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.
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.
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.
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?
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
Get Peace of Mind When You Pre-Book Transportation
Traveling is extremely fun, right? It helps you go to different destinations and enables you to have exposure to new people, cultures, and ideas. Many people travel with others so they can genuinely get a taste of life and share their experiences in real time with other people.
Remember that life is all about the experiences that you have and the memories that you make as these provide you with a life that is well lived.
Indeed, remember that your travel experiences, and other memories that you make are essential aspects of life because it gives your life a bit more flavor. You can feel a certain thrill when you are transferring from one airport to the other. It can give you joy because you are moving and being more free instead of being confined to one location.
Now, when it comes to a life well-lived, it certainly takes some effort. Most individuals find that they must be intentional about what they are trying to do to have the most opportunities in life.
This is certainly true for the traveler. The best travelers know that traveling is far from easy if you do not have the right amount of preparation.
Remember that it takes quite a bit of work to have a wonderful trip. It can be fun to have surprises, but it is best to have pleasant surprises. Here is what you need to know to have a pleasant trip.
If you find yourself in Spain, then you would want to make sure that you utilize the right modes of transportation to make sure that you get to your destination with ease. Thankfully, the beautiful country has great service providers that will make your travel life easier in this regard.
Remember that effective service providers will provide a taxi or a minibus. These service options are useful because they can cater to your various needs. For instance, if you have a large party, a minibus would be wonderful. If you have a small group of people, then a simple taxi would suffice.
These different options enable you to meet your needs regardless of the size of your overall party.
There are other benefits to pre-booking your airport transfers. Whether you are going to Barcelona City or to Madrid City, it is important to note the various benefits of working with the right transportation firm.
Now that you are aware of the options that you can choose with preeminent services, other benefits include locking in a price, minimizing wait times at the airport, and having a pleasant experience with a wonderful driver.
Instead of having to worry about the price and about cancellation options, or if someone will show up on time, working with a wonderful firm like Solhop enables you to have total peace of mind when it comes to your transfers.
You can also ensure that you will drive in style with the options available to you from the different cars on offer.
Now that you have your transportation squared away, remember that you are on a trip and remember to have fun. Whether you are traveling from the United States of America or from other places in Europe, you can be sure to have a bit of fun in Spain!
Travel Tip: Train to Pisa from Florence
Whether you spend a half-day or full day in Pisa, we recommend that you Train to Pisa from Florence. It’s the fastest and cheapest way to get there.
Traveling by train is one of the best ways to see the beautiful countryside of Italy. The train from Florence to Pisa takes about an hour, and the journey is stunning. The route takes you past vineyards and medieval villages, through tunnels and over bridges, with breathtaking views of the Tuscan hillsides. You can even see the Leaning Tower of Pisa as the train approaches the station.
Upon arrival in Pisa, you can explore the historic center and visit the famous cathedral, before enjoying a leisurely lunch overlooking the River Arno. With its stunning scenery and convenient location, a train trip from Florence to Pisa is a great way to spend a day in Italy.
How to get to Pisa from Florence
You have a couple of different options for your own half-day trip to Pisa from Florence depending on how you like to travel. But if you are like us and enjoy travelling around Italy by public transport, then you will definitely want to train to Pisa from Florence.
Train to Pisa from Florence
Florence and Pisa are less than 100 km apart and the easiest way is to train to Pisa from Florence. The entire trip one-way takes approximately an hour depending on your route with no transfers.
Trains leave from Florence S.M.Novella for Pisa Centrale a few times every hour. The closest train station to the leaning tower of Pisa is Pisa San Rossore, but it’s not worth the extra time or transfer required. Pisa itself is small and it takes less than 30 minutes to walk to the leaning tower from Pisa Centrale.
Plus you get to explore more of the city such as the River Arno lined with beautiful stately homes.
If you want to book online then a one-way ticket by train to Pisa from Florence will cost from €7.80 (US$10.40) in 2nd class. It is important to make sure that when you are searching online via the Italian train booking site, Trenitalia, you search for “Firenze” rather than Florence.
The train schedules are very easy to understand so we recommend booking your ticket from the self-service machines on the train platform. The return journey is just as easy in reverse. Just watch that you don’t miss the last train around 10pm most days and carry cash with you for the ticket.
Finally, validate your ticket before boarding the train. We forgot a couple of times but used the typical “I’m a stupid tourist” line to get out of any fines.
Bus to Pisa from Florence
There are two main bus companies, Terravision and Autostradale, run regular buses to and from Pisa Airport and Florence Airport into the Florence city centre, they don’t actually go into Pisa itself. The train to Pisa from Florence is so reliable, fast, and cheap, that you may not want to consider this option.
However, there are some advantages to taking the bus. You will see a lot more scenery from the window of the bus, and it’s definitely cheaper; sometimes you can find fares as low as 4 Euros, especially on Fridays.
Driving to Pisa from Florence
If you have hired a car or scooter in Tuscany then you might look at driving to Pisa from Florence. However, even though the distance is less than 100km, the trip will still take approximately 1 hour.
Aside from the fact that the train to Pisa from Florence typically takes less time than driving, you also have to avoid the crazy Italian drivers. Not to mention trying to find a carpark in two of the most popular cities in Italy. Impossible.
Guided Tour to Pisa from Florence
If you have been enjoying the sunset in Florence and all the city has to offer then you might want to take in a guided tour to Pisa from Florence. Not only do you get a great guide to learn all about the history of the area, you also don’t have to worry about getting to Pisa from Florence.
You might want to check out this guided tour around Pisa or get a little bit more adventurous and try out a segway tour in Pisa. Perfect for the family and it will keep the kids entertained between stops.
If you have a whole day, and haven’t managed to fit in a hike around Cinque Terre, then we recommend looking into the Pisa and Cinque Terre day tour. Lasting roughly 12 hours, you will travel from Florence to Cinque Terre, with a 2 hour stop in Pisa to see all the main sights.
We also reckon guides help you get the best photos, as they have seen all the poses.
Tell us below if you have taken any funny photos in Pisa!
Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Yacht
Spending time on a yacht is a great way to relax. You can cruise, do water sports, try your luck in fishing, or you can even entertain guests on your yacht. However, a yacht is still a significant investment, so you must learn as much as possible before buying one.
If you are pondering buying a yacht, there are several things that you need to know. You should ask yourself what type of yacht you want to buy and what type best suits your needs.
Aside from this, you also need to determine your budget for purchasing a yacht. Boating safety courses and trial runs are also essential to ensure your safety while on your chosen yacht.
When buying a yacht, you must ask yourself, “What do I want in a yacht?” Do you want the yacht to be big? Do you want to use the yacht for fishing?
Answering the questions about the yacht you want can help you determine your priorities in buying a yacht. Take, for example, if you want to utilize your yacht for watersports. Certain types of yachts cater to watersports, like wakeboarding and wake surfing.
Another popular way to spend time on your yacht is an overnight cruise. If you want to do this, you should consider the size of the yacht you want to buy. Can it accommodate passengers sleeping onboard?
Questions like these can help determine if you need different amenities in a yacht, like cabins, cooktops, and relaxation areas.
Now that you have determined what you seek in a yacht, it is crucial to set a comfortable price for your pockets. When buying a yacht, you can get carried away by all the types and models available.
It might be tempting to go above your budget when buying a yacht, especially when so many options are available. However, it is vital to research yacht prices on manufacturer websites, as well as sites of brokers and dealers.
After all, it is necessary to keep the costs of maintaining a yacht in mind. Some costs of owning a yacht include insurance, repairs, fuel, and general upkeep.
Determining your budget for the yacht and sticking to it can make the most out of your yacht purchase.
Since a yacht is a significant investment, going to a trusted and reliable dealer is your best bet. You can visit websites or written material to gather information about a prospective dealer.
Seasoned dealers need to know your lifestyle to determine what type of yacht suits you best. They can ask questions about your boating preferences, whom you boat with, and other similar queries. They use this information to match you to the yacht that best fulfills your needs at the right price.
Try and test the yacht that piques your interest as much as possible. If you know a yacht owner with a model you are interested in, you could ask to check the yacht out. Doing this helps you assess the amenities and features of the yacht before you make the big purchase.
Boat shows, if available, are also good ways to see and assess the yacht of your choice. Well-known brands do these shows, allowing you to see and experience the yacht.
Some places require a recreational boat license for you to sail on your yacht. However, you can easily avail classes to sharpen your boating skills. These can help you learn how to sail on a boat and some basic safety measures while on your yacht.
You can look for information on the official website of your local or national maritime safety authority.
Buying a yacht might seem like a long, detailed process, but it is pretty straightforward. First, you need to find out what you want in a yacht. In other words, determine your purpose for buying a yacht.
The next step is to set a clear budget and the amenities and size of the yacht you want to buy.
Sailing on a yacht is not a simple task, so acquire all the necessary documents to operate a yacht. The necessary paperwork can include a boating license, boating safety courses, and other relevant documents.
Test the yacht before you commit to it, and make sure that you are comfortable with it before purchasing it. You can attend boat shows and dealer demos or ask someone with a similar yacht to let you assess their yacht.
Lastly, find a yacht dealer that wants the best for you. Finding the best dealer can make your yacht buying process much more manageable. Reliable dealers will keep your budget and goals in mind while matching you to the yacht of your dreams!
Meet Cole and Adela
We 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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