Make the most of your summer while keeping the most money in your wallet!
Summer vacations hold a special appeal to us all, remembering back to the excitement heard by that final bell on the last day of the school year so many years ago. But now that we are grown up and have to do the leg-work to plan the trip, we often find ourselves exhausted before we get out the door. So off to research we go but with a bevy of online resources dedicated to travel planning it can make it hard for us to make a decision. How do we know when we’ve found the best use of our vacation dollars?
Before you dedicate a week to checking every travel deal site on the net, these consolidators scour the Web for the best deals so that you don’t have to!
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Not Sure Where You Want to Go: If you don’t have a specific place you want to go or travel date set, using the Internet to find a good deal or a great resort can be particularly overwhelming. One way to get inspired: keep an eye on Travelzoo’s Weekly Top 20. It’s a collection of the best deals from airlines, hotels, cruise lines and travel consolidators like Travelocity, Cheap Caribbean, and many more. They sort through all the travel deals posted to the net each week and then present the “best of the best,” all in one place.
Drawback: The best deals can sell out fast, so if you know you’ve found what you’re looking for don’t delay. You can sign up for the Weekly Top 20 to be emailed to you when it’s released if you want to be sure not to miss out.
Have a Plan in Mind: If you already know where you want to go, Kayak does a quick search across hundreds of airline and travel agent options for your specific trip needs. You’re then presented with a list of results tailored to your specific trip that Kayak has filtered to put the best deals first. If you want to be sure that you have done a thorough scouring of the net, Kayak offers a one-click simultaneous search across competitor travel sites like Expedia, Travelocity, Bookit and more, so you can compare the best offers all at once.
Classic Disney Trip: Planning to do Disney? Believe it or not, there are ways to save if you know the insider info. Check out Mousesavers for a collection of the best deals on all things Disney. In addition to tips on how to get the best price on tickets, dining, and special Disney experiences, discover where to book to get the best rates on hotels, what you can expect on Disney cruises, even what’s planned for upcoming park, resort and ship improvements.
Current discounts and promotions are highlighted on the front page and updated regularly – from how to get the most out of a Disney Visa card discount program to coupon codes and special offers that would otherwise be tough to ferret out. You’ll find up-to-date info about shows, freebies, and tips to make the most of your trip, including how to spend less time in line and more time enjoying your trip.
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Considering a Cruise: Before you make plans to embark on a cruise, check out Cruise Critic for reviews of cruise lines (by editors and site users) and tips to help you decide the best cruise before you book. The “Deals” tab collects the top bargains by destination, cruise type or departure port. Explore the “How to Cruise” tab for detailed guides and expert advice on how to choose, book, and finalize your trip, including things you need to know before you go and how to make the most of shore excursions. Find the best deals, including the best seasons to book by destination, and tips to ensure you set sail on the cruise that best fits your needs and style.
Finally, before you book, submit specific details of the trip you’re considering to Cruise Compete to give travel agents the opportunity to find you a better deal. Simply create an account, submit a request for a quote, and travel agent’s offers will be submitted online with no obligation and without revealing your contact info.
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Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, an on-site computer and laptop repair service company for consumers and businesses. Andrea established the company with her husband, Ryan, from a spare room in their home in Redding, Calif., in March 2004. Andrea is the writer of two weekly columns, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight, and Computer Nerds On Call for the Scripps-Howard News Service. To ask your puzzling tech questions email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.