Sara Skirboll: How to save on your next big trip

Spring break and summer vacations are just around the corner, but before you book that trip, you will want to hear this…

This season, travelers will spend close to $700 on spring and summer vacations. Sara Skirboll is here with money saving hacks when it comes to flights, hotels, car rentals, luggage and food!

TIP 1: Find Hidden Airports

Most of the time we only think about our immediate airports. LAX here in Los Angeles and Burbank. But, did you know if you look to fly out of Long Beach, Ontario, Orange County or even San Diego, you can sometimes find better deals? The reason being is that many times low cost air carriers will fly in and out of smaller airports lowering the cost of your travel. You also may find better flight times since the airports aren’t as busy and even less expensive food!

TIP 2: Don’t be Afraid to ask for Hotel Upgrades

Many hotels will often upgrade their guests simply so their customers will have a good experience. The hotel business is big business and hotels, big and small, are aggressively competing for customers every day of the week. All you need is a bit of courage and a smile and more often than not, the front desk staff will do what they can to give you a little something special. Whether that means upgrading your room or simply offering free breakfast, a small and polite ask may go a long way. Bonus points if you’re celebrating a special occasion and operate discreetly.

TIP 3: Deny Car Rental Insurance

Before you rent a car, it's worth reviewing the coverage on your personal car insurance policy. In some cases, the coverage you have on your own car extends to a rental car. The same holds true for certain credit cards only if you pay for the car rental using that card. Make sure you fully understand what coverage you are entitled to before denying the offer, though. Normally, your personal auto insurance policy includes liability coverage and any additional coverages you’ve opted for such as comprehensive or collision. For credit card coverage, call the toll free number on the back of your card to have them explain your options. In other words, buying rental car insurance may duplicate the coverage you already pay for.

TIP 4: Steer Clear of Checked Luggage Fees

If you’re looking to avoid the $25 and up checked luggage fee, here’s a couple tips: 1. Use your miles to check a bag for free, 2. fly Southwest where the first checked bag is free and/or 3. Look to fly a different fare class which sometimes won’t cost you an arm and a leg. I’ve actually seen Comfort+ seats that are cheaper than economy!

TIP 5: Eat on the Cheap:

Airport food and beverages are pricey and sometimes gross. Something I’ve started to do is bring my own oatmeal packets so I can have a semi-hearty and much healthier meal on the plane. All I need is hot water from the flight attendant and I’m good to go! I do the same thing with tea bags, as well! Depending on the time of the flight, I’ll either bring caffeinated green tea to start my day, decaffeinated chamomile to end the day, or ginger tea in the middle of the day to calm my stomach from a crazy day.

In terms of travel deals to take advantage of, right now you can find…

  • Intercontinental Hotel Group:Up To 30% Off All Holiday Inn Express Properties
  • Sandals: Save up to 65% on your bookings + Receive Instant Air Credit of up to $1,000 at Resorts. Book your all-inclusive Caribbean vacation now.
  • CheapoAir: RetailMeNot Exclusive! Save up to $40 off bookings, $13 per passenger when 3 passengers fly. Valid on all domestic and international bookings.
  • AirBnB:Get $40 Off Your First Stay
  • Hotels.com:Save up to 40% plus get an extra 10% off with coupon MAR10OFF17. Book by 3/12/17, Travel by 4/16/17.d
  • Expedia: $25 Off $300 2+ Nights via Expedia App.
  • Hotwire:Book your Hot Rate® Economy Cars from as low as $11.99 a day!

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