Budget Travel Tips

March 26, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Despite the recession and so much uncertainty on the job market some say it is still the perfect time to get away. Travel fares have dropped dramatically and some families may want to re-think their vacation plans. Struggling airlines and cruise companies have been forced to drop prices.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Related Links:
www.pleasantholidays.com
www.flyertalk.com
www.farecompare.com
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Frequent flyer Chan Purewal has just booked a 408-dollar round-trip from Fresno to Moscow on a flight that barely has any passengers. Purewal said, "If you take a look almost every middle seat is empty right now."

That is why American Airlines slashed the ticket price. Purewal has been to over 40 countries in the past five years. He finds all of his travel deals on-line. Purewal said, "I would tell families be open to travel on spontaneous kind of cheap deals. They're going to happen a lot because I think as planes aren't filling up and hotel rooms are gonna start cutting deals to the last second."

Fresno travel agent Cheri Verrastiro of the Travel Shoppe said, "Whatever you have on your bucket list now's the time to check on the prices."

Verrastiro said airfares to some destinations have dropped by as much as 60-percent. Some of the deals she said are steals. "Australia for $400-dollars round-trip. Dublin, Ireland for 350-dollars round-trip. I've never seen fares like this before." With taxes and fees the Australia trip costs $716-dollars out of la while Dublin costs just $400-dollars.

If you've taken a cruise in recent years you'll notice they're suddenly more affordable. Verrastrio said, "Cruise lines $399 dollars for a trip to Alaska. $799 for a 7-day European cruise."

For the best possible prices agents say you need to be flexible. Linda Jason from "Linda Your Travelmaker" says some of the Hawaii packages may surprise people. "Everyone can fly roundtrip for $239 dollars plus tax including a car if they're traveling now through June 4th and that's out of San Francisco and L.A."

Pleasant Holidays is also offering a kids fare for $199-dollars.

Bargain hunter Chan Purewal flew to Hawaii last year from L.A. for $182-dollars round-trip. He relies heavily on the website "Flyer-talk." It is a site here budget-conscious travelers share information on maximizing their frequent flyer mileage as well as cheap fares. Purewal said "Most are probably released from the airlines but there's just a short window sometimes for them to be out. A week or two weeks or something like that that people really have to take advantage of."

Purewal avoids booking fees by reserving flights directly on airline websites. If you don't have time to learn airfare codes on Flyer-talk, other sites can simplify your search. Purewal said, "Farecompare's a great one because you can put in any city and just check all the fares and all the airlines on what's a good deal."

Travel is Purewan's hobby. Not everyone has the time, freedom or money to do what he does but we can learn from his thrifty ways. Trips generally are cheaper if you leave from L.A. or San Francisco. Purewal said, "Still, when you do that make sure you go and find coupons for parking. Every aspect of your trip there needs to be some type of bargain going on."

Experts say if you can leave on a Wednesday because often times that's when you find the best fares.

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