By Christine Krzyszton
Yesterday I introduced the concept of traveling without a predetermined destination in mind so that you can travel more cost-effectively, explore new and exciting places, and perhaps gain the added benefit of making yourselves a bit more interesting! If you were even mildly intrigued by the idea, by now you’re hungry for more information. Since I’ve got your attention, it’s time to deliver.
I proposed that instead of traveling to the same destination everyone else wants to visit when they want to go there, spending top dollar, and doing the same thing every year, why not travel when you choose, find a destination that’s “on sale”, and set no boundaries as to where that final destination might be. You’ve arrived at a point in your life where you’re either retired, semi-retired or simply a Baby Boomer afflicted with wanderlust, so you’re allowed to consider traveling in a different way. Right now you may be asking yourself: “How do I find these deals?” It’s not an exact science, it’s a treasure hunt, and you know what you can find on a treasure hunt. So I’ll get you started in the right direction.
There are websites that allow you to plug in your preferred departure airport and search for cities throughout the world that happen to have the lowest fares. Your first step in determining where you will go on your trip is to visit one of these sites. One of my favorites is www.Farecompare.com. It offers a tool called “Where To Go Getaway Map” which will help you start your treasure hunt. Click on this option, plug in the three-letter code for your home airport, and a world map populated with the best fare deals will pop up. Wow, look at all the possibilities!
Sometimes it can be cheaper to go to Europe than to Florida, so why not go to Europe? You could be sleeping in your bed tonight and wake up in your bedroom or you could be sleeping on a plane and wake up in Paris! You can even set up alerts that will come to you in the form of an email when airfare deals develop from your home airport. Who knows where you’ll be going next?
I’ll warn you that not every search ends successfully. Airfares change daily, even hourly, and you may need to do several searches on different days before scoring the fare that fits your schedule and budget. You can also try nearby airports for your departure as this may open up a whole new set of destinations from which to choose. Once you’ve found a deal you like, Farecompare.com will direct you to the airline’s website so you can book it directly.
At this point, if you compare this out-of-the-box traveling to a video game, you’ve barely made it to level one. You’ve decided to fly somewhere but you won’t know where until you find that little gem of an airfare that sets your heart pumping. You’ll score and it will feel good. It will feel so good you’ll want to do it again. Let’s just take a deep breath and make sure you’re maximizing this newly found travel freedom.
First, you’ll want to make sure you’ve signed up for the airline’s frequent flier program so you can start earning miles. Earning miles can get you to the next level: status. Now you’re cooking. You’ll be earning perks such as upgrades, free tickets, no luggage fees, and early boarding. Traveling to exciting places is great, but you want to make sure you’re earning miles and perks that can get you even more discounted or even free trips in the future.
OK, you’ve now booked your bargain airfare but we still need to find a great deal on a hotel room. Hey, what do you say we kick it up a notch and try to get a free hotel room?
Stay tuned for “How To See The World In A Weekend, Part 3” where we’ll continue our journey towards experiencing Baby Boomer/retirement travel the way it should be.
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Check out the details HERE!