Below is an article I wrote for The Houston Chronicle. The real takeaway here is the blog ViewFromTheWing where Gary Leff, founder of BookYourAwards.com, posts travel deals constantly. He’s got the loopholes down to a science. If you’re looking to take a big trip and want to go first class, he will do the work for you and save you a fortune.
Onto the article:
There’s no question that as each day passes vacationing – traveling in general – is getting more expensive. But there are possible ways to afford your vacation if you plan ahead.
1. Wait for a steal.
Airlines offer fare specials, vacation packages, and credit cards with mileage incentives. They change all the time, so plan your vacation where you can get the biggest bang for your buck or miles.
2. Track Fares on Yapta.com.
Visit this site weeks or even months before your travel dates and select flights you want to track. When the fares go up or down, Yapta will alert you when it changes. If you’ve already booked your flight, Yapta will also help you get a refund for the difference.
3. Enlist an expert.
Don’t feel like doing the leg work yourself? Sites like ViewFromTheWing.com post deals daily and put the fine print in bold so you don’t have to decipher the restrictions.
4. Follow Airlines on Twitter.
Every airline in the sky has a twitter account they use to inform customers of specials and field customer service issues. You’ll find this method much easier and less annoying than email newsletters.
5. Apply for credit cards.
Airlines offer major mile incentives when you sign up. Get the card and then make a purchase at an online retailer or restaurant that awards you miles for points to exponentially increase your total.
6. Plan to get booted.
Flights are being overbooked so airlines can ensure they sell every seat. During busy flight times, airlines are now offering credits for passengers to give up their seat. You can earn up to $400 for your seat that you can use later to fly. Check OneMileAtATime.com for tips on this trick.Tweet this!