With so many online travel deals, loyalty reward programs and member discounts, it seems silly to pay full price for your next vacation.
When planning your next vacation, keep in mind that you can often save money through your group affiliations. A lot of organizations have member discount programs for travel, dining and entertainment, including the American Automobile Association, AARP and tournament fishing organization FLW.
Also, college alumni associations and fraternities often have travel packages, and there seem to be a lot of travel discounts for students, teachers, military personnel, veterans, nurses and government employees.
Popular travel sites
Use online travel aggregators to find bargains and compare prices for airfare, hotels, resorts, cruises, rental cars, restaurants and entertainment. Some of the more popular travel sites include:1
Whether you want to upgrade to first class, get a bigger room or drive a roomier rental car, all it takes is a little luck – and kindness. That means being pleasant with the gate agents, hotel clerks and rental car agents. Traveling during the off-season helps, too.
It never hurts to politely ask for an upgrade, but keep in mind that most companies give preferential treatment to customers who participate in their loyalty reward programs.2
Most major airlines, hotel chains, cruise lines and rental car agencies have customer loyalty programs. Joining is almost always free and points can be redeemed for free accommodations, travel and rentals.
If you don't want to be bound to a particular hotel or airline, consider a credit card that offers points for what you spend on a number of travel companies. The Capital One® Venture Card, for instance, has no blackout dates and offers double miles for every dollar spent on any airline.3
The Chase Sapphire PreferredSM Card also has no blackout dates and gives you double points for every dollar spent on airlines, cruises, hotels, rental cars, restaurants, taxis and trains. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card points can be redeemed with almost any airline or hotel.4