ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

Sponsored By: Two Men and a Truck
cloudy-day
80°
Partly Cloudy
H 79° L 77°
  • cloudy-day
    80°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 79° L 77°
  • cloudy-day
    78°
    Morning
    Partly Cloudy. H 79° L 77°
  • cloudy-day
    91°
    Afternoon
    Partly Cloudy. H 95° L 79°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Travel
The number one rule of cheap travel
Close

The number one rule of cheap travel

The number one rule of cheap travel

The number one rule of cheap travel

Clark Howard is a nationally syndicated consumer advice expert

I love to travel. Over the years, I've used a strategy that has allowed me to visit all around the globe without spending a lot of money. And I'm going to tell you my secret!

Intrigued by cheap travel? Follow this advice...

It's really pretty simple: I don't pick a destination that I have to go to. I wait for a deal somewhere, buy the deal, and then figure out why I want to go there!

By following that simple rule, I've been able to visit every continent except Antarctica and every state except North Dakota. And I've done it all on a dime.

While I would recommend this strategy to anyone, it's particularly great for honeymooners. When you're getting married, you already probably have a date in mind. There's not much flexibility there. But if you can be flexible on destination, you can save big bucks.

So how do you figure out where the deals are? There's a service called Kayak Explore that lets you find great airfare deals on your budget.

You simply select how much you're willing to pay, and then available destinations in your price range pop up on a world map. You can drill down further by season and month of travel. Or simply use the "any time" option that I love.

Remember, my #1 rule of travel is buy the deal first and then figure out why you want to go there!

If, on the other hand, you do have a specific destination you have to go to, there are number of tools to use to find the best deal.

Among them are Hipmunk and Mobissimo for international travel.

Here are some other pointers to initiate you into the budget travel lifestyle:

Avoid baggage fees by not checking a bag

Only two discount airlines — JetBlue and Southwest — allow you to check a bag without paying a fee. Your first bag is free on JetBlue. Southwest, meanwhile, allows up to two checked bags absolutely free. 

Of course, not everyone lives in a market served by JetBlue or Southwest. So there's still one other way to avoid baggage fees no matter which carrier you're flying: Don't check a bag! I travel only with what an airline permits free as a single carry-on — usually a 22x14x8 piece of luggage. Another plus is I never worry about the airline losing my baggage.

Track fares online and get a refund if the price drops

Have you heard of airfare envy? That's when you buy a ticket and find the same itinerary for less money afterward. The good news is that there are a handful of airlines that will give you a voucher for the difference if you ask. These include Alaska, JetBlue, Southwest, United, US Airways and others.

But unless you religiously follow airfares after you've made your purchase, you may not even know that you overpaid. That's where Yapta.com comes in handy. After completing the free registration, Yapta will e-mail you when your flight goes down in price and help you get a refund for the difference.

One caveat here. Some airlines will charge big fees if you want to do this kind of thing. United and US Air both charge a whopping $150. So make sure it's worth your while before you get involved.

If you're traveling abroad, be sure to check out my International Travel Tips page with advice on money exchange, mobile & wifi use, and affordable accommodations while overseas.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • A huge section of the South Pacific Ocean, 1.5 times the size of Texas, is covered in tiny pieces of plastic smaller than grains of rice. >> Read more trending news A team of scientists, led by Algalita Marine Research and Education scientist Charles Moore, made the discovery during a six month expedition to the remote area.  Unlike the more well-known garbage gyre in the North Pacific, scientists had not studied the more remote areas in the South Pacific.   “We discovered tremendous quantities of plastic,” Moore said, in an area possibly “as large as 965,000 square miles.” “My initial impression is that our samples compared to what we were seeing in the North Pacific in 2007, so it’s about ten years behind,” he said. Utrecht University oceanographer Erik van Sebille has started a project to track the plastic and how it’s distributed in the oceans. Once the plastic particles get caught up in the ocean currents, or gyres, it’s almost impossible to clean up, according to van Sebille, who said the best hope is to prevent the pollution in the first place. >> Related: Can this plastic-eating bug save the planet? “Gone are the silly notions that you can put nets in the ocean and solve the problem,” Erikson told ResearchGate. “This cloud of microplastics extends both vertically and horizontally. It’s more like smog than a patch. We’re making tremendous progress to clean up smog over our cities by stopping the source. We have to do the same for our seas.”
  • The strong storms that moved through Northeast Florida Thursday did, in fact, bring a tornado with them. The National Weather Service in Jacksonville says an EF-0 tornado touched down on the Huguenot Memorial Park beach at 1:38PM, with estimated peak wind of 65 miles-per-hour. The tornado was down for 0.1 miles, and the path was 40 yards wide. We’re told a line of strong thunderstorms that moved through the area caused minor straight line wind damage at Naval Station Mayport. Circulation then formed over the mouth of the St. Johns River and touched down briefly as a weak tornado. Initial assessment shows a lifeguard truck was damaged by the tornado, but is still operational. A lifeguard tower was also damaged, and debris was scattered across the beach.  The straight line wind damage in the area from this storm caused some damage to a golf course, toppled a tractor trailer, and caused damage to a roof and cars from construction debris, according to the initial assessments. Our partner Action News Jax also located a home in the Mayport area that was hit when a tree fell. Nobody was injured during the storm.
  • In an overwhelming vote of 98-2, the U.S. Senate on Thursday sent President Donald Trump a bipartisan bill that places new economic sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea, as members of both parties joined to send a message not only to those three regimes, but also the the White House, on the subject of U.S.-Russian relations and the 2016 campaign. “We will not tolerate attacks on our democracy. That’s what this bill is all about,” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) declared on the Senate floor, as Senators in both parties directly linked Russian interference in last year’s elections to this legislative effort. “This bill will prevent President Trump from relaxing sanctions on Russia without Congressional review,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). “We’re all concerned about that.” “Today’s legislation will help us more forcefully defend our interests and hold these destabilizing regimes accountable,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA). “This measure makes clear that Iran, North Korea and Russia will always be held accountable for their malicious actions,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK). US senate has passed a sweeping new Russia sanctions bill by a vote of 98-2. Now headed to Trump for signature or veto — Robbie Gramer (@RobbieGramer) July 27, 2017 But because of the provisions that limit the President’s authority on sanctions against Russia, the White House has been reluctant to endorse the effort, as hours before the vote, officials were still refusing to say whether President Trump would veto this bill. “We continue to support strong sanctions against those three countries. And we are going to wait and see what that final of legislation and make a decision at that point,” said spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders. But the Senate vote of 98-2, and the House vote of 419-3, showed a Congress that was almost united in support of the plan, suggesting there would be more than enough votes to override a veto by Mr. Trump. Just voted for Russia sanctions. @POTUS needs to sign our bill now and show Russia that meddling in our elections has serious consequences. — Tom Udall (@SenatorTomUdall) July 27, 2017 “President Trump should sign this bill as soon as it hits his desk,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA). “Otherwise, he risks encouraging Russia’s interference in future elections.” From the outset, Mr. Trump has advocated a less confrontational approach with Russia, one that has been repeatedly rejected by members of both parties – and this bill was one more piece of evidence on that front. “This bipartisan bill is about keeping America safe, and I urge the president to sign it into law,” said Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
  • Officials in California shut down Fire Ball rides at a trio of state fairs and attractions after a similar ride in Ohio malfunctioned Wednesday, killing one man and injuring several others. >> Read more trending news The swinging, spinning Fire Ball amusement park ride malfunctioned at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus on Wednesday, the opening day of the fair. Dramatic video captured by a bystander shows the ride swinging back and forth like a pendulum and spinning in the air when it crashes into something and part of the ride flies off, throwing riders to the ground. The cause of the malfunction is under investigation. The accident prompted officials to close similar rides at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the California State Fair in Sacramento and the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa, KSBW reported. A spokesperson for the popular Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk told KRON that its Fire Ball ride was closed Wednesday in light of the accident. It was expected to reopen Thursday, after officials are able to thoroughly inspect the ride, KSBW reported. “We inspect the rides daily,” Boardwalk community affairs director Kris Reyes told KSBW. “The Fire Ball was inspected Wednesday morning and passed.” Barry Schailble, an inspector with the company hired by the California State Fair, told KCRA that officials “shut down the ride immediately, unloaded it and it’s closed right now.” On its website, Amusements of America said that since its debut in 2002, the Fire Ball, which was manufactured by KMG, had become 'one of the most popular thrill rides on the AOA Midway.' The company's description of the ride said it swings riders 40 feet above the midway, while spinning them at 13 revolutions per minute. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • A 39-year-old Utah woman was killed by her husband aboard a Princess Cruise ship Tuesday night because, he told authorities, she wouldn’t stop laughing at him, according to the FBI. >> Read more trending news An FBI spokeswoman said Thursday that authorities arrested a man in the case after the ship was diverted to Juneau, Alaska. He was identified by The Associated Press as Kenneth Manzanares. Authorities said the woman, who was identified only as K.M., was killed during a loud domestic dispute on the Emerald Princess around 9 p.m. Tuesday, while the ship was traveling the waters off Alaska, The Associated Press reported. “Court documents say a man entered the cabin and saw the woman on the floor covered in blood,” according to the news wire. “Records say Manzanares grabbed his wife’s body and dragged her to the balcony before the witness stopped him.” A passenger on the ship told KTVA that he heard “two or three ladies or girls, definitely women, screaming” on the night of the incident.  He told the news station that his wife looked over their room balcony and saw a man “bruised, cut and covered in blood.” The ship left on Sunday from Seattle, carrying 3,400 passengers on a week-long trip.  The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

The Latest News Videos