Sep 17, 2010

Saving Tips for Travel (Merrick)

As you know, this week's posts are about saving money while traveling. This subject was a little tough for me because we do most of our penny pinching at home and then do a bit of splurging for our vacations. But despite that, I was able to come up with three ways that we tend to save money on vacations:

1. Restaurant.com: I talked about this in an earlier post, and it sort of relates to Janssen's idea of planning where you eat. It does take a little foresight, planning where you'll be on a given evening during your vacation and choosing something that you hope you'll be in the mood for once your vacation arrives. But those problems aside, it's a great way to save tons of money and try out great restaurants. Especially if you join their email list and get notifications of their 80% off promotions. We've used this several times and have never been disappointed.

2. Rewards Programs: There are lots of travel websites that have rewards programs; the two that we most frequently use are Southwest and Hotels.com. As you probably know with Southwest, you get free flights as your flight points accumulate. With Hotels.com, you get a free night when you book 10 nights through their site. This presents a great opportunity to stay in a really nice hotel, or fly somewhere expensive. It pays to be a loyal customer.

3. Upgrade when you get there: For my husband, Philip, one of the most important things when we travel is the hotel room. However, booking a suite or room with a view is usually pretty expensive. We've found that if we book the cheapest hotel room online, we can upgrade once we get there. If the hotel isn't full, they will often do this for free or for only a few dollars more per night. A great way to save money and get the room you want.

We've said it before, but we'd love to hear more ideas of how you save when you travel!

3 comments:

Rhiannon said...

Oh, how I love Restaurant.com. I just bought a $50 to one of our favorite restaurants for $6. Love, love, love.

Gina said...

We love reward programs. My husband travels for work, so he collects miles/point/etc from everywhere he goes. If he books a hotel that isn't a Marriot or Hilton (because we earn lots of points from these companies), then he books through hotels.com. Their reward system recently changed, but before it did we managed to make a once in a lifetime vacation for the two of us. He had earned two free nights anywhere, so we booked two nights in New York City to say at the new Trump hotel in Soho! They did have to call us close to our vacation to move us to the Trump International Hotel in the Central Park area because the Soho hotel was delayed in opening. But two free nights at any Trump hotel is AMAZING! Plus, he got two letters (one for each night we stayed) from hotels.com apologizing for the inconvenience of moving our hotel. Inside EACH letter was a $100 gift certificate to hotels.com! It was an amazing trip to celebrate our anniversary and our newest addition to the family (had recently found out we were expecting Baby #3).

Brit said...

Mer - What do you say to the people at the front desk to get your room upgraded?