By Annemarie Dooling Don't let the economic downturn take a toll on your travel plans. These simple globetrotter tips will save you some serious overseas money.
1. Although everyone knows about discount search engines like Kayak, Cheapoair, and Hotels.com, few contact the airline or hotel for a competitive quote. Try calling them, announcing the Web-provider rate, and challenging them to match it. You could not only end up with a better bargain, but you'll cut out those pesky middleman charges.
2. When searching for flights check all area airports. Smaller airports often have discounted fares - an easy trade for a cab ride or asking a friend for a ride across town. Also research shuttle-bus services and free parking to save money on your trip to the airport.
3. Look in the last-minute-package section of travel search engines, whether you need a package or not, as they could cost less than the original airfare alone. These bargain trips could end up being the most cost-effective even if you don't plan on using the hotel.
4. Flexibility can be your greatest asset when booking your trip. Save money on airfares by booking trips just before or just after your destination's high season. Even just a day or two can make a huge difference in the price. If traveling for a holiday, fly out on the actual holiday instead of battling the crowds and high prices; for peak-period flights, right before.
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