hotels http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9066/all en-US How to Save Big on Last-Minute Travel http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-big-on-last-minute-travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-big-on-last-minute-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tourist_couple_happy_and_excited_together_for_the_trip.jpg" alt="Tourist couple happy and excited together for the trip" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you need to get out of town in a hurry? To find the best deals on travel, you usually have to make your reservations at least a few months in advance. But sometimes, it just isn't possible and you'll have to be on the lookout for last-minute deals. Thankfully, there are some types of travel reservations that go on sale within days, or even hours of use.</p> <p>Here are a few of the most popular ways to save money on travel booked without advance reservations.</p> <h2>Look for frequent flyer awards</h2> <p>Whether you earn your frequent flyer miles using <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel credit cards</a> or by flying, in my experience, the two ways to receive the most value from your frequent flyer miles is to book expensive flights in business or first class, or to travel on otherwise expensive tickets booked without advance notice. Actually, you can often use your rewards to do both and realize a value of several cents per point or mile redeemed. That's the kind of value worth cashing in for. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-airlines-frequent-flyer-miles-have-the-best-value?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which Airline's Frequent Flyer Miles Have the Best Value?</a>)</p> <p>For example, Lufthansa tends to only release its business and first class award seats to Star Alliance partner airlines within two weeks of departure. To book these seats, you could use miles from United Airlines, Air Canada, or Singapore Airlines. Other airlines that are good at offering last-minute award flights include Delta and British Airways, neither of which charge close-in booking fees.</p> <p>On the other hand, United does charge a close-in booking fee for flights booked less than 21 days before departure, but it will let <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-united-mileageplus-credit-card-should-you-get?ref=internal" target="_blank">United credit card</a> holders and those with elite status book any available seat as an Everyday award. Those awards cost at least double the miles of the harder-to-find Saver awards, but there are more of them available. The extra points it will cost you is often worth it to snag a very expensive ticket at the last minute.</p> <p>Thankfully, I've even been able to avoid United's $75 fee by booking a flight I didn't want that's outside the 21-days advance purchase window. Then I immediately call the airline and change the flight to the date I actually do want, which is within the 21-day window. Everyone has the right to change their flight within 24 hours of booking without incurring change fees. For some reason that $75 close-in booking fee also doesn't get charged if you make this change by phone &mdash; but it won't work if you try to change the ticket online. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-secrets-of-last-minute-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">20 Secrets of Last-Minute Travel</a>)</p> <h2>Use the right app or website</h2> <p>When it comes to last-minute travel, several apps and websites can be your best friend. Here are a few of the top ones:</p> <h3>1. icruise</h3> <p><a href="https://www.icruise.com/" target="_blank">icruise</a> is a website and app with a special section for last-minute cruises being offered at steep discounts.</p> <h3>2. GTFO</h3> <p><a href="http://www.gtfoflights.com" target="_blank">GTFO</a> stands for Get The Flight Out, and this website lists some of the cheapest last-minute flights out of nine top cities in the U.S.</p> <h3>3. HotelTonight</h3> <p><a href="https://www.hoteltonight.com/" target="_blank">HotelTonight</a> is an app that lives up to its name by offering discounted rooms up to a week in advance or as late as the same day. This service searches available properties in over 1,700 cities.</p> <h3>4. Last Minute Travel</h3> <p><a href="https://www.lastminutetravel.com" target="_blank">Last Minute Travel</a> offers discounted hotels, flights, cruises, rental cars, and more to those who pay a $50 annual membership fee. It claims to offer discounts of up to 65 percent, as well as personalized offers by email.</p> <h3>5. One:Night</h3> <p><a href="http://onenight.com/" target="_blank">One:Night</a> is an app that offers hotel deals in select major cities after 3 p.m. local time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-websites-for-last-minute-airfare-deals?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Best Websites for Last-Minute Airfare Deals</a>)</p> <h2>Negotiate</h2> <p>Long before apps were invented, resourceful travelers would take it upon themselves to find the best last-minute deals possible. Today, you can still strike a great deal under the right circumstances. When it comes to hotels, you can call around, or even visit the front desk to find the best rate. To start, simply ask what's available and what their best rate is. Then, ask if there's any way that they can do better. Try to find out if the person you're speaking with has the authority to offer a lower rate and if not, don't hesitate to ask for someone who does.</p> <p>It can also help to have a good reason for booking a room at the last minute. For example, if you're traveling because of an emergency, or you need a room for the night because your trip was disrupted, share that information with hotel staff, and they may offer you a distressed traveler rate.</p> <p>Rental car agencies will be less flexible, but managers of local franchises may have the discretion to offer lower rates during periods of weak demand. Sadly, you're unlikely to achieve these results if you attempt to bargain with airline staff, but there's little harm in asking them to help you find the best possible price once you've exhausted all other possibilities. They may not be able to bargain, but if you're nice, they might share some tips or tricks you didn't know.</p> <h2>Consider last-minute cruise deals</h2> <p>Just before a big cruise ship leaves port, unsold cabins are sometimes offered at a steep discount. If your travel plans are flexible and you can make it to any of the major ports, then you can find some great deals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-little-known-secrets-to-saving-money-on-your-next-cruise?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Little-Known Secrets to Saving Money on Your Next Cruise</a>)</p> <p>To find these last-minute cruise tickets, there are several places you can check. First, the websites of the cruise lines themselves have special sections for last-minute deals. A few to try are <a href="https://www.royalcaribbean.com/cruise-deals/last-minute-cruises" target="_blank">Royal Caribbean</a>, <a href="https://www.princess.com/html/global/cruisedeals/last-minute-cruise-deals/" target="_blank">Princess</a> and <a href="https://www.ncl.com/cruise-deals" target="_blank">Norwegian Cruise Line</a>. Next, look at third-party sites that specialize in last-minute deals, such as <a href="https://www.cruises.com/promotion/last-minute-cruises.do" target="_blank">Cruises.com</a>, <a href="http://www.lastminutecruises.com/" target="_blank">Last Minute Cruises</a> and even <a href="https://www.costcotravel.com/Cruise-Travel-Offers/Last-Minute-Cruises" target="_blank">Costco Travel</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-big-on-last-minute-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/how-to-take-a-7-day-cross-country-road-trip-for-350-or-less">How to Take a 7-Day Cross Country Road Trip for $350 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids">7 Ways to Save on a European Getaway With Kids</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/watch-out-for-these-hidden-costs-of-free-travel">Watch Out for These Hidden Costs of Free Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-family-of-4-can-book-a-disney-vacation-for-1000-or-less">How a Family of 4 Can Book a Disney Vacation for $1,000 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel flight booking hotels last-minute travel travel budget travel tips Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:31:13 +0000 Jason Steele 2150388 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Spot a Hotel Booking Scam http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-hotel-booking-scam <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-spot-a-hotel-booking-scam" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_working_on_laptop_looking_confused_at_computer_screen.jpg" alt="Woman working on laptop looking confused at computer screen" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While families wishing to see the world once relied on travel agents for their glossy brochures and recommendations, the internet has ushered in a new wave of travel planning independence. These days, more and more people are using the web to research destinations, plan itineraries, and book their own hotels.</p> <p>The freedom to research independently is a good thing, but there's also a problem: The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) reports that 55 million hotel booking scams are perpetrated against unsuspecting consumers each year.</p> <p>The organization acknowledges that the internet has offered great conveniences in the travel space, but says hotel booking scams continue popping up all the time. Rogue third-party online booking sites imitate legitimate hotel websites, taking advantage of the huge volume of online travel searches. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-airbnb-scam-will-ruin-your-vacation-and-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This Airbnb Scam Will Ruin Your Vacation &mdash; and Your Budget</a>)</p> <h2>The anatomy of a hotel booking scam</h2> <p>According to the AHLA, many hotel booking scams are set up so consumers don't even know they've been tricked. Most of the time, it starts with a hotel scam website being created and promoted so that it shows up in internet search engines right alongside legitimate hotel websites and third-party booking sites.</p> <p>&quot;These rogue sites trick consumers by mirroring the look and feel of the actual hotel website &mdash; using copyrighted images, trademarked logos, and many times, even similar URLs &mdash; to take consumers for a ride,&quot; writes the AHLA in a report about online booking scams.</p> <p>From there, the fraud committed can take on several different forms. The fraudulent website may steal the victim's money completely without making a hotel reservation on their behalf. Or it might charge the consumer an inflated rate that includes a giant commission the consumer shouldn't have to pay.</p> <p>At the very least, you may miss out on hotel loyalty points or perks you thought you were going to receive if you believed you were making a reservation directly with a hotel.</p> <h2>How to avoid hotel booking scams</h2> <p>The AHLA has partnered with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to raise awareness about hotel booking scams with the goal of protecting consumers. According to Beverly Baskin, CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, certain types of consumers are especially at risk for these scams, including travelers ages 55 and up and members of the military. Baskin says that travel and vacation scams cost the average victim around $847.</p> <p>If you're eager to ensure your travel plans aren't ruined by thieves, consider these tips from the BBB and the AHLA:</p> <h3>Book directly with the source</h3> <p>Before you book a hotel stay online, make sure you are booking on the hotel's website. While a lookalike hotel website may have the hotel's name in their URL, double check the website address to endure it's not a third-party website trying to steal a hotel's identity.</p> <p>If you're booking with a large hotel chain, one way to do this is to visit the chain's website and make your reservation from there. If you're booking the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik Hotel in Croatia, for example, go to Hilton.com and book your reservation on the main hotel website.</p> <p>If you do an internet search for &quot;Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik,&quot; you will see several lookalike sites like this one:</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/1_1.png" width="581" height="217" alt="" /></p> <p>You should avoid these third-party imposters at all costs.</p> <h3>Use reputable third-party websites</h3> <p>It's OK to use third-party websites like Expedia, Travelocity, and Priceline. Legitimate <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-hotel-booking-websites-can-save-you-money-and-headaches?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel booking sites can save you money</a> and headaches. But you should beware of thirty-party booking sites you have never heard of. The BBB says you should never trust a website just because it looks legitimate. Take the extra step to check the company out with BBB.org and read online reviews before you book.</p> <h3>Take advantage of hotel loyalty programs</h3> <p>If you're someone who likes staying with the big hotel chains (e.g. Hilton, Marriott, IHG Rewards, etc.), it makes sense to sign up for the related <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel loyalty program</a>. These programs are free to join and they typically offer the lowest rates to loyalty members who book direct.</p> <p>Not only will you have a secure loyalty account you can make your bookings through, but hotel loyalty programs let you earn points for free hotel stays, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-ways-to-get-elite-status-for-free-hotel-upgrades?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel room upgrades</a>, and more. Some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel credit cards</a> also let you earn large <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-sign-up-bonuses-for-hotel-stays?ref=internal" target="_blank">sign-up bonuses for hotel rewards programs</a>, which make it easier for you to rack up enough points for free rooms quickly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a>)</p> <h3>Pay for your hotel with a credit card</h3> <p>Using a credit card is one of the most secure ways to make any online purchase, mostly because credit cards come with zero percent liability for fraudulent charges. If you find you are the victim of a travel scam or hotel booking scam where they kept your money without making a hotel reservation, you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-awesome-credit-card-tricks-that-will-save-you-money?ref=internal" target="_blank">ask for a &quot;chargeback&quot;</a> on your account and get a refund. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-win-a-fraud-dispute-with-your-credit-card-company?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Win a Fraud Dispute With Your Credit Card Company</a>)</p> <h3>Keep your eyes wide open</h3> <p>One of the best ways to avoid becoming the victim of a travel scam is to know what to look for. The BBB says you should avoid conducting internet searches for broad terms like &quot;best travel deals&quot; or &quot;cheapest rates&quot; since those type of searches tend to bring out the worst offenders among lookalike travel websites.</p> <p>If something seems off, the BBB says you should call the hotel and ask plenty of questions.</p> <h3>Make sure you know the hotel's refund policy</h3> <p>The BBB says you should read all the fine print before you agree to a hotel charge being placed on your credit card. Will you need to pay upfront, for example? Or will your card be charged upon arrival? Is the hotel booking refundable if you need to cancel for any reason?</p> <p>While some big hotel chains and legitimate third-party booking websites offer discounts for non-refundable fares, it's more common for hotels to use your credit card to secure the reservation but wait to charge the rate until your hotel stay is completed. Hotel cancellation policies vary by chain, however, so make sure you know the policy ahead of time.</p> <h3>Plan ahead</h3> <p>Last but not least, you may get the best price on your hotel stay and other travel arrangements if you book far in advance. Planning ahead will also give you time to compare options, research hotel booking websites, and lock in a good rate.</p> <p>On the other hand, a last-minute, hasty search for a hotel may put you at greater risk for encountering a scam and losing money.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-spot-a-hotel-booking-scam&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Spot%2520a%2520Hotel%2520Booking%2520Scam.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Spot%20a%20Hotel%20Booking%20Scam"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Spot%20a%20Hotel%20Booking%20Scam.jpg" alt="How to Spot a Hotel Booking Scam" 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/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-hotel-booking-scam">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/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/this-airbnb-scam-will-ruin-your-vacation-and-your-budget">This Airbnb Scam Will Ruin Your Vacation — and Your Budget</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/your-hotel-room-has-bedbugs-now-what">Your Hotel Room Has Bedbugs. Now What?</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/stay-secure-in-your-hotel-with-this-8-point-safety-check">Stay Secure in Your Hotel With This 8-Point Safety Check</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/watch-out-for-these-10-red-flags-with-vacation-rentals">Watch Out for These 10 Red Flags With Vacation Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel accommodation AirBnb booking scams hotel booking hotels travel scams travel tips Fri, 11 May 2018 08:30:20 +0000 Holly Johnson 2136757 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Credit Card Perks That Make Life Easier and Way More Fun http://www.wisebread.com/11-credit-card-perks-that-make-life-easier-and-way-more-fun <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-credit-card-perks-that-make-life-easier-and-way-more-fun" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_on_a_vacation_shopping_online_with_credit_card.jpg" alt="Woman on a vacation shopping online with credit card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I thought I knew all there was to know about using credit card perks. And then last year, I needed &mdash; and I mean, <em>needed </em>&mdash; tickets to a certain musical theater production. When I got an email invitation to a members-only presale, I realized that the wallet full of credit cards I've accumulated for the miles and points have other great perks that I might not be using.</p> <p>Let's look at some of the timesaving, weekend-improving bennies you might already qualify for based on the cards you hold. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <h2>1. Concierge service</h2> <p>You have a night free in a strange city, and you want to make the most of it. If only you had someone to pick a restaurant and a show for you and charge everything to your credit card...</p> <p>If you have an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-premium-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">elite-level credit card</a>, you <em>do</em> have that person in the form of complimentary concierge service. You can ask your credit card concierge to buy tickets to a concert or show that is likely to sell out, so you don't have to drop what you're doing to get online the moment they go on sale. You can ask them to have flowers delivered to your partner or even to have them send a limo to get your kids from school. You pay for the cost of the goods or services &mdash; you can set a limit in advance &mdash; but the concierge's time is free.</p> <p>I have a friend who loves to dine at Michelin-starred restaurants, and reservations can be hard to get. She has used a credit card concierge service to score tables all over the world.</p> <p>&quot;I even had them find me a place in Atlanta for a coworker that has lots of dietary restrictions,&quot; my friend said.</p> <p>You think that's excellent service? Then consider that other clients have successfully had credit card concierges track down obscure or in-demand items and had them delivered to their door. If your kid wants a popular toy this holiday, it might be worth asking a credit card concierge to find it.</p> <p>Personally, I want to take my Broadway-obsessed teen to a show in Chicago over the holidays, but don't know which show to get tickets to. I might just call my credit card concierge for both advice and booking. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-do-the-concierge-services-from-credit-cards-really-provide?ref=internal?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What Do the Concierge Services From Credit Cards Really Provide?</a>)</p> <h2>2. Members-only spaces and experiences</h2> <p>You're probably aware that some credit cards get you into airport lounges. But did you know there are also members-only lounges with complimentary beverages in some theme parks, including Universal Studios, and at big events such as the Super Bowl? And at Disney World, certain credit card holders have access to exclusive character meet-and-greet sessions.</p> <p>Certain high-end cards even host members-only events, such as private dinners by celebrity chefs. These events aren't free &mdash; in fact, some cost thousands of dollars &mdash; but they are exclusive. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-airport-lounge-access?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Get the Most Out of Airport Lounge Access</a>)</p> <h2>3. Shorter lines</h2> <p>Some theme parks and other attractions have a dedicated line for certain credit card holders. If you visit often, I can see holding a credit card for that benefit alone.</p> <h2>4. A smoother trip through airport security</h2> <p>A number of high-end travel cards <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-tsa-pre-check-and-global-entry-reimbursement?ref=internal" target="_blank">reimburse users the $100 application charge for Global Entry</a>, which also comes with membership to the Transportation Security Administration's PreCheck program. Membership in both these programs means that you can go through a quicker security line in domestic or international airports, and when you're returning from abroad, you can skip the immigration line and simply scan your passport at a kiosk.</p> <h2>5. Free museums</h2> <p>At least one card-issuing bank partners with museums nationwide to offer cardholders free entry on certain days.</p> <h2>6. Hotel room upgrades</h2> <p>Certain hotel chain credit cards offer cardholders status, which can lead to getting an upgraded room when you check in. It can also get you free Wi-Fi at the hotel, late checkouts, and other perks. Some cards even offer spending credits for certain hotel stays. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-free-hotel-status-upgrades?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Best Credit Cards With Free Hotel Status Upgrades</a>)</p> <h2>7. Free rides</h2> <p>At least one credit card offers a monthly credit for a ride sharing service, smoothing everything from business travel to barhopping without a designated driver.</p> <h2>8. Free shipping</h2> <p>Some credit cards offer membership to free shipping programs that work at multiple online stores.</p> <h2>9. Freedom to pack more stuff</h2> <p>This holiday season, my family will be checking suitcases instead of relying on carry-ons, because I hold one of the airline's premium credit cards that gives cardholders one free checked bag. Because we have that privilege, we can tell the grandparents they don't have to limit gifts to digital downloads! (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>10. Free internet</h2> <p>Some credit cards give you membership to wireless plans so that you can get online on participating flights or in other public places.</p> <h2>11. A sweeter ride</h2> <p>Some credit cards give you instant status with car rental programs, which can unlock free upgrades and shorter waits at dedicated booths at the airport. So make the most of your membership to rent that sports car you've always wanted to drive!</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F11-credit-card-perks-that-make-life-easier-and-way-more-fun&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F11%2520Credit%2520Card%2520Perks%2520That%2520Make%2520Life%2520Easier%2520and%2520Way%2520More%2520Fun%2520%25281%2529.jpg&amp;description=11%20Credit%20Card%20Perks%20That%20Make%20Life%20Easier%20and%20Way%20More%20Fun"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/11%20Credit%20Card%20Perks%20That%20Make%20Life%20Easier%20and%20Way%20More%20Fun%20%281%29.jpg" alt="11 Credit Card Perks That Make Life Easier and Way More Fun" 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/11-credit-card-perks-that-make-life-easier-and-way-more-fun">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/best-credit-cards-that-offer-tsa-pre-check-and-global-entry-reimbursement">Best Credit Cards That Offer TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry Reimbursement</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/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays">Which Credit Card Should You Use to Get Free Hotel Stays?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tricks-to-making-the-most-of-your-reward-miles">5 Tricks to Making the Most of Your Reward Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards">How Families Can Earn and Use Travel Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-carry-a-balance-heres-why-you-still-need-a-credit-card">Don&#039;t Carry a Balance? Here&#039;s Why You Still Need a Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards benefits concierge service global entry hotels members only perks tickets travel tsa precheck upgrades Fri, 24 Nov 2017 09:00:07 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2057050 at http://www.wisebread.com How Families Can Earn and Use Travel Rewards http://www.wisebread.com/how-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_looking_out_window_at_airport.jpg" alt="Family looking out window at airport" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to travel rewards, families have different needs than single travelers and couples. For example, families are typically less flexible than other travelers, as they need to work their vacations around school schedules. Families also tend to go to popular vacation destinations during peak travel seasons, while others may be more interested in out-of-the-way destinations. And obviously, families tend to travel in larger groups than singles or couples.</p> <p>So, if you need to earn rewards that you can use toward a family vacation, consider these award travel strategies. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-miles-and-points-for-a-big-award-trip?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Miles and Points for a Big Award Trip</a>)</p> <h2>The Southwest plan</h2> <p>Southwest Airlines is an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-southwest-airlines-is-the-best-domestic-airline-for-families?ref=internal" target="_blank">ideal carrier for family travelers</a>. It offers two free checked bags for everyone, and it doesn't impose fees for changing your reservation once you've purchased tickets. It also features early boarding for families with young children, and an open seating policy that makes it easy for families to ensure that they are sitting together.</p> <p>Southwest also offers the Companion Pass, which lets you book a second extra ticket at no charge (other than taxes), on every flight including award tickets. To receive a Companion Pass, you need to earn 110,000 points within a single calendar year. Fortunately, Southwest offers various credit cards that help you get there. The pass can significantly cut your family's travel costs for the year.</p> <h2>Earn miles that can be redeemed as travel statement credits</h2> <p>The problem that most families have with traditional frequent flyer programs is that awards are seldom available at the lowest mileage levels. This is especially true at peak travel times when families travel, and for groups of three or more.</p> <p>Therefore, the best way for families to earn award travel is to use a credit card that offers miles that can be redeemed as statement credits toward any travel reservations. These <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards credit cards</a> allow you to book your own travel (flights, hotel, car rentals, cruises, tours, and more) on any booking site you prefer, and then use your points toward those purchases. This gives families the most flexibility in terms of being able to use their hard earned travel rewards for an actual trip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-with-easy-travel-redemption?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards With Easy Travel Redemption</a>)</p> <h2>Earn points that can be transferred to different frequent flyer and hotel programs</h2> <p>Another great award travel strategy for families is to earn flexible <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles?ref=internal" target="_blank">rewards that can be transferred to numerous travel partners</a>. This gives you the ability to earn points on your credit card without having to commit to a particular airline or hotel chain.</p> <p>Cards in this category may allow you to rack up points, and then transfer them when you're ready to use one of several popular airline or hotel rewards programs. While travel statement credits are even more flexible, with those programs your points are usually worth about 1 cent a piece. You can often get a better rate when you transfer to, say, an airline program and book an expensive flight. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which Airline Rewards Program Has the Best Value for Their Miles?</a>)</p> <h2>Be flexible with travel plans and expectations</h2> <p>Redeeming travel rewards for a trip is not for the faint of heart. While going with the flexible redemption option allows you the most freedom to plan a trip according to your precise preferences, being flexible with your plans will give you the most <em>value</em> out of your hard earned rewards. This means that if you want to get the largest discount off your trip, you'll want to identify the destinations and resorts that are available under that travel program. You might not get the exact hotel you want, or even visit the exact city that you want, but if you can be flexible and open minded, even a large family can take advantage of travel rewards and redeem them for an amazing vacation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tricks-to-making-the-most-of-your-reward-miles?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Tricks to Making the Most of Your Reward Miles</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520Families%2520Can%2520Earn%2520and%2520Use%2520Travel%2520Rewards.jpg&amp;description=How%20Families%20Can%20Earn%20and%20Use%20Travel%20Rewards"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20Families%20Can%20Earn%20and%20Use%20Travel%20Rewards.jpg" alt="How Families Can Earn and Use Travel Rewards" 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/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays">Which Credit Card Should You Use to Get Free Hotel Stays?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel airlines awards family frequent flyers hotels miles points rewards tickets trips vacation Fri, 15 Sep 2017 08:30:05 +0000 Jason Steele 2020048 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Evaluate a Travel Program for the Best Rewards Redemption http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-evaluate-a-travel-program-for-the-best-rewards-redemption <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-evaluate-a-travel-program-for-the-best-rewards-redemption" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel_concept_on_wooden_table.jpg" alt="Travel concept on wooden table" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Credit cards that offer frequent flyer miles or hotel points can sound like a great deal. Their ads often feature pictures of people taking their dream vacation in paradise, made possible by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card travel rewards</a>.</p> <p>But for some users, redeeming their rewards for a trip remains elusive. Airline award seats may be scarce or nonexistent at the lowest mileage levels, and hotels may restrict the rooms available for free night awards during peak travel periods. When you finally realize how hard it is to use your points and miles, you may regret your choice of credit card.</p> <p>How can you prevent this from happening to you? The key is to closely examine a rewards program and how useful it will be to you before signing up for the credit card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Travel Rewards to Get Free Trips</a>)</p> <h2>How to gauge the value of a frequent flyer program</h2> <p>Before you sign up for a credit card that earns rewards from an airline program, you need to investigate how useful its miles will be. For example, select a few destinations that you hope to use your rewards for, and then go to the airline's website and perform an award search. Thankfully, many airlines allow you to search for awards without logging into their site. However, some require you to create a frequent flyer account (at no charge) before you can begin searching for awards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which Airline Loyalty Program Has the Best Value for Their Miles?</a>)</p> <p>What you want to look for are awards at the lowest mileage levels available among a range of dates for flights to your preferred destinations. You also need to make sure there are often enough seats for the number of travelers that would be in your party.</p> <p>You have to set the same kinds of realistic expectations as you would if you were booking an actual flight. If you are hoping to find four seats on a nonstop flight to a warm weather destination over winter break, then you are bound to be disappointed. You are also likely to come up short if you are always looking for award seats available within a few months of departure. Instead, you need to be flexible with your award travel, and try to book as far in advance as possible.</p> <p>Your test to check out award availability and cost should also reflect the same realistic expectations. And sadly, there's no guarantee that an award that's available now will also be available in the future.</p> <p>Finally, you should be aware of frequent flyer programs that offer awards on any flight, based on how much the flight costs. Programs like this include Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, and JetBlue's TrueBlue program. With these programs, you don't really need to look at the award availability. Instead, you should see how much each point is worth. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Airline Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Examining the value of a hotel rewards program</h2> <p>Credit cards that offer rewards in hotel loyalty programs can be extremely valuable, as they often lack the blackout dates and capacity controls that plague airline programs. For example, Starwood, Marriott, Hyatt, and Hilton all promise that all &quot;standard&quot; unsold rooms are available as awards. On the other hand, IHG and Wyndham hotels may restrict the number of standard rooms available for awards during peak travel times. (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">Benefits and Value of Hotel Rewards Programs and Cards</a>)</p> <p>But even with the hotel programs that have no blackout dates or capacity controls, there can still be a catch. Individual properties can designate the majority, or nearly all of their rooms as &quot;upgraded&quot; in some way, in a thinly veiled effort to avoid releasing them as free night awards. For example, many hotels in Hawaii have labeled nearly all of their rooms as &quot;garden-view,&quot; which are therefore not eligible for awards.</p> <p>To do a proper &quot;test drive&quot; of a hotel rewards program, you can start by searching for award pricing and availability at a few properties that you are interested in visiting. As with the airlines, you may have to create a free account first. If you find that there aren't any award nights available during holiday periods, but there are still plenty of rooms available for sale, then you will want to avoid the credit cards that earn points in this program. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Hotel Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>You also want to compare the cost of the room to the number of points needed to book it. If you are getting very little value from your points, you have consider if it's worth earning these rewards from a particular credit card. You could instead put your spending on a card whose rewards provide better value.</p> <p>By looking at the value of a rewards program before you start earning points and miles, you can make sure that you are choosing the right credit card for your needs.</p> <h2>The easiest ways to redeem travel rewards</h2> <p>Besides signing up for the co-branded airline and hotel credit card, which arguably would give you the most value per mile, but may not net you an actual realized trip, you can use other types of travel rewards credit cards.</p> <p>The first type is a card that offers ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles?ref=internal" target="_blank">transfer points to various travel programs</a>. This allows you to have more options when it comes to airlines to fly on and hotels to stay with. You earn points on these credit cards, then when you're ready, you can either use the card's travel portal to book with points, or transfer to airline or hotel partners, and then log into those programs to book your flights and rooms. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-cards-have-the-best-travel-redemption-value?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which Credit Cards Have the Best Travel Redemption Value?</a>)</p> <p>These cards also have the added benefit of offering bonus points in more everyday categories, like supermarkets and dining. This can mean that you would accrue more points than if you went with an airline or hotel specific credit card, which often only award bonus points for flights and stays. If you aren't a frequent traveler, building up your miles cache may take much longer.</p> <p>However, what you would be missing out on is that airline and hotel credit cards often have exclusive travel benefits like priority boarding or in flight discounts. You'd have to weigh your preferences.</p> <p>Finally, another type of travel rewards credit card allows you even more freedom to book the trip you want. You earn points, and when you've got the amount you need, you book your travel through almost any vendor you want. Then simply apply your points as a statement credit, paying off your travel expenses. For those that want simple, easy redemption, these cards provide the most flexible travel redemption option. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-with-easy-travel-redemption?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards With Easy Travel Redemption</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-evaluate-a-travel-program-for-the-best-rewards-redemption&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Evaluate%2520a%2520Travel%2520Program%2520for%2520the%2520Best%2520Rewards%2520Redemption.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Evaluate%20a%20Travel%20Program%20for%20the%20Best%20Rewards%20Redemption"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Evaluate%20a%20Travel%20Program%20for%20the%20Best%20Rewards%20Redemption.jpg" alt="How to Evaluate a Travel Program for the Best Rewards Redemption" 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/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-evaluate-a-travel-program-for-the-best-rewards-redemption">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/5-steps-to-picking-the-best-airline-credit-card-for-the-most-rewards-value">5 Steps to Picking the Best Airline Credit Card for the Most Rewards Value</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards">How Families Can Earn and Use Travel Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel air travel Airfare best value frequent flyer hotels miles rewards tickets Tue, 18 Jul 2017 08:30:16 +0000 Jason Steele 1982252 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Countries Where You Can Travel on $30 a Day or Less http://www.wisebread.com/7-countries-where-you-can-travel-on-30-a-day-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-countries-where-you-can-travel-on-30-a-day-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tourists_posing_in_front_of_temple_in_koh_samui_thailand.jpg" alt="Tourists posing in front of temple in koh samui thailand" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many people believe that traveling is extremely expensive, and while this may be true if you're expecting five-star hotels and luxury cruises, on the whole it's a misconception. There are countries all over the world where, thanks to the low cost of living and (in some cases) <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-places-to-travel-while-the-dollar-is-strong?ref=internal" target="_blank">strong U.S. dollar</a>, it's possible to get around on a very low budget.</p> <p>Traveling on the cheap is certainly not for everyone and it often means making a few sacrifices, but choosing the right place to visit is half the battle. Here are seven countries where you can travel on $30 a day or less. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-youre-paying-too-much-for-when-you-travel-and-how-to-pay-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Things You're Paying Too Much for When You Travel</a>)</p> <p>Unless otherwise stated, all figures quoted are referenced from <a href="https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/" target="_blank">numbeo.com</a>, the largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide.</p> <h2>1. Thailand</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/woman_sitting_on_long_tail_boat.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Nicknamed &quot;The Land of Smiles&quot; thanks to its welcoming and friendly reputation, Thailand is the original backpacker's paradise. Its mix of stunning tropical islands, bustling cities, mouthwatering food, and vibrant night life has seen its popularity explode in recent decades. Despite this huge growth in visitor numbers, Thailand's prices have remained extremely low and it's still one of the cheapest countries to visit in the whole of Southeast Asia.</p> <p>Hostel dorm beds are available for as little as $1.47 per night. While I was there in 2014 I found private double rooms for just $7 a night. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost $1.77, and a pint of domestic beer costs the same.</p> <p><strong>Top money saving tip:</strong> Take advantage of the amazing street food in Thailand. It's famous for being some of the best in the world and is also some of the cheapest, with some meals costing as little as $1. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-street-food-safely-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Eat Street Food Safely While Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>2. Bolivia</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/female_tourist_on_salar_de_uyuni_during_sunset_altiplano_bolivia.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Bolivia is often overlooked as a travel destination in favor of more illustrious South American countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. That's a real shame, because this diverse country shares some of the most impressive landscapes on the continent with them, accessible at a far cheaper price. Sections of the Andes Mountains, the Amazon Rainforest, and Lake Titicaca all lie within its borders, as well as its crowning jewel, the Salar de Uyuni &mdash; the world's largest salt flat.</p> <p>Hostel rooms are available for as little as $6 per night. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost $3.50, and a pint of domestic beer can be as cheap as $2.10.</p> <p><strong>Top money saving tip:</strong> Eat lunch at local markets where two-course specials are available at rock-bottom prices. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-secrets-to-eating-great-food-for-cheap-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Secrets to Eating Great Food for Cheap While Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>3. China</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/tourists_in_beijing_riding_bikes.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>China is a country of massive contrasts. Ancient history meets cutting edge modernity, small cities house millions of inhabitants, and landscapes range from arid deserts to the freezing &quot;ice city&quot; of Harbin. With its vast size and population of over 1.3 billion people, it's a fascinating country with so much to explore that it can be overwhelming.</p> <p>But China is also very affordable for travelers from the U.S. and other nations with strong currencies.</p> <p>Hostel dorm rooms are available for as little as $2.93 per night. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost $2.95, and domestic beer can be as cheap as (0.5 liter draft) 89 cents.</p> <p>In my experience in small-town China, you can buy large beers at the grocery store for as little as 30 cents and bring them into almost any restaurant, no questions asked. Sometimes the staff will even keep them in their refrigerator and open them for you.</p> <p><strong>Top money saving tip:</strong> Spend less time in the big cities where costs, particularly for accommodation, are higher. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-travel-destinations-you-thought-were-unaffordable?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Amazing Travel Destinations You Thought Were Unaffordable</a>)</p> <h2>4. Mexico</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/view_of_el_castillo.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>For many, the mention of Mexico conjures up images of palm-fringed beaches and large seafront resorts catering to sun-seeking vacationers. While this is a side of Mexico that exists, there is so much more of interest in this country, from its rich history to its heavenly cuisine (the latter was listed by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity). There's also a surprising amount of wildlife that doesn't get the recognition it deserves, with black bears, flamingos, crocodiles, and a wide variety of marine life.</p> <p>Hostel rooms are available for as little as 50 cents per night. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost about $5, and domestic beer can be as cheap as $1.38.</p> <p><strong>Top money saving tip:</strong> Avoid the popular coastal areas, which are more pricey. Head inland instead to towns like <a href="https://www.goatsontheroad.com/10-awesome-things-guanajuato-mexico/" target="_blank">Guanajuato</a> and <a href="https://www.goatsontheroad.com/visiting-valladolid-colonial-city-crossroads-culture/" target="_blank">Valladolid</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-most-affordable-beach-towns-in-mexico?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Most Affordable Beach Towns in Mexico</a>)</p> <h2>5. Ukraine</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/person_is_standing_at_street_of_downtown_lviv_ukraine.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>As one of the least visited countries in Europe despite being the second largest, Ukraine can be a difficult place to travel in at times. English is not widely spoken, and the Cyrillic alphabet means it's not possible to glean any meaning from the written language.</p> <p>It's also important to be aware that Ukraine has a volatile recent history, and parts of it are still off-limits to visitors due to ongoing political disputes with neighboring Russia. However, with a little bit of effort you'll discover an enchanting country that's brimming with tradition and warmth.</p> <p>Hostel rooms are available for as little as $3.09 per night. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost <a href="https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=Ukraine&amp;displayCurrency=USD" target="_blank">$3.84</a>, and domestic beer can be as cheap as 58 cents.</p> <p><strong>Top money saving tip: </strong>Use overnight trains for long-distance travel. They're inexpensive and will save a night's accommodation as well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-world-cities-you-can-afford?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Incredible World Cities You Can Afford</a>)</p> <h2>6. India</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/woman_in_taj_mahal.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Spirituality, wildlife, chaos, color, and excitement collide in this enormous and at times perplexing country. All of your senses will be engaged while you make your way through India, as you try to make sense of what is truly a country like no other. Though at times it can be overwhelming, the countryside is as calm and tranquil as the big cities are tumultuous.</p> <p>Hostel rooms are available for as little as $2.16 per night. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost $2.33, and you can get a pint of domestic beer for as little as $1.55.</p> <p><strong>Top money saving tip:</strong> Always haggle for everything. The original price you're quoted is likely to be highly inflated but shouldn't be the price you pay.</p> <h2>7. Egypt</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/pyramids_bedouin.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Egypt is most celebrated for being the home of the great Pyramids of Giza, built to immortalize the Pharaohs who reigned these lands over 5,000 years ago. It's said to be the birthplace of western civilization, making it the perfect destination for history buffs and intrepid explorers. Being on the boundary between North Africa and the Middle East lends the country a unique and remarkable mix of two very diverse cultures.</p> <p>Hostel rooms are available for as little as $2.21 per night. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost $3.04, and domestic beer can be as cheap as $1.19. When I was there last, I was eating filling meals of falafel, bread, and chips for just 50 cents!</p> <p><strong>Top money saving tip:</strong> Shop around when booking activities, there are lots of companies offering very similar things at hugely varying prices.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-countries-where-you-can-travel-on-30-a-day-or-less&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Countries%2520Where%2520You%2520Can%2520Travel%2520on%252030%2520Dollars%2520a%2520Day%2520or%2520Less.jpg&amp;description=7%20Countries%20Where%20You%20Can%20Travel%20on%2030%20Dollars%20a%20Day%20or%20Less"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Countries%20Where%20You%20Can%20Travel%20on%2030%20Dollars%20a%20Day%20or%20Less.jpg" alt="7 Countries Where You Can Travel on $30 a Day or Less" 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/7-countries-where-you-can-travel-on-30-a-day-or-less">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-countries-where-you-can-retire-for-1000-a-month">5 Countries Where You Can Retire for $1,000 a Month</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/4-countries-where-you-can-live-on-1000-a-month">4 Countries Where You Can Live on $1,000 a Month</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/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</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-international-destinations-you-can-visit-for-50-a-day">5 International Destinations You Can Visit for $50 a Day</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/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel affordable bolivia China egypt Food hotels india international mexico thailand transportation ukraine vacation Wed, 12 Jul 2017 08:30:17 +0000 Nick Wharton 1979038 at http://www.wisebread.com Amazing Destinations You Can Go to With Rewards Points and Miles http://www.wisebread.com/amazing-destinations-you-can-go-to-with-rewards-points-and-miles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/amazing-destinations-you-can-go-to-with-rewards-points-and-miles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_photographing_zeus_temple_in_acropolis.jpg" alt="Woman photographing Zeus temple in Acropolis" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While credit card rewards may not be life-changing for everyone, for some, they make the impossible possible. With airline miles, hotel points, cash back, or flexible rewards, many people find they can afford to travel farther, and potentially stay longer. And, who knows? Perhaps you can visit a destination you've always dreamed of.</p> <p>If you're aching to see parts of the world you assume are beyond your reach, researching airline and hotel rewards programs can help you see what's possible. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards" target="_blank">Airline credit cards</a> can help you get free flights, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards" target="_blank">hotel credit cards</a> can help you score free accommodations, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards" target="_blank">flexible travel cards</a> allow you to use points for all kinds of travel expenses.</p> <p>Need help jump-starting your wanderlust? Here are five bucket list spots you can absolutely see with rewards.</p> <h2>1. Bora Bora</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/bora_bora_hammock.jpg" alt="" width="605" height="340" /></p> <p>Bora Bora is undoubtedly the most beautiful island in French Polynesia. A short flight from Tahiti, this island paradise is comprised of tiny islands (<em>motus</em>) that surround a central mountain and an inspiring, azure blue lagoon teeming with sea life. While Bora Bora is perfect for a honeymoon or romantic retreat, it's well known as a fun (albeit expensive) family destination as well.</p> <h3>How to get there</h3> <p>There are numerous ways to get at least part of the way to Bora Bora with airline miles. From Los Angeles International (LAX) to Papeete (PPT), Tahiti, for example, you can fly round trip with Alaska Airlines for 80,000 miles plus taxes and fees. You can also fly round trip using Air France's Flying Blue program for 60,000 miles plus taxes, or 80,000 American AAdvantage miles plus taxes round trip.</p> <p>No matter how you get to Tahiti, however, you'll have to pay around $400 per person, round trip, for the short flight from Papeete to Bora Bora. The airline that operates this leg (Air Tahiti) doesn't offer a mileage program.</p> <h3>Where to stay</h3> <p>Numerous hotel programs promise to let you stay in Bora Bora for free, including the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort, which you can book with free nights from the&nbsp;IHG Rewards Club.&nbsp;If you build a stash of Hilton Honors points, on the other hand, you can score free stays at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui.</p> <h2>2. Maldives</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/sunset_on_maldives_island_water_villas_resort.jpg" alt="" width="605" height="340" /></p> <p>The Maldives is another tropical destination well known for its crystal-clear waters and overwater bungalows. Smack dab in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives are expensive to visit and quite a trek for most of us to reach. However, there's a reason why so many people travel to the ends of the earth for a stay in the Maldives. According to many who have been there, the water, scenery, and atmosphere make it one of the most beautiful and unique destinations in the world.</p> <h3>How to get there</h3> <p>The best airline strategy for the Maldives depends a lot on where you live. Many would say that Air France is the way to go due to its plentiful award availability and cheap economy redemptions. Currently, you can book round-trip flights from New York City to Male, the capital, for 80,000 Flying Blue miles plus around $400 in taxes and fees.</p> <p>Cathay Pacific is another option if you have Alaska Airlines miles. For just 60,000 Alaska miles plus taxes you can fly from certain U.S. cities to Male on Cathay. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-travel-destinations-you-thought-were-unaffordable?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Amazing Destinations You Thought Were Unaffordable</a>)</p> <h3>Where to stay</h3> <p>The Hyatt Credit Card offers two free nights you can use to stay in any Hyatt property worldwide, and that includes the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa. That means if you're going to be traveling with a spouse or partner, you can both get the card and book two subsequent reservations, for a total of four free nights.</p> <h2>3. Aruba</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/royal_plaza_oranjestad_aruba.jpg" alt="" width="605" height="340" /></p> <p>Aruba is one of the Lesser Antilles islands in the southern Caribbean Sea. Known for its desert landscape and amazing blue waters, Aruba is bursting with hotels, casinos, night life, and water activities galore. While Aruba is popular for land-based vacations, cruise ships bring thousands of passengers to the island weekly. Fortunately, Aruba's location in the Caribbean makes it fairly easy to travel there on points.</p> <h3>How to get there</h3> <p>While you can get to Aruba a few different ways, the easiest strategy is utilizing <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-southwest-airlines-is-the-best-domestic-airline-for-families?ref=internal" target="_blank">Southwest Rapid Rewards</a> points. Depending on where you live in the United States, you can usually get to Aruba for less than 25,000 miles plus taxes round trip. Another popular option is Flying Blue, especially if your credit card rewards program transfers to the frequent flyer program. On Flying Blue, you can get to Aruba for 25,000 miles plus taxes and fees round trip.</p> <h3>Where to stay</h3> <p>Most of the major hotel chains let you earn points for free stays in Aruba. Marriott Rewards can help you score free nights at the Renaissance Aruba Resort &amp; Casino, the Aruba Marriott Resort &amp; Stellaris Casino, Marriott Aruba Surf Club, and more. You can also stay at the Holiday Inn Resort Aruba with IHG Rewards points, or at the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort, Spa &amp; Casino with World of Hyatt points.</p> <h2>4. Italy</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/colosseum_in_rome_and_morning_sun_italy_0.jpg" alt="" width="605" height="340" /></p> <p>Italy is a bucket list destination for nearly everyone, well known for its inspiring culture, historical sites, delicious cuisine, and dynamic landscapes, which span from the mountainous north to idyllic beachfronts on the country's western shore. While most people go to Italy to see major sites like Rome's Colosseum and Forum, the Vatican, or the world-famous art spread across Florence, others dream of Tuscan wineries, lazy beach days in Cinque Terre or Sorrento, or a trip to the famous island of Capri.</p> <h3>How to get there</h3> <p>If you're looking for a cheap and easy way to get to Italy, check out American Airlines' AAdvantage program. If you fly coach and travel off-peak (October 15&ndash;May 15), you can score a round-trip flight for just 45,000 miles plus airline taxes and fees.</p> <h3>Where to stay</h3> <p>The best part about being in Italy isn't its huge, prestigious hotels; it's the side streets and the intimate culture of the locals. To see the real Italy, we recommend booking an Airbnb or condo, which you can do with a credit card that offers rewards for all kinds of travel purchases.</p> <h2>5. Greece</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/santorini_sunset_at_dawn_village_of_oia_greece.jpg" alt="" width="605" height="340" /></p> <p>Greece is home to some of the most wondrous sites on the planet &mdash; the renowned Parthenon, Olympia where the world's first Olympic Games were held, the historic Delphi, and the mountaintop monasteries of Meteora. That doesn't even include the famous Greek Islands, such as Crete and Santorini. Fortunately, Greece is also cheap to visit, with plentiful hotels and resorts for less than $100 or even $50 per night.</p> <h3>How to get there</h3> <p>Flying to Greece can be cheap and easy with airline miles. You can fly round-trip economy using United MileagePlus for 60,000 miles plus taxes and fees. If you have American AAdvantage miles, you can score an off-peak fare for 45,000 miles plus taxes and fees.</p> <h3>Where to stay</h3> <p>Greece is another country where it's smart and economical to book a small, independent hotel versus a big chain property. Sign up for a credit card that offers a travel portal through which you can use rewards points to book cheap hotels (with free breakfast). Or, opt for a flexible card that offers travel credit so you can book an Airbnb or a small boutique hotel near the major sites.</p> <h2>Credit cards that will get you there</h2> <p>Start earning points with your everyday purchases today! These credit cards allow you to transfer your points to the airline programs mentioned above.</p> <h3>Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-sapphire-preferred-review" target="_blank">Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card</a> is offering 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on your card within the first three months. Those points are worth $625 if you use them to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, but they can be worth considerably more when you transfer them to a partner airline (includes Air France and United) or hotel (Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and IHG). This card does charge a $95 annual fee, but the fee is waived the first 12 months.</p> <h3>Gold Delta Skymiles&reg; Credit Card from American Express</h3> <p>Since Delta is part of the SkyTeam Alliance, you can use points to book flights on Air France and Alaska Airlines.</p> <h3>Citi<sup>&reg;</sup> / AAdvantage<sup>&reg;</sup> Platinum Select<sup>&reg;</sup> World Elite<sup>&trade;</sup> Mastercard<sup>&reg;</sup></h3> <p>Use points to book flights on oneworld alliance partners, like Cathay Pacific.</p> <h3>The Platinum Card&reg; from American Express&nbsp;</h3> <p>The current offer on the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amex-platinum-do-the-perks-justify-the-fee" target="_blank">The Platinum Card&reg; from American Express</a>&nbsp;makes it possible to earn 60,000 points after you use your card for $5,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. While you could potentially afford a flight to Europe by booking through the AmexTravel.com portal (where 60,000 points is worth $600 in flights), you'll get better value with an Amex transfer partner (includes Air France, Delta, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Hilton).</p> <p>While the card does have a $550 annual fee, it includes $200 airline credit, lounge access to over 1,000 lounges around the world, Uber credits, and a global entry credit which add up to way more value than that, but only if you actually use it.</p> <h3>Bank of America&reg; Travel Rewards Credit Card</h3> <p>Use this card to apply points as statement credit to any travel purchases that you have to make that's not covered with points. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">How to Get a Free Vacation in 9 Months Through Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Amazing%20Destinations%20You%20Can%20Go%20to%20With%20Rewards%20Points%20and%20Miles.jpg" alt="Amazing Destinations You Can Go to With Rewards Points and Miles" 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/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amazing-destinations-you-can-go-to-with-rewards-points-and-miles">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/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</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-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</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-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards">How Families Can Earn and Use Travel Rewards</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/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays">Which Credit Card Should You Use to Get Free 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/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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel beaches Europe greece hotels islands Italy miles points rewards tropical vacation Mon, 10 Jul 2017 08:30:17 +0000 Holly Johnson 1978029 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Ways to Get Free Travel Accommodations http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-get-free-travel-accommodations <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-ways-to-get-free-travel-accommodations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_camping.jpg" alt="Couple camping" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Accommodations make up the biggest part of most travel budgets. Even if you opt to stay in the cheapest of places, it can still be a real drain on your finances. But with a little effort and an open mind, it's easy to get free accommodations all over the world when you travel. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways That Anyone Can Travel for Free</a>)</p> <h2>1. Work in a hostel</h2> <p>Most hostels employ a mixture of permanent, long-term staff and temporary, short-term volunteers on a work-to-stay arrangement. These volunteers usually do a variety of work, ranging from reception duties and cleaning, to bartending and decorating. Often, you'll be required to work for just three or four hours a day so you still get plenty of time to explore. Just make sure you agree to the terms before you start. In exchange for your labor, you'll get a bed and often some food and drinks.</p> <h2>2. Housesit</h2> <p>Opportunities to housesit are available all over the world, usually for people who want someone to look after their pets while they are on vacation. The arrangement means that you get to stay in a whole house or apartment and enjoy the home comforts that come with it. Many websites, including <a href="https://www.mindmyhouse.com/" target="_blank">Mind My House</a> and <a href="https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/us/" target="_blank">Trusted Housesitters</a>, act as agents between the homeowners and potential sitters. Sometimes you have to pay a small fee to join. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-landing-the-perfect-house-sitting-gig?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Tips for Landing the Perfect House-Sitting Gig</a>)</p> <h2>3. Work exchanges</h2> <p>In return for free accommodations, travelers can offer their time and expertise to work within a small organization or even a family home. This may include farming duties, building or repairing properties, teaching English, or baby-sitting. The opportunities are wide ranging and vary in duration as well. One thing to keep in mind is that you will usually be working four to six hours a day, sometimes six days a week. If you're doing manual labor you may be too tired to sightsee in your downtime, so you may want to plan for doing that before or after your work exchange. You can find work exchange opportunities on websites such as <a href="https://www.workaway.info/" target="_blank">Workaway</a> and <a href="http://www.helpx.net/" target="_blank">HelpX</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-work-exchange-way-to-see-the-world?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Work Exchange Way to See the World</a>)</p> <h2>4. Couchsurf</h2> <p><a href="https://www.couchsurfing.com/" target="_blank">Couchsurfing</a> is an online network that enables generous hosts to offer their spare beds or couches to travelers looking for somewhere to bed down for the night. It's absolutely free, and hosts are usually extremely sociable people looking to meet new friends and introduce them to their local area, with many being travelers themselves. This is better for short stays of a few days or less.</p> <h2>5. House swap</h2> <p>This is a really simple premise that involves swapping houses with someone who lives in a location that you want to visit. Sites such as <a href="https://www.homeexchange.com/en/" target="_blank">Home Exchange</a> allow you to search for situations worldwide. It's the perfect way to get free accommodations while ensuring that your home is looked after while you're away. Obviously it requires you to have a property in the first place, and as such, it is particularly good for families who own their houses and want a home to vacation in. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-exchanges-free-accommodations-with-perks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Home Exchanges: Free Accommodations With Perks</a>)</p> <h2>6. Volunteer</h2> <p>Lots of charitable organizations offer free room and board in exchange for your services in helping with their activities. Opportunities range from teaching English to helping build schools in places that need them. These will often be longer-term, full-time placements where you'll be lodging with other volunteers or with local families. To get started, check out <a href="http://www.freevolunteering.net/" target="_blank">Free Volunteering</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/volunteer-to-travel-11-opportunities-for-free-or-very-cheap-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Volunteer to Travel: 11 Opportunities for Free or Very Cheap Travel</a>)</p> <h2>7. Camp</h2> <p>There are lots of countries where it's absolutely legal to wild camp on public land, meaning you can stay virtually anywhere you want for no cost. Clearly you need to have camping equipment such as a tent and sleeping bag, but once you've got them, the world is your oyster. Always ensure that camping is allowed in the location you select to pitch up, and leave the site as you found it when you arrived.</p> <h2>8. Write a travel blog</h2> <p>One of the perks of <a href="https://www.goatsontheroad.com/how-to-start-a-travel-blog-bluehost/" target="_blank">starting a travel blog</a> is that with a reasonable following, companies will want to work with you in exchange for access to your audience. Many accommodation providers, hotels, and hostels are willing to provide free stays in their properties in exchange for reviews or &quot;shout outs&quot; on your blog or social media channels. It takes time to grow a following, but the rewards are worth the effort. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-make-money-by-starting-a-blog?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Can You Really Make Money by Starting a Blog?</a>)</p> <h2>9. Work on a boat</h2> <p>Captains from across the world are constantly on the lookout for people to provide them with a helping hand as they sail the seas. The boats will vary, from small sailboats to huge super yachts. Tasks can range from cooking and cleaning to deckhand duties. Most captains aren't necessarily looking for experienced sailors, just someone willing to pitch in when needed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-free-accommodations-and-paid-jobs-on-boats" target="_blank">How to Get Free Accommodations (and Paid Jobs) on Boats</a>)</p> <h2>10. Stay in a monastery or temple</h2> <p>Religious houses across the globe offer free stays to people wanting to learn and take part in their way of communal living. You don't have to have a great faith yourself, but you will be expected to abide by their rules, which in some cases can be quite strict. It's a great way to get a different perspective on an area, though, and opens you up to new experiences.</p> <h2>11. Language exchanges</h2> <p>Learning a new language can be costly, and finding someone to practice with can be difficult, depending on where you live. Language exchange trips such as those offered by <a href="https://www.lingoo.com/" target="_blank">lingoo</a> allow people wanting to learn a new language the opportunity to live with a native speaker who wants to learn English. In exchange, you may be asked to host that person in your home, too. As a traveler, you'll get regular language speaking opportunities and the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in the culture by living with a local.</p> <h2>12. Use your points</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">Credit cards that offer travel rewards</a> are extremely common now, with many providing generous sign-up bonuses that you can put toward accommodations. This could make it possible to get free nights in swanky hotels just for taking out the card. Many large hotel chains also have their own <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel-branded credit cards</a> that enable you to rack up points really quickly on your everyday purchases to use on stays at their properties. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Get a Free Vacation in 9 Months With Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>13. Use your connections</h2> <p>If you have friends or family living in a place you'd like to visit, ask if you can stay with them! Most people don't make the most of the connections they already have. Why not put out a message on social media asking if any of your friends know someone in your desired location who could put you up? You may be surprised at just how effective this is, and you'll meet some new people in the process. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F13-ways-to-get-free-travel-accommodations&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F13%2520Ways%2520to%2520Get%2520Free%2520Travel%2520Accommodations.jpg&amp;description=13%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Free%20Travel%20Accommodations"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/13%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Free%20Travel%20Accommodations.jpg" alt="13 Ways to Get Free Travel Accommodations" 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/13-ways-to-get-free-travel-accommodations">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/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/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/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-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/the-guide-to-staying-at-hostels-for-people-over-30">The Guide to Staying at Hostels for People Over 30</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accommodations blogging camping hostels hotels house swap traveling for free volunteering work exchanges Thu, 06 Jul 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Nick Wharton 1976050 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Make Sure You're Getting a Deal With Groupon Getaway http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sure-youre-getting-a-deal-with-groupon-getaway <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-sure-youre-getting-a-deal-with-groupon-getaway" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mid_adult_couple_shopping_using_laptop_and_credit_card.jpg" alt="Mid adult couple shopping using laptop and credit card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've ever explored different ways to save on travel, you've probably stumbled on <a href="http://tracking.groupon.com/r?tsToken=US_AFF_0_201409_1663122_0&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.groupon.com%2Foccasion%2Fhot-travel-deals%3Fz%3Dskip%26utm_medium%3Dafl%26utm_campaign%3D201409%26mediaId%3D1663122%26utm_source%3DGPN" target="_blank">Groupon Getaways</a>. Like traditional Groupon deals, Groupon Getaways promise huge discounts on hotels and hotel-and-airfare packages if purchased within a limited time frame.&nbsp;(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</a>)</p> <p>It's easy to see their allure. Groupon Travel recently advertised a one-week&nbsp;Italy vacation with airfare for $999&nbsp;per person. It featured round-trip flights to Naples from major cities like Chicago and New York, and six or seven nights at a hotel in the ancient town of Paestum, south of Naples.</p> <p>That sounds like a good deal, but is it? Let's explore this Groupon travel package and others to find out.</p> <h2>Deconstructing a Groupon&nbsp;Getaway</h2> <p>Before we can decide if this is a good deal, it helps to know what exactly was included. Here's what the Groupon travel website offered with the package.</p> <h3>Flights and transportation</h3> <ul> <li> <p>Round-trip airfare from New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), or Chicago (ORD)</p> </li> <li> <p>Manual shift economy car rental for duration of trip</p> </li> </ul> <h3>Hotel</h3> <ul> <li> <p>A stay of six or seven nights at&nbsp;Hotel Ariston in Paestum</p> </li> </ul> <p>For $99 extra per person, you could also score free breakfast at your hotel daily, along with a Bufala cheese tasting.</p> <p>Read further and you'd see this package came from a company called&nbsp;Great Value Vacations. And while your vacation isn't guided, the company went through the trouble of creating a sample itinerary with suggestions of cities and sights to see &mdash; stops in Rome to see Piazza Navona and Trevi Fountain, for example, along with tips on seeing the buried city of Pompeii and the unparalleled beauty of Capri and Anacapri. Of course, you'd have to pay out of pocket to see all those sights, just as you would if you'd booked your airfare and hotel yourself.</p> <p>In the ad's fine print it said that the Groupon was limited to one per person, yet the price was based on two people sharing a room and there was a $500 fee to travel solo.</p> <p>Another detail to note: The fine print said that &quot;additional fees apply to select departure dates.&quot; And while there were a ton of departure dates available, they weren't flexible at all. Worse, only two of the departure dates and cities offered came with the advertised price tag of $999. To fly out of Chicago in July, for example, costs $1,724 per person instead of $999. Out of New York in September on select dates? That would set you back $1,249.</p> <p>So much for that.</p> <p>Out of curiosity, I checked for a similar trip on Expedia using random dates this summer and fall. While I didn't find any hotel packages that included a stay in Paestum, here's what I did find: Airfare, hotel, and rental car packages from Chicago to Naples started at $759 for a week in September. Similar packages from Boston to Rome in October started at about $525.</p> <p>Plugging in a bunch of different dates and cities, I found dozens of similar packages for less than $1,000 &mdash; and sometimes a lot less. Best of all, these packages allow you to pick your dates and your hotel instead of locking you in.</p> <p>So, while $999 per person for a week in Italy with a hotel and rental car seemed like a good deal, it may not be that great after all. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-save-money-on-holiday-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Ways to Save Money on Travel</a>)</p> <h2>How to evaluate Groupon Getaways</h2> <p>The Italy package is just one example of a sour &quot;deal,&quot; but there are many, many more. There are also plenty of travel packages that <em>are</em> a good deal.</p> <p>For example, Groupon Getaways recently offered a $599 all-inclusive trip to Negril, Jamaica from certain cities. If you departed from Atlanta on June 1, you would have paid $599 for round-trip airfare and an all-inclusive stay at the Riu Negril.</p> <p>I checked outside of Groupon, and similar flights started at $570 per person on discount airline Spirit. That was for the flight alone. It would cost another $200 a night to stay at the all-inclusive Hotel Riu Negril. Obviously, this was an awesome deal if you lived near Atlanta or could get there cheaply. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save Up a Big Travel Budget</a>)</p> <p>So, how can you sort the good deals from the bad? Consider these tips.</p> <h3>1. Price out Groupon packages to see how much you'll save</h3> <p>The best way to save money with Groupon Getaways is to price out each trip and its components individually. With the Italy itinerary mentioned above, there were scads more affordable options with a lot more flexibility. But, you may not have known that if you didn't do some digging to see how much everything costs.</p> <p>The same can be true when you <em>are </em>getting a good deal. As with the Riu Negril package mentioned above, pricing the components out individually can accurately depict your savings. But you won't know how much you'll save if you never check.</p> <h3>2. Avoid packages with excessive fine print or blackout dates</h3> <p>The big problem with Groupon Getaways is all the fine print. Some only offer the packages on certain dates and from certain airports. Others have so many exclusions it's hard to keep track, or they add a surcharge if you travel alone. Make sure to read all the details so you know what you're getting into.</p> <h3>3. Factor in the costs of getting to a specific airport</h3> <p>If you're considering a Groupon Getaway that includes airfare, make sure to add in the costs of getting to a big city airport. Most of the packages only offer departures from major airline hubs like New York, Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles. If you live in Boise, Idaho, you'll need to get to one of those airports first. Unfortunately, that costs money, too.</p> <h3>4. Just because&nbsp;it's &quot;on sale&quot; doesn't mean it's a good deal</h3> <p>While this last tip is broader, it's probably the most important. Just because something says it's a deal doesn't mean it will save you money. The Italy vacation referenced above said it had a $1,599 retail value and saved you 38 percent, but it likely wouldn't have. At the end of the day, it's important to do your research and decide for yourself. A little bit of digging can ensure any decision you make is an informed one.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-make-sure-youre-getting-a-deal-with-groupon-getaway&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Make%2520Sure%2520Youre%2520Getting%2520a%2520Deal%2520With%2520Groupon%2520Getaway.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Make%20Sure%20Youre%20Getting%20a%20Deal%20With%20Groupon%20Getaway"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Make%20Sure%20Youre%20Getting%20a%20Deal%20With%20Groupon%20Getaway.jpg" alt="How to Make Sure You're Getting a Deal With Groupon Getaway" 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/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sure-youre-getting-a-deal-with-groupon-getaway">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-save-big-on-last-minute-travel">How to Save Big on Last-Minute 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/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/11-ways-to-get-the-most-value-from-your-all-inclusive-vacation">11 Ways to Get the Most Value From Your All-Inclusive Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now">10 Frugal Fall Getaways You Can Start Packing For Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-on-flights-using-fare-alerts">How to Save Money on Flights Using Fare Alerts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel flight deals groupon groupon getaway hotels travel travel tips vacation vacation tips Mon, 26 Jun 2017 08:30:18 +0000 Holly Johnson 1971632 at http://www.wisebread.com Family-Friendly Hotel and Resort Chains Where Kids Stay Free http://www.wisebread.com/family-friendly-hotel-and-resort-chains-where-kids-stay-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/family-friendly-hotel-and-resort-chains-where-kids-stay-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girls_ in_bed_under_the_covers_0.jpg" alt="Girls in bed under the covers" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Any parent who travels knows that kids can make a travel experience more rewarding.&nbsp;Unfortunately, children can also make travel &mdash; including hotel accommodations &mdash; frighteningly expensive.&nbsp;</p> <p>Adding children to your room can increase your bill significantly. This is especially true in all-inclusive resorts, where in many instances, adding two children under 12 years old to a reservation for two adults hikes the room rate by 50 percent. Hotels in larger U.S. cities and elsewhere in the world also charge extra for children.</p> <p>Fortunately, a handful of family-friendly hotel chains and resorts allow children to stay for free.</p> <h2>Choice Hotels</h2> <p>Choice Hotels offers an array of lodging options around the country where kids under the age of 18 are welcomed with open arms. Think Comfort Inn, Sleep Inn, EconoLodge, and Rodeway Inn. These properties may not be the type you'll want to select for a full-fledged vacation, but they can make a nice resting spot while you traverse the country or wait for your next-day flight.</p> <p>According to&nbsp;Choice Hotels, kids stay free at select locations, provided you book at an eligible rate and don't require any additional bedding. Also keep in mind that Choice Hotels are relatively inexpensive to begin with. It's fairly easy to book one of their properties for less than $100 per night, which is a stellar deal whether you bring the kids along or not. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Hotel Rewards</a>)</p> <h2>Holiday Inn Hotels &amp; Resorts</h2> <p>While this isn't commonly known,&nbsp;kids stay and eat free&nbsp;at all Holiday Inn Hotels and Holiday Inn Resorts. The rules vary at different properties, however. For example, kids 19 and under stay free in a shared room with their parents at traditional Holiday Inn properties. And up to four children age 12 and under can eat for free with a paid adult any time of the day in any on-site Holiday Inn restaurant.</p> <p>At Holiday Inn's all-inclusive properties in Mexico and Jamaica, however, only kids under 12 stay for free.&nbsp;And since all their meals are included anyway, you won't have to pay for their food, either. (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 Benefits and Value of the Best Hotel Rewards Programs and Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>IBEROSTAR Hotels and Resorts</h2> <p>IBEROSTAR offers five-star, all-inclusive vacations in some of the most beautiful destinations around the world. It also makes its offerings more affordable by allowing kids to stay free with certain packages. Currently, one child can stay free with a paying adult at certain hotels in Mexico and the Caribbean, while the chain's Cozumel property welcomes two kids for free with two paid adults. A minimum three-night stay is required, and other terms and conditions apply. IBEROSTAR hotels also offer supervised kids clubs and unique programming created especially for children. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which Credit Card Should You Use to Get Free Hotel Stays?</a>)</p> <h2>Club Med Resorts</h2> <p>At&nbsp;all-inclusive Club Med Sun Resorts&nbsp;in Europe, Africa, and Mauritius, children under six years old are always free; At Club Med all-inclusive resorts everywhere, else the cutoff age is four. From there, a sliding scale of discounts is in place. Children ages four to 11 get a 50 percent discount, for example, while kids 12&ndash;15 are 40 percent off.</p> <p>Like other all-inclusive resorts, Club Med offers all your food, drinks (including alcohol), and entertainment for one low price. But Club Med offers another round of excellent programming for children, including supervised kids' clubs, trapeze lessons, and special sports activities for children of all ages.</p> <h2>Divi Resorts</h2> <p>Divi Resorts&nbsp;offers all-inclusive properties in some of the most stunning regions of the Caribbean. Children stay free at some, but rules vary by location. At Divi Dutch Village Beach Resort in Aruba, for example, kids ages 12 and under stay and eat for free with the all-inclusive plan. At Divi Little Bay Beach Resort, on the other hand, only children ages five and under stay free with the all-inclusive option. Kids ages six to 12 eat at a discounted rate.</p> <p>Before you book a Divi Resort for a family-friendly stay, make sure to read the guidelines to see what children cost, if anything. And whichever resort you stay at, make sure to sign your kids up for Treasures of the Caribbean, a supervised children's program for kids ages four to 12.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffamily-friendly-hotel-and-resort-chains-where-kids-stay-free&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FFamily-Friendly%2520Hotel%2520and%2520Resort%2520Chains%2520Where%2520Kids%2520Stay%2520Free.jpg&amp;description=Family-Friendly%20Hotel%20and%20Resort%20Chains%20Where%20Kids%20Stay%20Free"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Family-Friendly%20Hotel%20and%20Resort%20Chains%20Where%20Kids%20Stay%20Free.jpg" alt="Family-Friendly Hotel and Resort Chains Where Kids Stay Free" 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/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/family-friendly-hotel-and-resort-chains-where-kids-stay-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/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/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/10-affordable-water-parks-you-can-drive-to">10 Affordable Water Parks You Can Drive To</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/amazing-destinations-you-can-go-to-with-rewards-points-and-miles">Amazing Destinations You Can Go to With Rewards Points and Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accommodations all inclusive amenities families hotels kids resorts rooms stay for free vacation Tue, 13 Jun 2017 08:30:18 +0000 Holly Johnson 1965087 at http://www.wisebread.com Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I've Earned With Credit Card Rewards http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-466442994.jpg" alt="Traveler earning experiences with credit card rewards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a travel rewards enthusiast, I've burned through well over a million points and miles in the last few years alone. While I've cashed in some of our credit card points for boring stuff (think motel stays and flights to work conferences), my family and I have also enjoyed once-in-a-lifetime excursions that have helped us see the world in new ways. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Steps to Getting a Free Vacation in 9 Months</a>)</p> <p>The best part is, these experiences have all been free, thanks to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards credit card</a> points and airline miles. Here are some of the most memorable adventures we've checked off our bucket list using rewards points.</p> <h2>Snorkeling with stingrays in Grand Cayman</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5169/Greg%20Stingray.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>In May of 2016, I surprised my husband with a trip to Caribbean island of Grand Cayman. We used points from the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-rewards-card-the-starwood-preferred-guest-credit-card-from-american-express?ref=internal" target="_blank">Starwood Preferred Guest program</a> to stay at The Westin Grand Cayman, and we paid for our flights with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-american-airlines-us-airways-credit-card-should-you-get?ref=internal" target="_blank">American Airlines AAdvantage</a> miles.</p> <p>The highlight of the trip: an excursion to Stingray City, a famous stretch of sandbar that's home to dozens of huge stingrays. I booked this excursion with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly?ref=internal" target="_blank">Chase Ultimate Rewards points</a> so it didn't even cost a dime.</p> <p>Once we arrived by boat to the sandbar, we were surrounded by enormous stingrays within minutes. We climbed down a ladder into the crystal-clear water, and the stingrays approached all around. Some let you hold them and even kiss them, while others just swam around our legs. The entire trip was a hoot, and we got awesome pictures of ourselves holding stingrays as big as five feet across. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</a>)</p> <h2>Luxing out at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme<strong> </strong></h2> <p>A few years ago, we used two free nights from my Hyatt credit card to book a weekend stay at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme. Considering the fact that rooms here usually cost $800+ per night, this isn't just any hotel. (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 Stay in a 5-Star Hotel for Less Than the Cost of a Motel</a>)</p> <p>The lobby is pristine, with art and décor that screams Parisian elegance. The large rooms are decorated in gold leaf, while the whole hotel reeks of luxury and seclusion. The breakfast, which we got for free, was regularly more than $100 for two people. And the service was impeccable.</p> <p>Because the hotel was the most luxurious I have ever stayed in, it was an experience in itself. (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">Benefits and Value of the Best Hotel Rewards Programs and Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Exploring Athens on an electric bike</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5169/Late%20Day%20Athens.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>When my husband and I visited Greece in 2016, we wanted a fun and interesting way to see the city. While we did a lot of exploring on foot, we were stoked when we found an electric bike tour we could book through Chase Ultimate Rewards.</p> <p>The weather was perfect the day of our trip, making breezing through ancient Athens fun and comfortable. On our electric bikes, we viewed the Acropolis and its famous Parthenon from afar, visited other historic sites like the Roman Agora and the Temple of Zeus, and zipped through busy streets lined with locals and tourists dining al fresco.</p> <p>We thought the bike tour was the perfect way to see parts of the city up close and can't wait to do something similar again. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</a>)</p> <h2>Touring ancient Tuscany on rewards</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5169/San%20Gimignano%20Tour%20-%20Tuscany.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>When we went to Italy a few years ago, we wanted to see some of the countryside near Florence without renting a car. We found the perfect solution: a day trip to three ancient cities throughout Tuscany, which we booked using Chase Ultimate Rewards points.</p> <p>After we boarded our bus near the train station in Florence, we set off to experience the unique charms of San Gimignano, Pisa, and Siena.</p> <p>Our visit to the medieval town of San Gimignano was a wander back in time. The walled city is home to beautifully preserved tower homes &mdash; the medieval equivalent of skyscrapers. After climbing 200+ steps to the top of the highest tower, we were rewarded with some of Tuscany's best views.</p> <p>In Pisa, we of course saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa and its adjacent baptistery. And yes, we got a silly picture of ourselves pretending to hold up the tower. Our last stop was Siena, where we visited the beautiful gothic cathedral known as the Siena Duomo, strolled through the famous Piazza del Campo in the heart of the city, then explored the winding city streets on our own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which Airline Miles Have the Best Value?</a>)</p> <h2>Snorkeling through Cenotes in Mexico</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5169/Greg%20and%20Lydia%20Snorkeling.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Another excursion we loved was snorkeling within three separate ecosystems in Mexico. This is yet another trip we booked with points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and it was a great one.</p> <p>After the bus picked us up at our Playa del Carmen hotel, we went to swim in a freshwater cenote &mdash; a natural sinkhole formed where a cave ceiling has collapsed. There, we saw tons of tiny tropical fish and zip-lined from a platform high above. Next, we snorkeled in a freshwater cave with catfish and amazing rock formations. Lastly, we headed to a protected ocean reef where we snorkeled with vast schools of fish and sea turtles. While there, I dove down to the quiet ocean floor and observed stingrays and huge parrot fish. It was an unforgettable experience. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-redeemed-a-12000-family-vacation-with-credit-card-rewards-in-2-months?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How I Redeemed a $12,000 Family Vacation With Credit Cards in 2 Months</a>)</p> <h2>Plan your own amazing rewards adventure</h2> <p>When it comes to credit card rewards, don't forget to think outside of the box. Sure, you can use your points for a regular flight or hotel stay, but there's so much more you can do.</p> <p>With the right card, you could take a hot-air balloon ride to see the Loire Valley's famous castles, dive for pearls off the coast of Hawaii, or spend a few nights in a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel you could otherwise never dream of affording</a>. If you're ready to boost your vacation fun with credit card rewards, be sure to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choose-the-best-travel-rewards-credit-card-with-this-guide?ref=internal" target="_blank">compare travel credit cards</a> to find an option that will help you see the world your own way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-started-with-travel-rewards-in-4-simple-steps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Get Started with Travel Rewards in 4 Simple Steps</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fonce-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FOnce-In-A-Lifetime%2520Experiences%2520I%2527ve%2520Earned%2520With%2520Credit%2520Card%2520Rewards.jpg&amp;description=Once-In-A-Lifetime%20Experiences%20I've%20Earned%20With%20Credit%20Card%20Rewards"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Once-In-A-Lifetime%20Experiences%20I%27ve%20Earned%20With%20Credit%20Card%20Rewards.jpg" alt="Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I've Earned With Credit Card Rewards" 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/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amazing-destinations-you-can-go-to-with-rewards-points-and-miles">Amazing Destinations You Can Go to With Rewards Points and Miles</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-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</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-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards">How Families Can Earn and Use Travel Rewards</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-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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays">Which Credit Card Should You Use to Get Free Hotel Stays?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel abroad caribbean Europe free travel hotels international travel mexico miles points rewards vacation Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Holly Johnson 1921684 at http://www.wisebread.com Which Credit Card Should You Use to Get Free Hotel Stays? http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-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/iStock-495903984.jpg" alt="Woman using her credit card to get free hotel stays" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If your goal is earning free hotel stays, it's hard to know which type of rewards card to get. While <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=internal" target="_blank">co-branded hotel credit cards</a> are an obvious pick, general-purpose <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel credit cards</a> that let you redeem points for different kinds of travel rewards can work well for free hotel stays, too.</p> <p>Which card is best? It depends on your travel style and vacation goals. Let's dig into both types of cards to see how they work, whom they're best for, and where they fall flat.</p> <h2>Co-Branded Hotel Credit Cards</h2> <p>Each major hotel chain &mdash; Hyatt, Carlson, Marriott, IHG, Hilton, and the like &mdash; offers a unique set of options. Some hotel brands offer several options for credit cards, and even&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hotel-rewards-for-business-owners-american-express-starwood-preferred-guest-business-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">co-branded business cards</a>, too, giving you even more ways to rack up points.</p> <p>These co-branded cards have several benefits and drawbacks, compared to more flexible travel rewards cards.</p> <h3>Focused Strategy Generally Nets Extra Points and Perks</h3> <p>Hotel credit cards can offer great value if you're an enthusiast for a specific chain. Some offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-free-hotel-status-upgrades?ref=internal">automatic elite&nbsp;status</a> just for being a cardholder. Co-branded cards generally offer very high bonus points for stays at its properties. They also often feature <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-sign-up-bonuses-for-hotel-stays?ref=internal" target="_blank">generous sign-up bonuses</a> that can cover free stays for a few nights. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-using-hotel-reward-points-to-get-the-most-value?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Tips for Using Hotel Reward Points to Get the Most Value</a>)</p> <h3>You're Stuck With One Chain</h3> <p>The downside with hotel credit cards is that they aren't as flexible as general travel credit cards. With a co-branded hotel credit card, you can only book free nights at a hotel within that chain. So, if your travel plans change or you want to try a different hotel brand, you might be out of luck.</p> <h3>Award Availability May Be Limited</h3> <p>Another downside with hotel credit cards is that even though most major hotel brands advertise &quot;no blackout dates&quot; for award nights, they still may limit award availability. So, even if you have the points to burn, you may not be able to use them for the exact dates you want.</p> <h3>Hotel Credit Cards Are a Good Fit for You If:</h3> <ul> <li>You like to stay with the same hotel chain. This is a particularly good strategy if you travel for work and are able to book your own room and then get reimbursed by your employer.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You love earning special hotel status and room upgrades.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You tend to have flexible travel dates when you want to redeem rewards.</li> </ul> <p>(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">Benefits and Value of the Best Hotel Rewards Cards</a>)</p> <h2>General-Purpose Travel Credit Cards</h2> <p>General-purpose travel cards come in a couple of different flavors, but they all offer one trait that co-branded hotel cards simply cannot &mdash; flexibility. With flexible travel cards, you can usually use reward points to book nearly any hotel you want.</p> <h3>Statement Credits Make Rewards Redemption Simple</h3> <p>One type of flexible travel card lets you use points to get a statement credit for a travel purchase you've already made. You earn points with your purchase, and to redeem, simply book any hotel you want with your card, then use your points as a statement credit toward your travel purchases. You can book directly or through a booking site. Most travel purchases are eligible. Each point is usually worth one cent.</p> <h3>Travel Booking Portals Let You Book at Multiple Hotels</h3> <p>Other cards have their own travel portal that allows you to use points (or cash) to book travel, usually at a nice discounted rate.<span style="font-size: 13px;">&nbsp;The benefit here is that you can use your points to book a room with any hotel chain of your choosing, from high-end luxury hotels to cheap roadside motels, and you'll usually get more value per point than just one cent. Often these portals can even allow you to&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-hotels?ref=internal" target="_blank" style="font-size: 13px;">transfer points to hotel partners</a><span style="font-size: 13px;"> at a 1:1 ratio.</span></p> <h3>Flipside of Flexibility: Earning Less Concentrated, Extra Perks Scarce</h3> <p>The main drawback of these more flexible cards is points accrue slower. The rewards you get for your hotel stays will be much lower, but generally you do get more rewards for other purchases than you would for hotel specific cards. You also won't get the free anniversary award nights, or the upgrades and other special treatment that come with many hotel cards.</p> <h3>General-Purpose Travel Cards Are a Good Fit for You If:</h3> <ul> <li>You don't spend a lot at a particular chain and don't want to be tied down to only staying at one.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You don't have flexible travel dates &mdash; you can use your points regardless of award availability or blackout dates.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You spend in categories that other rewards cards offer higher bonuses for.</li> </ul> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhich-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhich%20Credit%20Card%20Should%20You%20Use%20to%20Get%20Free%20Hotel%20Stays-.jpg&amp;description=Which%20Credit%20Card%20Should%20You%20Use%20to%20Get%20Free%20Hotel%20Stays%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></div> <div align="center">&nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Which%20Credit%20Card%20Should%20You%20Use%20to%20Get%20Free%20Hotel%20Stays-.jpg" alt="Which Credit Card Should You Use to Get Free Hotel Stays?" width="250" height="374" align="middle" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-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-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards">How Families Can Earn and Use Travel Rewards</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/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amazing-destinations-you-can-go-to-with-rewards-points-and-miles">Amazing Destinations You Can Go to With Rewards Points and Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel co-branded cards free hotel stays hotels perks points rewards sign up bonuses vacation Wed, 08 Mar 2017 10:30:30 +0000 Holly Johnson 1904519 at http://www.wisebread.com 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-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb">10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb</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/amazing-destinations-you-can-go-to-with-rewards-points-and-miles">Amazing Destinations You Can Go to With Rewards Points and Miles</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-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/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/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">How to Book an Amazing Cheap Vacation Package</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-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-spot-a-hotel-booking-scam">How to Spot a Hotel Booking Scam</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/your-hotel-room-has-bedbugs-now-what">Your Hotel Room Has Bedbugs. Now What?</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/this-airbnb-scam-will-ruin-your-vacation-and-your-budget">This Airbnb Scam Will Ruin Your Vacation — and Your Budget</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/watch-out-for-these-10-red-flags-with-vacation-rentals">Watch Out for These 10 Red Flags With Vacation Rentals</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> 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