Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thanks for the tip O' Mighty Travel Gods!

Being such a travel activist, I subscribe to several different periodicals. As a result I sometimes receive some fairly interesting inserts in my mailbox. The most recent was a bookmark sized flyer with the "Top 5 Secrets To Savvy Travel" on it. Most of the tips I already follow, but I thought I'd share them with you.

1. Time It Right. Fly on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday. Traveling on off-peak days- and at off-peak times- means lower fares, a less crowded cabin, and a greater change of snagging those elusive mileage-award seats.  Taking two days off for a long weekend? Instead of traveling Thursday and Sunday or Friday and Monday, save money by flying Saturday and Tuesday.

2. Buy Airline Tickets Midday on Tuesdays. When I purchase a domestic ticket, I usually do it on a Tuesday between noon and 3p.m. Airlines tend to announce fare sales on Monday nights, and other airlines match those sales on Tuesday mornings, which means that by 3p.m. on the East Coast and by noon Pacific time, the greatest number of tickets has hit the system.

3. Stay Over Sunday. Many hotels get Friday and Saturday night bookings from leisure travelers and Monday through Friday traffic from Business Travelers, so there's a void on Sunday night- which increases your changes of an upgrade. See tip 1 for more savings ;)

4. Carry Credit Cards That Earn You Elite Status. Play your travel-rewards credit cards right and you'll receive special rates and perks. Carry one airline-branded card and one hotel-branded card that help you attain and maintain elite status- and make sure that at least one of those cards charges no foreign-purchase fee.

5. Book Through "Top Producers." The travel agent who sends the most travelers to a leading hotel or cruise line will be able to get you the most perks. These usually come in the form of resort credits, complimentary meals, and/or free upgrades. Ask an agent whether he is on any travel companies' advisory boards.

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