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There Is No Such Thing as an Airfare Hack, But Getting Cheap Airfares Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

There Is No Such Thing as an Airfare Hack, But Getting Cheap Airfares Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

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Guest Post by Steven Cuffari

For those of you who travel less than once a year, turn back now.

This article is not for you.

Whangamata Beach, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand, Sunrise

This is for the consummate travel enthusiast who flies at least once a year and is dedicated to traveling more and spending less.

If that sounds like you, then read on.

The internet is filled with so-called tips and tricks to get the best deals on airfares, each one promising a dreamy utopia of fool-proof methods to save the most money.

In reality, flight hunting is an endeavor of ups and downs (no pun intended), successes and failures, victories and defeats.

There are no guarantees.

Just when you thought you found the best flight price and book it, you inevitably hear about a friend or a friend of a friend who found a cheaper one.

Simply put, finding the most affordable flight tickets is a matter of dedication, vigilance and using the right tools:

Sign up for Alerts and Track Trends

It’s the 21st century. If you’re not using apps, alerts and search engines to find the best ticket prices, then you need to step up your game. There are dozens of companies that offer apps, alerts or both. The best ones are free, so you can sign up for several at no cost.

Kayak.com and Google Flights have the most comprehensive listings, but Skyscanner.com, TravelPirates.com and AirfareWatchdog.com are also very good and have apps of their own.

Once you have all your alerts set up, you can track pricing trends on your own or use the built in functions that come with each app.

Plan Ahead but Stay Flexible

Planning ahead is an obvious truth in flight hunting. The more time you have to search, the better your chances are at finding the best price. Staying flexible is a key part of this planning. Most travel websites and apps have a “flexible dates” search option which allows you to view a chart of possible flights for a range of departure and return dates.

Use it.

Still, last-minute flight deals are a reality and they can pop up without any warning. This can be a joy for some, but a deep sadness for others.

One of the most depressing times in a flight hunter’s life is when they find an amazing deal but can’t travel on the specified dates. Normally, there is not much you can do to remedy this. If you can’t fly, you can’t fly. Such is life.

The only way to take advantage of surprise deals like these is to be ready at a moment’s notice to drop everything and pack your bags. Not everyone can do this, but this flexibility is often the key to finding the cheapest tickets.

Adventure Travel Tourism is Taking Off

Know Where You Want to Go

“Knowing where you want to go” is not what you think. It’s not simply choosing a destination. Knowing where you want to go means research. Learning about your destination can save you money in unexpected ways:

Geography: Knowing airport locations, transportation links and nearby towns and cities can help you save money by flying indirectly to your destination. Often, it is cheaper to fly to surrounding areas which are accessible by inexpensive local or regional transportation from your final destination.

Culture: The cost of flying to most tourist destinations is affected greatly by local holidays and special events. Knowing what they are and avoiding them can save you tons of money, unless of course the purpose of your trip is to visit for those occasions.

Weather: Like culture, weather affects the cost of ticket prices to fly to most tourist destinations. High season (when more people travel and flights are more expensive) is usually during the summer months, and low season is usually during the winter. Avoid high season and reap the benefits! And remember, south of the equator, summer months begin in December, not June!

Be Realistic and Keep Your Eye on the Totals

One of the major reasons this article exists is to emphasize the fact that there is no guarantee to finding the best flight prices. If you become dependent on so-called airfare hacks, you will soon learn that tips and tricks can easily turn into traps.

Being realistic means understanding that you won’t always find the best flight price to suit your needs. It also means coming to terms with having to pay more sometimes. In those cases, you can keep your eyes on the prize by trying to save on other aspects of travel, like accommodations, food and entertainment.

Sites like Airbnb.com, Hostels.com and even Couchsurfing.com can save you tons of money on places to stay. You can save money on food by finding accommodations equipped with kitchens.

In some cases, you can even get a refund from the airline if the price of your flight drops after you book it. The website Yapta.com can help you to get these refunds in accordance with each airline’s rules.

Always Check Multiple Sources Before Booking

You’ve done it. You’ve found the right flight, the right date and the right price. Just click that Book Now button, and start day-dreaming about your upcoming trip. Right?

Not exactly.

If you haven’t checked multiple sources for your ticket, then you’re not done. Considering the following techniques to cross reference your price on multiple sites.

Change Your Location: Most websites know what location you are searching from based on your IP address. They can serve you up different prices based on that address. Try using a VPN to change your location when you visit a website. You might be pleasantly surprised by a lower fare.

Use Local Sites and Currency: If you are searching for an international flight, make sure that you check country-specific versions of the site you’re on and in the local currency. Trying this in combination with changing your IP address can produce some interesting and lucrative results.

Check the Airline Website: While it is important to use apps, search engines and price alerts, it is also crucial that you never fail to check airline websites in conjunction with these tools. More often than not, buying directly from the airline does not save you money. Still, you can avoid kicking yourself later by doing your due diligence and checking. At the very least, it’s good to know what the airline’s price is so that you know exactly how much you are saving.

Put It All into Perspective

The above suggestions all have one thing in common:

Keep your options open.

Finding the best deals means leaving no stone unturned. Although we truly believe that, we wanted to get an idea of where the average American finds what they think are the best flight deals.

So, we conducted a survey that asked more than 2,000 random Americans the question, “Where do you find the best flight deals?”

The majority of respondents claimed to find the best flight deals on search engines (28.2%), travel websites (27.4%) and airline websites (20.3%).

Less than 20 percent claimed that they find the best flights deals via mobile apps (6.8%), email alerts (6.1%) and email newsletters (3.2%).

Surprisingly, eight percent of respondents claimed to find the best flight deals the old school way—at travel agencies.

Wherever you find the best flight deals, remember the most important thing:

Enjoy your flight!

This article originally appeared on Couponbox.com

This is a featured article by a Guest Author. Their details can be found in the post above. If you want to become a Guest Poster please Contact Us here. Please also read our Website Disclaimer if you have any issues or concerns.

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Travel Tips

7 Best Ways to Explore Greece

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Greece has everything to offer travellers–whether you want to explore bustling cities, relax on pristine islands, learn about fascinating culture, or just soak up the sunshine. Whatever you decide, we hope this list helps inspire your next trip to the country.

Visit Athens

Athens is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and should be at the top of every traveller’s itinerary when visiting Greece. This thriving metropolis boasts of over 1 million inhabitants and a rich history dating back to 3000 BC. Overlooking the Saronic Gulf, the Acropolis dominates the skyline with its distinctive minaret-like structure built upon layers of rock.

Its construction started under Pericles and continued right up till 1828. For centuries now, Athenians have lived side by side with their past glory. Athens offers plenty of reasons to visit its many museums and monuments, including the Acropolis, Keramikos museum, Ancient Agora Museum, National Archaeological Museum and more.

Sightsee the Peloponnese Peninsula

The Peloponnese peninsula stretches southwards from Sparta and includes the largest cities of southern Greece: Corinth, Argolis, Patras and Larissa. Its mountainous terrain provides excellent conditions for walking, biking, para-gliding, rock climbing and mountaineering. The area is dotted with small settlements, monasteries, castles, and churches dating back centuries.

Take a boat tour along the Greek Islands

The best way to see the beauty of the Greek Islands when you visit Greece is by taking a cruise ship vacation. You’ll experience breathtaking views as well as enjoy an authentic island lifestyle that’s unlike anywhere else in the world. There are dozens of different cruises available throughout the Mediterranean Sea; however, there are only two main types: coastal tours and offshore trips.

Coastal tours take passengers near shore while offshore excursions allow them to travel farther out into the open sea. If you’re looking for something between these two options, consider a mix of both. For example, a combination of a coastal tour followed by an overnight sail will give you time to spend ashore before returning home. For the best experience, consider renting a private boat or yacht.

Get into the water activities at Mykonos

Mykonos is known for being one of the world’s top destinations for windsurfing, kite surfing, parasailing, scuba diving, jet skiing and yachting. Whether you prefer land-based sports or sea adventures, you won’t get bored on Mykonos. Several companies run organised trips to different locations around the island. However, if you’d like to venture off the beaten track, there are several opportunities to rent equipment locally.

Watch sunset drinks while sitting by the beach

Kos offers several great locations for watching sunsets. One particular area worth checking out is at Kasteloura Beach where you’ll find a bar serving cocktails with fantastic views across the water. Alternatively, head to Platis Gialos harbour, where you will spot dolphins playing around the boats moored nearby.

Have breakfast overlooking the sea in Corfu Town

Corfu town sits right next to the beautiful bay of Laganas, where it enjoys views over the Gulf of Mirabello. This picturesque location means that this part of Corfu will always be busy, especially during summer months. However, even though there are plenty of bars and clubs, most people still choose to enjoy their breakfasts here.

Wander through old town Patras

Patras used to be one of the largest cities in southern Europe until the 19th century. It keeps much of its original charm despite being modernised. The old quarter contains ancient churches, narrow streets lined with restaurants, cafés and boutiques. There’s also lots to do beyond wandering around the old town; take boat trips or visit the Aquarium of Southern Italy.

Enjoy seafood fresh off the grill in Halkidiki

Halkidiki is a popular choice among tourists looking for cheap holidays in Greece. With so many activities available, no matter what your interests may be, you’re bound to have fun!

Do a wine tasting in Rethymno

The Greek island of Crete is most commonly associated with luxury resorts, high end cuisine and glitzy nightclubs. However, those seeking something more down to earth will enjoy visiting the small towns scattered throughout the region. Among them is Rethymnon located along the southern coast. Here, visitors can sample some delicious wines before heading home.

Greece has been attracting travellers since antiquity. Today, thousands flock here every summer hoping to experience this beautiful country first hand. From exploring bustling markets to relaxing on pristine islands, there’s plenty to see and do in Greece. Whether you choose to stay in cosmopolitan Athens or explore remote villages dotted all over the Aegean Sea, there’s always an adventure waiting just round the corner.

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Travel Tips

5 Best Things To Do In Maryland

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One of the smallest states in the United States, Maryland sits peacefully on the Atlantic shore on the historic Chesapeake Bay, near Washington, D.C. Regardless of its size, this beautiful state has a lot to offer—from museums to historic sites, breweries, amusement parks, lakes, thriving wetlands, forested mountains, lakes, and waterfalls to keep you entertained throughout.

The state is quite popular with sailors, beachgoers, and nature lovers due to the vast number of outdoor settings. However, that isn’t to say that Maryland doesn’t appeal to others. Sports betting and gambling are legal in Maryland. Meaning, a lot of people from the neighboring states often enter to visit Maryland sportsbooks and casinos.

After all, you don’t require a huge budget to experience all the fun Maryland has to offer.

If you are planning a trip to this state, here are the top five attractions you shouldn’t miss visiting.

1. National Aquarium

Located in Baltimore, the National Aquarium is a dramatic building that overlooks the Inner Harbor. Inside, you will find the replicates of numerous ecosystems for marine life from across the world. Additionally, the place is also home to birds, mammals, and appropriate plant life.

Though all environments are not underwater, they do share a common link to water. The largest of all the ecosystems here is the five-story Tropical RainForest, where you will get to explore life at various levels—from forest floor to the treetops and from plants to frogs, birds, sloths, and monkeys.

In the Atlantic Coral Reef Exhibit are sharks and dolphins alongside other tropical fishes.

2. Ocean City Boardwalk

As the name suggests, this attraction is located in Ocean City. It features nearly 3 miles of exciting pedestrian route lined with various sorts of entertainment for people of all age groups.

You will also be able to find some of the most popular attractions for families in Maryland near the boardwalk, including museums, restaurants, rides, and hotels. So, after enjoying a leisurely stroll, taking in the beautiful beach with soft sands and sparkling waters, consider grabbing an ice cream and finding a place to relax.

If you are traveling with your kids, drop by Timper’s Rides and Amusements and Ripley’s for some added fun.

3. The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum situated in the Mount Vernon Cultural District in Baltimore is a unique cultural landmark. It is also one of the few institutions in the world that stand for a comprehensive history of world art.

The museum features all forms of art from the third millennium B.C. through the early 20th century. The collections are displayed and interpreted spectacularly. However, the museum is best known for its magnificent jewelry, ivories, enamels, bronzes, and illuminated manuscripts.

Furthermore, the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Byzantine antiquities here are immaculate. So are the medieval and Renaissance art collections.

4. Old Town Annapolis and William Paca House

Located between the Town Dock and the Maryland State House are a handful of blocks that feature history and charm. The State House was once the United States Capitol. It is also one of the oldest State House that is still in continuous legislative use.

The William Paca House and Garden are located down the hill. As you make your way there, you will get to explore narrow streets brimming with picture-worthy brick and clapboard buildings. Now, if you are wondering who William Paca is, he was the signer of the Declaration of Independence.

The place was fully refurbished with period antiques and original Paca family items. It features a two-acre garden with a fish-shaped pond, terraces, and a topiary. The house is also an example of how an influential and prosperous Annapolis family looked and felt in the colonial era.

Fort McHenry National Monument

5. Fort McHenry National Monument

The fort was completed in 1803 in an effort to secure the entrance to Baltimore’s busy harbor. In 1814, Fort McHenry withstood a 24-hour bombardment by the British, thereby evolving to be a national icon in the country. However, there is more history to this fort than the bombardment.

The fort once saved Baltimore from occupation. It also acted as a source of inspiration for Francis Scott Key to write The Star-Spangled Banner. He was held a prisoner on a British ship during the attack.

While at Fort McHenry, you can tour the buildings, walk the ramparts, or catch a dramatic multimedia presentation on the fort’s history and the national anthem.

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Travel Tips

Where Is Polynesia, And What Is The Disney Polynesian Village Resort?

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What does Polynesia mean?

The word Polynesia comes from 2 Greek words, “poly and nesos”, which translates to mean  “many islands”. The name is appropriate considering that the Polynesian islands take up more than 800,000 sq miles!

Where is Polynesia? Thanks to Disney it can be a lot closer than you might think. In this article, we’ll review a few fun facts about Polynesia, as well as what you can expect when visiting the Disney Polynesian Village.

So take a look! By the time you’re done reading this article, you can start planning your dream vacation.

Where Is Polynesia?

Where is Polynesia? Polynesia takes up a large triangular area of land in the east-central Pacific ocean.

The apex of the triangle is right at the Hawaiian Islands. The base angles of the triangle are New Zealand for the west angle and Easter Island for the eastern base angle.

In addition to stretching out from Hawai, Polynesia also includes its group of Polynesian islands. A few of the islands include Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Wallis, and French Polynesia. At the islands, you can find picturesque overwater bungalows.

Where Is the Disney Polynesian Village?

You can find the Disney Polynesian Village in sunny Florida, right by the Magic Kingdom. The resort rests on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon.

The Seven Seas Lagoon is a body of water made by humans. It’s like an aquatic red carpet leading to Magic Kindom. The lagoon features boating, fishing, and more fun activities for guests of all ages.

What the Disney Resort Is Like Inside

After opening in 1971 the Polynesian Village Resort has been a sought after location by many guests. The resort has a motto, “Aiita Peatea”, translating to mean “Tomorrow there will be another day, exactly like today”. In other words, don’t worry, life’s good!

The zen-like motto reflects the laid back, peaceful atmosphere of the resort. The 847 room resort is only 2 monorail stops from the Magic Kingdom. The entire resort takes up a total of 39 acres and the decorations transform each acre into a tropical paradise.

While touring the resort, you’ll be able to enjoy looking at waterfalls, tiki torches made of bamboo, tropical plants, and of course a beach area. The casual, family-friendly resort uses the Great Ceremonial House as the lobby. You could easily spend all day just hanging out in the lobby admiring all of the exotic plants and landscaping.

Disney Vacation Club

Moving on, let’s look at what being a Disney Club Vacation member is all about. If you already know you want to visit Disney resorts more than once, a membership could help you save money.

When you’re a part of the Disney Vacation Club or DVC, you’ll get a certain amount of points. The number of points you get is up to you based on your initial membership purchase.

Next, you can use the points to reserve your stay at any of the DVC resorts like the polynesian dvc resort in Florida. There are DVC resorts all over the world, and your membership won’t lock you into a singular location. Instead, you’ll have access to all of the resorts worldwide, as well as additional DVC member benefits and perks.

What To Expect in Your Resort Room

What do the rooms look like at the Polynesian Village Resort? All of the rooms are in 1 of 11 different longhouses.

The longhouses are large buildings, that allow you to access your room from an interior hallway. Every room is either 2 stories or 3 stories high.

A standard room at the Polynesian will have a day bed, 2 queen-sized beds, a small table, 2 chairs, and an armoire for your clothes. The standard room size is about 415 square feet and you can’t have over 5 occupants in any 1 room. You’ll also find amenities like a coffee maker, ironing board, Disney shampoo and soap, an iPod dock, and a safe.

Did you want to get a king-sized bed? If yes, you’ll have to make a special request since they only have a limited number of king-sized beds available.

Next, if you want to stay in a suite, you can house anywhere from 4-9 people. All of the resorts suites are in the Tonga longhouse.

Different Room Views at the Polynesian Village Resort

What type of room view matters to you? If a relaxing room view is important to you, we suggest you book a room that offers a lagoon view. If you want to keep an eye on all the action, ask for a clear view of the theme park.

A standard room view will feature the lovely landscaping and walkways the Polynesian resort is famous for. The marina and pool are included in the standard room views, so you can request them at no additional cost!

Finally, some rooms overlook the parking lot. When you book your room, you have to specifically ask to not get a parking lot view, otherwise, you probably will.

Room Check-in and Check-Out Policies

After booking your room, you’ll need to download the My Disney Experience App. Open up the app and look for a section titled “Online Check-in”. After clicking on the online check-in, you’ll be able to request an early check-in.

We suggest you choose the early check-in options since this will give you the most freedom. Rooms aren’t ready until 3 p.m., and there’s no guarantee an early check-in will mean your room’s ready sooner.

However, you will have the freedom to drop off your luggage with the bell services, get your magic bands for the park, and start exploring! Magic bands are colorful wristbands that connect you to everything on your vacation. Your magic band can help you with park access, getting into your room, buying Disney merchandise, and more.

Plan Your Dream Vacation

Where is Polynesia? Now you know where to find the Polynesian islands, as well as Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

Were you surprised to discover the resort is right outside of Magic Kingdom? Or how about how you can request a lagoon view for your room?

We hope our article was able to answer all of your questions so you can start planning your dream vacation today! For more great locations to visit, check out the rest of this site.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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