Stretching your vacation dollars as far as possible can be tricky. But, I’m going to let you in on a little secret — one of the best ways to put yourself on the fast track to smarter, cheaper travel is to embrace technology!
Here are four easy ways to make the internet your new, frugal, travel partner.
First, create a brand new e-mail account and reserve it only for travel-related information. From now on, this is the e-mail address you’ll use for airline frequent flyer clubs, hotel frequent stay clubs, and rental car loyalty programs. You don’t need to review this account every day. But when it comes time to start planning a trip, this key information will all be in one place.
Second, use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to your travel advantage by following and liking your favorite places or bucket list destinations. These days, it’s not only hotels and airlines that thrive on social media, but also attractions, theme parks, cities and tourism boards. Mickey Mouse has a Facebook page, and chances are, your next destination does too! Connecting online is the best way to stay “in the know” and be among the first to know when a flash sale is happening.
Third, sign up for alerts from online travel programs such as Groupon getaways, living social “escapes” and travelzoo.com — which has national, international and local travel deals. These internet bargains can save you big bucks. But, be sure to read the fine print, because they often require some devilish details regarding timing. And, once you’ve made a purchase, changes are usually forbidden.
One last tip: always visit the tourism board website for wherever you’re headed next. You might find printable coupons, hotel deals or information on how to buy discounted advance tickets for local transportation, or special events.
Bottom line: become an internet-savvy globetrotter, and soon your wallet will keep up with your wanderlust!