Wise Mile Spending

You scrimped and saved for years to take vacations to various destinations.  Now, you’ve finally accumulated enough frequent flyer miles to redeem a cushy reward.  So, do you blow those precious miles on a free ticket or do you use them to upgrade to first class? Travel experts say the key to using award travel miles is to research your options before settling on a prize.   In other words, before you cash in your hard earned miles, consider where you’re going, how much a ticket there costs, and how challenging it will be to claim your reward. For example, if … Continue reading

Travel Savings Strategies

Choosing to fly during the off-season is an easy way to save money; however, there are many other ways you can pad your wallet when your travel plans take you to the airport.  The key to saving big is a little pre-flight strategizing. For example, if you only fly on commercial airlines a few times a year, you may have a hard time justifying the costs associated with an airport lounge membership.  Still, it’s hard to resist the comforts and services provided at these luxurious airport hangouts. Some of the perks of lounge membership include: Peace and quiet:  Most airport … Continue reading

Save on a Mid-Summer Getaway

Forget about the fact that Wal-Mart and Target erected their school supply displays before the last firework exploded on the 4th of July.  Take a look at the calendar and you will see that there are more than six weeks of summer vacation left before most kids head back to class. For many families, that leaves plenty of time to get in another trip or two before the end of the season.  In fact, if you’ve waited this long to take flight on a summer vacation you stand to save a pretty penny.  According to travel insiders, late August is … Continue reading

Must-Have Travel Accessory for Kids

I’ve spent the last eight years racking up more than 160,000 frequent flyer miles with my daughter during our annual jaunts from Wisconsin to Hawaii.  If all goes according to plan, we can get from our home to my parents’ house in roughly 18 hours. Of course, things rarely go according to plan. Honestly, I’ve lost track of how many hours I’ve spent in various airplanes and airports with a young child who would rather be anywhere other than in an airplane or airport. What I do recall are all of the mistakes I’ve made during those seemingly endless flights. … Continue reading

Gas Tank Getaway: Six Flags Great America

Don’t let high gas prices keep you home this summer.  There’s no need to sweat it out in your backyard when extreme family fun is less than a tank of gas away. If you live in Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan or Illinois, a mecca of mind-blowing adventure awaits at Six Flags Great America.  The popular theme park is located in Gurnee, Illinois; less than an hour’s drive from Chicago, Milwaukee, and a host of other major Midwestern cities. Great America’s convenient location is a major timesaver, but the savings don’t stop there.  In addition to banking gas money, you can continue … Continue reading

Sail Into Super Savings

The new week has generated a tidal wave of savings for cruise fans.  If you are a veteran high seas voyager or you’re looking to take your first major sail, now is the time to act. Norwegian Cruise Line just announced a new promotion which issues free upgrades to passengers with new bookings.  The “Upgrade and Go” sale allows travelers to book a balcony cabin for the price of an oceanview cabin, or an oceanview cabin for the price of a windowless interior cabin. The sale is applicable to Caribbean, Bahamas, Florida, Hawaii and Europe cruises.  In addition, customers booking … Continue reading

Free TV at 35,000 Feet

Southwest Airlines is giving passengers another way to stretch their travel dollar.  The discount airline recently announced that it will be allowing customers to watch TV for free on all Wi-Fi enabled planes. The new “TV Flies Free” offer is a budget-conscious traveler’s dream come true.  Just bring along your own personal device–iPhone, iPad, iPod or other Internet-ready gadgets–and Southwest will hook you up with satellite TV provider Dish network’s 14 live TV channels and 75 on-demand shows.  The new service is currently being offered on the airline’s 425-plus Wi-Fi equipped planes, which is nearly 75% of Southwest’s entire fleet. While … Continue reading

Timing is Key for Budget-Conscious Travelers

Traveling during the peak summer season is nearly impossible for families on a strict budget.  This is especially true if you are flying to your favorite seasonal vacation destination.  Airlines show no mercy on penny-pinching passengers and traditionally increase already high airfares during the summer months. Fortunately, there are some ways you can save money when taking to the skies in the coming months.  The trick is to remember key dates as set by major commercial carriers.  For example, if you are traveling within the United States, airfares typically dip at the end of August, when airlines decide that summer … Continue reading

Getting More Bang for Your Hotel Buck

Is there anything more irritating to a frugal traveler than having to pay hundreds of dollars for a single hotel room that you only have access to for less than 24 hours? In many cases, hotels are cutting corners even more by pushing back check-in time to 4 p.m. and moving up check-out time to 11 a.m. What a rip-off. Fortunately, some hotels are offering budget-conscious guests a reprieve by allowing for later check-out times on Sunday morning.  For example, Westin Hotels & Resorts recently debuted a “Make Monday Better” deal for travelers looking to extend their weekend stay.  The program … Continue reading

Last-Minute Fourth of July Travel Bargains

Don’t feel like celebrating America’s birthday in your backyard this year? Changing party venues doesn’t have to cost you a pretty penny if you take advantage of last-minute deals.  By waiting this late in the game to book a hotel stay for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, you stand to save a bundle. For example, New York City is showing a slew of savings for Independence Day visitors.  According to travel app HotelTonight, which specializes in finding deeply discounted rates for same-day hotel stays, many rooms in the heart of NYC are going for a mere $100.  That’s a … Continue reading