hotels http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9066/all en-US 5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel http://www.wisebread.com/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_paris_travel_486971456.jpg" alt="Woman traveling to cities where Airbnb is cheaper than a hotel" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Since it was first founded in 2008, Airbnb has become a household name, nearly synonymous with the concept of short-term rentals. According to their website, Airbnb properties are available in more than 34,000 cities in over 190 countries, with 60 million users. This can be a great way to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-in-a-5-star-hotel-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-motel?ref=internal" target="_blank">save on accommodations</a> while traveling. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-get-hotel-deals?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Easy Ways to Get Hotel Deals</a>)</p> <p>By offering accommodation in locals' homes and apartments, Airbnb is often able to offer lower rates than traditional hotels, sometimes at unique properties or with added perks (like full kitchens). For solo travelers, renting a room with Airbnb can also be a great way to get to know a local host.</p> <p>However, you'll be giving up some hotel conveniences, too. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel" target="_blank">Airbnb isn't for everyone</a>. But if you're willing to forego hotel gyms and professional staff, here are five destinations where Airbnb is much more cost effective than a hotel.</p> <h2>European Destinations</h2> <p>In 2015, more than half of Airbnb's revenue was generated from its European listings. This is an important clue to consumers, as some of the best deals to be had are in expensive European capitals where Airbnb is doing some of its best business.</p> <h3>1. London</h3> <p>London is full of tourist sights that any traveler would be excited to see. This capital city is home to Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and many diverse national museums. However, London is also one of the most expensive destinations for international travelers.</p> <p>Even budget options in London can be pricey, with hostel dorm rooms often upward of $20 a night for a bed in a room with eight to 10 other people. Needless to say, many travelers don't want to stay in those conditions, but to book a four- or five-star hotel in the city center costs $250 and up.</p> <p>According to a 2015 study by Busbud, Airbnb listings were $108 a night cheaper than hotels, making London one of the best destinations to consider saving with Airbnb.</p> <h3>2. Venice</h3> <p>Venice is another European destination you won't want to miss, but hotels here are notoriously expensive, averaging just over $230 a night according to the Busbud study. However, by booking with Airbnb travelers were able to save an average of $86.</p> <p>There are plenty of good ways you can put these savings to use while out enjoying the area. Be sure not to miss a trip out to Burano and Murano, small islands a short gondola ride away from Venice, known for glass working and artisanal lace production.</p> <h3>3. Paris</h3> <p>Airbnb's rapid growth in Paris was reported by The Wall Street Journal in 2015, with the city continuing to be a hub of Airbnb activity to this day. Paris has more than 55,000 listings that get a great deal of traffic from visitors, according to Inside Airbnb.</p> <p>Given that consumers can save more than $100 on average by booking with Airbnb, it's no surprise that the company has had such great success in Paris, a city with a reputation for being expensive.</p> <h2>In the U.S.</h2> <p>Airbnb can be an affordable alternative to hotels in the U.S., too. In fact, in 2013, a comparative study by Priceonomics found that, on average, to rent an entire apartment in the U.S. with Airbnb was 21% cheaper than paying for a hotel, while renting a single room with Airbnb was half the price of a hotel.</p> <p>Since 2013, the cost of hotels has only been rising, from an average of $110 to $120 in 2015. Given that Airbnb has been gaining traction considerably in the past few years, consumers in the U.S. now have more options than ever before.</p> <p>It is important to remember, however, that these are national averages. Every city varies a little and of course, some cities are more Airbnb-friendly than others. As with the European examples, it seems that in more expensive cities, consumers stand to save more from booking with Airbnb.</p> <h3>4. New York</h3> <p>New York received an estimated 58 million tourists in 2015, making it one of the biggest tourist destinations globally. From bustling Times Square, to Broadway, to Wall Street, to Ellis Island, to its wide array of unique parks and museums, there is no shortage of sights and entertainment for visitors.</p> <p>Plus, New York has the Airbnb listings to match. There's a whole array of options in many diverse neighborhoods. A quick search I made on Airbnb showed the average cost of accommodations was $142, factoring in all options, from a shared room to an entire apartment.</p> <p>Keep in mind that rates also depend on location, location, location.</p> <h3>5. Seattle</h3> <p>Seattle has the advantage of being a good-sized city, while also offering access to beautiful coastlines and nearby mountains. As Washington state's largest city, it attracts a fair amount of both domestic and international visitors.</p> <p>The average cost of a hotel room here in 2015 was $209, according to Statista, making it one of the more costly cities in the U.S. Those looking to book with Airbnb stand to save more than $80 on their reservation.</p> <h2>Places to Avoid Using Airbnb</h2> <p>While these five cities offer a great value on their Airbnb listings, there are also some places you don't want to use Airbnb. Barcelona, for instance, will cost you $140 more on average to book via Airbnb as opposed to a hotel.</p> <p>In the U.S., Austin (home of Airbnb competitor HomeAway) is a much more expensive place to stay with Airbnb, while Los Angeles comes out just about even. Using <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card reward programs for hotels</a> can make hotels even more attractive than Airbnb in some places.</p> <p>Airbnb can offer great value in notoriously expensive cities both in the U.S. and in Europe, but that doesn't mean it's always a great deal. Check out your destination before you book to be sure you're getting the best value.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Cities%20Where%20Airbnb%20Is%20Way%20Cheaper%20Than%20a%20Hotel.jpg&amp;description=5%20Cities%20Where%20Airbnb%20Is%20Way%20Cheaper%20Than%20a%20Hotel" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Cities%20Where%20Airbnb%20Is%20Way%20Cheaper%20Than%20a%20Hotel.jpg" alt="5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">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/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</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/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</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-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb">10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb</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/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</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-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accommodations AirBnb deals Europe hotels short term rentals tourism united states vacation Mon, 30 Jan 2017 10:30:24 +0000 Nick Wharton 1871129 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_beach_vacation_538041934.jpg" alt="Woman finding simple ways to save on hotels" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Booking the right accommodations can make or break your stay &mdash; and your travel budget. So once you've taken the time to carefully research your hotel for your next trip, make sure you secure a good room and rate during your booking. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">25 Hotel Booking Tips From Professional Travelers</a>)</p> <h2>1. Use Rewards Programs</h2> <p>By now, you've probably realized that you should always be earning frequent flyer miles when you fly, but did you know this is also true for hotels? Many major hotel brands such as Hilton and Hyatt offer free loyalty rewards programs that let you accumulate points toward free nights just by staying at properties within their chain. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Breakdown of the Best Hotel Rewards Programs</a>)</p> <p>If you don&rsquo;t want to be tied down to one particular hotel chain, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-online-booking-sites?ref=internal" target="_blank">online booking sites</a> often have their own rewards programs that allow you to accumulate points and earn rewards by purchasing travel through them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/little-known-trick-to-getting-exclusive-travel-discounts-and-rewards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Little Known Trick to Getting Exclusive Travel Discounts</a>)</p> <h2>2. Earn Elite Status</h2> <p>There's nothing complicated about earning elite status with a specific chain of hotels. To start, you'll want to focus on one chain of hotels that you like and book there consistently.</p> <p>However, you can speed up the process by using a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-free-hotel-status-upgrades?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card that gives you elite status</a>. Some give you a status boost just for being a cardmember. With others, you&rsquo;ll need to spend a certain amount on the card before you get elite status.</p> <p>Having elite status can get you perks like free breakfast, upgrades, Wi-Fi, bonus points, and welcome gifts. Be sure to mention your status when you complete the booking and inquire about special accommodations or amenities that may be available to you.</p> <h2>3. Take Advantage of Status Match</h2> <p>If you have earned a certain status with one hotel brand, you may be able to leverage this with other chains as well. Call another brand and find out if they will match your status. To qualify for some status match programs, you will have to provide documentation proving your status with the first hotel chain.</p> <p>Keep in mind that if you've used credit card spending to reach an elite status, this may not qualify you for elite status with another hotel brand.</p> <h2>4. Book Directly &mdash; By Phone</h2> <p>It may sound simple, but many people are hesitant to contact the hotel directly, especially in the Internet age where most bookings are done online. People have become accustomed to doing everything from their computers, but sometimes to get the best deal you actually have to call the hotel to book your stay. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Easiest Way to Negotiate a Hotel Room Rate</a>)</p> <p>First, you'll need to do your homework to get an idea of the going rate online. Then call the hotel directly. Ask the reservationist to give you a better deal than what you found with a third-party booking site.</p> <p>Almost all hotels prefer you to book directly with them, since it saves them from paying a commission to an online booking website. Use this to your advantage and ask that they throw in an extra perk for booking directly, like a complimentary upgrade, a room with a view, or another incentive such as free early check-in or late check-out.</p> <h2>5. Communicate Early About Special Occasions</h2> <p>Always inform the hotel if you'll be celebrating any occasion during your stay. Hotels will usually try to accommodate with a free upgrade, and if you're visiting them during your honeymoon they may even throw in a welcome gift like champagne to show their appreciation for your business.</p> <p>Ideally, you should inform the hotel of your special occasion while you're making the booking, but it doesn't hurt to remind them while you're checking in.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-in-a-5-star-hotel-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-motel?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">How to Stay in a 5 Star Hotel for Less Than the Cost of a Motel</a></p> <h2>6. Take Advantage of Last-Minute Deals</h2> <p>In general, it&rsquo;s best to reserve your room in advance. But if you have to book at the last minute, you can sometimes do so without having to pay top dollar. Websites like <a href="https://www.roomertravel.com" target="_blank">Roomer</a> and <a href="https://www.cancelon.com/" target="_blank">Cancelon</a> can help you secure a reduced rate from last-minute hotel cancellations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hotel-room-booking-tools-every-frugal-traveler-should-know?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Hotel Room Booking Tools Every Traveler Should Know</a>)</p> <h2>7. Use Coupons</h2> <p>Coupons can really reduce the cost of your booking, especially when you're booking a package or last-minute stay. Sites like <a href="https://www.groupon.com/" target="_blank">Groupon</a> are especially good for last-minute deals.</p> <p>See Also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></p> <h2>8. Cash in Airline Miles to Buy Rooms</h2> <p>Have you been racking up thousands of airline miles that you&rsquo;re not sure how to use? You may be able to cash them in to pay for hotel rooms. Many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards credit cards</a> allow you to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-hotels?ref=internal" target="_blank">transfer points to hotel programs</a>, which you can then use to pay for your booking.</p> <h2>9. Write a Review for a Future Booking</h2> <p>Did you know you can earn a commission toward a future booking with <a href="https://www.yonderbound.com/" target="_blank">Yonderbound</a>? All you have to do is write a review on the Yonderbound website after your stay. Then, when someone books a stay at the property after reading your review, you can earn 70% of the website's commission, which works out to about 10% of the booking&rsquo;s list price.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%20Simple%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Hotel%20Stays.jpg&amp;description=9%20Simple%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Hotel%20Stays" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Simple%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Hotel%20Stays.jpg" alt="9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">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/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</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/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore">Does It Make Sense to Stay in a Hotel Anymore?</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-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</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/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accommodations airline miles booking coupons elite status hotels rewards programs status match trips vacations Tue, 24 Jan 2017 10:30:36 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1871078 at http://www.wisebread.com What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-453477539.jpg" alt="what to do if your airbnb is awful" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have a friend, I'll call her &quot;Diane.&quot; Diane was excited to find an affordable two-bedroom Airbnb rental in Chicago. She looked forward to spending the holidays meeting up with old friends and saving money by cooking for her family instead of eating out every night.</p> <p>Instead, she ended up wasting the first few days of her trip on the phone with Airbnb customer service, and the unit's owner &mdash; who had provided a nearly empty apartment. This was not what she expected from the listing.</p> <p>&quot;The whole place felt like an abandoned afterthought,&quot; Diane said. She learned the owner had moved out and left very little behind &mdash; no couch in the living room and not enough kitchen supplies to put together a meal.</p> <p>Airbnb can be a great way to save money and enjoy neighborhoods outside tourist districts &mdash; when things go well. But some guests have been frustrated by the company's response when things don't turn out as advertised.</p> <p>Airbnb Spokesman Nick Shapiro calls negative experiences &quot;extremely rare&quot; on the service, but said that when they happen, Airbnb wants to get problems fixed and get guests into a better situation if necessary. He points out that guest refunds come directly from the host, and if the company seems to ask tough questions when people complain, it's because it must protect both hosts and guests.</p> <p>&quot;We are negotiating with another user's money and we are not there on the premises, so we do our best to work with both the host and the guest to find the most fair outcome,&quot; Shapiro said.</p> <p>It is possible to get a refund or replacement accommodation from Airbnb when a rental isn't up to snuff. But you need to play by their rules &mdash; and even then, it isn't always easy. Despite trying her best to follow every rule, my friend never ended up getting the full refund or hotel reimbursement she asked for, although she did get some money back from the host after bugging out early. If you find yourself in a similar situation as &quot;Diane,&quot; here's what you can do.</p> <h2>1. Act Quickly</h2> <p><a href="https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/544/what-is-airbnb-s-guest-refund-policy" target="_blank">Airbnb's policy states</a> that guests must file a claim within 24 hours of check-in in order to claim a refund. They are pretty strict about this. Just contacting them within the first 24 hours &mdash; as Diane did &mdash; isn't enough. You have to file a complaint within that period to comply with the refund policy.</p> <p>The company holds payments for the first 24 hours, to give the guest time to verify that all is as it should be. Shapiro explained that since Airbnb staff can't verify complaints in person, caution is necessary.</p> <p>&quot;It can be easy for a bad actor to fabricate evidence, which ultimately hurts a host. If a guest contacts us on day three of their five-night reservation complaining that the listing is messy, there is no way to know if that mess was caused by the guest or not.&quot;</p> <p>If you discover a problem late at night, don't wait until business hours to complain. Airbnb provides 24/7 customer service everywhere.</p> <h2>2. Contact the Host</h2> <p>If you call Airbnb to complain about a rental, they'll tell you to contact the host first.</p> <p>&quot;Giving them a chance to fix an issue is the fastest way to make sure you get what you need,&quot; Airbnb explains on its website. But don't wait long to hear back from the host before you request that refund. Remember, the clock is ticking.</p> <p>For this reason, meeting the host for a walkthrough is a good idea, and the best time to bring up any problems with the property.</p> <p>When Diane and her husband met the owner at that nearly empty Airbnb, they accepted the keys and said goodbye to the owner, a move she now realizes was a mistake.</p> <p>&quot;I wish I had been less worried about being polite, and more assertive about the missing items right from the start. Having to confront the person who has your money and holds the keys is really challenging. You just want the guy to leave so you can make a game plan and take it all in,&quot; she said.</p> <p>Another way to prevent problems that the host could fix is to communicate with the host before you arrive,&quot; Shapiro advised.</p> <h2>3. Communicate Through Airbnb</h2> <p>Use Airbnb's messaging system when you contact the host, so that the company can see your message, when you sent it, and the host's reply. Also save a copy of all communications for yourself, in case you need them later.</p> <h2>4. Read Airbnb's Refund Policy Carefully</h2> <p>Only certain conditions may be eligible for a refund in Airbnb's policy, even in that first 24 hours:</p> <ul> <li>If you can't get into the rental;</li> <li>If the listing misrepresents the unit;</li> <li>If the place is dirty or unsafe;</li> <li>If there's an animal there that wasn't disclosed in the listing.</li> </ul> <p>When you submit the refund claim, make it clear how the property qualifies for a refund under these specific conditions.</p> <h2>5. Re-Read the Listing Closely Before Complaining</h2> <p>In order to comply with Airbnb's narrow refund qualifications, it's a good idea to study the listing before contacting them to pinpoint any misrepresentation. It's not a bad idea to print the listing before you travel, in case you have trouble accessing the listing while on your trip. And don't forget to check the photos and captions, not just the main listing text.</p> <p>&quot;Some of the promises for the apartment were in the photo captions,&quot; Diane explained. &quot;So when I first wrote to the owner and Airbnb, everyone claimed there was no promise of a stocked kitchen, etc. I felt like I had imagined it. By the time I realized they were in the photo captions, it was really too late.&quot;</p> <p>It's important to plan your initial complaint carefully, because changing or adding to your complaint later could work against you. Remember, Airbnb staff is looking to protect owners from bad actors.</p> <h2>6. Document the Conditions</h2> <p>Airbnb requires proof in your refund claim, as in photos. Take a picture of that broken window, dirty bathroom, or the gaping hole where the kitchen stove should be, and send it along with your claim.</p> <h2>7. Check the Cancellation Policy</h2> <p>Even if Airbnb and the owner refuse to refund the first night of a stay, if the owner has chosen the <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/home/cancellation_policies" target="_blank">&quot;flexible&quot; cancellation policy</a>, you can go on Airbnb and cancel the remainder of your stay for a refund. Of course, you'll need to check out at that point.</p> <p>With the &quot;moderate&quot; policy, you can get a 50% refund for unused nights. For the stricter policies, you can't get a refund for cancellation after checking in. For a long-term rental, the first month cannot be canceled.</p> <h2>8. Try Social Media</h2> <p>If you feel the host and Airbnb are not being helpful, or you've complained but didn't hear back, a nudge on Twitter or Facebook can get things moving.</p> <p>When Rose Maura Lorre and her family checked into an Airbnb that didn't live up to the listing photos, had treacherous stairways, a minor bug issue, and &quot;a bedroom that really wasn't,&quot; her husband first tried emailing customer service, but then, Lorre said, &quot;I took it to their Facebook page and got an immediate response.&quot;</p> <p>Airbnb found them a new place to stay by the next day, and refunded them for the first night.</p> <p>Diane got a quick response from Airbnb's Twitter team, although the team's proposed solution didn't work for her. They offered money to buy the missing items, but she didn't feel that she should have to spend her vacation time stocking someone else's kitchen.</p> <h2>9. If the 24-Hour Window Has Passed, Complain Anyway</h2> <p>Shapiro acknowledges that sometimes guests discover a problem mid-stay.</p> <p>&quot;This is where our customer service team has more responsibility to make a judgment call,&quot; Shapiro said. &quot;We have to ask questions like, 'Why was this not discovered until now?' 'Is this something that the guest somehow could be at fault for?'&quot;</p> <p>Airbnb didn't give Diane a refund, claiming that, although she had complained right away, she had raised the qualifying issues with the apartment too late. But other customers have had better luck. The blog Root of Good describes getting a <a href="http://rootofgood.com/bad-experience-airbnb/" target="_blank">full refund and an apology voucher</a> when he complained two days after checking into a filthy apartment.</p> <h2>10. Try the Owner Again</h2> <p>For Diane, more problems popped up throughout her stay, like a hairball lurking under the bedsheets. When she wrote to Airbnb again, they directed her to its <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/resolution_center" target="_blank">Resolution Center</a>, where you can request money back directly from the host with a click of a button. Asking doesn't necessarily mean getting, but you can try. Diane was able to convince the host to refund the days she didn't use his apartment.</p> <h2>11. Contact Your Credit Card Provider</h2> <p>As with any unsatisfactory customer experience, you can request that your credit card provider withhold payment. One Airbnb customer, who <a href="http://www.airbnbhell.com/tag/chargeback/" target="_blank">described on AirbnbHell</a> being locked out of a rental for hours, reported successfully getting a refund through this method.</p> <p>If your credit card offers travel insurance, you could also ask for a refund via that route. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Travel Perks You Didn't Know Your Credit Card Had</a>)</p> <h2>12. If Nothing Else Works, Try the Media</h2> <p>Columns such as Christopher Elliott's The Travel Troubleshooter are able to spur companies &mdash; <a href="http://elliott.org/the-troubleshooter/cant-get-refund-airbnb-rental/" target="_blank">including Airbnb</a> &mdash; to give refunds after initially refusing. Besides, it might feel good to vent about a frustrating experience to a columnist or on TV. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhat-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhat%20to%20Do%20About%20a%20Terrible%20Airbnb%20Stay_0.jpg&amp;description=What%20to%20Do%20About%20a%20Terrible%20Airbnb%20Stay" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/What%20to%20Do%20About%20a%20Terrible%20Airbnb%20Stay_0.jpg" alt="What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay" width="250" height="374" /></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/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">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/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online">8 Ways to Save on Accommodations Online</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/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</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-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel accommodations AirBnb Airbnb stay hotels travel tips vacation vacation rentals Fri, 20 Jan 2017 10:30:36 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1877411 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Build Your Best Travel Budget http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_scooter_travel_518707448.jpg" alt="Couple learning how to build the best travel budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some people live for trip planning, while others would rather get it done quickly and just enjoy their vacation. Whichever camp you fall into, creating a comprehensive travel budget is a crucial part of the planning process and will help ensure that you have the best trip possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-youre-paying-too-much-for-when-you-travel-and-how-to-pay-less?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">10 Things You're Paying Too Much for When You Travel (And How to Pay Less)</a>)</p> <p>Instead of worrying about money while you're away, a travel budget can help you to enjoy, relax, and live in the moment, knowing that you're not going to come back to a pile of debt. By planning out your finances before you leave, you may even realize you have a little money to spare for a fun activity or excursion while you're away.</p> <p>Planning a travel budget can present a challenge, however, especially if it's your first time visiting somewhere. Here are a few ways to make your perfect travel budget a little easier.</p> <h2>1. How Much Will My Trip Cost?</h2> <p>This is the most basic and yet important question you will have to ask when planning your travel budget. There are several factors you need to consider.</p> <p>In broad brush strokes, you'll want to think about two main components: the cost of things at your destination, and your travel style. Is it vital you stay in five-star resorts to enjoy your destination, or could you be just as happy in more modest accommodations? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-travel-expenses-you-forgot-to-budget-for?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">9 Travel Expenses You Forgot to Budget For</a>)</p> <h2>2. Define Your Travel Style</h2> <p>Travel takes many shapes and forms, from luxury trips with five-star accommodations to roughing it on a backpacker's budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-in-a-5-star-hotel-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-motel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Say in a 5-Star Hotel for Less Than the Cost of a Motel</a>)</p> <p>While making your travel budget, it's a good idea to decide where you want to indulge and where you're okay doing with less. For example, maybe you're happy to stay in budget accommodations to make sure you have enough money for an expensive, once-in-a-lifetime activity. By making this a conscious decision, you can enjoy your splurges while knowing that you're making financially sound decisions that you can afford.</p> <h2>3. Consider Costs at Your Destination</h2> <p>The cost of travel can vary greatly in different countries, or even in different regions of the country where you live. For instance, you're going to need to plan a much bigger budget for a trip to New York City than for upstate New York. Websites such as PriceOfTravel.com and BudgetYourTrip.com can give you ballpark figures for travel costs in various destinations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">40 Most Useful Travel websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a>)</p> <p>You'll need to factor in the price of transportation to the destination and on the ground while you're there, plus accommodations, activities, and food. Be sure to check if you've earned any free travel through airline, hotel or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card rewards programs</a>. That could significantly reduce your trip costs. Credit card perks such as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">free rental car insurance</a> can also help leave more breathing room in your budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-get-free-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Easy Ways to Get Free Travel</a>)</p> <p>Generally speaking, the Internet can be useful in figuring out approximate costs at your destination. However, keep in mind that larger booking sites may only list more expensive hotels and tours. Smaller mom and pop type businesses won't necessarily be included. Check out reputable travel blogs, online forums, and guidebooks for accurate information on less expensive, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-secrets-to-eating-great-food-for-cheap-while-traveling?ref=internal" target="_blank">off-the-beaten-path options</a>.</p> <p>Just make sure to look at when your resources were published and try to get the most up-to-date information. Prices can change quickly, and using outdated information in your budget could set you up for a nasty surprise when you get to your destination. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</a>)</p> <h3>Known Expenses</h3> <p>With this research, you'll find you can figure out most of your big expenses in advance.</p> <p>If you're booking your accommodations ahead of time, it will be easier to factor into your budget since you will have an exact amount before you leave home. If you're going to book things as you go, you'll have to use your research to estimate what you will spend per night on average.</p> <p>Some expenses go hand-in-hand. For instance, knowing whether your accommodations will have a kitchen can help you better estimate your food budget: Will you be going out for every meal, or cooking some of the time? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-14-best-ways-to-cut-food-costs-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Ways to Cut Food Costs While Traveling</a>)</p> <p>Consider, too, whether you want to set aside some money for souvenirs and gifts, and be sure to factor in these expenses as well.</p> <h3>Unknown Expenses</h3> <p>You will also want to budget some money for unexpected expenses, which could include a health emergency while you're traveling or just the ability to splurge on something you hadn't necessarily planned on.</p> <p>Assign an amount that feels comfortable to you and include this extra padding on your travel budget so that you avoid coming up short.</p> <p>Trip planning doesn't just involve an itinerary and wish list of activities and sights. Creating a comprehensive travel budget will help you get excited for an awesome trip, while giving you the confidence that your travel is financially sound.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-build-your-best-travel-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%20to%20Build%20Your%20Best%20Travel%20Budget.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Build%20Your%20Best%20Travel%20Budget" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Build%20Your%20Best%20Travel%20Budget.jpg" alt="How to Build Your Best Travel Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget">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/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</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/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel">12 Expert Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel</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/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid</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/7-easy-ways-to-budget-for-summer-vacation">7 Easy Ways to Budget for Summer Vacation</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/heres-how-a-spending-ban-can-help-and-hurt-you">Here&#039;s How a Spending Ban Can Help (and Hurt) You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel accommodations Airfare expenses hotels miles rewards saving money travel costs trip planning Mon, 02 Jan 2017 10:30:24 +0000 Nick Wharton 1864426 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Get the Most From Your Next Hotel Stay http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-get-the-most-from-your-next-hotel-stay <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-get-the-most-from-your-next-hotel-stay" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_hotel_breakfast_64805397.jpg" alt="Couple getting the most from their hotel stay" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on ways to get the most from your next hotel stay, the myths and realities of &ldquo;doing what you love&rdquo;, and enterprising ways to make money from Pokémon Go.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://bargainbriana.com/3-ways-to-get-the-most-from-your-hotel-stay/">3 Ways to Get the Most From Your Hotel Stay</a> &mdash; Before you arrive, call the hotel to see they provide for free. This way, you know what toiletries and supplies you'll need to bring and what you can leave at home. [Bargain Briana]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/the-myths-and-realities-of-doing-what-you-love/">The Myths and Realities of &lsquo;Doing What You Love&rsquo;</a> &mdash; Don't expect to love a job 100% of the time. No matter what your job, there will always be tasks that you don't enjoy. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://fitzvillafuerte.com/12-enterprising-ways-make-money-pokemon-go.html">12 Enterprising Ways to Make Money from Pokémon Go</a> &mdash; Business owners have discovered a number of different ways to make money from Pokémon Go, but you don't have to have a business to benefit from the game's popularity. [Ready To Be Rich]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2016/0731/Flying-to-Europe-Go-through-the-Dublin-Airport">Flying to Europe? Go through the Dublin Airport.</a> &mdash; Direct flights to Dublin are the cheapest in Europe, and you won't have to worry about changing currencies or language issues. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Bed-Bath-Beyond-Facts-42160248#photo-42160248">5 Little-Known Facts Bed Bath &amp; Beyond Shoppers Will Love</a> &mdash; Did you know that Bed Bath &amp; Beyond Inc. also owns Cost Plus World Market, buybuy BABY, Christmas tree Shops, Harmon Stores, Of a Kind, and One Kings Lane? [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://productivitytheory.com/productivity-in-the-workplace/">Productivity In The Workplace: 5 Ways To Take It To A New Level</a> &mdash; Want to be more productive at work? First, you have to know exactly how unproductive you are. [Productivity Theory]</p> <p><a href="http://frugalbeautiful.com/blog/6-tactics-budget-savvy/">6 Tactics To A Better Wardrobe On A Budget</a> &mdash; Fashion trends distract you from having a gorgeous wardrobe that brings you confidence. [Frugal Beautiful]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thefrugaltoad.com/household/essential-tips-frugal-bedroom-makeover">Essential Tips for a Frugal Bedroom Makeover</a> &mdash; Soft neutral shades are more conducive to a relaxing atmosphere, so stick to subdued tones for your bedroom's color scheme. [The Frugal Toad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mydollarplan.com/skip-these-expenses-to-cut-your-spending/">Skip These Expenses to Cut Your Spending</a> &mdash; If you usually cut your hair once a month, can you try letting it grow for another week or two before your next cut? Stretching it to 6 weeks means you just saved 4 trips a year. [My Dollar Plan]</p> <p><a href="http://patverettosfrugalliving.blogspot.com/2016/08/create-prescription-bottle-sewing-kit.html">Create a Prescription Bottle Sewing Kit</a> &mdash; A prescription bottle is small enough to fit in any purse and large enough to hold everything you need for a basic sewing kit. [Pat Veretto's Frugal Living Blog]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-get-the-most-from-your-next-hotel-stay">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/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/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</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-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel best money tips hotels Wed, 10 Aug 2016 10:00:16 +0000 Amy Lu 1769108 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Things to Leave Behind During Your Midsummer Trip http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_85572493_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="Leave these things home on vacation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With the price of travel going up and the amount of luggage you can carry going down, packing can no longer be a last-minute activity. Spend time making sure you don't bring anything you don't need. When I traveled home for a month after spending a year in New Zealand, I only had a backpack, which contained everything I needed &mdash; including a first aid kit.</p> <p>Here are some obvious (and not so obvious) items to leave at home when you head out of town. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-useful-items-hotels-usually-provide-for-free?ref=seealso">14 Useful Items Hotels Usually Provide for Free</a>)</p> <h2>1. Coffee/Tea/Coffee Maker</h2> <p>Almost everywhere you go, whether it be a hotel or an Airbnb, will likely have coffee, tea, and something to make it in. If you're going for an Airbnb or VRBO, make sure to check the description or send a message to the owner to see what is available.</p> <h2>2. Towels</h2> <p>Unless you're in <em>Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy</em>, you don't need a towel when you travel. Make sure towels are provided ahead of time, as some hostels don't provide them. A friend and I didn't make sure we had enough towels when we went to Paris and we had to use hand towels. Check ahead!</p> <h2>3. Full-Sized Toiletries</h2> <p>Don't bring full-sized toiletries with you, because you absolutely don't need them. The 3-oz. rule is applicable only for carry-ons, but you should implement it either way. Buy a small refillable bottle that you can use over and over. I have one for every toiletry and refill it whenever I need to. Make sure they're labeled though. I have been known to style my hair with face wash.</p> <h2>4. Hair Dryers and Irons</h2> <p>Hair dryers and irons are usually provided in hotels and most other rental places. If you can't find them in your room, call down to the front desk. While you're at it, they also usually have toothpaste, toothbrushes, sewing kits, and a myriad of other things you might've forgotten.</p> <h2>5. Full-Sized Pillows</h2> <p>There is absolutely no need for a full-sized pillow on a trip, and even most hostels will provide these. Pillows can be cumbersome and difficult to stuff into a bag. Again, make sure to check a website or call the place you're staying to make sure a pillow is available. I don't even travel with my travel pillow anymore, because besides the during plane ride, I don't use it.</p> <h2>6. Workout Clothes</h2> <p>Unless you actually plan on working out, bringing an extra pair of sneakers, socks, and workout clothes just takes up room in your bag. I've taken these multiple times on business trips and I've only used them once. In general, make sure you're only taking what you need or that you'll actually use what you take.</p> <h2>7. Uncomfortable Shoes</h2> <p>Unless you're in a wedding or attending a gala, taking uncomfortable shoes on a trip makes no sense. There are plenty of cute, comfortable options besides the four inch heels you were thinking about taking. Plan ahead and make sure you won't need them, and if not, leave them in your closet.</p> <h2>8. Speakers</h2> <p>Most hotels provide bluetooth or iPhone speakers, so you don't need to bring your own. If you're traveling to a hostel, having speakers can be rude because of thin walls and shared rooms. Check with your Airbnb and VRBO host to see if they have speakers. Taking an audio cord isn't a bad idea though, as sometimes I've noticed the speakers in my hotel room only work with the first version of the iPhone.</p> <h2>9. Expensive Items</h2> <p>Be it jewelry, bags, or computers &mdash; don't pack anything you don't actually need. Not only do you have the chance to lose them, but someone might steal them from your room. The most recent Powerball winners from Tennessee took their winning ticket all the way to the <em>Today Show</em> in New York before cashing it in back in Tennessee. Don't do that.</p> <h2>10. Credit Cards, Social Security Cards, or Other Important Documents</h2> <p>If you're not traveling abroad, don't take your passport. If you don't need your work credit card, don't take it. There should be no real reason to have your Social Security card or birth certificate on you. The reason to not take these items is simple: Replacing them can be a nightmare.</p> <p><em>What do you leave at home when you travel?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%20Things%20to%20Leave%20Behind%20During%20Your%20Midsummer%20Trip.jpg&amp;description=10%20Things%20to%20Leave%20Behind%20During%20Your%20Midsummer%20Trip" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Things%20to%20Leave%20Behind%20During%20Your%20Midsummer%20Trip.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jennifer-holder">Jennifer Holder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip">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/25-ways-to-have-the-best-cheapest-summer-vacation">25 Ways to Have the Best, Cheapest Summer Vacation</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/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</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/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</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/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Shopping Travel amenities hotels midsummer travel summer vacation travel checklist travel hacks vacation Tue, 05 Jul 2016 09:30:26 +0000 Jennifer Holder 1743313 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Travel Hacks for an Affordable Summer Road Trip http://www.wisebread.com/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_camera_car_38688948.jpg" alt="Woman using travel hacks on summer road trip" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A family road trip can be an amazing bonding experience and memory builder with your kids. It can also be really expensive when you start adding up fuel, lodging, and entertainment costs. But with just a little bit of planning and forethought, you can easily save a big chunk of change and actually end up seeing more sights for less. Here are the secrets you need to know to plan an amazing road trip adventure this summer. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-road-trips?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">Best Credit Cards to Use on Road Trips</a>)</p> <h2>1. Plan With Roadtrippers</h2> <p>When it comes to planning your summer road trip, be sure to use technology to your advantage and download the&nbsp;<a href="https://roadtrippers.com/">Roadtrippers</a> app (free for&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/roadtrippers-road-trip-planner/id944060491">iOS</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.roadtrippers">Android</a>). Not only will it save you money by helping you find lodging deals, but it'll keep you organized and let you plan your trek one day at a time.</p> <p>Once planned, you can even share your road trip across devices and with friends so they can add itinerary suggestions to make it even more memorable. Perhaps the coolest feature of the app is the ability to help you find quirky roadside attractions as you approach them. After all, any experienced road tripper will tell you that some of the most memorable moments are made when finding fun stops along the way to your final destination.</p> <h2>2. Book Hotels Directly and Save</h2> <p>When planning your summer trip this year, consider calling hotels directly to book your room. Online booking sites like Expedia and Orbitz charge hotels a 10%&ndash;15% fee, so many hotels would rather bypass these sites entirely and book directly with you. But before you call, check the travel sites to see the hotel's current rate. Then when you call, politely ask if the hotel can beat that rate by 10%. In many cases, they'll happy beat their online rate and even throw in some free upgrades like a better room or beverage and food credits.</p> <h2>3. VRBO Last-Minute Savings Trick</h2> <p>Vacation Rentals by Owner, also known as&nbsp;<a href="https://www.vrbo.com/">VRBO</a>, puts travelers in direct contact with homeowners looking to rent out their houses, condos, or apartments. If you shop around carefully, roadtrippers can score some great deals, often cheaper than hotels, which are typically much more accommodating for a larger family.</p> <p>But if a homeowner doesn't rent out a particular weekend, they don't make a penny from their vacation rental. So as a smart roadtripper, use this information to your advantage when making your initial VRBO inquiry. Politely ask about the possibility of a 15% discount on the asking nightly rate, especially when inquiring about a last-minute stay. In many cases, homeowners will jump all over this and happily give you a last-minute discount to avoid their place sitting empty. By &quot;last-minute,&quot; I mean within a week of your arrival, as that's when reality sets in for most homeowners that their place is probably going to sit empty.</p> <h2>4. AAA Premier Membership</h2> <p>There's no arguing the fact that an AAA membership provides great peace of mind when hitting the road for a long trip, especially with a family. Emergency roadside assistance like towing after a breakdown, tire changes, and battery jumpstarts are just a few of their useful services. But when planning a long summer road trip, look into upgrading to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.aaa.com/aaa/045/pioneer/membership/premier/comparison.htm">AAA Premier</a> membership for $118 annually, up from $58 for the basic membership. This is because Premier comes with up to 200 miles of towing, $1,500 for meals/lodging in the event of a breakdown, and 100 miles of emergency medical transportation.</p> <p>Last summer, I upgraded to AAA Premier just before embarking on a long road trip across the western U.S. with my parents' RV. Sure enough, the RV broke down 75 miles west of Needles, CA on a 115 degree day in the Mojave Desert. Not only did we get a free 75 mile tow, but all lodging and food was paid for as we waited for a new fuel pump to be delivered and installed. AAA ended up reimbursing us close to $700 for the trip interruption. This year I simply downgraded our membership back to the basic, but I'll definitely upgrade it again before our next long road trip.</p> <p>Also, don't forget about AAA discounts that will save you money on hotels, airfare, rental cars, shopping, and entertainment. By getting in the habit of always inquiring about an AAA discount, you can easily pay for your annual basic membership of $58.</p> <h2>5. GasBuddy App</h2> <p>If you're not arming your smartphone with the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gasbuddy.com/">GasBuddy app</a> (free for&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gasbuddy-find-cheap-gas-prices/id406719683">iOS</a> and&nbsp;<a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gbis.gbandroid">Android</a>) before you leave home, you're bound to overpay at the pump. Not only does the app help you find the cheapest gas stations along your journey, but you'll even earn points for reporting gas prices that could you score you a free $100 gas card. A good GasBuddy strategy is to access the app when your tank gets about a quarter full and search for upcoming gas stations. By doing it this way, and not waiting until your &quot;get gas&quot; light comes on, you'll be able to take advantage of a larger radius of stations and ensure the lowest price per gallon.</p> <h2>6. Drive Early in the Day</h2> <p>Another trick that I learned on our last family road trip was to hit the road early. This allows you to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and fresher eyes for the driver. If you can start your driving by 6 or 7 a.m., not only will you be able to keep the A/C off and enjoy the cool morning air, but you'll be much less likely to overheat your vehicle leading to potentially costly repairs. Not to mention the better gas mileage that you'll get by having the A/C turned off.</p> <p>Financial benefits aside, the early start typically makes it easier to drive long distances and avoids fatigued eyes as they day winds down. Plus, you'll end up at your next stop much earlier in the day, leaving you ample time to explore your surroundings.</p> <h2>7. Find Free Attractions</h2> <p>Perhaps the best way to save money on your next family road trip is to search for free, or almost free, attractions and activities that everyone will love. The best way to do this is to access&nbsp;<a href="http://www.roadtripradar.com/">RoadTripRadar</a> and tell them where you're headed and how far you're willing to travel off your route to see attractions. You can also pick the types of attractions you're interested in, things like museums, parks, farms, outdoor play areas, hiking trails, and camping &mdash; many of which are completely free of charge. Once you have your route all planned out, you can save it for later use, and even enhance it via YouTube videos and save it directly to your GPS unit via a satnav file. They currently support Garmin, TomTom, Navman, and Google Navigator.</p> <p><em>How do you save money when you load up the car and head out on a long road trip?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this Article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20Travel%20Hacks%20for%20an%20Affordable%20Summer%20Road%20Trip.jpg&amp;description=7%20Travel%20Hacks%20for%20an%20Affordable%20Summer%20Road%20Trip" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Travel%20Hacks%20for%20an%20Affordable%20Summer%20Road%20Trip.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip">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/25-ways-to-have-the-best-cheapest-summer-vacation">25 Ways to Have the Best, Cheapest Summer Vacation</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/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</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-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip">10 Things to Leave Behind During Your Midsummer Trip</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/little-road-trips-here-and-there-little-savings-everywhere">Little Road Trips Here and There: Little Savings Everywhere</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/8-great-cheap-summer-vacations">8 Great, Cheap Summer Vacations</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Travel AAA driving expedia hotels Orbitz road trips summer vacation tourism travel deals vrbo Wed, 15 Jun 2016 09:30:42 +0000 Kyle James 1728424 at http://www.wisebread.com Does It Make Sense to Stay in a Hotel Anymore? http://www.wisebread.com/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_hammock_beach_000031567486.jpg" alt="Couple wondering if it makes sense to stay in a hotel" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Staying in a hotel isn't necessarily the cheapest option, especially when you're staying in a big city, like New York City. However, before you book that apartment on Airbnb, you should consider the various advantages of staying in a hotel.</p> <h2>Discounts Are Available</h2> <p>Airbnb is <a href="https://www.busbud.com/blog/airbnb-vs-hotel-rates/">not always the cheapest option</a>. Depending on where you stay, it may actually be more affordable to book a hotel. It can be very affordable to stay at a hotel using discounts, promo codes, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">hotel loyalty programs</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">credit card reward programs</a>, and express deals on bidding sites. While you may be able to get a promo code for your very first day on Airbnb, there generally aren't any promo codes available for short-term rentals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources?ref=seealso">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a>)</p> <h2>You Can Complain</h2> <p>When you have a complaint at a hotel, all you have to do is call down to the lobby and let them know. If you want to take it one step further, you can ask to speak with a manager. This will usually result in discounts, upgrades, and just about whatever you ask for.</p> <p>When it comes to Airbnb, there is really nobody to complain to. If you are unhappy with your stay, you're stuck there anyways. At the end of your trip, if things don't go as planned, you may get a full or partial refund on your stay at a hotel. However, if you're booking a short-term rental, you likely won't get a discount.</p> <h2>You Only Have to Deal With Professionals</h2> <p>With Airbnb, you will likely have to deal with the hosts &mdash; before you book your trip and throughout your stay. Some hosts can be less than welcoming or accommodating. At a hotel, your interaction with hotel staff should be minimal, and they are expected to act in a professional, corporate manner.</p> <h2>You Can Enjoy Special Extras</h2> <p>You can expect a number of special extras when you stay at a hotel. These same extras aren't usually included in a short-term rental stay. Some of the most common extras you can often receive from a hotel include:</p> <ul> <li>Free soaps and shampoos (so you don't have to waste your own);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Endless clean towels and linen;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Special treatment on special occasions (let them know if it's your birthday, honeymoon, or anniversary so that they go the extra mile for your trip);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Fitness room or spa;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Business center;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Hotel bar or restaurant;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Continental breakfast or buffet.</li> </ul> <h2>Hotels May Be Cleaner</h2> <p>We've all heard the horror stories of black light findings and rumors of how filthy hotel rooms can be. However, have you considered how clean an Airbnb apartment may be? The owners aren't held to any standards, so you may be sleeping in a bed with dirty linen or using old towels.</p> <p>At a hotel, you can expect daily housekeeping, whereas with Airbnb, you're on your own to make the bed, empty the trash, and clean up after yourself. This can result in a tidy hotel versus an unkempt and unorganized Airbnb apartment.</p> <h2>Hotels May Be Safer</h2> <p>When it comes to a hotel, only the front desk and housekeeping should have a key to your room, so you can rest assured that no one should be coming in at night. On the other hand, with Airbnb, you have no idea how many people have the key to the apartment you're staying in, which may might you feel uneasy at night. Hotels also usually have security on the premises, security cameras, computerized door entry cards, and even room safes for enhanced security.</p> <h2>Hotels Are More Relaxing</h2> <p>Staying at a hotel feels more like a vacation from everyday life. It is a break from the normal daily grind. On the other hand, staying in someone's home on Airbnb may feel more like staying at home, with similar responsibilities.</p> <h2>Flexible Stays</h2> <p>You can book a hotel room for as little as one night, whereas with Airbnb, you usually have to book multiple nights. If you are expecting a late night arrival, a hotel is usually very flexible with the check-in time, whereas an Airbnb apartment usually has early check-in times that cannot be negotiated.</p> <h2>Local Assistance</h2> <p>Many avid travelers have made the case for Airbnb that staying in someone's home will allow you to find local favorites and get expert recommendations from your host. However, you can get the same experience from a hotel. Simply ask the concierge for recommendations, directions, and advice about the area. Staying in a downtown or metro area will also automatically put you in touch with some of the best things the area has to offer.</p> <h2>You Get What You Pay For</h2> <p>If you don't get what you see in the hotel's description, you can simply complain and they'll have to hold up to their end of the deal. On the other hand, Airbnb descriptions and photographs can be very misleading, so you don't always get what you're expecting.</p> <h2>Is Airbnb Still the Best Choice?</h2> <p>There are still a number of important reasons to consider short-term rentals. According to Priceonomics, compared to the average hotel room, you can <a href="http://priceonomics.com/hotels/">save up to 50%</a> by renting a private room on Airbnb, and up to 22% by renting an apartment on Airbnb. Those are substantial savings. You'll also have access to an entire apartment, including a kitchen and living area, as opposed to just a cramped hotel room. If you'll be staying in a popular area, like New York City, make sure to carefully weigh your options to determine if a hotel or Airbnb is right for you.</p> <p><em>Do you know of other reasons to stay in a hotel? Have you had experiences at a hotel or Airbnb you'd like to share? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fdoes-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FDoes%20It%20Make%20Sense%20to%20Stay%20in%20a%20Hotel%20Anymore-.jpg&amp;description=Does%20It%20Make%20Sense%20to%20Stay%20in%20a%20Hotel%20Anymore%3F" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Does%20It%20Make%20Sense%20to%20Stay%20in%20a%20Hotel%20Anymore-.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore">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/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</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/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</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/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</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/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accomodations AirBnb apartments hotels loyalty programs renting trips vacations Mon, 06 Jun 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1718095 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Save on Accommodations Online http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000049917430_Large_0.jpg" alt="saving on travel accommodations online" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The online accommodation landscape is changing quickly. New websites are popping up every day, each with a unique way to search for different types of lodging. But sometimes sites like Airbnb have hefty service charges, while booking engines like Expedia and Booking.com often take a 25% cut from the hotel, which is sometimes passed on to the guests. I've traveled for over six years and have stayed in over 400 different hotels, hostels, and apartments around the world, and I've found a few ways to get cheaper (or even free) accommodation online. Here they are.</p> <h2>1. Try House Sitting</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-landing-the-perfect-house-sitting-gig">idea of house sitting</a>, while gaining traction, is still very foreign to most people. When I tell people that I've house sat in beachfront villas on the Caribbean Sea and in casitas in the jungles of Costa Rica, they often expect that I knew the owners or that I've somehow solicited myself door-to-door.</p> <p>The fact is, finding beautiful homes to house sit all around the world is easier today than it's ever been, thanks to websites like <a href="http://www.trustedhousesitters.com/">TrustedHouseSitters.com</a>. This site has the largest collection of available house sitting jobs on the web and it's really easy to get started.</p> <p>All you have to do is sign-up for their yearly service ($8.25 per month) and you'll have access to thousands of potential house sitting gigs around the world. I've seen everything from mountain top bungalows in Fiji, to vineyards in France, and even castles in the UK. It seems too good to be true, but it's really not.</p> <p>To better your chances of landing that perfect job, create a profile with your picture and a brief write-up about yourself, get some reviews from other people you've house sat for in the past, and complete a police check (usually done at your local police station for a fee).</p> <p>Once you've created your profile, you'll receive an email in your inbox every couple of days with potential house sitting jobs. Then all you have to do is wait until there's one that suits your needs, send the owner a message, and hope to get chosen!</p> <p>If you are chosen, you typically do a quick Skype call and then a few weeks later, you'll be flying off to your temporary dream home... where you'll stay for free.</p> <p>Usually the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-400-a-week-as-a-pet-sitter">listings include pet sitting</a>, so you'll have to take care of an animal during your stay, but sometimes there aren't any pets and you just get the house to yourself. The jobs typically don't pay, but we have had some experiences where the owners give us a small salary for staying.</p> <h2>2. Use Local Property Sites</h2> <p>When big companies like Expedia and Airbnb charge a fee to the hotel or apartment owners, that cost is usually passed on to you, the guest. To avoid this, you can sometimes find the name of the property owner on these sites, and then run a Google search to see if you can find the same property listed on a local website.</p> <p>Local websites generally have much lower fees, so you can potentially save 10%-15% off of the total cost of your accommodation. In Malta, for example, you can find many apartments online through large websites, but Malta also has a few locally run sites like <a href="http://shortletsmalta.com/">ShortLetsMalta.com</a>, where you can find the same properties much cheaper. In Guatemala, there's <a href="http://rentalsatitlan.com/">Atitlan Solutions</a>, and in pretty much every town or country, there's a local website that will have cheaper accommodations than the big search sites.</p> <h2>3. Contact the Owner Directly</h2> <p>This is a particularly good trick if you're looking for short let apartments around the world. The way to contact the owner directly is similar to finding local websites in the previous tip. You just have to go into Airbnb or Villas.com and find a place you like, then look at the owner profile and see if they list their name or the name of their property management company.</p> <p>Once you have that, you can run a Google search to see if you can find the owner directly online. Sometimes they have their own website for the property, and sometimes they don't. If they don't have a website, they probably won't show up in Google, but there's another tactic you can use.</p> <p>Head to Facebook and search their name and the destination where the property is located. For example: &quot;John Doe Puerto Vallarta.&quot;</p> <p>Facebook will show a list of people by the same name in or around that city. You can match the person's profile photo to their picture on the booking site, and then send them a direct Facebook message asking them about the property.</p> <h2>4. Check the Hotel Website</h2> <p>A lot of hotels don't like the fact that when they have 100 rooms occupied in their establishment, they're paying 25% of their total revenue to big booking sites.</p> <p>This is why many hotels offer financial incentives for booking directly on their websites. Once you find a hotel on a booking site, consider running a Google search with the hotel name and see if you can go directly to their site.</p> <p>Compare the prices between the booking engine and the direct website and you'll often find that you can save upwards of 15% by booking directly with the hotel.</p> <h2>5. Haggle, Haggle, Haggle</h2> <p>Once you contact the local rental agency, the apartment owner, or the hotel's website, you can bargain. With hotels, they may not have as much leeway to give you more of a discount, but you can send the owner an email and ask for a percentage off the room rate if you're staying more than a couple nights.</p> <p>Usually with rental agencies and apartment owners, there's a fair amount of negotiating space. You can save a lot of money, especially considering that you'll already be saving the fees from the big booking sites. I rented an apartment in Malta for two months and I ended up saving nearly 30% of the cost by contacting them directly and bargaining for the price. It really works!</p> <h2>6. Consider Couch Surfing</h2> <p>Saving money is great, but free lodging is even better. The term &quot;couch surfing&quot; is becoming more mainstream, but there's still a misunderstanding of what's involved.</p> <p>Many people hear it and think, <em>I don't want to sleep on someone's couch!</em></p> <p>But in reality, there are thousands of couch surfing opportunities where you have your own room, a queen-sized bed, and even your own bathroom. Couch surfing is now a universal term for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free">staying in someone's home for free</a>, not just crashing in someone's living room.</p> <p>The great thing about couch surfing is that you get a real local experience when traveling to a new destination. What better way to immerse yourself in the culture than by staying in a local's home?</p> <p>To start couch surfing, head to <a href="https://www.couchsurfing.com/">CouchSurfing.com</a> and sign-up for free. You can then browse through 400,000+ hosts around the world, and in no time at all, you can arrange to stay with somebody overseas. It's a great service.</p> <h2>7. Try Home Exchange</h2> <p>Another great way to get free accommodation is to do a home exchange. Made famous by the 2006 movie: <em>The Holiday</em>, home exchanges are a really cool concept. Head to <a href="http://www.lovehomeswap.com/">LoveHomeSwap.com</a>, sign up for $20 per month, and start swappin'!</p> <p>Of course, some downsides of this option are that you have to own a home, and you have to be willing to let a stranger stay in your home in exchange for getting to stay in theirs. But if it means you can fly to London and stay in the historical city for free... why not?</p> <h2>8. Check Out Volunteer Exchange</h2> <p>Websites like <a href="http://workaway.info/">WorkAway.info</a> and <a href="https://www.helpx.net/">HelpX</a> also offer travelers a great way to earn free accommodations all around the world, while helping out the local communities along the way. Basically it's an exchange. You sign up for a fee and then you have access to all of the volunteer opportunities on the website, and there thousands in over 135 countries.</p> <p>Browse through the listings, find a rewarding placement, and enjoy free accommodations (and sometimes food) in return for your services. Whether you decide to work on organic farms in South America, teach children in Asia, or help out at orphanages in Africa, your lodging will be earned, but the experience will be priceless.</p> <p><em>Have you tried any of these accommodation hacks? Let us know in the comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Accommodations%20Online.jpg&amp;description=8%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Accommodations%20Online" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Accommodations%20Online.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online">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/flashback-friday-40-best-budget-friendly-travel-tips-ever">Flashback Friday: 40 Best Budget-Friendly Travel Tips Ever</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/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</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/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers</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/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</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-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accommodations hotel deals hotels save money travel hacks travel tips Mon, 23 May 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Nick Wharton 1714250 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Ways to Save Big at Hotels http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-save-big-at-hotels <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-save-big-at-hotels" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_laptop_hotel_000046691626_0.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to save big at hotels" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found helpful articles on ways to save money at hotels, great options for selling your clothes, and simple tips forå people who eat alone.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Save-Hotels-41178939">17 Ways to Save Money at Hotels</a> &mdash; Tell the hotel if you're traveling for your birthday or anniversary. You may be eligible for a bottle of champagne or even a free upgrade. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://frugalbeautiful.com/blog/spring-cleaning-hacks-options-selling-clothes/">Spring Cleaning Hacks: Best Options for Selling Your Clothes</a> &mdash; Tradesy is a good option for higher end items, like a Louis Vuitton bag or Marc Jacobs jeans. [Frugal Beautiful]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bestkeptself.com/2016/05/02/5-simple-tips-busy-people-eat-alone/">5 simple tips for busy people who eat alone</a> &mdash; Spend less time in the kitchen by cooking enough for two meals. You can give leftovers new energy by adding fresh veggies. [Best Kept Self]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/money-tips/save-your-bucks-at-the-ballpark/">Save Your Bucks at the Ballpark!</a> &mdash; Games with giveaway items are usually marked up, so avoid these if you want a deal. Check your team's schedule, pick a non-promo game, and buy tickets ahead of time. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://sustainablog.org/2016/05/smart-recycling-tips-sensible-home-owners/">Smart Recycling Tips for Sensible Home Owners</a> &mdash; Don't know what to do about your old furniture? There are professional teams that can help your furniture find its best use, whether it's resale, recycling, or donation. [Sustainablog]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2016/05/01/10-powerful-mantras-to-stop-you-from-judging-people/">10 Powerful Mantras to Stop You from Judging People</a> &mdash; Remember that we all take different roads toward fulfillment and joy. Someone who isn't on your road is not necessarily lost. [Marc &amp; Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/15-surprising-qualities-of-creative-geniuses/">15 Surprising Qualities of Creative Geniuses</a> &mdash; Creative geniuses fail well. They know that failure can provided a useful learning experience. [Pick The Brain]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/blog/5-warning-signs-may-much-stress-life/">5 Warning Signs You May Have Too Much Stress In Your Life</a> &mdash; When we feel like we're losing control, we actually try to control even more in our lives. Usually, that ends up being the people around us. [Change Your Thoughts]</p> <p><a href="http://www.theorderexpert.com/why-now-is-the-right-time-to-get-started-on-your-goals/">Why Now is the Right Time to Get Started on Your Goals</a> &mdash; Life is always changing. If you don't start on your goals now, you may become distracted or sidetracked and never get to your goals at all. [The Order Expert]</p> <p><a href="https://due.com/blog/shortcuts-for-entrepreneurs/">3 Shortcuts for Entrepreneurs Who Want to Get Profitable FAST</a> &mdash; Find a mentor who will give you solid advice on your business venture. Your greatest resource is the human brain! [Due.com]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-save-big-at-hotels">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/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/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</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-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel best money tips hotels Thu, 05 May 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Amy Lu 1703706 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_on_vacation_000069738815.jpg" alt="Friends finding spring break budget busters to avoid" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Planning to whoop it up on spring break? Let your fun flag fly without obliterating your bank account by avoiding these getaway budget busters.</p> <h2>1. Lodging</h2> <p>Even now that I'm in my mid-30s (that's the first time I've written that &mdash; gimme a minute), I still prefer inexpensive lodging to high-end hotels when I travel, at least when it's on my own dime. As an alternative, I opt for short-term apartment rentals (like Airbnb or VRBO) or even crash with friends to help save a ton of money that, when you think about it, I'm just sleeping away.</p> <p>Anita Covic, destination specialist TripTogether, a travel site that helps travelers meet other travelers, also thinks this route is the way to go.</p> <p>&quot;Cutting costs doesn't have to be stressful, and one of the biggest costs that can be cut is lodging,&quot; she says. &quot;Personally, I think hostels are a great alternative to expensive hotels. Airbnb is a great option for a large group of people. Eating out can add up as well. Try booking a hostel or Airbnb [rental] with a kitchen and stock up on groceries that can be easily converted to quick breakfasts and lunches.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Airfare</h2> <p>Save on airfare by knowing when to shop for plane tickets, and use a multifaceted approach by consulting discount sites and the airlines proper to see who offers the best price. You also can avoid spending full price for airfare by setting alerts for deals. If you happen to earn frequent flyer miles, check out the new award travel search engine <a href="http://pexportal.com">PEX+</a> to find the best price on an award ticket.</p> <h2>3. Eating Out</h2> <p>When you're on vacay, it's easy to get lax on your waistline and your wallet. Keep both of these areas in check by curbing your cravings for junk food (which might go hand in hand with those hangovers, by the way) while trying to make more of your meals wherever you're staying (made easier with a kitchen). Find ways to munch for free instead of popping into a restaurant, café, or fast-food joint for every meal.</p> <p>&quot;Dining out at new restaurants is one of the best parts of traveling, but there's no need to eat out three meals a day,&quot; reminds saving expert Andrea Woroch. &quot;Many hotels and hostels offer some sort of free breakfast, typically consisting of fruit, cereal, and pastries, which is plenty to start your day. Sandwiches are an easy meal to prepare in-room, which you can then pack as lunch for a day exploring the city. When looking for a spot to eat, use apps to track down coupons for nearby restaurants and search for daily dining deals via Groupon Now.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Alcohol</h2> <p>Oh, alcohol. It's the stuff that many great spring break memories are made of &mdash; but it can quickly take your budget from hero to zero if you're not careful. To reduce how much you're spending on booze, remember one word: pregame.</p> <p>&quot;Drinks at bars and restaurants are very expensive, so if you're planning to do some drinking, try to plan a get-together somewhere where you can bring your own alcohol &mdash; like someone's hotel room &mdash; before you go out,&quot; advises The Stave Diaries travel blogger Stefanie Parks. &quot;This way you can get your alcohol from a grocery or convenience store and won't have to splurge for more expensive drinks while you're out.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Entertainment and Activities</h2> <p>When you're traveling, you want to see and do as much as possible within your destination. However, an action-packed schedule comes with a cost. Before you embark, take time to review entertainment and activity options and identify those that are most important and affordable to you.</p> <p>&quot;There are plenty of free things you can do on your trip, like a day at the beach, viewing art galleries, or simply exploring city streets,&quot; Woroch says. &quot;You can even skip the pricey guided tours and take a self-guided walking tour for free. Print city guides from resources like <a href="http://citywalkingguide.com/">City Walking Guide</a> or download a walking tour guide on your mobile device using apps like <a href="https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/audio/audio-europe">Rick Steves Europe Travel</a> and <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/city-maps-walks-470+-cities/id417207307?mt=8">City Maps and Walks</a>.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Hidden Fees</h2> <p>The money trap is right there in the name &mdash; hidden fees &mdash; and these can add up to a substantial amount when all is said and done, slowly chipping away at your budget along the way.</p> <p>Saveful.com's Louis DeNicola details some of the more common offenders.</p> <p>&quot;Rental car companies can charge around $10/day for a collision damage waiver, but many credit cards include that coverage free of charge,&quot; he points out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=seealso">What Does Car Rental Insurance Really Cover On Your Credit Card?</a>)</p> <p>Travelers should also look for hidden hotel-related fees. Some hotels in popular tourist destinations charge a resort fee on top of the standard room rate. Hotels may offer extra perks, such as free Wi-Fi, to members of their loyalty program &mdash; even brand new members.</p> <p>&quot;Some hotels' minibars have weight sensors and you might get charged even if you didn't drink or eat anything,&quot; DeNicola adds. &quot;Review your bill before leaving the hotel.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Convenience-Store Goodies</h2> <p>When you have a packed spring break schedule of exciting activities, it's not only easy to eat out more than you normally would, but popping into convenience stores for quick snacking items also is more prevalent. Two dollars here and there for bottles of water, coffee, candy, and chips may seem like insignificant expenses, but if you're doing it every day, you'll find that you're wasting a decent chunk of change.</p> <p>&quot;Limit the excess you spend on drinks and snacks by packing fruit or granola bars and a refillable water bottle to stay fueled and hydrated during a long day of exploring,&quot; Woroch suggests.</p> <h2>8. Mobile Data</h2> <p>I recently traveled to Montreal for the New Year's holiday and I was conscious to turn off my mobile roaming and data as soon as we crossed the border from the United States into Canada. But would you believe that when I received my bill for that period there was $20 of international charges on it? Apparently I wasn't fast enough, or the networks got crossed as I approached the border, and I incurred the fees I was trying to avoid. And that was within seconds to minutes. Can you imagine what I would have been charged had I left it one for a few hours or days?</p> <p>Woroch warns against a similar situation.</p> <p>&quot;To avoid pricey data-overage fees, turn off pop-up notifications and use a <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/free-wifi-finder/id411134124?mt=8">Free Wi-Fi Finder</a> app to track down local hotspots. Otherwise, turn on your phone's Wi-Fi locator to find a free Internet connection wherever you are and take this time to post pictures and reply to emails.&quot;</p> <p>She also recommends downloading any maps you may need ahead of time.</p> <p>As an extra tip, if you have an experience like I did during my Montreal trip, be sure to give your wireless carrier a call to explain the situation. If you're a loyal customer, they may waive those minor, erroneous fees like they did for me, but you won't know unless you pick up the phone to fight it.</p> <h2>9. Photo Memories From Secondary Sources</h2> <p>Photo ops are everywhere these days, and there are plenty of companies that are cashing in on them, like pictures you get at the beach and those funny snapshots at the end of a thrill ride. Don't fall for it. You and every single person you know is armed with a phone at their fingertips. Set up backgrounds and strike your own poses to enjoy free shots that you can post to social media immediately or print when you get home.</p> <h2>10. Souvenirs</h2> <p>I have a rule at my house than nothing comes home from vacation that isn't either some form of art or a useful object &mdash; which means to say that no junk souvenirs, like spoons, shot glasses, and other bric-a-brac, are welcome. My photos are good enough memories of my time on vacation, and they help me save money, space in my luggage, and a backache from having to carry otherwise heavy objects.</p> <p>Blogger Barb Webb provides other easy ways to cut back on souvenir spending.</p> <p>&quot;Theme parks, hotels, and restaurants often have buttons, stickers, postcards, and other trinkets they gift for free to patrons,&quot; she says. &quot;Stop by the local tourism office and you'll find everything from free coloring books to posters and key chains to add to your souvenir collection. Also look for local extension agencies that will have free treasures like recipe cards, calendars, and other small items.&quot;</p> <p>To turn photos into more organized memories like I do, Woroch suggests using the <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/keepsayk-photo-books-instant/id884920246?mt=8">Keepsayk app</a> to organize pictures and create a photo book, or use deal sites like Coupon Sherpa to find coupon codes from photo book makers like Snapfish, which usually offers steep discounts.</p> <h2>11. Gas</h2> <p>Gas is affordable now, but we don't know where it will be in a few weeks or months when we're more on the go. Even while it's inexpensive, you still want to score the best deals possible.</p> <p>&quot;There are a few ways to reduce your fuel costs, including using the <a href="http://www.gasbuddy.com/App">GasBuddy</a> app to find the cheapest gas nearby; paying with cash to avoid the extra 10 cents for credit card charges; and using your warehouse club membership to save up to 30 cents per gallon at their fuel pumps,&quot; Woroch says.</p> <p>On a personal note, I've been visiting BP stations almost exclusively to fill up at the pump for a few months, and I use its loyalty card to rack up points. Just the other day, I received a generous kickback of $.63 per gallon &mdash; yes, you read that correctly &mdash; which resulted in a total savings of about $10 for a complete fill-up. My total cost was $18 and change for a full tank of premium gas, all because I swiped my loyalty card consistently. Totally worth the two seconds it takes.</p> <p><em>Are you headed away for spring break? How do you plan to save? Where will you splurge? I'd love to hear about your vacation plans in the comments below.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F11%20Spring%20Break%20Budget%20Busters%20to%20Avoid.jpg&amp;description=11%20Spring%20Break%20Budget%20Busters%20to%20Avoid" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/11%20Spring%20Break%20Budget%20Busters%20to%20Avoid.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></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/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">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-build-your-best-travel-budget">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</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-little-known-ways-to-save-when-booking-spring-travel">6 Little-Known Ways to Save When Booking Spring Travel</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-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</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-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</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-fun-affordable-train-trips">5 Fun, Affordable Train Trips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel Airfare alcohol budget busters food costs hotels overspending spring break trips vacation Thu, 24 Mar 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1678011 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things You Should Never Buy on Groupon or LivingSocial http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-buy-on-groupon-or-livingsocial <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-you-should-never-buy-on-groupon-or-livingsocial" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_stressed_computer_000081007957.jpg" alt="Man learning what not to buy on Groupon or Living Social" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Groupon and LivingSocial can save you a bundle on a lot of things &mdash; from restaurants to gifts to vacations. But these daily-deals sites aren't <em>always</em> the best bargain around. Check out these items you should steer clear of when shopping on these super-savings behemoths.</p> <h2>1. Makeup</h2> <p>I don't wear or buy makeup (okay, maybe a dab of concealer here and there; no shame in my fleek game), but I know well enough that you shouldn't buy makeup from third-party vendors. You don't know where it's been or possibly even what's in it, which can be very problematic when you're putting it on your face or generally have sensitive skin. It's just a good habit to practice buying your makeup directly from the source in safety-sealed packaging.</p> <p>Jenn Haskins, who writes popular fashion and beauty blog hellorigby.com, recently had an unfortunate experience with makeup she purchased on LivingSocial.</p> <p>&quot;I purchased makeup on LivingSocial that appeared to be an expensive makeup brand, but what I received instead was an unlabeled counterfeit product,&quot; she says. &quot;Luckily LivingSocial refunded me, but I definitely won't be making that mistake again.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Hotel Rooms</h2> <p>We all want to save as much as we can when we travel &mdash; myself included &mdash; so deeply discounted hotels on Groupon and LivingSocial are quite attractive. Sometimes they're a great buy, while other times you could be paying more for the room than if you had made a reservation directly through the hotel. Mike Catania, consumer savings blogger and co-founder of PromotionCode.org, provides more detail into the dynamics of renting hotels on daily deal sites.</p> <p>&quot;Because hotels only offer a limited number of rooms to a certain provider, Groupon/LivingSocial can offer them near cost because they're making the commission from the hotel for running the offer,&quot; he explains. &quot;If demand surges and you've already booked the hotel, you very well could save up to 40% off the available rate. Alternatively, if demand lags and the booking dates are approaching quickly, the hotel will drop the price beneath what they offered it to Groupon/LivingSocial and you could end up having paid a 20% premium for buying the Groupon/LivingSocial offer when they released it instead of waiting for the best time to buy.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Generic Gadgets and Tech</h2> <p>As a general rule, I tend to regard high-priced electronics and gadgets as higher quality than their less expensive counterparts. That's perhaps not true 100% of time, but I'd give it a solid 98% accuracy rating considering that I've typically had great experiences with tech that cost a pretty penny opposed to bargain buys. My philosophy gets a bit iffy, however, when Groupon and LivingSocial get into the mix. In fact, if the tech deal seems too good to be true on these sites, it probably is, says Kristin Cook, managing editor for BensBargains.com.</p> <p>&quot;Groupon and LivingSocial are notorious for rebranding generic items and giving them ridiculously high &quot;retail&quot; prices,&quot; she reveals. &quot;Before buying anything, do a quick Google Shopping search. If the only site selling the brand is Groupon, odds are high you can find the same item under its more generic name on eBay or Amazon.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Store Vouchers With Lots of Restrictions</h2> <p>When it comes to Groupon and LivingSocial vouchers with a long list of restrictions, buyer beware.</p> <p>I had an experience once with a carpet-cleaning service whose Groupon deal promised a $70 cleaning. What I didn't recognize until after the fact (because some of the details weren't even listed) was that there were additional charges for the type rug, size of the rug, and more. What I thought would save me money cost me way more than I anticipated &mdash; hundreds of dollars more, in fact, which was nearly the cost of a brand new rug &mdash; plus the service itself wasn't that great.</p> <p>&quot;Many stores include rules and restrictions making the voucher almost useless,&quot; Cook says. &quot;Specifically avoid vouchers that can't be used for items on sale or can't be applied to shipping/handling costs.&quot;</p> <p>In other words, read through all the restrictions before you buy the deal, and try not to let that low, low price suck you in without being fully informed.</p> <h2>5. Things That You Can Get for Cheaper &mdash; Or Even Free</h2> <p>It seems like a no-brainer to not pay for something you can get for free, but it's easy to overlook that fact when Groupon and LivingSocial are waving &quot;unbeatable&quot; deals in your face. Ultimately, however, your eagerness and laziness could cost you.</p> <p>Stefanie O'Connell, Millennial finance expert and author of <a href="http://amzn.to/1SRp8FW">The Broke and Beautiful Life</a>, talks about the time she found an awesome deal for a museum &mdash; except it wasn't really a deal at all.</p> <p>&quot;I live in New York City and love using Groupon as a resource for low cost activities, but I found one particular &quot;deal&quot; I stumbled across to be incredibly off-putting,&quot; she says. &quot;Groupon was advertising a deal for $18 admission to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The MET admission, however, is a suggested donation. The full suggested donation amount is $25, more than the $18 Groupon price &mdash; but it's still suggested donation, meaning you could just as easily give $18 directly to the MET, without Groupon taking any part of that cut.&quot;</p> <p>O'Connell's tip is probably the best tip when browsing Groupon or LivingSocial for deals &mdash; compare other existing prices to the advertised daily &quot;deal&quot; to ensure you're getting the best discount. Online coupon codes, discounts from direct-marketing emails, and other savings may work out better for you than the one-and-done approach you take when purchasing from Groupon or LivingSocial.</p> <p><em>What are some things you'd never buy on Groupon or LivingSocial? Have you ever been burned by these deal sites? Let's talk about it 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/5-things-you-should-never-buy-on-groupon-or-livingsocial">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/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</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/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</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-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes">How to Get a Groupon Refund When a Company Closes</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/these-secrets-of-amazons-pricing-strategy-will-help-you-find-the-best-buys">These Secrets of Amazon&#039;s Pricing Strategy Will Help You Find the Best 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/6-strange-ways-online-shopping-has-changed-the-world">6 Strange Ways Online Shopping Has Changed the World</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping coupon sites deals groupon hotels knock offs livingsocial online shopping rip offs too good to be true Wed, 23 Mar 2016 09:00:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 1675387 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Expert Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel http://www.wisebread.com/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_tropical_vacation_000045753702_0.jpg" alt="Woman using expert tips for redeeming miles for free travel" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A bite from the travel bug can be a pricey itch to scratch. While we've covered many ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers?ref=internal">travel the world for less</a>, one of the simplest ways to jetset on a dime is to take advantage of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal">credit cards that offer travel rewards</a>.</p> <p>Wondering how to get the most bang for your rewards mile buck? The experts weighed in and gave us 12 tips to get you travel-hacking like a pro.</p> <h2>1. Treat Yourself to International First Class</h2> <p>Flying business or first class on an international flight can cost tens of thousands of dollars. But in the wonderful world of rewards points, that luxury can be yours for only about twice the amount of miles you'd spend on an ordinary round-trip domestic flight. Ariana Arghandewal, who blogs about her years of travel-hacking experience at <a href="http://www.pointchaser.com/">Pointchaser</a>, has capitalized on this amazing value in a major way.</p> <p>&quot;I recently booked a vacation to Asia for myself and four family members, using a combination of points and miles,&quot; she shares. &quot;We traveled to Singapore, Bali, and Hong Kong in mixture of business and first class. The airfare alone would have set us back $12,000 per person. Instead, we redeemed just around 125,000 miles per person. We stayed at some of the best hotels in each city and received elite benefits like club lounge access and amazing room upgrades.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Book Award Tickets Immediately... Or at the Last Minute</h2> <p>This is a tip many travel-hackers agree on. When it comes to awards flights, timing is everything.</p> <p>Grant Thomas of <a href="http://travelwithgrant.com/">Travel With Grant</a>, a BoardingArea blog, explains: &quot;When it is time to search and book your award ticket, you have the greatest chance of success if you book way in the future (10&ndash;12 months before your flight) or last minute (one to two weeks before your flight). This does not work 100% of the time or during holiday travel, but it works pretty consistently.&quot;</p> <p>Daraius Dubash and Emily Jablon of <a href="http://millionmilesecrets.com/">Million Mile Secrets</a> echo this advice. They take it one step further in suggesting you book saver-level awards seats, which let you use a minimum amount of rewards points, as soon as you find them &mdash; they don't last long, especially for flights during peak times such as summer or during holidays.</p> <h2>3. Say Hello to the Avio</h2> <p>Jonathan Sacks, frequent jet-setter and blogger behind <a href="http://everybodyhatesatourist.net/">Everybody Hates a Tourist</a>, makes use of this great little hack involving the British Airways club currency, Avios. &quot;While everyone wants to redeem miles for exotic destinations, it can be hard to find those awards,&quot; Jonathan explains. &quot;For only 4500 Avios, you can fly on any Oneworld Alliance flight of up to 650 miles.&quot;</p> <p>This can be a killer way to score rewards flights on typically short, but pricey trips. You can earn Avios through the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-together-for-less-with-british-airways-visa-signature-credit-card">airline's co-branded card</a>, or by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">transferring points from participating rewards credit cards</a>.</p> <p>For those who aren't in the know, Oneworld Alliance is not just British Airways, either. This group of affiliate airlines includes American Airlines, Air Berlin, Japan Airlines, Quantas, LAN Airlines, and many others.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards">The Secret to Redeeming Travel Rewards with Airline Partners</a></p> <h2>4. Get Companion Pass Status</h2> <p>How cool would it be if your spouse, parent, or best friend could tag along on flights with you &mdash; for free? If it sounds too good to be true, it's not. Enter the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-domestic-frequent-flyer-program-southwest-airlines-rapid-rewards-premier-credit-card">Southwest Airlines Companion Pass</a>.</p> <p>This top-tier benefit is awarded to frequent fliers who accrue up to 110,000 qualifying points in one year with the airline's co-branded rewards card. Once you hit that milestone, your Companion Pass will let a travel partner of your choice fly free with you for the remainder of the calendar year <em>and </em>all of the next! Get your timing right, and that's almost two years of free flights.</p> <p>Robert McNamara, the Vagabond behind <a href="http://frugalvagabond.com/">The Frugal Vagabond</a>, is a big fan of the Companion Pass. &quot;My fiancé and I have traveled all over the U.S. and Mexico &mdash; me on miles, her on the Companion Pass &mdash; for only the cost of airport taxes,&quot; he says. &quot;In May, we traveled to Mexico for a total of $95 each in taxes, round trip! For domestic flights, those taxes come down to only $11 per person round trip! Unbeatable!&quot;</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-airline-companion-tickets-and-3-bad-ones">Best Credit Cards with Airline Companion Tickets</a></p> <h2>5. Forget Layovers... Enjoy a Stopover!</h2> <p>Stopovers give travelers the opportunity to literally stop and see the sights of a location en route to their final destination. While this can be a costly decision for conventional travel, it becomes a killer value when using rewards points. Drew Macomber, expert travel hacker, explains:</p> <p>&quot;Most miles allow you to stop in at least one other destination for as long as you want. Spend one week in London, and then one week in Rome... and it doesn't change the price of the ticket! If you did this with a revenue ticket it would increase the price a ton, but with most airlines, it doesn't cost any extra miles.&quot;</p> <p>Drew has a breakdown of airline stopover rules, including &quot;open jaws&quot; (flying between three cities with one leg of the journey open), on his blog, <a href="http://travelisfree.com/2014/12/04/list-of-airline-stopover-routing-rules/">Travel Is Free</a>.</p> <h2>6. Stay in Style</h2> <p>Rewards cards aren't just for miles. With a little research, you can find <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-free-hotel-status-upgrades">co-branded hotel rewards cards</a> that not only grant you frequent flyer miles, but free nights in any resort bearing their brand. Many also award killer freebies and extras when you hit certain spending requirements. Robert Winter of <a href="http://www.mylakecountrytravel.com/index.html">My Lake Country Travel</a> has scored an amazing value with this type of co-branded card.</p> <p>&quot;By spending just $2,500 in four months, [I got] a two-night weekend certificate and gold status,&quot; he says.&quot; &quot;This [got me] a $1200 per night room at the luxurious Conrad Maldives including daily breakfast and happy hour. I just used this award and it was amazing!&quot;</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards">Breakdown of Benefits and Value of the Best Hotel Rewards Programs and Credit Cards</a></p> <h2>7. Pick Up the Phone</h2> <p>Did you know that many airline websites don't show all of their affiliates in search results? Instead of trying to book your miles through the Internet, pick up the phone. Call the airline rewards program directly and ask them to do the booking for you.</p> <p>Kyle Zuvella, the travel-hacking pro behind <a href="http://thefarawayguide.com/about/">The Faraway Guide</a>, breaks it down:</p> <p>&quot;Let's face it: calling an airline is usually a terrible experience. But it also holds hidden value, because almost all airline agents can view partner airlines not shown on the website. This means that flyers have an immense amount of unrealized options when it comes to their itinerary. More options equals more potential for value.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Prepare for Peak Season</h2> <p>Peak seasons are a point of consideration for any form of travel. You should definitely consider time of year when using your miles, too. John Z. Wetmore, who travels frequently to film his public affairs TV series <a href="http://www.pedestrians.org/index.html">Perils for Pedestrians</a>, points out that much like when purchasing normal travel amenities, seasonal demand can totally change the value of a rewards mile.</p> <p>&quot;With American Airlines, a round trip to Europe is just 40,000 miles after the middle of October, versus 60,000 miles during the summer,&quot; he points out. Do a little homework to find out what time of year will net you the most value for your hard-earned points.</p> <h2>9. Watch Out for Fees</h2> <p>Wetmore also points out that in addition to costing you miles, a flight can also come with taxes, airport fees, and sometimes other arbitrary charges. That's money directly out of your pocket &mdash; and the more you spend, the less bargain you're really getting for your rewards miles. For example, booking through American Airlines partners (OneWorld Alliance) may require you to do a bit of price-comparison.</p> <p>&quot;American waits for you to select a flight before telling you the cash cost,&quot; John explains. &quot;You need to go back and forth to make sure you have the best deal.&quot;</p> <p>He also points out that British Airways is known for its higher-end fees. A point to consider.</p> <h2>10. Use Multiple Rewards to Steer Clear of Crazy Connections</h2> <p>As we all know, getting from Point A to Point B in an airplane can involve lots of annoying stops along the way. This is where accruing miles across different programs can be a lifesaver. Instead of being tethered to one airline or limited group of affiliates, you can look at several different options for getting to your destination in the shortest possible time, with the most straightforward connections.</p> <p>John Wetmore shares an example: &quot;If you want to fly from Hong Kong to Honolulu with the American Airlines program, they send you all the way back to the U.S. mainland, and then back to Hawaii. But United will send you from Hong Kong to Honolulu via Beijing, Seoul, or Tokyo, saving you many long hours of backtracking across half the Pacific.&quot;</p> <p>Look before you book.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-cards-have-the-best-travel-redemption-value">Which Credit Cards Have the Best Travel Redemption Value?</a></p> <h2>11. Join a Forum or Two</h2> <p>If you're new to the world of rewards miles and travel-hacking, you may want to connect with your fellow travelers online through forums or groups. This is a great way to pick up some insider tricks of the trade for earning points, netting the best redemption values, and finding amazing deals. Kristen Addis, investment banker turned lifestyle traveler behind <a href="http://www.bemytravelmuse.com/">Be My Travel Muse</a>, is a fan of online travel-hacking communities, even if you have to pay a fee to join.</p> <p>&quot;It's worth reading up on forums and joining groups that share travel-hacking strategies, so that you can maximize every dollar you spend in an intelligent way,&quot; she shares. &quot;It takes some time to learn the ropes, but it's worth the investment in order to get elite status for free.&quot;</p> <p>She points out the crazy-but-true story of the man who racked up <a href="http://gizmodo.com/how-an-engineer-earned-1-25-million-air-miles-by-buying-1339646546">1.25 million miles buying pudding</a>. Being in the know ahead of time will let you jump on great opportunities to rack up points before the issuing company realizes it's too good to be true.</p> <h2>12. Keep Track of Your Miles</h2> <p>Imagine the bummer of your miles expiring before you got to use them. Don't let that happen &mdash; it's money burned. Expert travel-hackers are unanimous in their diligence of carefully tallying and monitoring their rewards points, and many swear by <a href="https://awardwallet.com/?Register=1">AwardWallet</a>. Simply sign up, input your credit cards, and let AwardWallet alert you when your balance changes or points are nearing expiry. It even has accompanying (free!) apps for iOS and Android devices.</p> <p><em>How do you make the most of rewards miles?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F12%2520Expert%2520Tips%2520for%2520Redeeming%2520Miles%2520for%2520Free%2520Travel.jpg&amp;description=12%20Expert%20Tips%20for%20Redeeming%20Miles%20for%20Free%20Travel"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/12%20Expert%20Tips%20for%20Redeeming%20Miles%20for%20Free%20Travel.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-bellucco">Amanda Bellucco</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel">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/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</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/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</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/dont-make-these-6-credit-card-sign-up-bonus-mistakes">Don&#039;t Make These 6 Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus Mistakes</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-build-your-best-travel-budget">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</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-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Airline Miles Secrets Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel best value first class frequent flyers hotels miles points rewards travel hacking Wed, 28 Oct 2015 17:15:40 +0000 Amanda Bellucco 1601082 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000062614562_Double.jpg" alt="excited woman credit card miles trip" title="excited woman credit card miles trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A bite from the travel bug can be a pricey itch to scratch. While we here at Wise Bread are no strangers to teaching you ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers?ref=internal">travel the world for less</a>, one of the simplest ways to jetset on a dime is to take advantage of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal">credit cards that offer travel rewards</a>. Millions of people are able to fly and stay for free (or pretty close to it) thanks to the wonder of rewards miles.</p> <h2>How Credit Card Points Work</h2> <p>Travel credit cards come in many forms. Some are generic bank cards, while others are branded to partner with specific hotel chains or airlines and their affiliates. Despite what logo is printed on the plastic, the concept is the same; every time you (responsibly) swipe, you rack up rewards points to use toward a much-needed getaway. There is a seemingly endless variety of cards to choose from, each with their own benefits and features. With a little research, you're sure to find the perfect fit for you and your travel needs.</p> <p>Want in on this action? We're rounding up the smartest ways to get the most out of travel credit cards, with advice from some of the Internet's most experienced lifestyle travelers. Get earning!</p> <h2>1. Pick the Right Card</h2> <p>There are a few basic options to weigh for just about every travel credit card on the market. Almost always, one of the first points of interest will be the bonuses. A hefty sign-up bonus may be a marketing tool to reel you in, but they're often worth it &mdash; many will even cover the costs of a domestic flight in and of themselves. Matt Kepnes, blogger behind <a href="http://www.nomadicmatt.com">Nomadic Matt</a> and best-selling author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399173285/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0399173285&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=GMHP4EZMKIO7CAH6">How to Travel the World on $50 a Day</a>, is a big advocate of the sign-up bonus. &quot;I simply won't sign up for a card that doesn't at least give me 30,000 points when I sign up,&quot; he writes. &quot;Otherwise, it takes too long to get to a redemption.&quot;</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Current Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses for Miles</a></p> <p>Kepnes also encourages people to look at minimum spending amounts, annual fees, and points per dollar. If you have to spend a small fortune to earn your bonus, or only ever earn one point for every dollar you spend, it may take longer than you'd like for your miles to gain traction. He points out that having to pay an annual fee isn't necessarily a bad thing &mdash; and many of those cards make up for it in added features.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-annual-fees?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards with Annual Fees</a></p> <h2>2. Use the Card!</h2> <p>Earning points is not a set-it-and-forget-it type of deal. As long as you're vigilant about paying your credit card bill on time &mdash; and you should be &mdash; forego the cash and pay with plastic. Some travel credit cards even have their own shopping portal, letting you rack up additional rewards while making purchases through hundreds of partnering online retailers. And if you're a frequent flyer, using a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?ref=internal">co-branded airline credit card</a> will give a boost to your miles count and offer additional perks, too.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></p> <h2>3. Know That Points Are Not Created Equal</h2> <p>Not to confuse you, but rewards points are not on level playing fields across the board. There is no standard worth or conversion rate they all must fit, and 50,000 points on one card may be nowhere near the same as 50,000 points on another. Howie Rappaport at <a href="http://www.frugaltravelguy.com">Frugal Travel Guy</a> breaks down the difference between general credit card points and branded airline or hotel rewards cards:</p> <p>&quot;...To the untrained eye, 100,000 hotel points with Marriott may appear to have a similar value as 100,000 [Starwood Preferred Guest] points &mdash; in fact, they do not,&quot; he writes. &quot;The potential values of the hotel points aren't even close.&quot;</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-cards-have-the-best-travel-redemption-value?ref=seealso">Which Credit Cards Have the Best Travel Redemption Value?</a></p> <p>It's also a good idea to check out the free <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rewards.html">Wallaby</a> app. Wallaby will help you maximize your rewards and figure out when's the best time to use each of your cards.</p> <h2>4. Those Pesky Blackout Dates</h2> <p>Many hotels and airlines prohibit rewards travelers from using their points during certain times of the year. Generally, these &quot;blackout dates&quot; fall around holidays and other times of hot-commodity peak travel. If you're a frequent peak-season jetsetter, or someone who just wants to be home for the holidays, you should take this into consideration. Otherwise, what's the point? Read the fine print and see if you can find yourself a rewards card with no blackout dates.</p> <p>Or, use a travel rewards card that simply gives you a statement credit for your travel purchases. These cards offer the most flexibility in terms of redeeming rewards for travel. You aren't limited to a specific carrier and can avoid the limitations airlines can put on award redemption. While these rewards don't carry as much potential value, consider the value of points that are wasted and left unused. Check out credit cards like the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-it-miles-simple-and-flexible-travel-rewards?ref=internal">Discover it Miles</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-venture-rewards-card-review?ref=internal">Capital One Venture</a>.</p> <h2>5. Foreign Transaction Fees</h2> <p>If you're planning on using your card overseas, you may want to read up on its foreign transaction policy. Sure, you may be reeling in the savings thanks to your points, but that can easily be canceled out by expensive fees on purchases made outside of the States. Kristin Addis, investment banker turned globetrotting expert behind <a href="http://www.bemytravelmuse.com/">Be My Travel Muse</a>, points out, &quot;If you're going to make the most of your purchases abroad, make sure it's with a card that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees, as they will take away from any benefit gained from miles.&quot;</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees</a></p> <h2>6. Keep Track of Your Points</h2> <p>These days it honestly couldn't be simpler to keep track of your points. <a href="https://awardwallet.com/?Register=1">AwardWallet</a> is a favorite among travel hackers who want an organized approach to tallying their rewards &mdash; it even has free apps for iOS and Android devices. Simply list your credit cards, and let AwardWallet alert you when your balance changes or points are nearing expiration.</p> <h2>7. Put Your Small Business to Work</h2> <p>Matt Gibson, adventure travel writer and photographer behind <a href="http://xpatmatt.com/maximize-frequent-flier-airmiles-with-a-good-credit-card/">Xpat Matt</a>, knows a thing or two about credit card miles. He points out a lesser-known tip on his blog: &quot;Some small business credit cards have their own programs that will enable you to collect miles while buying business-related products,&quot; he says. &quot;This is a fantastic way to rack up charges and miles and is definitely something small business owners should look into.&quot;</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses?ref=seealso">Best Small Business Credit Cards</a></p> <h2>8. Set Your Goals</h2> <p>This piece of advice from Daraius and Emily, expert travel hackers behind <a href="http://millionmilesecrets.com">Million Mile Secrets</a>, is perhaps the most fun point on this list. Before you go crazy trying to rack up those rewards miles, take some time to actually think about your travel goals for at least the next year. Think about where you want to go and how you want to get there. Do you plan to fly coach, or does first class sound more appealing? Are you looking for a luxury hotel, or simply a place to crash? Are you bringing family or friends? Are you going abroad, or simply touring the U.S.? These are all factors that will determine how many points you need, what <em>kind </em>of points you need, and let you get an idea ahead of time how to start spending accordingly. That way you aren't stuck with an odd number of leftover points, or paying for too many expenses out of pocket.</p> <p>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 Deals and Rewards</a></p> <h2>9. Consider the Alternative</h2> <p>Another great piece of advice from Million Mile Secrets brings attention to the fact that some forms of travel don't lend themselves to rewards points. Maybe you prefer long road trips. Maybe you're planning a cruise. If this is the case, look into a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal">cash back card</a>. Cash back cards will convert the points you earn into credits to spend as cash. Daraius and Emily also point out this is a good way to cover incidental expenses and other small costs while traveling, but note that these cards generally don't offer the best value.</p> <p><em>What hacks do you use for making the most of rewards miles?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%20Ways%20to%20Use%20Travel%20Rewards%20Cards%20to%20Get%20Free%20Trips.jpg&amp;description=9%20Ways%20to%20Use%20Travel%20Rewards%20Cards%20to%20Get%20Free%20Trips" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Ways%20to%20Use%20Travel%20Rewards%20Cards%20to%20Get%20Free%20Trips.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-bellucco">Amanda Bellucco</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">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/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel">12 Expert Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel</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/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</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/dont-make-these-6-credit-card-sign-up-bonus-mistakes">Don&#039;t Make These 6 Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus Mistakes</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-build-your-best-travel-budget">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</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-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Airline Miles Secrets Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel cash back frequent flyers hotels miles points rewards travel hacking Mon, 12 Oct 2015 09:00:41 +0000 Amanda Bellucco 1586398 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Best Credit Cards with Sign-up Bonuses for Hotel Stays http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-sign-up-bonuses-for-hotel-stays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-best-credit-cards-with-sign-up-bonuses-for-hotel-stays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000051350630.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many travel rewards enthusiasts look to credit cards to earn free flights, but unfortunately the airlines are now making it extremely difficult to use your miles for award flights at the lowest mileage levels.</p> <p>At the same time, there are many hotel credit cards that offer as much value as the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards">airline cards</a>, or more. Furthermore, these cards often come with excellent sign-up bonuses in the form of reward nights that are both valuable and easy to redeem.</p> <h2>Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card</h2> <p>The Marriott Rewards&reg; Premier Credit Card offers a generous 80,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. With award nights starting at 7,500 points at Category 1 properties, that can be as many as six nights! Cardholders earn five points per dollar at participating Marriott Rewards and SPG hotels, two points per dollar at restaurants, car rental agencies, and for airline tickets purchased direct with the airline. Earn one point on all other purchases. You also automatically get Silver Elite Status which offers priority late checkout, 20% bonus points on stays, and more.</p> <h2>IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card</h2> <p>IHG represents the world's largest hotel company with over 5,000 hotels worldwide. Their <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-nights-with-ihg-rewards-club-select-credit-card">IHG&reg; Rewards Club Select Credit Card</a> offers a big sign up bonus of 60,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. (Reward redemption start at 10,000 points.) Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar spent at IHG hotels, 2 points per dollar spent at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, and 1 point spent elsewhere. Additional benefits include a free night worldwide each year of cardmembership, and platinum elite status which comes with its own set of benefits like free internet, priority check in, and complimentary upgrades. The annual fee of $49 is waived for the first year.</p> <h2>Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express</h2> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/starwood-preferred-guest-consumer-081115.png" border="0" height="97" width="154" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target="_blank" title="Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express" alt="Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=40&amp;pid=14&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>SPG includes over 1,300 hotels and resorts worldwide and include brands like St. Regis, Westin, Sheraton, and more. The <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=40&amp;pid=14&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend">Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express</a> offers new cardholders 25,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months. For a limited time, earn an extra 10,000 bonus points after spending an additional $2,000 within the first 6 months. (Offer ends 4/5.) Cardholders earn 2 points for purchases at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels and 1 point on all other purchases. The annual fee is $0 for the first year and $95 after. Terms apply. <a href="https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/personal-card-application/terms/starwood-preferred-credit-card/26129-10-0/?print#terms-details">See rates and fees.</a></p> <p><strong><a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=40&amp;pid=14&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend">Click here to learn more and apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card</h2> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/11-12-CitiHHonorsReserve-191.jpg" border="0" height="97" width="154" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target=" rel=" href=" http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=40&amp;pid=48&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>There are more than 4,200 hotels and resorts worldwide under the Hilton HHonors program, including brands like DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, and more. The <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=40&amp;pid=48&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xname">Citi&reg; Hilton HHonors&trade; Reserve Card</a> from our partner Citi offers two free <em>weekend</em> nights at select hotels and resorts after new cardholders make $2,500 in purchases within the first four months. Other features included 10x points for purchases at Hilton properties, 5x points for airline and car rental purchases, and 3x points on all other charges. Cardholders receive one free weekend night if you $10,000 each year. You also enjoy HHonors Gold status which include benefits like free internet, 5th night free, and Gold Membership Hotel benefits. There is a $95 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.</p> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=40&amp;pid=48&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xend"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Citi&reg; Hilton HHonors&trade; Reserve Card today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Hyatt Credit Card</h2> <p>The Hyatt credit card offers new cardholders two free nights at any Hyatt in the world, once they spend just $1,000 within three months of account opening. Considering that there are some properties that sell for over $1,000 per night, this is an exceptional offer. The card earns 3x points for Hyatt purchases, 2x points for restaurants, airline tickets (purchased directly from airline) and car rentals, and 1 point for other purchases. Each year you'll receive a free night at any category 1-4 property and as long as you're a cardmember, you're upgraded to Platinum membership in the Hyatt Passport program, which include benefits like free internet, late check out, and more. There is a $75 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.</p> <h2>Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card</h2> <p>The Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature card offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after your first purchase, and another 35,000 points after spending $2,500 within 90 days of account opening. These points are enough to be redeemed for at least one free night, since award nights run from 9,000 to 70,000 points per night. In addition, cardholders receive another 40,000 points each year upon renewal. 10x points are earned from spending at Carlson Rezidor hotels, and 5x points everywhere else. Cardholders also receive Gold status automatically, which include benefits like free upgrades, early check-in and late checkout, discounts on food/beverage, and more. There is a $75 annual fee for this card.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Best%20Credit%20Cards%20with%20Sign-up%20Bonuses%20for%20Hotel%20Stays.jpg" alt="" height="374" width="250" /></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/5-best-credit-cards-with-sign-up-bonuses-for-hotel-stays">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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">5 Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to 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-co-branded-airline-credit-cards">5 Best Co-Branded Airline 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/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access">5 Best Credit Cards with Free Airport Lounge Access</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel best credit cards hotels Thu, 06 Aug 2015 04:28:56 +0000 Jason Steele 1503639 at http://www.wisebread.com