The Travel Diary

Month: May 2015

How To Fly On A Dime?

Do you love to travel, but don’t think you can afford to because of fluctuating airline prices? Well, worry no more! This “free” information will show you just how you can take your next vacation/holiday for a fraction of the cost.

How To Fly On A Dime?

Step 1. Determine which airlines have hubs at your local airport, and which other carriers have a high volume of flights.
– You will typically find that airlines who have a large volume of flights in and out of your local airport offer some amazing rates. This is generally the case in larger markets like Atlanta, GA or Miami, FL in the US, where Delta and American have their respective hubs. As a result, getting flights in and out of both of these markets tends to offer some of the best rates around when flying. Unlike flying in and out of Savannah, GA for example, which is a smaller market. Flights tend to be significantly higher because there is less traffic in and out. On the flip side, some mid-sized markets are starting to offer some really phenomenal prices because they have a variety of carriers vying for local patron’s business. Check to see which airlines in your city have hubs available to you, and which have a ton of traffic between specific locations. You just may find some pretty hard-to-beat deals!

Step 2. Sign up to receive airline email specials.
-This is a great way to catch the best prices before everyone else. By signing up for their discount or fair watcher programs, you will be notified the second the assigned airline releases a sale. This is especially important because the special may be for a specific period of time ONLY, or until a certain quantity is sold at the airline’s desired price. Sign up today!!! I’ve gotten some unbelievable deals this past year.

Step 3. Join airline frequent flyer clubs.
– When you sign up for airline flight programs, you gain access to earn points. The more points you earn, the faster you work your way towards free travel. There are additional benefits to these programs, as many are linked to rental car companies, hotels, and various other corporations. Points can be exchanged for travel, as well as for items such as magazines, discounts on flowers or upgrades.

Step 4. Get a credit card through an airline.
– My recommendation would be to get a card through the airline you use the most! If you are just starting out as a new traveler, then again take a look at your local airport, and research to see which airlines have hubs, sub hubs, or offer frequent flights in and out of that particular location. Every airline offers award points just for joining, as well as accumulating points on purchases made. By signing up, you could potentially earn immediate points- enough that qualify you for a flight even! This is a fantastic way to get free upgrades, exclude baggage fees, and most importantly…free travel!!!

Step 5. Stay connected to low cost carriers.
– It’s 2015 and there are a number of low cost carriers that have come on the scene. Gas prices are lower than we’ve seen in years, and many of the smaller airlines are taking full advantage. In addition, with changing service, these low cost carriers are also moving into new markets, therefore offering unbelievable entry prices to new customers. Spirit and Frontier are two in particular that are expanding the areas they service, and are offering some ridiculous prices! Not long ago, I purchased a ticket for $19 one way, plus an additional $3 to select my seat, and $15 to check my bag (note- because I joined their “free” travel rewards program, I saved $5 for my bag. Normal rate is $20 to check.) Not bad at all for a flight. Once I finished my assignment, my return flight was a whopping $39, plus $3 to select my seat, and another $15, as a reward member to check my bag. Well…it really didn’t cost me… my client picked up the tab 🙂 but you get the point. Don’t snub the low cost carriers. Skip the snacks, unless you want to pay for them, or bring your own, and sit back and enjoy the low cost ride.

Cheap, cheap travel!!! I was able to catch the above mentioned deals because I am signed up to receive specials via email, as well as because I’m a member of their travel program. One last important piece. Flexibility is key!!! If you are able to be flexible with your dates, you can catch some insane specials, as sometimes these deals are only available for certain dates. It’s also a great idea to check the airlines websites for last minute specials if you get the travel bug on a Thursday, and want to get away for a quick weekend adventure. You can take advantage of some “last minute” getaways, including flight, hotel and rental car, for a fraction of the cost. Airlines are a business like every other corporation, so trust me, they’d prefer to not have empty seats. If there’s room, you just may catch the deal of a lifetime for quick escapade! Don’t forget about discount travel sites like the Pricelines and Hipmunks of the world either. You can really snag some deals! There are so many options at our fingertips, that can help you fly on a dime.

Now you are officially, a How To Fly On A Dime Expert!!! Stay tuned, and until next time, happy flying for less.




Light Weekend Getaway Packing…

Looking to make a quick getaway this weekend, or in the near future? Wondering what you should take? Here are 5 easy tips to help make the most of your trip, and to show you how to pack light.

1. Only take what is needed!!! Newsflash- you don’t need twenty pairs of shoes, ten pairs of jeans and five shirts for three days!! Think about what you have planned, and pack accordingly for the scheduled activities… plus one spare outfit. I can’t tell you how many times in the past I OVERpacked, only wearing 1/3 of what was actually in my suitcase. If you’re so over all the extra baggage like me, then you will really appreciate this list.

2. Once you begin the grueling task of selecting a “small” amount of items, I highly recommend you consider what I call “color match packing.” I choose a base color, and work my outfits around it. For example, if black is the theme, then my two pair of shoes (yes ladies…2) will be black, with one being possibly silver;one dressy, like heels, and the other some form of comfy flats. Side note, if I plan on some type of rough and rugged off terrain type of activity, then I may opt for black sneakers, accompanied by a pair of in-between shoes that can be dressed up or down. It’s also important to note, that I ALWAYS keep a pair of flip flops in each suitcase. *They do not count as one of the two pair, so you shoe fanatics can get excited. I consider flip flops to be the surprise addition, especially during warmer seasons, because they can double as comfy indoor, and outdoor attire.

  • My pants and shirts will include a variation of greys, white, and of course a splash of color.
  • I include a larger satchel or tote, and a small wristlet that can be dressed up or down.

3. Always pack for the predicted, and unpredicted forecast. If it’s last minute, of course you will have a better idea about the weather, but if you’re planning 5 days out, things can certainly change. Again, keep in mind what activities you have planned. If you will be participating in a charity golf event, then a poncho or hat may be in order, if your weather app calls for rain…and even if not! Weather can be quite fickle from the time we book, until the time of the actual trip. I always keep a small compact umbrella in my suitcase for those emergency, tropical storms that pop up. If you’ll be visiting a climate like the west coast of the US for example, then a light jacket for the cooler evenings is a good idea year round.

4. If it’s a last minute trip and you’re on a budget, try to stay at a suite for the weekend, so you can take some of your favorite snacks. Most of them have refrigerators and/ or microwaves, so you can purchase non-perishables once you reach your destination (i.e. almond milk or other, juice, etc.) Whether traveling by plane or car, you can slide some healthy non perishables inside your suitcase for tow; i.e a small box of cereal, trail mix, fruit etc. Remember less clothes, makes room for more items.

5. Since you’ll be hauling less outfits, you’ll also have space for swim wear and inflatables, tennis and or golf gear, and hiking equipment. The goal is to enjoy yourself. That’s why it’s called a “getaway!!” Don’t get bogged down with carting a million pounds of clothing when your goal is to get out, explore the land, and have some fun.

I hope these quick tips help take a load off!Remember less is more, so get out and have a ball~


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