Saturday, March 9, 2013

Ways to travel cheap

Below you will find some of the travel tools in my repertoire.

Look for error fares:

This is one of the most strait forward ways to travel for cheap.  However this often requires a flexible schedule and a quick trigger finger when deciding to book.  Past successes include New York to Stockholm for $150 round trip.

Credit card sign ups:

This has been one of my most fruitful ways of traveling for cheap.  All you need is a good credit score and a bit of organizational skills.  Past successes include 100,000 British airways miles, 150,000 American airlines miles, 2 free nights at the park hyatt vendome paris.  Please see post.

Mileage runs/Mattress runs:

Ok, so ill admit I've never done a true "mileage run" however i have done several mattress runs.  The point of these is to fly or stay at a hotel for the sole purpose of gaining elite status or other benefits.  I have found mattress runs to be very beneficial when hotel chains offer promotions such as the "stay one night get one night free" offer that Raddison was running last yr.  I was able to stay 1 night in Baltimore for $79 and redeemed my free night in NYC at the Radisson Martinique on Broadway which retails for upwards of $300 a night.

Sales/Off season Rates:

Throughout the year airlines and hotels will offer sales to fill seats and rooms that would otherwise go unfilled.  These can be either advertised sales or simply lower priced offerings based on low demand.  Last year Hilton was having an end of the season sale where I was able to book several Hilton hotels in the DC area for 39-60$ a night.  These rooms generally run in the 100-200$ range.

Hotel status match:

Hotel status matches are another great way to get added value from your hotel stays.  By having status with a hotel chain you can get added perks such as free upgrades and free breakfast.  All of these benefits translate into added savings and a more pleasant overall travel experience.  Occasionally brands will offer promotions for free status.  You can then leverage this into status with other chains.  Past successes include: Hilton Gold, Hyatt Diamond, Marriott Platinum.

Other mileage/point earning opportunities:

From time to time hotels and airlines offer bonus points for things such as liking them on facebook to buying items from their associated online shopping mall.  The opportunities here are too varied to describe in detail but if i see something good ill make sure to post about it.

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