Why It Pays To Read the Fine Print

There’s nothing worse than losing money when you don’t have to. Traveling doesn’t come cheap, so when it’s time to take flight, hit the road or ride the rails it’s a good idea to read the fine print before you fork over your hard-earned cash. For example, many jet-setting travelers think they are scoring big time by signing up for airlines’ frequent flyer credit cards.  However, unless you read all the details associated with the enrollment process, becoming a member may end up costing you more than you bargained for.  Sure, you’re earning bonus miles each time you use the … Continue reading

Travel Tip: Don’t Wing It

When it comes to preserving your travel budget, it’s best not to wing it.  Sure, a few impromptu souvenirs or an extra tropical libation may not break the bank.  However, if you are truly interested in stretching your travel dollar, it’s best to plan ahead.  The more money-saving opportunities you take advantage of, the more cash you can stash for a future trip. Before you jet-off on your next vacation, consider the following: Watch where you eat:  As much as you are careful about what you eat while on vacation, if you are following a strict budget, it’s as important … Continue reading

How to Score Big Savings on the Road

  When you are looking for ways to reduce travel expenses start small.  You may be surprised to see that in no time those minor moves can add up to big savings. Here are a few simple money-saving tips to get you started: Stay at a hotel that offers complimentary breakfast, and then take an extra apple, banana, yogurt or granola bar to eat as a mid-afternoon or late-night snack.  It beats spending additional money feeding the vending machine or calling room service when you get hungry later in the day. Bypass big city restaurants and dine at a cheaper … Continue reading

Money-Saving Packing Strategies

I took a crash course in efficient packing shortly after I was forced to fork over $100 to United Airlines for failing to keep my bags under 50 pounds. For an extra $150, I could have purchased my bag a seat and let it ride next to me on my flight. I kicked myself for months following that debacle.  It was a costly mistake that should have never happened. With holiday travel peaking in a few days, consider the following packing tips so that you won’t be forced to shell out extra dough on your flight to grandma’s house: Make … Continue reading

Be Smart and Save on Hotel Stays

A year ago today my daughter’s dream of swimming with dolphins came true.  As a combination birthday/Christmas present, we traveled to a resort in Hawaii, which allows guests to frolic with marine mammals, for a pretty penny.  I knew exactly how much we’d have to fork over for the dolphin experience; however, when I got the bill for the overnight accommodations, my jaw hit the hotel’s travertine floor.  I was shocked by the exorbitant resort fees, which by the way, were not fully disclosed during the booking process. I later discovered that this is a common practice with hotels and … Continue reading

Warm-Up Winter Driving Skills

  Winter Driving Tip #1:  Don’t use the wind as an alternative to snow brushes and ice scrapers.  Get off your lazy behind and remove the snow from your car before you hit the highway. So, yeah, the meteorologists were right.  We got dumped on a couple of days ago.  The first significant snowfall of the season and now drivers in these parts are being forced to warm-up their winter driving skills after a long hibernation. Unfortunately, many motorists I followed yesterday morning must have overslept or couldn’t remember where they stored their brushes because I got pummeled with sheets … Continue reading

Can You Still Save on Holiday Travel?

A few weeks ago, commercial carriers, hotels and car rental agencies were scaring people into completing their holiday booking STAT! If you bought into the hype and made reservations thinking you’d be hit with horrendous prices if you waited a single second longer, you’re likely kicking yourself right now. Turns out, supply currently outweighs demand, and now prices are inching down. There is still time to score savings when making your Christmas travel plans. Visiting popular aggregate sites such as Expedia, Orbitz, and Kayak can help simplify your search for reasonable rates. However, don’t limit yourself to the meta-search sites. … Continue reading

Budgeting for Tipping

When you are devising a vacation budget items like airfare, hotel rooms and rental cars are typically at the top of the list. However, what about the extra cash you need to tip cab drivers, concierges, skycaps, and hotel housekeepers? Often, travelers forget about padding their wallets to for gratuities. Tipping is an important factor to consider whether you are planning a monthly business trip or a 3-year-in-the-making European vacation. When saving up for a holiday getaway, don’t forget to consider the money you will need to tip appropriately. Tipping is generally not mandatory, unless duly noted on a bill; … Continue reading

Adding Up Travel Expenses

Traveling isn’t cheap. Whether you are embarking on a cross-country drive to see Mickey and friends in Anaheim, California, or you’re hopping a puddle-jumper from Milwaukee to Minneapolis for a marathon shopping spree at the Mall of America, traveling expenses can add up fast. Hotels: Before booking a hotel room make sure to inquire about all fees. Don’t be blindsided at check-out just because you neglected to read the fine print on your receipt. Some of the most egregious fees include mandatory valet parking. The privilege of being able to park in the hotel’s lot can set you back a … Continue reading

Make Peace with Packing

We all love to travel, but unless you are Martha Stewart-organized, packing for vacation can be a real pain. Whether you are jetting off to grandma’s house in Omaha or planning to watch history being made in London during the Summer Olympics, you will likely need more than just a toothbrush and underwear to get through a week-long trip. Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce stress when packing for a summer getaway. For starters, if you are flying on a commercial airline that charges an arm and a leg for excess baggage, consider wearing your heaviest shoes and clothes … Continue reading