- If you're new to travel hacking, check out The Basics page (on the top menu) for the basics on how to travel cheaply.
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Category Archives: Travel Blogs
There is a simple way to make money for future trips that takes little effort from you. Most of the major travel sites have best price guarantees. This means if you find a better price on another site for the exact same item, they will match the price and give you a credit for a future booking. You can use this strategy on airfare, hotels, and car rentals. I’ve used it both for airfare and hotels on Travelocity and Expedia.
It takes a little effort, but not much. You just need to search multiple travel sites for any of your bookings (something I would suggest anyway, since you always want to get the best price). The fun begins when you find something you want to book and you have a site that it priced higher than another (on a site that has a best price guarantee). You make note of which site had the lower price, but you book the item on the higher priced site. You then follow the best price guarantee procedure for that site. That usually means submitting an on-line form or calling a customer service representative. You tell them what you booked and where the lower price can be found.
I’ve used this for our flights between Oahu and Maui on our last Hawaiian vacation. It took almost no time and I got a $50 credit towards a future booking. I’ve also used it on a hotel booking for a trip to Maine. They matched the lower price and I got a $50 credit towards a future booking. Each of these probably took me about 10 minutes to submit the documentation.
A few important points:
- Make sure the site you’re booking with has a best price guarantee
- Make sure that the lower price site item is for EXACTLY the same item as the higher price site
- Submit your best price guarantee documentation as soon as possible (no more than 24 hours later) since prices can change fast
- There is a blog called The Best Rate Guarantee Blog that talks about how to use the best price guarantee on hotel bookings
- As stated on The Best Rate Guarantee Blog, Hotels Combined is a great starting point for hotel bookings.
There are 2 web sites that most people in the cheap travel game use for finding flights – Expert Flyer and KVS Tool. These sites allow you to search for airfares, frequent flyer tickets, and how many seats exist at each fare class for many airlines. Let’s say you’re looking to redeem frequent flyer miles for a flight. This tool will allow you to see which flights have frequent flyer tickets available and how many tickets they have. From this information, you can determine which legs of the trip are preventing your desired trip from being available for frequent flyer redemption. You can then look for alternate routes to get you to your desired destination.
Another great use of these tools is described in this week’s Travel Sort blog. It describes how you can use married segments to find cheap flights. As he alludes to in the article, this is what people use to string together mileage runs. They are looking to find the cheapest dollar/mile trips to help them get status with an airline. When you have status with an airline, you accumulate mileage faster and you often can upgrade to first class for free.
This article is fascinating. If you are looking to book a trip which is long enough where you could have a connection, you should definitely check this out. I ran a couple of tests based on the information in the article and saw hundreds of dollars difference for the exact same flights using his advice.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! I hope you do something for yourself today. My mom friends and I have a tradition of going out to dinner together for Mother’s Day. That way you’re always guaranteed to have a little me time on your day.