be sure to prep yourself before the trip by remembering to bring things like shower slippers and ear plugs.</p> <h2>22. Negotiate Hotel Rates</h2> <p>Don't just call it a night at any price. If you're refraining from making reservations before your trip, then try to negotiate a lower rate for your room when you pull in for the evening. You'll find the most success at accommodations with several noticeable open spaces in the parking lot.</p> <h2>23. Boutique Hotels</h2> <p>Boutique hotels can offer a great price, but be sure to do your research properly, because they can be just as costly and swanky as the higher-end chain hotels. You can check out Orbitz for boutique hotels such as <a href="http://www.tablethotels.com/">Tablet Hotels</a>, or you can comb through Google search results on your own by using the search terms &quot;boutique hotel [insert city].&quot; Be sure to check out Trip Advisor reviews to see what other people are saying, and if it's in another language, then use Google Translate!</p> <h2>24. Quote Your Price</h2> <p>You can try your luck and opt to blind book on sites like Priceline.com and Hotwire.com and pay for a room in an unknown hotel. The risk is, you won't be able to cancel or change your reservation after you find out which hotel it is.</p> <p>Do some digging around on <a href="http://www.betterbidding.com/">betterbidding.com</a> or <a href="http://www.hoteldealsrevealed.com/">hoteldealsrevealed.com</a> to see if there are any tips for improving your chances of getting the right hotel. These are forums focused on <a href="http://www.hoteldealsrevealed.com/pricelinestrategies/priceline-rebids.html">how to &quot;game&quot;</a> Priceline and Hotwire sites.</p> <h2>25. Sign On to the Computer for Pretrip Activity Savings</h2> <p>Now I assume hope you regularly research prices of flights and hotels before booking, but what about activities? Along with the added perk of looking for reviews to determine whether a particular stop is a tourist trap or worth the money, you can also save money booking &quot;big-ticket&quot; items. Museums, theme parks, and other destinations often offer discounts for activities prebooked online because so many people don't do this and are willing to shell out more cash at the door.</p> <p>Don't be this person, and thoroughly research your destination and activities. In addition to checking out the tourism board, my favorite place to stop is the website of the local paper or city magazine. Periodicals geared toward locals usually have reviews of newer places and upcoming events &mdash; sometimes even discounts, too!</p> <h2>26. Investigate Travel Insurance</h2> <p>You'll be charged <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/1736588/">anywhere from four to eight percent</a> of the cost of your trip for insurance, but considering what's at stake, the extra money may be worth it to protect your investment and buy you piece of mind.</p> <h2>27. Get a Cheaper, Well-Researched Hotel Room</h2> <p>Using websites like Priceline could get you half-priced hotel rooms. That being said, shop smart! Playing up the best features with professional photos is the name of any hotel's aesthetics game, but stave off disappointment (and final sticker shock) by asking yourself these <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Double-Check-5-Things-Before-Booking-Hotels-Online-7709623">questions before booking a room</a>.</p> <h2>28. Consider a Travel Package</h2> <p>You may <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/1729593/">consider buying a travel package</a>, even if you don't really need it, because they often cost less than airfare alone.</p> <h2>29. Want to Do Good? Plan a Volunteer Vacation</h2> <p>Offering a great way to see and experience a different culture, a volunteer vacation can be an especially fulfilling way to spend time off. The concept's not for everyone &mdash; no four-star hotels or five-course meals, and there's service work involved, making it less of a &quot;break&quot; &mdash; but it can be an affordable way to travel somewhere exotic and truly experience the other location separate from the confines of any resort. Here's a <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Plan-Volunteer-Vacation-7986927">helpful planning guide</a>.</p> <h2>30. Travel Stateside on the Cheap by Setting Fare Alerts</h2> <p>Airfare <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/1503137/">sales usually happen early in the week</a>, while increases are usually put into place at the end of the week. Because there's no magic day when the best prices occur, it's best to sign up for email price alerts on all the travel sites that you use. Make sure <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Double-Check-5-Things-Before-Booking-Hotels-Online-7709623">to check up on your hotel before you book</a> too!</p> <h2>31. Eat Like a Local</h2> <p>Avoid expensive tourist traps by <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/1705691/">asking locals for their recommendations</a>, and save money by ordering area specialties.</p> <h2>32. Can't Afford It? Postpone and Staycation Instead</h2> <p>If the best deals you find are still too pricey, then opt for a local vacation for now and postpone bigger travel plans for the location's off-season. Instead, use up some of that hard-earned PTO and take a <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Tips-Planning-Staycation-3147978">fabulous staycation in your own city</a>.</p> <h2>33. Stay in Neighboring Cities</h2> <p>There's a trend of travelers booking lodgings in the neighboring town of the actual city they are planning to tour. By doing so, you can <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-great-travel-deals-in-next-door-cities-2012-10-01-191035055">save up to 40 percent</a> off the usual rate.</p> <p>But of course there are downsides to that strategy. Staying outside the tourist attractions will mean more time commuting, and you may have to rent a car if there isn't a good local public transportation system. Calculate those costs to see if staying in a neighboring city is worth it.</p> <h2>34. Find the Cheapest Gas for Your Road Trip</h2> <p>A road trip may cost less money than flying, but filling and refilling your tank still isn't cheap. Utilize websites like autos.msn or gasbuddy.com, which track the prices of gas and sort by zip code, in order to <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/1638444/">find the cheapest place to pump</a> while you're on the road.</p> <h2>35. Redeem Miles Over the Phone</h2> <p>It's more effective to book travel with mileage points over the phone than online because for most airlines, you don't always get access to full inventory of award seats online.</p> <h2>36. Take Care of Your Car</h2> <p>Prepare your car for the road by inflating the tires with air. Filling them up will ultimately save you money on gas. Keeping your lead foot to a minimum will also help you get the most mileage from your tank of gas, and you're less likely to be stuck with a pricey speeding ticket.</p> <h2>37. Estimate Gas Costs Before You Go</h2> <p>When you're budgeting for your excursion, you must consider the inevitable cost of gas. Try using the <a href="http://www.fuelcostcalculator.com/">AAA Fuel Cost Calculator</a> to calculate the cost of your trip. The tool generates its calculations with average regional gas prices and the details you enter, including your starting city, destination, and your vehicle's make, year, and model. Because it uses regional prices, the calculation should be looked at as an estimate, but AAA does update the prices daily.</p> <h2>38. Pack a Cooler</h2> <p>Bring a full cooler along for the ride to save money and your waistline from too much fast food. But you'll need more than a bag of pretzels to get you by. Take ingredients to make sandwiches, containers with cut-up vegetables, fruit that doesn't require refrigeration (like bananas), and plenty of water.</p> <h2>39. Keep Your Receipts</h2> <p>When traveling with friends, it can be tedious to split every expense. If your group doesn't want to bother with exact numbers until the trip is over, then simply designate someone to hold on to all the receipts. That person should write down the name of the friend who paid to make it easier to calculate who owes what at the trip's end.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Traveling can get expensive very quickly. Return home with a bank account that isn&#039;t completely empty with these money-saving tips. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img style="height:95px; width:300px" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Best-2015-Travel-Destinations-US-36256485#photo-36256485">The 10 Places in the US You Absolutely Have to Visit in 2015</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Travel-Instagram-Accounts-36774978#photo-36774978">Feed Your Wanderlust With These 10 Stunning Instagram Accounts</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Happy-Facts-36948856#photo-36948856">10 Things You Should Buy at Target</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/39-tips-thatll-save-you-hundreds-on-your-next-trip-0">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-helpful-travel-hacks-to-make-flying-stress-free">24 Helpful Travel Hacks to Make Flying Stress-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/passport-pictures-for-under-a-dollar">Passport Pictures for Under a Dollar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-carry-on-luggage-can-save-you-time-and-money">5 Ways Carry-On Luggage Can Save You Time and Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-the-united-states-should-copy-from-other-countries">10 Things the United States Should Copy From Other Countries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-fun-winter-staycation-ideas">14 Fun Winter Staycation Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Travel Fri, 20 Mar 2015 17:00:10 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1335512 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Travel Perks You Didn't Know Your Credit Card Had http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_airport_000026833547.jpg" alt="Woman waiting at the airport for her flight" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Credit card benefits aren't just about rewards and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">cash back</a>. This is especially true when you travel. Pick the right card, and it could save you more than a pretty penny on your next trip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso">Credit Card Benefits That Save You Big</a>)</p> <p>Here are some travel benefits your card may include that you aren't aware of.</p> <h2>Concierge</h2> <p>Some cards carry concierge services, meaning you can call the number on the back of the card and they can help with tasks such as travel planning, restaurant reservations, and special events tickets. While useful for those who feel incredibly strapped for time, the options they find are often pricier than what we'd find on our own and not always exactly what we'd pick for ourselves. Still, if you need some last minute details taken care of and absolutely can't take care of it yourself, this benefit may prove very useful.</p> <ul> <!--<li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=21644993&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Barclaycard Arrival Plus&trade; World MasterCard&reg;</a></li>--><!--<li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=21644993&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Barclaycard Arrival Plus&trade; World MasterCard&reg;</a></li>--><li><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-venture-rewards?ref=1334945" target="_blank">Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-12003694-1424960114000?sid=cavampato-1334945" target="_top">Citi&reg; Double Cash Card</a><img width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" src="http://www.lduhtrp.net/image-2822544-12003694-1424960114000" /></li> </ul> <h2>Status Upgrades</h2> <p>Many co-branded credit cards for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">airlines</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">hotels</a> offer automatic status upgrades in their respective loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy additional benefits like room upgrades or airport lounge access, usually only reserved for those who have gained status through frequent patronage.</p> <ul> <li><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-venture-rewards?ref=1334945" target="_blank">Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3050763&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Credit Card from American Express</a></li> </ul> <h2>Priority Boarding</h2> <p>One benefit that's increasingly common for cards geared towards travelers is priority boarding. Usually, airlines offer early boarding for the more expensive seats (first class or business) and frequent flyers. Credit cards that offer priority boarding often come with an annual fee.</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3050763&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Credit Card from American Express</a></li> <li><a target="_top" href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-12082091-1420731329000?sid=cavampato-1334945">Citi&reg; / AAdvantage&reg; Platinum Select&reg; MasterCard&reg;</a><img width="1" height="1" border="0" src="http://www.tqlkg.com/image-2822544-12082091-1420731329000" alt="" /></li> <li>US Airways&reg; Premier World MasterCard&reg;</li> </ul> <h2>EMV Smart Chip Security</h2> <p>More and more credit cards are being equipped with the EMV chip which uses the chip-and-pin technology that's already been in place in Europe for a decade. It adds security and prevents fraud by authenticating the chip in your card (which is harder to copy than the information stored on the magnetic strip) and requires a 4-digit PIN.</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3050771&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Blue Cash Everyday&reg; Card from American Express</a></li> <!-- <li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=21644993&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Barclaycard Arrival Plus&trade; World MasterCard&reg;</a></li>--><!-- <li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=21644993&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Barclaycard Arrival Plus&trade; World MasterCard&reg;</a></li>--><li><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-12003694-1424960114000?sid=cavampato-1334945" target="_top">Citi&reg; Double Cash Card</a><img width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" src="http://www.lduhtrp.net/image-2822544-12003694-1424960114000" /></li> </ul> <h2>Car Rental Insurance</h2> <p>This is a benefit that many credit cards carry, but it comes with a catch. Most of the time, it's not complete bumper-to-bumper coverage. It often excludes collision insurance, and there are usually high deductibles. Check your card's fine print on car rental insurance so you're clear on the terms and what's covered.</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3050771&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Blue Cash Everyday&reg; Card from American Express</a></li> <!-- <li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=21644993&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Barclaycard Arrival Plus&trade; World MasterCard&reg;</a></li>--><!-- <li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=21644993&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Barclaycard Arrival Plus&trade; World MasterCard&reg;</a></li>--><li><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-12003694-1424960114000?sid=cavampato-1334945" target="_top">Citi&reg; Double Cash Card</a><img width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" src="http://www.lduhtrp.net/image-2822544-12003694-1424960114000" /></li> </ul> <h2>Companion Tickets</h2> <p>While increasingly rare, there are some credit cards that still offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-airline-companion-tickets-and-3-bad-ones">companion fare deals</a>. Some cards provide a certain number of deeply discounted companion tickets per year. Others give you an opportunity to apply your rewards points toward free or inexpensive companion tickets. Those who travel frequently as a family may find this benefit to be a huge money saver.</p> <ul> <li><a rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3050772&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" target="_blank">The Platinum Card&reg; from American Express</a></li> <li>US Airways&reg; Premier World MasterCard&reg;</li> <li>Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard</li> </ul> <h2>Free Currency Exchange</h2> <p>One of the best travel benefits a credit card can offer is free currency exchange. When you trade U.S. dollars for foreign currency, you usually pay a fee to make the exchange. When you use a credit card abroad, you're usually charged a 3% foreign transaction fee. However, some cards offer a 0% foreign transaction fee, and that's the card you should be using when you're traveling.</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26073410&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow"> Discover it&reg; Miles</a></li> <li><a rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3050772&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" target="_blank">The Platinum Card&reg; from American Express</a></li> <li><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-venture-rewards?ref=1334945" target="_blank">Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</a></li> </ul> <h2>Travel Insurance</h2> <p>Travel insurance benefits come in all shapes and sizes on different cards. Some protect your entire trip in the event of its cancellation. Others will protect your luggage should it be lost or stolen while you travel. Some cards include these benefits (including travel accident insurance) free. Before you book your vacation, check which credit card offer the best travel insurance for your needs, and use that card to make the purchase.</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3050771&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Blue Cash Everyday&reg; Card from American Express</a></li> <!-- <li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=21644993&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Barclaycard Arrival Plus&trade; World MasterCard&reg;</a></li>--><!-- <li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=21644993&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Barclaycard Arrival Plus&trade; World MasterCard&reg;</a></li>--><li><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-12003694-1424960114000?sid=cavampato-1334945" target="_top">Citi&reg; Double Cash Card</a><img width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" src="http://www.lduhtrp.net/image-2822544-12003694-1424960114000" /></li> </ul> <h2>Airport Lounge Access</h2> <p>Delays are a commonplace occurrence when we travel. All of us have had that unfortunate experience that leaves us stranded on the floor of a very crowded airport hungrily searching for an outlet to charge our phones and tablets. Some credit cards provide free or discounted access to certain airline lounges complete with comfy seats, snacks, drinks, and plenty of outlets. Sometimes being a little more comfortable is all it takes to prevent a delay from ruining your trip.</p> <ul> <li><a rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3050772&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" target="_blank">The Platinum Card&reg; from American Express</a></li> <!--<li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=21644993&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Barclaycard Arrival Plus&trade; World MasterCard&reg;</a></li>--><!--<li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=21644993&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Barclaycard Arrival Plus&trade; World MasterCard&reg;</a></li>--><li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3050763&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Credit Card from American Express</a></li> </ul> <h2>Travel Rewards</h2> <p>Rather than forking over cash for your vacation expenses, let all the shopping you do every day rack up points that you can redeem for travel. Increasingly, credit card companies are broadening the number of ways you can redeem points. Use them for airline tickets, car rentals, hotel stays, cruises, and even that special evening out on the town. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26073410&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow"> Discover it&reg; Miles</a></li> <li><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-venture-rewards?ref=1334945" target="_blank">Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</a></li> <li><a rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3050761&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" target="_blank">Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express</a></li> </ul> <h2>Fee Credits</h2> <p>Save even more with cards that offer fee credits on travel incidentals like checked bags, in-flight refreshments or even for the application fee for Global Entry and TSA Pre Check. There's usually a limit so check your credit card for full details.</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26073410&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow"> Discover it&reg; Miles</a></li> <li><a target="_top" href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-12082091-1420731329000?sid=cavampato-1334945">Citi&reg; / AAdvantage&reg; Platinum Select&reg; MasterCard&reg;</a><img width="1" height="1" border="0" src="http://www.tqlkg.com/image-2822544-12082091-1420731329000" alt="" /></li> <li><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-venture-rewards?ref=1334945" target="_blank">Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</a></li> </ul> <h2>Global Assistance Hotline</h2> <p>When we travel, there's a high probability that something somewhere along the way won't go as expected. Given the current state of the world, we never know where or when we might find ourselves in trouble. When you book your trip through your credit card that has a Global Assistance benefit, you'll be able to contact a toll-free number in the event of an emergency whether that involves a medical emergency or your car breaking down on the side of the road. A Global Assistance Hotline is your helping hand when you're away from home.</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3050771&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Blue Cash Everyday&reg; Card from American Express</a></li> <li><a rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3050772&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" target="_blank">The Platinum Card&reg; from American Express</a></li> <!-- <li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=21644993&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Barclaycard Arrival Plus&trade; World MasterCard&reg;</a></li>--><!-- <li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=21644993&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Barclaycard Arrival Plus&trade; World MasterCard&reg;</a></li>--></ul> <h2>Special Access</h2> <p>Certain cards provide you with access that may be difficult to come by for non-cardmembers. Heading to New York to take in a Broadway show? Want those hard-to-come-by concert tickets or a table at the hottest new restaurant in town? Many credit cards provide advance purchase opportunities and even reservations that non-credit cardholders won't have access to until later.</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3050771&amp;fot=1195&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Blue Cash Everyday&reg; Card from American Express</a></li> <li><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-venture-rewards?ref=1334945" target="_blank">Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-12003694-1424960114000?sid=cavampato-1334945" target="_top">Citi&reg; Double Cash Card</a><img width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" src="http://www.lduhtrp.net/image-2822544-12003694-1424960114000" /></li> </ul> <p>It's important to note that not all cards carry the same benefits, and benefits change from time to time without notice. The best way to find out what travel benefits your cards carry is to call the number on the back of your card and ask to be connected to a representative who specializes in travel benefits. Enjoy your vacation, and pack the cards that will make your trip cheaper and more enjoyable.</p> <p><em>Have you taken advantage of your credit card's travel perks? Which? Tell us your story in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you">Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Credit Card for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work">How Travel Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel credit card perks frequent flyer rewards cards travel rewards Fri, 13 Mar 2015 16:00:04 +0000 Christa Avampato 1334945 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Spring Break Destinations That Won't Break the Bank http://www.wisebread.com/7-spring-break-destinations-that-wont-break-the-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-spring-break-destinations-that-wont-break-the-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tourist_couple_000025713973.jpg" alt="Tourist couple looking at a map" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As the East Coast shakes off another wallop of winter weather, many are dreaming of spring break. Here are seven surprising destinations that won't break the bank and will certainly restore your weather-weary soul. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-cities-for-frugal-foodies?ref=seealso">The 7 Best Cities for Frugal Foodies</a>)</p> <h2>1. Puerto Rico</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/puerto_rico_000018955243.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Puerto Rico is always a bargain getaway that's good for a weekend, a week, or longer. It's very hospitable to tourists and there are always inexpensive flights, hotels, and activities whether you're traveling solo, as a couple, or with a group.</p> <h2>2. Park City, Utah</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/park_city_utah_000027805770.jpg" width="605" height="341" alt="" /></p> <p>If you can't beat this winter weather, then you might as well revel in it. It doesn't get better than Park City for skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. The snow is the stuff dreams are made of and the town that's blossomed in response to the tourism has plenty of restaurants and nightlife to help you relax and unwind after a long day on the slopes.</p> <h2>3. The Florida Keys</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/florida_keys_000057567520.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Like Puerto Rico, the Florida Keys are also an easy and inexpensive getaway. There are plenty of options, too, and I recommend moving away from the typical spring break in Key West to check out some of the less popular Keys such as Key Largo. They're less crowded and offer better deals with all of the natural beauty you crave. You can either fly to Miami and drive, or you can take a short hop by plane to many of the Keys.</p> <h2>4. Iceland</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/iceland_000043960850.jpg" width="605" height="341" alt="" /></p> <p>It's spring break and I want you to head north? Yes, I do, as long as your destination is Iceland. <a href="http://www.icelandair.us/">Icelandair</a> offers a free stopover in Iceland (up to seven days in either direction) when you fly between any of their destinations. Once you're there, indulge in the country's natural hot springs to shake off any winter blues. It's one of the world's most popular tourist attractions.</p> <h2>5. Charleston, South Carolina</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/charleston_horse_trolley_000020351238.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>I went to Charleston in November for the first time and I fell in love with the city. The friendly people, the beauty of the city, the music, and the outrageously delicious and inventive food make this city a winner at a bargain price. Located right on the water, it's very easy to get around and the views are stunning. This is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy life.</p> <h2>6. Washington D.C.</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/washington_dc_000004185563.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>I'm a bit biased about D.C. because it's about to become my new home city. I did a lot of research of where to set myself up in this next phase of life and D.C. is a fantastic place to be whether you're a tourist or a resident. With some of the best museums in the world (and almost all of them are free), an exploding food scene, stunning views and architecture, and a rich history and sense of culture, there's never a bad time to visit this city. The metro will quickly zip you anywhere you'd like to go, Airbnb deals are available all over the city, and you have plenty of activity options. Our nation's capitol is booming as a tourist destination in an unprecedented way.</p> <h2>7. Alternative Spring Break &mdash; Voluntourism</h2> <p>If you want to spend your spring break giving back and having a true cultural exchange that makes a difference, consider a volunteer vacation. I've done this twice &mdash; once in the south of France and once in Costa Rica &mdash; and it was a tremendously fulfilling experience. In exchange for my minimal amount of volunteer hours and a small fee, I received housing, food, and cultural immersions with terrific people. They were both very enriching experiences, and because they were service trips I was able to deduct some of my travel expenses from my taxes. (Please check with your accountant or tax professional on what expenses you can and cannot deduct.)</p> <p><em>Where will you spend your spring break?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-spring-break-destinations-that-wont-break-the-bank">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-can-travel-with-ease-and-without-guilt">Yes You Can!: Travel With Ease and Without Guilt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-no-fuss-wine-destinations-anyone-can-visit-and-enjoy">7 No-Fuss Wine Destinations Anyone Can Visit (and Enjoy!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sleeping-in-airports-for-the-stranded-and-frugal-minded">Sleeping In Airports For The Stranded And Frugal Minded</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-hotel-stays-with-wyndhams-best-rate-guarantee">Get Free Hotel Stays with Wyndham&#039;s Best Rate Guarantee</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel best cities escapes frugal travel spring break Thu, 12 Mar 2015 15:00:13 +0000 Christa Avampato 1332543 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Reasons You Should Check Your Luggage http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-should-check-your-luggage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-reasons-you-should-check-your-luggage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_travel_000027580182.jpg" alt="Couple with suitcase walking through airport" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Several years ago, many airlines started charging fees for everything &mdash; including fees for checked luggage &mdash; and many travelers started doing whatever they had to do not to check a bag. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-carry-on-luggage-can-save-you-time-and-money?ref=seealso">5 Ways Carry-On Luggage Saves You Time and Money</a>)</p> <p>I get that. I really do. However, I don't think that saving the money for the bag fee is always worth it. In fact, unless I have some compelling reason not to, I usually check my bags. Here's why.</p> <h2>1. Getting Around is a Breeze</h2> <p>Have you ever worn leg shackles? If you've toted a bunch of luggage around an airport, you know what it's like.</p> <p>Seriously, trekking a carry-on around an airport can be hellish. It sounds okay, but then you find yourself making a third trip to the bathroom, complete with suitcase and personal items, and all of a sudden it's like managing a hundred pound weight. For vastly easier movement around the airport, check that ball and chain.</p> <h2>2. Free up Your Layover</h2> <p>Layovers can be fun or stressful, depending on how much time you have. In my opinion, they're always easier without a carry-on suitcase.</p> <p>If you have to run to your next flight, you can do it without the burden of the bag. And if you have some time to enjoy yourself, you can get some food or have a drink without keeping constant vigilance over your few possessions.</p> <p>Yes, there's always a chance your bag might not make it onto your connecting flight. But in my experience, the chances of that happening are pretty small, and, when it has, I usually wound up with an email letting me know before I even had to ask. Then they delivered it to my destination, and it wasn't a big deal.</p> <h2>3. Stop Messing With Those Tiny Bottles</h2> <p>If you don't mind transferring miniscule amounts of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and any other useful fluids to carry-on compatible bottles, then by all means don't check your bag. But if you're like me and that process is tedious and painful, avoid it by just checking the thing already.</p> <p>Not only is transferring the liquids always a mess (and mine don't come prepackaged in tiny bottles), but there's often not enough in that bottle for the entire trip. So I make a mess and then I have to go shopping anyway. I'd rather take the whole bottle and check the bag.</p> <h2>4. Bring as Much as You Want &mdash; There and Back</h2> <p>Minimalistic packing is cool, if that's the way you roll. But if you like to have options, you're traveling to several different climates, or you have a lot of items you might need, it's a royal pain.</p> <p>When you check a bag, you can bring a lot more stuff. I don't advocate traveling with stuff just to travel with stuff, but I do think your trip will be a lot more enjoyable if you are able to bring all of the things that you want to bring. If that's more than fits into a carry-on, use a bigger bag and check it.</p> <h2>5. Avoid Injury</h2> <p>I have tweaked both my neck and my shoulder lugging too much stuff around an airport. Not only was that painful, but then I had to continue carrying my bags until I got to my destination. Even though I was hurt, there wasn't another good option because I'd already decided not to check the bags.</p> <p>Even if you don't do yourself serious injury, schlepping stuff like that fatigues your muscles. If you want to be more rested when you get to your destination, check your bags.</p> <h2>6. Offer Courtesy to Fellow Passengers</h2> <p>People with a lot of luggage always seem more stressed. It makes sense: They have more to keep track of, and it's harder for them to move around and do the things they need to do. Often, their stress means that they end up being unkind to other passengers.</p> <p>Most of the arguments or rudeness I've overheard at airports have had to do with carry-on luggage. Someone rolls a bag over someone else's toes. There's no more room in the overhead bin. One person opens a bin and someone else's bag falls out. It happens. And you can avoid it all by checking your bags.</p> <h2>7. No Overhead Bin Awkwardness</h2> <p>Speaking of overhead bins&hellip;they seem specifically designed to produce awkward situations. There's no room. Someone takes a spot in a bin that doesn't correspond to their row and someone else gets angry. Things fall out. You have to crawl over people to get your stuff down. Half the people on the plane can't lift their own stuff in or out.&nbsp;If you've ever been in one of these situations, you know it can get uncomfortable.&nbsp;Now, I love awkward situations in books and movies, but I hate to be in them myself. And I avoid a setup that seems likely to produce them when I check my bags.</p> <p>Whether these benefits outweigh the cost of checking your bag is up to you. For me, they almost always do.</p> <p><em>Do you check your bags? Why or why not?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-should-check-your-luggage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-carry-on-luggage-can-save-you-time-and-money">5 Ways Carry-On Luggage Can Save You Time and Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-flying-easy-the-ultimate-carry-on-packing-list">Make Flying Easy: The Ultimate Carry-On Packing List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-helpful-travel-hacks-to-make-flying-stress-free">24 Helpful Travel Hacks to Make Flying Stress-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use">The Secret Flight Search Site Savvy Travelers Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-ways-to-make-flying-coach-feel-like-first-class">5 Cheap Ways to Make Flying Coach Feel Like First Class</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel air travel carry-on check flying luggage Thu, 12 Mar 2015 09:00:08 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1333248 at http://www.wisebread.com How Airline Partnerships Can Supercharge Your Travel Rewards http://www.wisebread.com/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_airport_000040747052.jpg" alt="Woman at the airport waiting for her flight" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you getting the most value from your airline miles?</p> <p>Many travelers are disappointed when the airline they have earned their miles with is unable to offer them an award seat to their destination, or is charging far more miles than they expected.</p> <p>But what most people don't realize is that many airlines belong to a web of alliances and partnerships that allow you to use your miles to book award flights on other carriers. Here is how this system works.</p> <h2>Airline Alliances</h2> <p>There are three major global airline alliances operating today: Star Alliance, SkyTeam Alliance, and oneworld. Those who belong to the frequent flyer program of one carrier may redeem their miles for flights <em>on any alliance partner</em>.</p> <h3>Star Alliance (27 carriers)</h3> <ul> <li>Adria</li> <li>Aegean</li> <li>Air Canada</li> <li>Air China</li> <li>Air India</li> <li>Air New Zealand</li> <li>ANA</li> <li>Asiana Airlines</li> <li>Austrian</li> <li>Avianca</li> <li>Brussels Airlines</li> <li>CopaAirlines</li> <li>Croatia Airlines</li> <li>EgyptAir</li> <li>Ethiopian</li> <li>Eva Air</li> <li>Polish Airlines</li> <li>Lufthansa</li> <li>Scandinavian Airlines</li> <li>Shenzhen Airlines</li> <li>Singapore Airlines</li> <li>South African Airways</li> <li>Swiss</li> <li>TAP Portugal</li> <li>Thai</li> <li>Turkish Airlines</li> <li>United</li> </ul> <h3>SkyTeam Alliance (20 carriers)</h3> <ul> <li>Aeroflot</li> <li>Aerolineas Argentinos</li> <li>AeroMexico</li> <li>AirEuropa</li> <li>AirFrance</li> <li>Alitalia</li> <li>China Airlines</li> <li>China Eastern</li> <li>China Southern</li> <li>Czech Airlines</li> <li>Delta</li> <li>Garuda Indonesia</li> <li>Kenya Airways</li> <li>KLM</li> <li>Korean Air</li> <li>Middle East Airlines</li> <li>Saudia</li> <li>TAROM</li> <li>Vietnam Airlines</li> <li>XiamenAir</li> </ul> <h3>oneworld alliance (15 carriers)</h3> <ul> <li>airberlin</li> <li>American Airlines</li> <li>British Airways</li> <li>Cathay Pacific</li> <li>Finnair</li> <li>Iberia</li> <li>Japan Airlines</li> <li>LAN</li> <li>TAM Airlines</li> <li>Malaysia Airlines</li> <li>Qantas</li> <li>Qatar Airways</li> <li>Royal Jordanian</li> <li>S7 Airlines</li> <li>SriLankan Airlines</li> </ul> <h2>Using Partners to Maximize Miles Value</h2> <p>There are different ways to access award flights for an airline's partners to redeem your miles. Some require additional digging if an airline doesn't offer partner award seats through their website.</p> <h3>How it Works</h3> <p>There are many ways to leverage an airline's alliance membership and partners to maximize value from your miles. For example, United is part of the Star Alliance. So if you have United miles, then you can redeem them for flights that include one or more Star Alliance partners. In fact, an award trip booked with United Miles doesn't even have to include any flights on United Airlines itself. In addition, travelers can earn mileage credit on United when they purchase a ticket to fly on any of the Star Alliance partner carriers.</p> <p>In addition to these global airline alliances, many airlines have other partnerships with carriers that are part of a different alliance, or are independent of any alliance. For example, American, Delta, and British Airways are each partnered with Alaska Airlines, which is not a member of any of the three global alliances. Delta also has partnerships with Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, and Hawaiian Airlines, none of which are members of SkyTeam or another airline alliance. However, some of these partnerships only allow travelers to earn miles, not to redeem them for awards. For example, United is actually partnered with Amtrak, so you can earn miles when you book connecting train service from United between the Newark airport and Philadelphia, Wilmington, Stamford, or New Haven, but you can't redeem United miles for Amtrak tickets.</p> <h2>How to Claim Award Seats</h2> <p>First, you have to learn which airlines are partnered with the frequent flier programs you belong to, including both alliance and non-alliance partners, which will be listed on each airline's website.</p> <p>Then, you need to determine how to search for available award seats among the partners. Some airlines, like United, will display most partner award seats when you search online, but others such as US Airways will not display any. And when a partner flight is not visible online, that means that you must call the airline to book an itinerary that includes it.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the staff at airline call centers might not be as motivated to find partner award seats as you will, so <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers?ref=inarticle">award travel enthusiasts</a> have discovered ways to perform these searches on their own.</p> <p>One way is to use another alliance member that has a better website. For example, American's website will show available awards for several oneworld partners, while the US Airways website shows none. Therefore, you might search American's website to find partner awards, then you can call US Airways to book an award and politely suggest the available award flights that you have already found.</p> <p>In other instances, you can leverage these partnerships to save reward points and miles. For example, if you had points or miles in a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">travel rewards credit card</a> that allowed you to transfer them into a loyalty program, and you wanted to fly from San Francisco to Hawaii, you could transfer them to miles with United Airlines, which would require at least 40,000 miles round-trip. Instead, you could transfer them to British Airways which requires only 25,000 miles. Of course, British Airways doesn't fly between San Francisco and Hawaii, but it is a oneworld alliance partner with American and a non-alliance partner with Alaska, both of which offer service from the Bay Area to Hawaii.</p> <p>You would save 15,000 miles by understanding how to get award seats through a partner carrier.</p> <h2>Spend American Miles to Fly to Italy on a Spanish Carrier</h2> <p>Last spring, I had plenty of American Airlines miles, and I wanted to take a family trip to Italy. Although American serves Italy, it had few award seats available, and none during the summer when we wanted to travel. Nevertheless, I knew that American's website did not display awards for some of their partners, including Iberia Airlines of Spain.</p> <p>So I signed up for a frequent flyer account with Iberia, searched for award seats on its website, and found the flights that I needed to Italy on Iberia flights via Spain. Finally, I called American to book the award seats. In fact, it is very likely that these seats were still available during the peak season precisely because they did not appear on American's website, and were never seen by tens of millions of American frequent flyers. So it really pays to look for these &quot;hidden&quot; partner awards, as they are far more likely to be available.</p> <p>When travelers learn how to leverage airline partnerships, they will find that their frequent flyer miles can take them farther than they may have thought.</p> <p><em>Have you leveraged carrier partnerships to get the most out of your miles?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had">12 Travel Perks You Didn&#039;t Know Your Credit Card Had</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airline alliance airline miles airlines frequent flyer rewards Wed, 11 Mar 2015 09:00:07 +0000 Jason Steele 1329720 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Exciting, Affordable American Cities to Retire In http://www.wisebread.com/4-exciting-affordable-american-cities-to-retire-in <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-exciting-affordable-american-cities-to-retire-in" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mature-couple-city-market-Dollarphotoclub_42889174.jpg" alt="mature couple city" title="mature couple city" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every month, more than a <a href="http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-baby-boomers-retirement-means-for-the-u-s-economy/">quarter-million Americans turn 65</a>.</p> <p>This means that either you or someone close to you is getting ready to retire in the near future. However, retiring from work doesn't mean retiring from life. You need to find a place that allows you to truly thrive in your golden years. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/x-exciting-world-cities-you-can-afford-to-retire-in">4 Exciting World Cities You Can Afford to Retire In</a>)</p> <p>While there are some great options abroad, there are also plenty of great domestic destinations to choose from. Here are the top four exciting (and affordable) American cities to retire in.</p> <h2>1. Columbus, Ohio</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/colombus%20ohio.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>In 2015, Where to Retire Magazine has selected Columbus as the top domestic destination for retirement. This river city is no stranger to top retirement lists, because it topped the lists of most affordable places to retire in <a href="http://www.forbes.com/2008/08/27/retirees-cities-affordable-forbeslife-cx_md_0827realestate.html">2008</a> and <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/slideshows/americas-best-affordable-places-to-retire/1">2009</a>, too.</p> <p>On top of providing affordable living standards, Columbus offers a vibrant sports scene with the Columbus Blue Jackets (hockey), Columbus Clippers (baseball), and Ohio State Buckeyes (college football). With so many sports options available year round, it's not a surprise that Columbus is constantly on the top 10 of the <a href="http://www.bestplaces.net/docs/studies/manliest_cities.aspx">U.S. manliest cities</a>.</p> <p>But if sports isn't your thing, don't worry. The city is also known for its many museums, theaters, performing arts venues, and <a href="http://www.columbus.gov/seniors/">50+ fitness and recreation centers</a>. Some of the top events are <a href="http://theactorstheatre.org">Shakespeare in Schiller Park</a>, <a href="http://www.redwhiteandboom.org">Red, White, and Boom! </a>(largest fireworks display in Ohio), and <a href="http://www.columbusoktoberfest.com">Columbus Oktoberfest</a>.</p> <h2>2. Santa Barbara, California</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/santa%20barbara%20california.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If you have done a good job building your nest egg, then why not splurge a bit during retirement in Santa Barbara? Known as the &quot;American Riviera,&quot; the city of Santa Barbara is not only a popular tourist and resort destination, but also has been named a <a href="http://www.independent.com/news/2013/aug/04/santa-barbara-featured-where-retire-magazine/">top retirement destination</a> by Where to Retire Magazine. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-keep-your-retirement-funds-from-disappearing">7 Ways to Keep Your Retirement Funds From Disappearing</a>)</p> <p>This city is blessed with an ideal location along California's coast that provides warmer winters and cooler summers compared to cities farther inland. Santa Barbara is an exciting destination for beach lovers because it has four miles of beaches including East Beach, West Beach, Leadbetter, Shoreline Park, and it is bisected by the historic U.S. Route 101, which provides access to even more beautiful beaches up and down the California coast.</p> <p>Foodies rejoice: Santa Barbara has an eclectic food scene, ranging from <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/diners-drive-ins-and-dives/videos/dv1300/scratch-made-classics.0179263.html">Mexican carnitas</a> to <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/diners-drive-ins-and-dives/videos/dv1300/global-traditions.0180526.html">British fish and chips</a>. And while you're out, you may run into celebrities, such as Santa Barbara born and raised Katy Perry or TV mogul Oprah Winfrey.</p> <h2>3. Austin, Texas</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/austin%20texas.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>With a motto like &quot;Keep Austin Weird,&quot; this city in Texas is for those retirees looking for something off the beaten path. Its vibrant music, tech, and small business scenes all contributed to Kiplinger selecting Austin as the number-one <a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/article/business/T012-C000-S002-best-cities-2010-austin-texas.html">best city for the next decade</a>.</p> <p>A major draw for retirees is the University of Texas at Austin. Retirees enjoy the opportunity to take courses or extend their professional learning through the university's <a href="http://www.utexas.edu/community-engagement/continuing-education">continuing education programs</a>. The university also offers several cultural offerings, such as art exhibitions, open air markets, and live performances. Plus, attending classes at an university is a way for single seniors to <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/2010/11/01/the-10-best-places-for-single-seniors-to-retire">meet new people</a> and make friends faster. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-be-more-attractive-work-these-5-magic-words-and-phrases-into-your-vocabulary">Want to Be More Attractive? Work These 5 Magic Words (and Phrases) Into Your Vocabulary</a>)</p> <p>Austin has two strong economic draws for retirees. First, the city (like all others in Texas) has no state income taxes. Second, <a href="http://www.zillow.com/austin-tx/home-values/">Austin's mortgage delinquency</a> is only 1.7%, which is lower than the national average, 6.4%. This shows a healthy housing market and overall strong economic climate.</p> <h2>4. Jacksonville, Florida</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/jacksonville%20florida.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If you talk about retirement, you have to talk about the Sunshine State. There are three strong reasons why retirees flock to Florida:</p> <ul> <li>No state income tax;</li> <li>No estate tax; and</li> <li>No inheritance tax.</li> </ul> <p>Jacksonville stands out from other cities in Florida because it offers the same comfortable winters at much more affordable prices. US News includes Jacksonville as one of the 10 best places to <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/2014/10/14/the-10-best-places-to-retire-on-social-security-alone?page=2">retire on Social Security alone</a>, and for good reason: Retirees age 65 and older pay a median monthly rent of only $861.</p> <p>From the <a href="http://www.taxslayerbowl.com/">TaxSlayer.com Bowl</a> in January, to the <a href="http://www.jaxjazzfest.com/">Jacksonville Jazz Festival</a> in May, and the <a href="http://www.coj.net/welcome/upcoming-events/all-events/holiday-at-st-james-(2).aspx">Holiday at St. James at City Hall</a> in December, there is always something exciting happening in Jacksonville. You can get plenty of fresh air in the city's 57,373 acres of parks or 22 miles of sandy beaches.</p> <p>The city's main landmark is the St. John's River. Along the river you'll find the ever-expanding <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacksonville_Riverwalk">Northbank Riverwalk</a>, a popular attraction in downtown Jacksonville, and the <a href="http://riversideartsmarket.com/">Riverside Arts Market</a>, a popular event in the <a href="http://www.riversideavondale.org/">Riverside Avondale Historic District.</a></p> <p>Choosing a city to retire in is no easy task &mdash; and you can't just pick based on pure economic reasons. After all, you're going to have a lot of extra time available, so your city needs to offer enough exciting activities to keep you comfortably busy. These four American cities provide the right mix.</p> <p><em>Where are you planning to retire &mdash; and why?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-exciting-affordable-american-cities-to-retire-in">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-people-who-retire-early-do">9 Things People Who Retire Early Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-you-have-saved-for-retirement-by-30-40-50">How Much Should You Have Saved for Retirement by 30? 40? 50?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-thoughts-everyone-has-their-first-day-of-retirement">6 Thoughts Everyone Has Their First Day of Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-places-to-retire-abroad-that-anyone-can-afford">5 Incredible Places to Retire Abroad That Anyone Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-things-women-should-know-about-retirement-planning">12 Surprising Things Women Should Know About Retirement Planning</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement Travel american cities retiring Fri, 06 Mar 2015 14:00:04 +0000 Damian Davila 1320504 at http://www.wisebread.com The 8 Best Hotel Rewards Programs http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-hotel-rewards-programs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-8-best-hotel-rewards-programs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_pool_000015776815.jpg" alt="Woman at hotel pool" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Does the never-ending cold and snow this winter have you thinking about a fabulous, far-flung destination? Before you book that vacation, make sure you're getting the best deal when it comes to hotel rewards.</p> <p>The following six programs give you a big bang for your travel buck, and offer some unique and fun options, as well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=seealso">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Rewards</a>)</p> <h2>1. Starwood</h2> <p>If this isn't a good recommendation, I don't know what is; I have friends who choose their travel destinations based upon where they can earn and use Starwood points. The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest/index.html?language=en_US">Starwood Preferred Guest</a>&nbsp;(SPG) program is one of the most popular in the industry &mdash; and for good reason. With over 1,100 locations in over 100 countries within its network, you have your pick of options from mid-range to luxury. Starwood also has over 30 airline partners that allow Starwood points to transfer (1:1 exchange rates on most airlines) into their award programs. Even better, get 5,000 bonus miles for every 20,000 Starwood points you transfer. (Get even more rewards with the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-rewards-card-the-starwood-preferred-guest-credit-card-from-american-express">Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express</a>.)</p> <h2>2. Kimpton</h2> <p>I love Kimpton properties because they are so unique and the customer service is second to none. The <a href="https://www.kimptonhotels.com/karma-rewards/overview">Kimpton Karma Rewards</a> program includes its own properties as well as lodging at over 60 other hotels. Most properties are located in major cities. This program is unique because points can be redeemed for spa credits in addition to free nights and room upgrades. As a Karma Rewards member, you can select your room location and even the type of pillow you want. Best of all, you can gift the points you earn, as they are fully transferrable.</p> <h2>3. Marriott</h2> <p><a href="http://www.marriott.com/rewards/rewards-program.mi">Marriott's Rewards program</a> is all about diversity. The Ritz-Carlton hotels, the Renaissance hotels, and the Residence Inns all fall under the Marriott brand, which is well-known around the world for delivering luxurious stays for both business and leisure travelers. Earn points across the widest array of property types at any of 18 individual brands (including a whopping 3,700 locations) under the Marriott umbrella. You can also redeem these points for flights on Delta and United Airlines.</p> <h2>4. Hilton</h2> <p>Hilton has a truly global footprint of properties &mdash; it's not often you're in a city that does not have at least one Hilton property. And, with high end brands like the Conrad and the Waldorf-Astoria, you'll want to save your points for those! The <a href="http://hhonors3.hilton.com/en/index.html">Hilton HHonors program</a> includes over 4,000 locations in 90 countries. Also like Marriott, you can redeem points for air travel, but HHonors points can be used with 50 airline and rail partners. Just make sure to use and/or accrue your points in a timely fashion, as points expire if your account is inactive for one year.</p> <h2>5. Hyatt</h2> <p>Hyatt properties are impressive. The Andaz hotels are some of the hippest places out there, and the Park Hyatts are some of the most luxurious. The <a href="http://www.hyatt.com/gp/en/benefits/membership.jsp">Hyatt Gold Passport</a> offers redemption for free nights with no blackout dates as well as points to miles conversion with over 30 participating travel partners.</p> <h2>6. IHG</h2> <p>Formerly known as the Priority Club, the InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) is a hotel brand name that not many travelers may be too familiar with. However, they certainly may have heard of the hotels that fall under the IHG's large network, which includes the Crowne Plaza and the Holiday Inn properties. With over 4,600 hotels across the globe under their brand, frequent travelers may find it quite beneficial to have a loyalty status with this line of hotels.</p> <p>Out of the many great benefits offered by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ihg.com/hotels/us/en/rewardsclub/home">IHG Rewards Club</a>, the best is probably the ability to use my earned points at hotels inside and <em>outside</em> of the IHG's network, which essentially means you can redeem free nights at almost any hotel you desire.&nbsp;</p> <h2>7. Select Registry</h2> <p>If a bed and breakfast is more your speed, there's a rewards program for these kinds of properties, too, even though most are independent businesses. <a href="http://www.selectregistry.com/rewards/index.asp">Select Registry</a> gives you the chance to earn points at any of the boutique hotels, inns, and bed and breakfast locations that belong to its network. Once you have stayed 12 nights at any of these locations, you earn a $100 certificate redeemable at any of the properties.</p> <h2>8. Secret Escapes</h2> <p>You may recognize the <a href="http://us.secretescapes.com/">Secret Escapes</a> brand from their TV commercials (which are delivered in a voice barely above a whisper). While not a traditional rewards program, it's a fantastic value for adventurous travelers who enjoy luxurious hotel stays at bargain prices. Secret Escapes uses the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deal_of_the_day">flash sale model</a> that we know from sites like Gilt.com. Discounts are up to 70% off the normal rates at these luxury hotel locations. A small booking fee of no more than $20 applies to any stays over a $99 total.</p> <p>Travel expands our horizons and teaches us new things about ourselves and the world. So while you're out cruising the globe, make sure to keep these hotel rewards programs on hand so you can rest easy while taking in all the adventure. Sleep well!</p> <p><em>What's your favorite hotel reward program?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-hotel-rewards-programs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">How to Book an Amazing Cheap Vacation Package</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-save-money-on-hotels">10 Surprising Ways to Save Money on Hotels</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel hotel rewards hotels Fri, 06 Mar 2015 12:00:11 +0000 Christa Avampato 1320813 at http://www.wisebread.com How Travel Rewards Credit Cards Really Work http://www.wisebread.com/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-credit-card-Dollarphotoclub_66577242.jpg" alt="woman credit card" title="woman credit card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are people in this world that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">almost never pay for airfare</a>. Instead, they accumulate and use travel rewards. This is also true for hotels, and even rental cars. If you can work your travel rewards, it's possible to get solid value out of your credit card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>A credit card that offers travel rewards is different than one that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">earns cash back</a>. Here's how travel rewards credit cards work &mdash; and how best to earn and redeem points for travel. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work?ref=seealso">How Cash Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a>)</p> <h2>Earning Travel Rewards</h2> <p>Almost all travel rewards credit cards work on a points-based system. You earn one point (or mile) for each dollar that you spend at the most basic level. However, you can usually earn extra points for certain purchases. How much you earn, and what you earn extra points for, depends on what type of loyalty program you are enrolled in and which credit card you are using.</p> <h3>General Travel Rewards</h3> <p>There are a number of general travel rewards programs that allow you to earn points and then redeem them on any number of items, from airfare to hotel stays to discounts on cruises. Most of these programs have a very straightforward one point for each dollar spent guideline. Some of these cards do offer the chance to earn extra points for certain types of spending, such as on travel or dining out. You might earn three points for each dollar spent on airfare or hotels, and two points for each dollar spent on gas or on dining out, for example.</p> <p>Choose the card that offers extra points for the category you do the most spending on to boost your ability to earn points.</p> <h3>Loyalty Travel Rewards</h3> <p>Most travel brands have loyalty programs connected to credit cards. So, you might be able to combine your usual loyalty points for hotel stays and air travel with credit card rewards. In many cases, you earn extra points or miles when you use your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">loyalty branded credit card</a> at the appropriate brand, allowing you to earn free airfare or stays even faster.</p> <p>Many of these brands also have partners. So, if you use a specific rental car company with your loyalty program card, or if you eat at a partner restaurant, you might get extra points. Some cards also have shopping portals, where you can earn extra points or miles by making purchases through a specific site. I shop for FTD flowers via my credit card's portal for Mother's Day, since I get extra points for the flowers I'd send to my mother and my mother-in-law anyway.</p> <h2>Redeeming Your Travel Rewards</h2> <p>Different credit cards have different policies regarding how you redeem the points into actual travel rewards.</p> <h3>Built-In Loyalty Programs</h3> <p>Co-branded credit cards will usually offer redemption through the loyalty program the credit card is co-branded with. You can go directly to the airline or hotel website and redeem your points or miles for travel, since your loyalty account is connected to your credit card.</p> <h3>Transferring Points</h3> <p>Many general rewards credit cards offer redemption in the form of transferring points or miles to the loyalty program they are partners with. Usually, this is not a 1:1 transfer. For example, 10,000 miles on your credit card may result in 8000 miles once it's been converted to the airline or hotel loyalty program you've selected. This is one of the disadvantages of not using a co-branded credit card, where you would get the full value of your miles. However, it does offer flexibility in which brand you want to purchase travel from.</p> <h3>Travel Portal</h3> <p>Some credit cards offer redemption through their travel shopping portal. You can spend your points by purchasing travel through their site. You may also get special discounts on the travel, which encourages you to use their portal for travel purchases even when you're not spending your rewards points.</p> <h3>Statement Credit</h3> <p>Finally, some credit cards will offer a statement credit on travel purchases as a way to redeem your travel rewards. Just make your travel purchases as usual, and then apply your points to those purchases. You'll see a statement credit within one or two billing cycles. This offers the advantage of being able to receive rewards points or miles on your travel rewards!</p> <h2>Figuring the Value of Rewards</h2> <p>One of the most interesting realities associated with redeeming travel rewards is that you can often get better value when you redeem for luxury travel, especially with international travel.</p> <h3>Fight Upgrades</h3> <p>An economy ticket from JFK airport to London's Heathrow might cost $1,507.80, and the business class might cost $6,589.30. However, you might only have to &quot;spend&quot; double the points to get a business class ticket. You might spend 60,000 miles in economy (plus pay about $210 in taxes and fees), but you could fly business class for 120,000 or 130,000 miles. That's a pretty good value for an upgrade, since if you ended up with a dollar for dollar comparison, you should be &quot;paying&quot; a little more than four times the amount, or about 240,000 miles, for business class.</p> <h3>Hotel Upgrades</h3> <p>The same is true for getting an upgrade at a hotel. I recently enjoyed an upgraded room at a hotel because of the status I earned through my credit card. The room I ended up in had a &quot;market value&quot; of $250 more than I would normally stay in. However, I didn't need to use any extra points, or pay anything extra for an upgrade. So I got a better bang for my rewards because of the program. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-card-perks-beyond-points-and-miles?ref=seealso">The Best Credit Card Perks Beyond Points and Miles</a>)</p> <h3>Discount Travel</h3> <p>However, even if you don't find yourself in those situations, travel reward redemption can still be a bonus. As long as you pay off your credit card balance each month, and you aren't paying interest, then you are basically traveling for free. You earn these points, and then you can use them to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">stay free at hotels</a>, or get a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-airline-companion-tickets-and-3-bad-ones">free boarding pass</a>.</p> <p>Other programs allow you to enjoy discounted travel. You might get a certain number of free checked bags when you fly with a branded airline if you are part of the program. You might also have access to discounted rental cars and other perks. Recently, I saved 40% off the advertised price when I rented a car through a partner of one of my travel rewards cards. Some airlines offer you the chance to purchase a &quot;companion ticket&quot; for $99, or for some other discount as one of the perks. If you would normally have to pay $350 for another ticket, that can be a big savings, and add to the value of the rewards program.</p> <p>It's important to remember that, no matter what you do, you won't see a dollar for point/mile redemption with a travel reward card. The &quot;dollar value&quot; of your travel rewards often fluctuates, depending on how you earned the points or miles (was it a &quot;bonus&quot;?) and what you are redeeming them for. In the international travel example above, redeeming for an economy class ticket means that each mile only had a value of about 0.025 cents. However, redeeming for business class travel (for 130,000 miles), meant a value of about 0.051 cents. Miles redeemed for business class travel have a higher &quot;value&quot; in many cases. Similar calculations can be made when you book a luxury hotel room, as opposed to a standard room. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better?ref=seealso">Which Airline Loyalty Program Offers the Highest Value in Miles?</a>)</p> <h3>Watch for Redemption Limits</h3> <p>Realize, too, that there are some limits to redemption. You will get the best value if you use a co-branded credit card with a specific brand. Your loyalty will be rewarded. General travel programs don't offer the same points/miles value, although you do have more flexibility. For example, a general credit card rewards program might charge 80,000 or 90,000 miles for an international economy flight, but you could choose to fly on any airline. You would spend fewer miles if you were using a co-branded credit card, but you'd have to fly with that particular airline (or its partners).</p> <p>Some loyalty programs have blackout dates, so you might not be able to redeem your miles during peak travel times. Other credit cards offer zero blackout dates for travel redemption, but again, the value you receive for your miles or points could be lower. You might also be limited to certain hotel rooms or certain styles of car when you get a rental.</p> <p>Travel rewards can be rewarding indeed &mdash; as long as you pay attention to the terms, and make it a point to get the best bang for your travel rewards buck.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/miranda-marquit">Miranda Marquit</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you">Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Credit Card for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had">12 Travel Perks You Didn&#039;t Know Your Credit Card Had</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/using-airline-credit-cards-to-score-premium-travel-awards">Using Airline Credit Cards to Score Premium Travel Awards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel travel rewards Wed, 04 Mar 2015 22:00:07 +0000 Miranda Marquit 1317237 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Cheaper Ways to Travel Around the World http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheaper-ways-to-travel-around-the-world <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-cheaper-ways-to-travel-around-the-world" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young-woman-rome-tourist-travel-selfie-Dollarphotoclub_63884714.jpg" alt="woman travel rome" title="woman travel rome" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I circled the globe in 300 days once. It wasn't 10 months of constant travel; after getting married in Wisconsin, my husband and I flew to Bangkok for our honeymoon, continued on to our home in Beijing, and then six months later, traveled overland to Paris. Finally, we flew back to Chicago to complete the circle. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-while-you-travel?ref=seealso">15 Ways to Make Money While You Travel</a>)</p> <p>Whether your turn to circumnavigate the earth comes in one fell swoop or dozens of smaller trips taken over years, chances are you'll want to minimize the impact of the long journey on your wallet. Here are some ideas.</p> <h2>1. Up Your Frequent Flyer Game</h2> <p>Collecting frequent flyer miles is not a new tactic, but tapping into online help can increase your mile-hoarding prowess. My cousin joined paid site <a href="http://travelhacking.org/">Travel Hacking Cartel</a> and used advice she found there to accumulate 200,000 miles for herself and her husband in just four months by taking advantage of credit card offers. Advice is still free on the <a href="http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/">FlyerTalk</a> forums, where milehounds discuss &quot;mileage runs&quot; (long flights taken strictly to accumulate miles) and other tactics.</p> <h2>2. Buy a Round-the-World Flight Pass</h2> <p>Often referred to as RTW tickets, these offers give you access to one airline and its international partners for multiple flights over a set period (usually one year). For instance, if you want to travel on United and its partners, you can buy a <a href="http://www.staralliance.com/en/fares/round-the-world-fare/">Star Alliance Round the World Fare</a>. You pay a set price and receive up to 16 coupons for the various legs of your journey.</p> <p>Are RTW tickets a bargain? That depends.</p> <p>NomadicMatt.com advises that you can sometimes save up to 30% over buying individual flights, but warns that these packages work best for people who can stick to their original schedule without changing flights. Be wary of fees tacked onto the purchase price of your RTW ticket. Also, check to see if it's <a href="http://www.frugaltravelguy.com/2014/01/booking-a-round-the-world-award-ticket-for-less.html">cheaper to book all the flights in your round-the-world trip</a> separately.</p> <p>I entered an 11-city globe-circling itinerary (economy class) into the Star Alliance site and received an estimated price of $6,335. You can also buy these tickets with miles.</p> <h2>3. Get a Job That Requires Travel</h2> <p>This can be a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-jobs-with-insane-travel">long-term stint overseas</a> as an au pair or English teacher, a <a href="http://www.firstabroad.com/paid-work-internships">work abroad program</a>, or a job that pays you to move around a lot, such as a financial auditor or hotel inspector. Or apply at San Francisco's Expensify, where the company takes all-staff monthlong working vacations to beachy destinations.</p> <h2>4. Get a Job That Is Travel</h2> <p>Flight attendants, pilots, train engineers, and cruise ship staff all may report for work in one country and get off duty in another. But the list doesn't stop there. You can take a job as <a href="http://www.overseasjobcentre.co.uk/seahitch.shtml#.VNPQyp3F-tM">crew on a private yacht</a>. Being an air courier used to be a good chance to get paid to travel; in the age of FedEx and the Internet there are <a href="http://gadling.com/2012/03/22/a-traveler-in-the-foreign-service-getting-paid-to-travel-livin/">just a few opportunities</a> there.</p> <h2>5. Get on the Bus, Gus</h2> <p>It's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-bus-travel-is-cheaper-easier-and-more-awesome-than-you-think">79% cheaper</a> to take a bus from city to city than to fly. Overseas, bus travel can range from cushy to treacherous, but you're almost guaranteed to have more adventures traveling this way.</p> <h2>6. Get a Rail Pass</h2> <p>When I was a student in Paris 20 years ago, the youth Eurail pass was the obvious way to get around Europe on the cheap. But for those over 25 &mdash; and with the advent of budget airlines and other changes to budget travel &mdash; you need to do your homework before <a href="http://www.priceoftravel.com/2794/should-you-buy-a-eurail-pass-heres-how-to-decide/">deciding to invest in a pass</a>.</p> <h2>7. Travel Off-Season</h2> <p>Last year, my husband and I toured Southwestern France in October. We were lucky enough to have warm, sunny weather &mdash; in fact some days we wished that hotel swimming pools had not been shut down for the season! Crowds at attractions such as the citadel of Carcassonne were nothing compared to the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-times-of-year-to-travel-anywhere">hoards that descend upon them in summer</a>.</p> <h2>8. Go Freight</h2> <p>I'm not advocating hopping freight trains; rather, I'm thinking of a little-known way to cruise. Since I live near the Port of Oakland, I often find myself fantasizing about crossing the ocean on one of the massive freighters that I see laden with shipping containers. Freighters do take on passengers, usually for <a href="http://www.freightertrips.com/guide/costs.html">half the price</a> of a traditional cruise ship or less. However, if you want to take a cruise, going freight is not a no-brainer. You get a lot more on a cruise ship for the extra money: rock climbing, water slides, entertainment, etc. Also, discounts can be found for traditional cruises that could shrink the price difference. Then, there is the fact that freight cruises <a href="http://www.freighterexpeditions.com.au/">can last for months</a>, charge by the day, can skip ports without much warning, and provide a rougher ride than a cruise ship. All in all, I'd love to try a freight cruise as an adventure one day, but not just because of the price.</p> <h2>9. Try Trading Places</h2> <p>As a member of <a href="https://www.homeexchange.com/en/">HomeExchange.com</a>, I've gotten vacation swap requests from families in Paris, the Swiss Alps, London, Spain, and coastal Italy. We're currently discussing a free two-week house exchange with an English family, who is also willing to care for our cats while we're gone. This works best if you live near popular vacation destinations.</p> <h2>10. Couch Surf</h2> <p><a href="https://www.couchsurfing.com/">Couchsurfing</a> is the most famous of the <a href="http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-tips/finding-cheap-accommodation/">&quot;hospitality exchange&quot; sites</a>, where you stay free in locals' spare rooms (or living rooms) and in turn host travelers at your own home.</p> <h2>11. Volunteer or Work for Lodging</h2> <p>Full-time traveler and Wise Bread writer, Nora Dunn recommends <a href="http://www.caretaker.org/">The Caretaker Gazette</a> and other resources that help people find jobs that come with free housing. Then there are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/volunteer-to-travel-11-opportunities-for-free-or-very-cheap-travel">Peace Corps-style volunteer programs</a> that pay all your expenses &mdash; but expect pretty serious work in exchange.</p> <h2>12. Cook Your Own Meals</h2> <p>Whenever possible, get accommodations with a kitchen and try these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-recipes-perfect-for-the-traveling-chef?ref=seealso">travel-friendly recipes</a>. Even if you have no kitchen, you can save a lot by hitting grocery stores and picnicking. On our trip to France, my husband and I ate at least one meal a day of simple fresh vegetables, bread with cheese, and deli case goodies.</p> <h2>13. Make Technology Work Harder for You</h2> <p>Hardcore travelers swear by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use">ITA Matrix</a> or <a href="http://www.skyscanner.com/">Skyscanner</a> for sleuthing out cheap fares. When using other travel sites, use these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-secrets-to-getting-the-lowest-rate-from-travel-websites">cheap fare-finding tricks</a> to find the deals.</p> <h2>14. Get Money Back After Booking</h2> <p>A number of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-travel-discounts-on-stuff-youve-already-booked">price drop alert sites</a>, such as Yapta, will let you know if you could get a better deal, sometimes even after you've booked. For car rentals, use <a href="http://www.autoslash.com/">AutoSlash</a> to find better deals after reserving.</p> <h2>15. Get a Free Local Guide</h2> <p>In a comprehensive list of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers">tips from pro frugal travelers</a>, Nora Dunn included this gem: Use the <a href="http://www.globalgreeternetwork.info/">Global Greeter Network</a> to find a local who can serve as a free local guide.</p> <p><em>What other tricks or techniques have you used to travel the world cheaply?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheaper-ways-to-travel-around-the-world">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-train-hacks-from-an-amtrak-veteran">24 Train Hacks From an Amtrak Veteran</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-youre-paying-too-much-for-when-you-travel-and-how-to-pay-less">10 Things You&#039;re Paying Too Much for When You Travel (and How to Pay Less)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-free-and-4-cheap-things-to-do-in-auckland-with-a-toddler">8 Free (and 4 cheap) Things to Do in Auckland with a Toddler</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-amazing-and-easy-to-navigate-the-10-best-international-cities-to-visit">Frugal, Amazing, and Easy-to-Navigate: The 10 Best International Cities to Visit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel cheap travel travel hacks world travel Tue, 03 Mar 2015 22:00:07 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1316506 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Cheap Ways to Make Flying Coach Feel Like First Class http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-ways-to-make-flying-coach-feel-like-first-class <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-cheap-ways-to-make-flying-coach-feel-like-first-class" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-sleeping-airplane-flight-Dollarphotoclub_59083499.jpg" alt="woman sleeping airplane" title="woman sleeping airplane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hard seatbacks, no legroom, subpar snacks &mdash; flying coach can be less-than-cozy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hidden-comforts-to-consider-when-choosing-an-airline?ref=seealso">5 Hidden Comforts to Consider When Choosing an Airline</a>)</p> <p>Unfortunately, the average first-class ticket can be exorbitantly expensive in comparison. For many of us, it's just not worth it. But with a few simple tricks, you can make your back-of-the-plane flying experience feel more like that of those folks sitting up in the first few rows.</p> <h2>1. Choose Your Airline Wisely</h2> <p>Not all coach flights were created equal. JetBlue, for example, offers economy passengers an average of <a href="http://www.travelweekly.com/Travel-News/Airline-News/JetBlue-adds-bag-fee-and-shrinks-legroom-but-strikes-a-balance/">33 inches of legroom</a>, compared to the standard 31 inches. Plus, you can watch DirecTV for free. Southwest doesn't charge its economy flyers for blankets, pillows, and snacks. Virgin Atlantic has free in-flight comfort kits containing slippers, earplugs, and eye-masks. And on most Virgin flights, <a href="http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/us/en/the-virgin-experience/economy/best-ever-meal.html">a free welcome cocktail</a> is served before the three-course meal.</p> <h2>2. Select Your Seats With Care</h2> <p>Websites like <a href="http://www.seatguru.com/">SeatGuru</a> and <a href="http://seatexpert.com/">SeatExpert</a> were made to help you identify the roomiest, most comfortable seats on your flight. But don't be fooled &mdash; there's a lot more to consider than legroom. Distance to the nearest restroom or inflight entertainment screen are other factors that can impact the enjoyability of your flight.</p> <p>Simply look up the seating details for your specific flight and select one of the seats designated as most comfortable. Not all hope is lost if all the good seats are already taken, by the way. You can create an alert that will notify you if any of your prefered seats become available by using apps like <a href="http://www.expertflyer.com/free-program">ExpertFlyer</a>, which costs $4.99 monthly, although it won't actually execute a seat-swap on your behalf.</p> <p>Another option is TripIt Pro's <a href="https://www.tripit.com/seattracker">Seat Tracker</a>, which not only notifies you of preferred seat openings, but also allows you to confirm a seat change with the airline without ever leaving the app ($49 per year).</p> <h2>3. Invest in a Self-Inflating Seat Cushion</h2> <p>You can pretty easily go from feeling like you're sitting on a block of concrete to feeling like you're floating on a cloud by investing in a simple self-inflating seat cushion like the <a href="http://www.magellans.com/itemdy00.aspx?T1=MIF781">Luxe Self-Inflating Seat Cushion</a> ($41) by online travel gear consortium Magellan's. Sitting on this orthopedically designed cushion relieves pressure from your spinal cord, making for not only a more comfortable flight, but a more comfortable few next days.</p> <h2>4. Pack Your Own Personalized Comfort Kit</h2> <p>Melatonin to help you relax and fall asleep. Face wipes to keep you feeling fresh and clean. An iPod pre-loaded with a playlist of all your favorite travel songs. If your airline doesn't offer the little accoutrements that make all the difference between a comfortable flight and a dreadful one, pack them yourself. Other easy-to-pack items that make for a cozier in-flight experience include chocolates, fuzzy socks, eye drops, face lotion, and lots of bottled water.</p> <h2>5. Look the Part</h2> <p>If you want to enjoy a comfortable flight, dress for it. Leave the belts, heels, heavy jewelry, and neckties at home (or in your luggage) and opt instead for clothing that's soft, loose-fitting, and layered. Breathable fabrics will help you body adjust to warm or cool air cabin temperatures. Scarves, shawls, vests, sweatshirts, sweaters, and light jackets will keep you warm, plus they can double as blankets and pillows. And flat shoes you know won't make you limp or blister will be your saving grace as you stand patiently waiting to board.</p> <p><em>How do you make flying coach more comfortable?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-ways-to-make-flying-coach-feel-like-first-class">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-should-check-your-luggage">7 Reasons You Should Check Your Luggage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-helpful-travel-hacks-to-make-flying-stress-free">24 Helpful Travel Hacks to Make Flying Stress-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use">The Secret Flight Search Site Savvy Travelers Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-worst-and-best-airport-buys">The 8 Worst and Best Airport Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hidden-comforts-to-consider-when-choosing-an-airline">5 Hidden Comforts to Consider When Choosing an Airline</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel air travel flying what to pack Wed, 18 Feb 2015 10:00:10 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1289845 at http://www.wisebread.com 24 Helpful Travel Hacks to Make Flying Stress-Free http://www.wisebread.com/24-helpful-travel-hacks-to-make-flying-stress-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/24-helpful-travel-hacks-to-make-flying-stress-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-airplane-cabin-Dollarphotoclub_69162482.jpg" alt="businessman airplane cabin" title="businessman airplane cabin" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Traveling on a plane around the holidays can be pretty stressful, especially if you're not a particular fan of flying as it is. If the bumps on your flight make you anxious &mdash; or worse, sick to your stomach &mdash; then follow a few simple tips that real flyers gave us on how to have a stress-free plane ride and travel experience in general. Try these tips and some <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Airport-Hacks-35723248" helpful="" airport="" a="">, and you may even end up looking forward to your flight!</a>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Airport-Hacks-35723248" helpful="" airport="" a="">RELATED: </a><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Save-Money-Travel-36092909">Need Quick Cash For a Trip? 11 Easy Ways to Save</a></p> <h2>For Anxiety:</h2> <h3>1. Be Prepared</h3> <p>Pack completely the night before so that you can get a good night's sleep without worrying about last-minute details. Get to the airport earlier so you aren't stressed out about time.</p> <h3>2. Know Your Facts</h3> <p>Read plane crash statistics and facts, because, statistically speaking, crashes are extremely rare. Remind yourself that it's safer to fly than to drive, and research <a href="http://qz.com/216999/the-complete-guide-to-getting-over-your-fear-of-air-turbulence/">why you shouldn't be afraid of turbulence</a>.</p> <h3>3. Get Comfortable</h3> <p>Once you board the plane, do your best to get comfortable immediately. Adjust the air conditioning, have a snack or some water, read a book or magazine, take deep breaths, and try to relax.</p> <h3>4. Sleep</h3> <p>Consider taking Dramamine or an antianxiety medicine that may help you sleep. If you're sleeping, you can't be nervous!</p> <h3>5. Fly During the Day</h3> <p>Sometimes flying during the day (when possible) is less stressful because it can lessen the feeling of being closed in, which tends to be worse in the blackness of night.</p> <h3>6. Make Friends</h3> <p>If you are a really nervous flyer, then try striking up a conversation with a stranger and let them know that you are nervous. This can be a good conversation starter and a useful distraction &mdash; especially during takeoff. Even if the plane hits turbulence during the flight, that person can help reassure you.</p> <h3>7. Use Your Imagination</h3> <p>Imagine the plane landing safely on the ground every time you're nervous.</p> <h3>8. Enjoy a Beverage</h3> <p>A preflight cocktail (and if necessary, a midflight cocktail) can be helpful.</p> <h3>9. Expect Issues</h3> <p>Especially when traveling over the holidays, always expect delays. That way, you aren't stressed out, upset, or surprised when they inevitably happen. In fact, when and if your flight takes off on time, it will feel like a pretty big victory.</p> <h3>10. Make a Playlist</h3> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Calming-Travel-Playlist-36216000">Listen to calming music</a> that will help you relax and sleep.</p> <h3>11. Distract Yourself</h3> <p>If takeoffs are what cause you the most anxiety, find a good podcast &mdash; something with a calming voice or something funny &mdash; and turn it up loud enough to drown out surrounding noise (but not loud enough to drive your neighbor nuts!), or play a game on your device that requires all of your attention (preferably with a timer) so that you can't look away and don't even notice the takeoff.</p> <h3>12. Block It All Out</h3> <p>Use noise-canceling headphones to block out noises and distract yourself with books, music, magazines, podcasts, movies, or TV shows.</p> <h3>13. Use Calming Techniques</h3> <p>Wear something around your wrist that you can jangle, pull, or snap, which can distract you just enough to get through the takeoff or turbulence.</p> <h3>14. Rationalize</h3> <p>Think about the fact that all the flight attendants in the plane fly nearly every day, and they are all perfectly fine.</p> <h2>For Motion Sickness:</h2> <h3>15. Ginger Is Key</h3> <p>If you are prone to motion sickness, drink ginger ale or eat ginger chews to soothe your stomach.</p> <h3>16. Eat Mints or Chew Gum</h3> <p>Sometimes the coolness and freshness of mints, mint gum, mint tea, or Tic Tacs can help relieve some nausea. Chewing gum can also help, but avoid sugarfree gum, which can upset your stomach. Cinnamon gum, like Big Red, is a good option.</p> <h3>17. Buy a Motion Sickness Band</h3> <p>A <a href="http://www.rei.com/product/783422/psi-bands-wristbands">motion sickness band</a> uses acupressure to stimulate your body's ability to fight off nausea.</p> <h3>18. Don't Read</h3> <p>Avoid any kind of reading, including any phone applications, when taking off and landing and during periods of turbulence.</p> <h3>19. Drink Water</h3> <p>Make sure to stay hydrated and avoid alcoholic beverages or coffee.</p> <h3>20. Take Dramamine</h3> <p>Try taking Dramamine about an hour before you will be on the plane.</p> <h3>21. Find a Fixed Point</h3> <p>If the takeoff, landing, or plane ride is bumpy, keep your eyes on the horizon so that you're focused on a fixed point.</p> <h3>22. Plan Ahead</h3> <p>For the 12 hours before you'll be traveling, stick to simple, easy-to-digest foods, avoiding lettuce, nuts, and any kind of dairy.</p> <h3>23. Breathe!</h3> <p>Try taking deep breaths, which will help to relax the muscles that tend to contract when you're feeling sick.</p> <h3>24. Bring a Fan</h3> <p>Pack a portable fan! Keeping yourself cool can do wonders for motion sickness.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> From drop-off at the curb to touchdown at your destination, flying is filled with stress inducers. Take the edge off with some simple relaxers. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img style="height:95px; width:300px" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Best-2015-Travel-Destinations-US-36256485#photo-36256485">The 10 Places in the US You Absolutely Have to Visit in 2015</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Travel-Instagram-Accounts-36774978#photo-36774978">Feed Your Wanderlust With These 10 Stunning Instagram Accounts</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Best-Things-Buy-Target-35385152">10 Things You Should Buy at Target</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-helpful-travel-hacks-to-make-flying-stress-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight">23 Airport Hacks to Remember Before Your Next Flight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-should-check-your-luggage">7 Reasons You Should Check Your Luggage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use">The Secret Flight Search Site Savvy Travelers Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-ways-to-make-flying-coach-feel-like-first-class">5 Cheap Ways to Make Flying Coach Feel Like First Class</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-carry-on-luggage-can-save-you-time-and-money">5 Ways Carry-On Luggage Can Save You Time and Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Travel air travel fear flying stress Fri, 13 Feb 2015 10:00:10 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1286137 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Surprising Winter Travel Destinations That Won't Break the Bank http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-winter-travel-destinations-that-wont-break-the-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-surprising-winter-travel-destinations-that-wont-break-the-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tremblant.jpg" alt="tremblant" title="tremblant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Winter is one of the best times of year for finding bargain travel deals &mdash; colder weather means many destinations in northern climes are on sale, and even trips to warm-weather destinations can be found on the cheap, if you know where to look.</p> <p>Here are seven (sometimes unexpected) winter travel destinations that won't break the bank.</p> <h2>1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/philadelphia%20museum.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Philadelphia is a known for its architecture, cultural attractions, nightlife, and Revolutionary War history. This is the home of the Liberty Bell and Ben Franklin statue, and the city's museum district houses the Barnes Foundation, Rodin Museum, and The Philadelphia Museum of Art (including the famous &quot;Rocky&quot; steps and Rocky Balboa Statue). Mass transit and a grid system makes getting around convenient, and you can easily take in all the sights and sounds of Philly in a single weekend. Better still: Many travelers avoid the Northeast in winter (even though Philly's highs are usually still well above freezing). That means cheaper travel to the City of Brotherly Love for you.</p> <h2>2. Bucharest, Romania</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/bucharest.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The capital of Romania was once referred to as &quot;little Paris&quot; because its grand architectural style was reminiscent of Parisian buildings, promenades, and gardens. Bucharest is usually among the cheapest European cities, and prices drop even further with the temperature, which makes winter the ideal time of year to visit.</p> <h2>3. Orlando, Florida</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/disney%20world%20train%20station.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Orlando is the #1 family vacation destination and not for nothing. There are tons of theme parks, including Universal Studios, Sea World, and Walt Disney World, along with nearby beaches on both the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. Even during the travel rush in the dead of winter, airfare from the Northeast can be found for under $200, and mid-range hotel rooms can be had for under $100 per night. Although theme park tickets can be costly, package deals can save money, and visiting the beaches or enjoying the warmth remains absolutely free.</p> <h2>4. Puerto Rico</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/puerto%20rico.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Puerto Rico is a short, three to four hour flight from many parts of the U.S., and airfare can usually be had for under $400 per person, round-trip. Hotels and food on the island are also cheaper than similarly ranked mainland venues. San Juan, Puerto Rico is a city rooted in culture and alive with history, music, and food. It's truly is a Caribbean paradise with white sand beaches, amazing underwater sightseeing, and rainforests. With 80 degree temperatures all year around, it's a great winter escape.</p> <h2>5. Tremblant, Quebec</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/tremblant.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Tremblant is an easy drive for those in most of the northeastern United States. It's also a great place to ski while getting a taste of European culture. Plus, the US dollar is still stronger than the Canadian dollar, so a buck will get you $1.24 Canadian &mdash; meaning a nice bargain on everything from hotels to food.</p> <h2>6. Heavenly, California</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/heavenly%20california.jpg" width="605" height="341" alt="" /></p> <p>Another great, lower-cost place to ski is Heavenly, California, with its massive mountain containing 4,800 skiable acres and a great view across the deep blue of Lake Tahoe. I recommend the forest suites resort so you can be the first on the mountain.</p> <h2>7. Jamaica</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/jamaica.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Through December, hotel rates drop by 6%, with prices averaging $169 per night. The best time to travel is during the lull after hurricane season &mdash; October through mid December &mdash; making it the perfect Caribbean cold-weather getaway.</p> <p><em>Do you have any favorite low-cost winter getaways?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-winter-travel-destinations-that-wont-break-the-bank">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-escape-with-these-14-affordable-weekend-getaways">Make Your Escape With These 14 Affordable Weekend Getaways</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-to-ask-before-you-book-a-vacation-package">6 Questions to Ask Before You Book a Vacation Package</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-credit-card-on-the-road">Travel and Money: Using Your Credit Card on the Road</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-groupon-getaways-a-good-idea">Are Groupon Getaways a Good Idea?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-budget-and-track-expenses-for-your-next-vacation">How to Budget and Track Expenses for Your Next Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel caribbean skiing vacation winter escapes winter travel Fri, 06 Feb 2015 16:00:15 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1285073 at http://www.wisebread.com The 8 Worst and Best Airport Buys http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-worst-and-best-airport-buys <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-8-worst-and-best-airport-buys" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman-duty-free-airport-shopping-Dollarphotoclub_65500505_2.jpg" alt="businesswoman airport shopping" title="businesswoman airport shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your defenses are down when you enter the airport. You've got money to burn, time to waste, and you're in a state of euphoria because you'll be on a tropical beach in less than five hours. But, beware, ye of many impulses: Airport buys can make you broke if you're not careful. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers?ref=seealso">25 Secrets From the World's Most Frugal Frequent Travelers</a>)</p> <p>So here's a list of what to watch out for at the airport (hint: most things), along with a couple items that are okay to dive into.</p> <h2>Worst Airport Buys</h2> <p>Plan ahead and you can avoid most of these pricey concourse purchases.</p> <h3>1. Personal Snacks and Drinks</h3> <p>David Bakke, travel expert at <a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com">Money Crashers</a>, implores you to avoid bottled water at all costs when you're at the airport. &quot;You'll pay about triple the price that you do in a grocery store.&quot;</p> <p>While you should avoid bottled water altogether &mdash; it's bad for the environment and tap water is free, ya know &mdash; I understand that sometimes you need it. To avoid this impulse buy, add a water bottle to your packing list and keep it in your carry-on so you can fill it from the fountain when you're past security. If you forget your water bottle, remember this tip from Aaron Deutsch, founder of <a href="http://www.tellthem.co">TellThem.co</a>.</p> <p>&quot;If you need a bottle of water at the airport, my tip is to buy it from McDonald's, not the news shops&quot; he says. &quot;McDonald's typically charges $1.50 to $2 while the news stores charge $2.50 to 3.50. Small savings but nice!&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Healthy food is hard to find at the airport, and usually I bring what I need for the kids,&quot; adds Sandra Magura, author of the children's book <em>HippoDuck &mdash; Trouble at the Airport</em>. &quot;But on those unexpected delayed flights sometimes you run short. When I did, I was forced to get something from one of the convenience stores. I ended up buying a granola bar for my two-year-old. He loves them and so do I. What I don't love is the $4 price tag that went along with it. I can buy a box of six at Walmart for $2. They got me that time, but I will be sure to pack extras on the next trip.&quot;</p> <h3>2. Wi-Fi</h3> <p>Airports are increasingly jumping on the free Wi-Fi bandwagon or offering personal tablets for free use when you're in the terminal, but there are still hubs that require you to pay for Internet service if you want to get online while you're at the terminal. Most of us can use our phone networks to do what we need to do, but if you need more capability or a bigger screen that can only operate with Wi-Fi, do some detective work before purchasing.</p> <p>Bakke offers a great hack. &quot;If you need to access the Internet, see if the airport has a Starbucks &mdash; where it's free &mdash; rather than paying for Wi-Fi,&quot; he says.</p> <p>Starbucks might not be the only place that offers free Wi-Fi, by the way. Pop into a few bars and restaurants to see if they offer it, if there are no Starbucks in the vicinity.</p> <h3>3. Headphones</h3> <p>Bakke warns to avoid headphones and other electronics from those newfangled vending machines that are popping up at airports. You've probably seen the Best Buy-branded models if you've traveled recently.</p> <p>&quot;I recently looked at these [headphones] with my son during a recent trip; he claimed he absolutely had to have them,&quot; Bakke recalls. &quot;I made a bet with him that I could find them for half of what the machine was charging. Sure enough, we checked Amazon and found them for about that much cheaper.&quot;</p> <p>You also can ask your airline's attendants if the flight offers headphones. Instead of buying a $200 pair of Beats just because they're pretty and you're on vacation and you think you deserve it, step back, take a breath, and find out if there are pairs for available on your flight, which usually only cost about $2.</p> <p>&quot;There is no reason that a set of headphones cannot have a permanent home in the side pocket of your carry on bag,&quot; adds John Z. Wetmore, producer for <a href="http://www.pedestrians.org/">Perils for Pedestrians</a> television. &quot;It takes very little planning to avoid overpriced last-minute purchases. Packing checklists are your friend if you have a tendency to leave things at home when you pack at the last minute.&quot;</p> <h3>4. Neck Pillows</h3> <p>You want to guess how many neck pillows are in my closet? Three! It seems like my husband buys a new pillow every time he flies, and those three aren't even counting the ones he's lost over the years. That's <em>hundreds</em> of dollars worth of <em>neck pillows</em>.</p> <p>I've never purchased a neck pillow in my life; it's always seemed like a huge waste of money to look so silly on an airplane to me. Instead, I bring my own travel-worn bed pillow from home (it's flat, so it's easy to travel with), or I ask for a blanket/pillow on the flight so I can cuddle up on the window or rest my head on the tray table. Much better than sleeping straight up with an inner tube around your neck, in my opinion.</p> <h3>5. Currency Exchange</h3> <p>The last time I traveled someplace where I needed to exchange currency, the dollar was worth half what it was at home &mdash; and that didn't include the fees that the service charged. That's a tough blow to take when you've saved for so long for something.</p> <p>DailyMail.com says, &quot;With so much else to sort out before you go away, it's tempting simply to purchase your foreign currency at the last minute in the airport departure lounge. But doing that means you'll pay significantly more than you need to, as airport bureaux de change offer some of the worst possible deals to walk-up customers.</p> <p>&quot;The alternatives? Pre-order currency. Earlier this week, buying &euro;500 on the spot at a Gatwick Moneycorp bureau would have cost you &pound;440.88. Had you ordered the &euro;500 online on <a href="http://www.moneycorp.com/">www.moneycorp.com</a> to pick up at the airport, the cost would have been &pound;404.17.&quot;</p> <p>This is obviously an example from Europe, but you can apply the same principles in the United States when you're preparing for travel abroad.</p> <h3>6. Parking</h3> <p>Sometimes you have no other choice but to drive yourself to the airport and park. And you'll pay dearly for it. If you can help it, ask a friend or family member to give you a ride &mdash; slip 'em some cash for helping you save some &mdash; or use public transportation where available and convenient.</p> <h2>Best Airport Buys</h2> <p>Okay, not everything at the airport is a total ripoff.</p> <h3>1. Local Food/Beverage Souvenir Items</h3> <p>I'm not much for tangible souvenirs &mdash; just one more piece of junk I have to put out at the yard sale next year &mdash; so I prefer to preserve my trips' memories with photos that I can frame and local food items that I can consume when I'm home. For instance, I've purchased beignet dry mix from New Orleans and BBQ sauce from Memphis that bring back fond memories of each trip when I use them.</p> <p>Liz Dahl, founder of <a href="http://boomertravelpatrol.com/">Boomer Travel Patrol</a>, agrees that this is a best practice, especially on liquids.</p> <p>&quot;For me, the best buys are local products from the city the airport is located, especially the liquid items,&quot; she says. &quot;This is the place to buy those souvenirs, because you can take them on the plane with you at that point.&quot;</p> <p>The latter is a good point to remember if you're only traveling with a carry-on bag. You won't be happy if you have to give up a liquid item because you overlooked the rules while you were shopping.</p> <h3>2. Duty Free</h3> <p>If you're in the market for cigarettes or alcohol, you can score great deals at the duty-free shops. All other items, especially electronics and beauty products, aren't a very wise purchase as you usually can find them cheaper at home or online.</p> <p>Consider, however, that you're allowed to bring mini bottles of liquor onto your flight. That's right &mdash; according to <a href="http://blog.tsa.gov/2014/01/tsa-travel-tips-tuesday-traveling-with.html">The TSA Blog</a>, &quot;Travelers may carry as many 3.4 ounce bottles of liquid (mini bottles of liquor are 1.7 ounces) that fit comfortably in one, quart sized, clear plastic, zip-top bag. Comfortable means that the bag will seal without busting at the seams. One bag is permitted per passenger.&quot;</p> <p>That's pretty much an invitation to load up on the mini bottles at the duty-free shop.</p> <p>Of course, there's this stipulation: <a href="http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&amp;SID=03efb7c1b34301bf39ff6d98084cdd45&amp;rgn=div8&amp;view=text&amp;node=14:3.0.1.1.11.2.3.37&amp;idno=14">FAA regulations</a> state that &quot;No person may drink any alcoholic beverage aboard an aircraft unless the certificate holder operating the aircraft has served that beverage.&quot;</p> <p>But if you're savvy, you'll figure out how to make it work.</p> <p><em>Do you have other suggestions for best/worse airport buys? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-worst-and-best-airport-buys">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight">23 Airport Hacks to Remember Before Your Next Flight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-should-check-your-luggage">7 Reasons You Should Check Your Luggage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-helpful-travel-hacks-to-make-flying-stress-free">24 Helpful Travel Hacks to Make Flying Stress-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use">The Secret Flight Search Site Savvy Travelers Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-ways-to-make-flying-coach-feel-like-first-class">5 Cheap Ways to Make Flying Coach Feel Like First Class</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Travel air travel airport flying Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1283485 at http://www.wisebread.com