Guest Author - Brenda Potter Reynolds
The cost of gas has gone down some, (for now) but it seems the cost of everything else keeps going up. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your travel dollar, in New England or anywhere else!
1. Hotel Coupons
Youíll often see these slim booklets at rest areas and information centers. Inside, hotels and motels are listed, usually along major highways, with coupons for low rates on a nightís stay. Most are good Sunday through Thursday, although some are available anytime during the week. The savings can be substantial.
My favorite is Roomsaver, which is readily available in New York State and most of Northeast. At their website, located at Roomsaver you can search to find a location that carries them, or even order one. You can also make reservations from the website, but I havenít tried that feature yet.
Two other coupon books are TravelCoupons.com and Travel Coupon Guides, which covers the Pacific Northwest, the Pacific Southwest, and South Central regions.
2. Hotwire and Jet Blue
Every flight Iíve taken in the US has been booked through Hotwire or JetBlue.com. I still canít believe the price I got on a flight to Phoenix several years ago. Jet Blue has limited flights, but I love their comfy seats and satellite TV (19 channels). Jet Blue has specials, for instance, flights from Boston to Tampa for $69, but for some reason, they are never the flights I need. Thatís OK, because I can fly to Phoenix for $129 if I time it right. I always check both sites before booking a flight.
3. Arrange a Group Trip
Did you know that if you sign up enough people for a group trip, you can go along free? Or if you canít get enough people to go free, you may qualify for a discount. You also may be able to get a free ride for your spouse or friend if you know lots of people or are a good salesman!
Robert Wm Kirk offers extensive information how to recruit passengers, pick a travel company, and put a tour together in his book Travel Free.
4. Entertainment Book
I buy an Entertainment Book nearly every year. The books are targeted to different regions and cities, and offer discounts and coupons on dining, shopping, hotels, airline tickets, and even cruises! If you are headed to another region, you canít lose by picking up one for that area. The highest price Iíve seen is $47 for the San Deigo book, but most are between $27 and $37. And if you order now, youíll save $10.
Get $10 off any 2007 Entertainment book purchase! Discounts on dining, hotels, and fun!
5. BellaOnline.comís own Budget Travel Site offers tips on budget travel ranging from car rentals to accommodations. Thereís also a newsletter you can sign up for. Visit at: Budget Travel.