Thursday, April 19, 2007
More Bang for Your Buck: Travel
Summer is almost here, and people's travel plans are starting to heat up. In tonight's More Bang For Your Buck, we'll show you one way to make sure you're not paying too much for your next trip.
WSVN -- Many people wonder what it would be like to live the life of a musician.
When Jonathan Estes graduated with a degree in jazz performance, he understood his new life would involve a lot more of two things: music and travel.
Jonathan Estes: "In a week I'm going to Puerto Rico and playing in San Juan, and then I'm doing a tour up the east coast, so it's all the way up to Boston, New York, D.C."
But while Jonathan says he loves being able to live his dream, he doesn't always love the pressure of having to find a cheap way to travel.
Jonathan Estes: "Generally, I get a little worried when I start looking at the websites and realize the prices are a little too high."
He does what he can to cut corners but doesn't always know the tricks to saving money.
Jonathan Estes: "I usually look for student discounts and that tends to help. But sometimes, within a period of a week, the prices can change drastically."
Consumer expert Angie Hicks -- creator of angieslist.com -- says travel prices can vary greatly, and that's why it pays to shop early when looking for deals -- especially during the peak summer travel months.
Angie Hicks: "A lot of people are looking to take a vacation, and they tend to do it as school wraps up here, and people are really looking to investigate lots of options for their travel."
Keep in mind corporations also know how hot summer travel is and will come up with marketing ploys to get you to pay more.
Angie says don't fall for it. One common pit fall: trip insurance.
Angie Hicks: "Many people are seeing offers for travel insurance, buying it as part of their package, whether buying online or through a travel agent."
Angie says travel insurance makes sense if your trip is really expensive, you'll be visiting multiple cities, or you're planning far in advance.
Angie Hicks: "Those are times where you might want to consider travel insurance because those are situations where you're more likely to have a hiccup along the way."
Another thing that can help you save: Be flexible with your travel dates.
Angie Hicks: "You might be able to get a better deal. Instead of saying I have to go on this weekend, I have several I can choose from."
And summer is the time to explore -- but if you choose to go somewhere you've never been, work with someone who can help you plan your trip.
Angie Hicks: "You might want to work with a travel agent who has been to the area and can recommend places."
Jonathan says he'll try some of Angie's tips because one thing about travel is always certain.
Jonathan Estes: "The more money you have in your pocket when you arrive, the better."
If you want more travel tips like this, you can sign up for membership to angieslist.com. It will get you ratings from other consumers on companies in your area, from travel agents to plumbers.
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