Sunday, February 8, 2009

Traveling in 09 will be much friendlier on traveler's wallets

What a time for travel. The combination of the economy going into the toilet and oil prices plummeting has brought on a major drop in the price of travel this year. Even better for us American travelers is that the US dollar is seeing better days and you could book a trip outside the country and actually make out like a bandit.

So with such a bad economic outlook for 2009, the travel industry has decided to get desperate. That is bad news for them and great news for you. Airlines, hotels and cruises have slashed prices and are offering deals that only a year ago seemed impossible. So below are some great sites to check out and also some great places to find the best deals for the first half of 2009.

Where to go?:

Ok here is a listing of some amazing locations you could visit in 2009 and not break the bank. Plus with the exchange rate, you might even have a lot more cash in your pocket when you land.


As you might know from past posts on here, I have been trying to book a trip
to Poland. After missing out on a killer deal in December to the land on pierogis, I was able to book a sweet summer deal on Aer Lingus to Poland's second city of Krakow. I got round-trip tickets for $500 below the advertised price on Poland's more popular airlines of LOT Polish and Czech Airlines by going with Ireland's biggest airline. Many people probably wouldn't think of Aer Lingus as an option when booking to a European destination outside of Ireland, but the Irish airline has had some of the best deals to Europe for summer travel so far this year.

A great reason to visit Poland right now is that their currency, the Polish zloty, is at a four year low against the U.S. Dollar. As of this post, for every $1 you hand over to the exchange booth in Poland, they will hand you back $3.45 (It even went as high as $3.63 last week). What makes that even sweeter is that Poland is full of amazing restaurants that not only dish out Eastern European delicacies, but also offers to notch French, Italian, Indian and various other ethnic treats for very low prices. Beers are under $2 and most of their attractions are either really cheap or absolutely free.

For further information on Poland, check out the following sites:

For air travel, as of this posting, AerLingus is your best bet.
But before you book a flight, be sure to do a Kayak search.

Click here for Krakow's official website, which offers detailed information.

Click here for Warsaw's official website, which offers detailed information.


Oh Canada! The exchange rate will give U.S. travelers about 25 cents on each Dollar. So with that extra cash in your pocket, you could visit some of the amazing cities of the Great White North and not feel broke in the process. Some of the most popular cities include Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, but check out Canada's other great destinations including Mont Tremblant, Quebec City, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa.

The Canadian Tourism Commission offers great information for people looking to visit their country. Another great site is, which offers information on places to go, events and lodging information.

Other locations where your money will go further in 2009 include:

India: Check out the popular cities of Mumbai and Delhi. "Incredible India", which is the country's official tourism site is great. It has tons of things to do and see, where to stay and when to visit. Check it out before you book a flight.

Iceland: Yes it has been covered in just about every travel website, magazine, newsletter, newspaper and travel show. But Iceland is on sale and you should get there while the Dollar goes so far. Reykjavik is a vibrant city full of great bars, restaurants and such attractions as the
blue lagoon.

Colombia: Besides your Dollar going far, hotels are cheap and starting in February you can fly to Bogota from Orlando on JetBlue for only $49 each way! Check out JetBlue for more information and click here to see more about Bogota.

Where to book?:

These travel sites are your best bet for finding the best deals: The aforementioned website really is a time saver and also a money saver in the process. But be forewarned, when you see a price listed and click on it to book, it may change (for better or worse). Also not every single airline is on Kayak, one that really stands out is Southwest. Plug in the dates you are traveling, the airports you want to use and obviously the location. Then let Yapta do the rest of the work for you. They will email you with updates on the route you chose and tell you if the fare went up or dropped. Also if you book a flight, it can tell you if the price lowered and help you get refunds on the price difference (if available). Plus Yapta just introduced a feature that tells you when reward seats are available on a flight. I once blogged for these great people and have to admit that their website is great. They are on top of all deals(both advertised and not) and will post it on their site ASAP. Sign up for
their email alert and save cash in the process. Want to save some cash? Then head on over to Priceline. I have had so many great deals due to them. Just last week I booked a trip to Toronto and used their "Name your own price" hotel feature. I got a 4-star hotel in the center of the city for only $45 a night. The hotel, which I will not name here (so that you do not stand outside seeking an autograph), was going for $199 on their own site. So that is
a savings of $154 a night! I have had other great hotel deals that were more than 50% off the listed price. Remember though, when you book the hotel...YOU CAN NOT CANCEL! All sales are final and you are stuck with that property. I once also used Priceline's "Name your own price" for air and got $40 off a NYC-Chicago trip. & These two sites have up to
date sales on air, hotel, cruises, packages & car rentals. Sign up for both of their newsletters and be in the know on the latest deals.

Want to get real opinions from real travelers? Then head over to this site: Their motto is "Get the truth, then go." They have every hotel on this site. Plus a majority of them with real pictures taken by travelers. If it is one thing that I can not stand when booking a hotel is checking out sites that have those packaged, well prepared photos taken by the company. TripAdvisor's members help big time with their shots. Plus they have information on what to do in each city and also a great message board with questions and answers from travelers.

Travel wise in 09,


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