Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cheap Tickets In Iceland

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The international bank crisis swept like a flood over Iceland in the beginning of October. It left behind three ship-wrecked banks, a slaughtered currency and a nation on the brink of bankruptcy.

It should therefore not surprise anyone that when on a journalistic trip to Reykjavik, we were asked to pay for our hotel room beforehand.

THE ICELANDIC krone had fallen dramatically just in the days prior to our landing at Keflavik airport. But what was due to lack of faith in the Icelandic economy, had an inadvertent consequence for travelers: The normally sky-high priced island was now dirt-cheap.

In the middle of October, 100 Icelandic kroner was down to 2.74 kroner, according to the Bank of Norway’s rates – down 60 per cent from the beginning of May. To use a well-known example: You can buy half a litre of lager for 500 Icelandic kroner in the bars in Reykjavik. This now corresponds to 15 Norwegian. A three-course meal at Reykjavik’s best restaurant costs a few hundred per person.

LITTLE WONDER the airline company, Icelandair has used the opportunity to offer cheap tickets to a «very inexpensive» country, and the Icelandic Tourist Board points out on their website that the island never has been cheaper.

Even though the banking business has suffered ship-wreck and Icelandic authorities are negotiating an international crisis loan, the volcanic island with just under 300,000 inhabitants is still worth a visit.

RENT A CAR and drive to Thingvellir, the seat of the country’s parliament from 930 to 1798, and today one of the country’s four national parks. Thingvellir lies in a valley between the European and American continental plates, and you thereby also cross continents when you cross the Unesco-protected valley.

Cheap Tickets In London II

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Getting into London from Luton Airport is relatively straightforward. Trains are always cheaper the further in advance you book. A few weeks ahead, you can get a single ticket for around €14, or €25.60 for a return, to London St Pancras International (you can book tickets on www.thetrainline.co.uk). Or you can get a cheap coach, such as easy- Bus, which can drop you off at various points in central London. Prices are cheapest if you book in advance, starting at as little as €3 one-way (www.easybus.co.uk).

London offers some of the best theatre in the world and I can't recommend taking in a show enough. A lot of the big hitters, such as Les Miserables, don't have any trouble filling their seats night after night, so cheap tickets can be hard to come by. However, if you are open-minded about what you see, you should be able to get a good deal. Lastminute.com is a good site for checking out offers and ticket availability. If you do spot cheap tickets, contact the venue directly to avoid commission charges.

There is so much to do in London. I'd recommend bypassing the West End and heading east to Shoreditch. This area is home to the funky, young things, with buzzing bars, vibrant Brick Lane with its fantastic curry houses, and a huge array of quirky vintage shops. Pop into the White Cube gallery.

FareCompare.com For Cheap Tickets

DALLAS, Nov 11, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- FareCompare.com shoppers can compare prices of all major US airlines, plus find valuable money-saving tips for procrastinators still shopping for cheap flights this Thanksgiving and Christmas
Procrastinators take heart - you have two more days to shop for airfare deals this Thanksgiving on most airlines. Holiday shoppers still looking for the best deal can quickly and easily shop more than 500 carriers, including Southwest Airlines at FareCompare.com ( http://www.farecompare.com/wintersale08).
FareCompare.com CEO Rick Seaney, a recognized airline industry consumer advocate says, "If you thought you couldn't fly family home for the holidays, think again. Prices have dropped sharply for holiday flights in the past few weeks. This season, last minute empty seats equal discounts, like the three-day winter sale Southwest announced today ( http://www.farecompare.com/wintersale08)."
Though there will be fewer seats from most of the busiest airports across the US ( http://www.farecompare.com/holiday08), recent airfare sales may make holiday travel possible for late shoppers. Last minute shoppers will find that FareCompare.com is an easy-to-use, one-stop shopping site that combines speedy searches with informative video tips and tools to help travelers get the best deals, every time they fly.
Just two shopping days left to get the best-priced airline tickets this Thanksgiving. Shopping at least 14 days before departure usually results in cheap tickets. After that, shoppers will find that coach airfares double or triple. If you've waited this long, search flights now.
Fly on Thanksgiving Day and save. Few travelers know that flying on the holiday is a great way to save - with the added bonus of shorter lines and fewer airport hassles.
Leave in the morning; arrive in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Early morning flights are traditionally the least expensive. Fly early on Thanksgiving Day and arrive in plenty of time for Thanksgiving dinner!
About FareCompare.com
FareCompare.com is an independent airfare travel shopping site with tools to help consumers find cheap flights first. Providing data and analysis on airline industry trends, fees, regulations, fuel surcharges and more, FareCompare.com is committed to the education of the air traveling public - so they will make the best airfare purchasing decisions, every time they choose to fly. To get year-by-year graphs, video and holiday travel news assets, visit FareCompare.com/holiday08.
SOURCE FareCompare.com

Cheap Tickets

(NewDesignWorld Press Release Center) -- No one has the time to stand in a queue to buy tickets for any event. Times have changed and online bookings have made it easier to get tickets for all types of shows. Now online tickets brokers offer a wealth of information and they facilitate comparison of prices between tickets. The tickets can be ordered via the web or phone and confirmed seats can be got at a premium price. The payment is also made online via credit card.

There are many methods for getting cheap tickets for a concert will also work for finding cheap tickets to other events . There are also many ticket brokers online that purchase tickets at group rates and then sell them individually as cheap tickets. Venues sometimes offer discounts if you buy from their web site rather than in person or on the phone. You can also find cheap tickets for concerts and events by going to a barter web site where people who cannot attend an event or concert post their cheap tickets for sale to try to get some of their money back.

If there is an event that you want to go to but cannot find tickets. Most ticket brokers have tickets available for almost any event but you will definitely pay a premium and sometimes tickets can be twice as much. So you have to search and compare ticket prices before getting them. There are cheap tickets available at Oasistickets (http://www.oasistickets.com )

For more information on obtaining concert, sports and theatre tickets, visit:

http://www.oasistickets.com

Cheap Airline Tickets

From the WSJ:

Historically when demand dwindles, airlines offer new flights and cheap tickets to lure travelers from competitors. But this time, with a number of seats going empty as the economy sours, airlines continue to pare flights from networks that by the end of the year will already have shrunk in number of seats more than 10%, compared with last year.

Airline executives, burned by the volatility of energy prices in recent years, say they refuse to believe that the drop in oil prices is permanent. The frail economy that pushes oil prices lower is also what keeps demand for air travel weak.
[Flights]

"There is a long-term question mark over fuel prices just as there is a long-term question mark over demand," says Tammy Romo, vice president of financial planning at Southwest Airlines Co., the low-fare pioneer that in past downturns led the charge to add routes and aircraft as competitors pulled back. "There is a need for the industry to continue to show discipline."

For an industry long criticized for overcapacity, the cuts are expected to help airlines maintain a rare balance between supply and demand and post a modest profit next year, even as other consumer industries suffer. Almost as if by accident -- the cuts came well before the severity of the downturn was apparent -- carriers are now poised to weather the turmoil better than at any other time in the industry's recent history.

While the downturn could still hold surprises, "the combination of significant capacity reductions and declines in fuel prices far outweigh potential demand declines," wrote Gary Chase, an airline analyst at Barclays Capital, in a research report on Tuesday. In a separate report, analysts at Merrill Lynch on Wednesday predicted an industrywide profit of $2 billion next year, up from a previously projected loss of $4 billion.

Sources For Cheap Tickets

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NOTE: In an completely unscientific test of each site's prices, I ran a search for a round trip ticket from Los Angeles to Omaha departing on November 15th and returning on the 22nd. I'll end each site's description below with the result.

Kayak

Kayak is a travel search aggregator, scouring over 140 sites to bring you the cheapest fares it can find. The results are nicely sorted by price, and once the search is complete, you can tweak and filter the results to find the perfect ticket for your needs. Kayak supports email alerts, can search nearby airports, and the Buzz feature is great if you're looking to take a spur-of-the-minute vacation on the cheap. Like most travel sites, Kayak also covers hotels, cruises, and rental cars. My Flight: $207.

Yapta

Yapta—aka Your Amazing Personal Travel Assistant—is an airline search engine with an emphasis on tracking airline prices before and after you purchase your tickets. Before your purchase, Yapta will track a flight and alert you when it falls below your desired price (a feature available on most of the sites featured here). After your purchase, Yapta will continue tracking the ticket price. If it drops, the site will send an alert if you're eligible for a refund or travel credit. If you're a big Yapta fan, you can even integrate it in your browser with the previously mentioned Yapta Firefox extension or Internet Explorer plug-in. My Flight: $206.50.

Live Search Farecast

Live Search Farecast is another airline ticket search aggregator similar to Kayak. Farecast sets itself apart by offering price predictions that suggest whether now is the right time to buy your ticket—or whether you should wait. It does this by tracking and analyzing fare histories. Earlier this year, Farecast was purchased by Microsoft, who slapped the Live Search moniker on the front end. My Flight: $216.

Priceline

Priceline has long been a favorite of bargain hunters and William Shatner fans alike. Priceline made its name with its Name Your Own Price system, and while the Name Your Own Price option is still available, it's been significantly de-emphasized on the site. If you're looking to really low and you don't mind bidding blindly (when you name your price, you don't get to choose departure/arrival times or number of stops, for example), NYOP is a good way to go. Otherwise, Priceline's default search engine still has a lot to offer. My Flight: $206.

Sidestep

Sidestep is yet another search aggregator that you may find oddly familiar if you're a Kayak user. That's because Sidestep was purchased by Kayak a year ago this December. In fact, from what I can tell, SideStep's search results are the same as what you can get from Kayak—it even sports the same Buzz feature—so it's really just a matter of choosing which one you like the look and feel of more. My Flight: $207.

Also check these website:

http://us.lastminute.com
http://lastminute.travelocity.com
http://www.igougo.com
http://www.hotwire.com
http://www.cheapoair.com
http://www.lessno.com
http://www.airdig.com

The Best Day To Buy Cheap Tickets

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Believe it or not, there really is a best day of the week to make your best deal on an airline ticket, and it’s neither Monday nor Friday. It’s Wednesday! And there’s even a best time on Wednesday to buy that ticket.

Why Wednesday? Thank the small, upstart airlines. In the airline business, fare wars are started by the weakest competitors, and the big guys tend to be the ones to raise fares. And all of that tends to happen on Fridays.

So how did Wednesday become the ideal day to strike a deal?

Let’s say Airline A decides to raise fares. It usually does so at a late hour on a Friday night. By Saturday, Airline A’s major competitors will probably match that fare increase.

Warning: Book your tickets over a weekend, and you might spend a whole lot more than you should.

But what if the major competitors don’t match the higher fares? Then the instigator of the fare increase drops its fares back down late on Sunday night or on Monday morning. If you already paid a higher fare, you still may be out of luck.

Why? Because although you might still qualify for a lower fare and a ticket exchange, that terrible $100 change fee could wipe out your savings!

Here’s another example. Let’s say upstart Airline B decides to begin a fare war. Again, it happens late on a Friday night. Usually, some (but not all) of the majors will match that fare on routes where they compete with Airline B.

Does that mean you should still book tickets over the weekend? Absolutely not.

Remember, I said some, but not all, of the majors will match that fare. By late Monday, depending on how that new fare is doing in the marketplace, Airline C might jump into the battle and offer an even lower fare, so look for all the other airlines to rush to match that one - usually by Tuesday - and the war is on. Prices might go even lower on Wednesday. And that’s when you strike.

How To Find Cheap Tickets

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When booking through an agent, always specify you want the "lowest possible fare," as there may be specials which do not fall under "economy" or "APEX." Moreover, not every agent--even with the budget specialists listed below--will be equally competent or motivated to find the cheapest ticket. They may not know about a great deal the next cubicle has been selling all week, or the commission may not merit bothering much.

Likewise, buying a ticket on the Internet is not the same as getting the cheapest price. As with any travel agent, you may be offered the lowest price, an average price, or a test price. You still have to make comparisons and move boldly when a deal presents itself. A good strategy is to book the best-value, fully-refundable fare early, then continue looking for something better to pop up.

You may find an attractive price on the main leg, but a high one on the connect. Try reversing the search, or book one leg at a time. Allow at least three hours between flights for international departures/changeovers.

Often the best deals are offered directly by airline websites. In some cases you sign-up with the airline and they notify you via email of hugely-restricted but incredibly cheap specials a few days before the flight. These include American, United, Continental, Northwest, Southwest (the U.S. low-fare and efficiency leader), U.S. Airways, TWA, Delta, Alaska, Canadian, Carnival, and Cathay Pacific (which periodically auctions--with minimum bid--several hundred seats on New York and Los Angeles to Hong Kong runs.)

Large Internet Travel Sites
All listings are the result of experience, general budget travel knowledge, or research. The only contract is between author and reader.

Student and Budget Specialists
While a few tickets require student or youth status, most do not. The following serve customers requiring cheap fares, and have access to discounted tickets. To be certain of any true low-market price you must make at least a few inquiries.
sta-travel.com

Domestic Bucket Shops
Air Brokers International
323 Geary, Suite 411, San Francisco, CA 94102 tel. 800-883-3273 fax: 415-397-4767. Sells around-the-world and circle-Pacific tickets. airbrokers.com

Air Hitch
2790 Broadway, Suite 100, New York, NY 10025 tel. 212-864-2000 or 800-326-2009. Air Hitch provides one-way rides across the Atlantic for $169 from the East Coast, $269 from the West Coast, and $229 from in-between.

Cheap Tickets, Inc.
1247 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10021 tel. 212-570-1179 Also has offices in L.A., San Francisco, and Honolulu. National tel. is 800-377-1000 (espa├▒ol: 800-991-6199) and fax 800-454-2555. Formerly a U.S. domestic specialist, Cheap Tickets now sells international tickets. cheaptickets.com

Friday, November 28, 2008

HostelsClub.com Presents an Excellent Deal for Students: Dollar for Euro Campaign Enables Americans to Visit Europe

The bad economy continues to exert pressure on Americans, preventing them from traveling to preferred destinations at home and abroad. For American college students, these factors can be an even more serious challenge, a handicap that forecloses the opportunity to visit Europe and enjoy the manifold attractions of places like Rome, Paris, Venice, Berlin, Madrid and other notable locales. Thankfully, HostelsClub.com (www.hostelsclub.com) recognizes these facts -- and has introduced an amazing deal for American citizens, a campaign that makes the dream of visiting Europe a reality. The company's dollar-for-euro promotion allows American citizens - and American college students should take advantage of this announcement immediately - to stay in a number of truly amazing places, without fear of currency volatility or exorbitant prices. Translation: you can go to Europe on a budget -- and still get wonderful service, superior accommodations and all the other benefits of touring Europe in style. To repeat: one dollar equals one euro! This kind of deal is the perfect lifeline for Americans who need a break from the stress and tumut of a challenging economy. Check out the links below, which feature some enticing ddestinations that are part of HostelsClub.com. Happy travels!

Hostels Venice
Hostels Barcelona
Berlin Hostels
Madrid Hostels
Europe Hostels