If you are traveling for the holidays and haven’t booked your tickets, or are traveling in the next six months, here are my best money-saving travel tips.
- be flexible with travel dates if at all possible
- flying on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday is generally the cheapest
- sign up for the email list of various airlines you like to travel on because they often send electronic fare sale alerts, giving you the first crack at sales (especially for Virgin America and Southwest)
- comparison shop on Kayak.com
- but check the airline’s homepage for a reduced fare, too
- consider Priceline.com if you are flexible about travel times and airlines
- Southwest flights can only be booked through them
- sign up for TravelZoo.com, a site that finds incredible travel bargains and emails them to you (they are especially good for packaged vacations and event tickets)
- sign upfor AirFareWatchDog.com, which tracks specific routes for you
- pack light to avoid baggage fees (see below)
- use this coupon for free in-flight Internet access
Here is a summary of airline baggage fees so you can factor them into the cost of your trip.
American – $20 first bag, $30 second bag
Continental – $20 first bag, $30 second bag
Delta – $20 first bag, $30 second bag but get a $5 discount by paying ahead of time online
United – $20 first bag, $30 second bag but get a $5 discount by paying ahead of time online
Southwest – no baggage fees
For a full list of airline baggage fees, see this page on About.com.
Save on hotels by booking a time share or vacation rental.
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If you like cruises, read my resources for cruise deals.