Category: Travel

How to Get a Great Deal on Plane Tickets by Dealspotr

The price of plane tickets is often the determining factor as to whether many people can fit a vacation into their budget. Luckily, there are several techniques you can use to cut down on flying costs. Below are five ways Dealspotr has found that are sure to help you get a better price on plane tickets.

Shop for Tickets on Tuesday or Wednesday

When airlines have a sale, it’s traditionally on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Buying your tickets on those days, especially Tuesday, will generally yield you the best price. Keep your eye out for flash sales on those days as well. Every so often airlines will offer amazing prices for a short period of time as a means of guaranteeing revenue for future dates that might look a bit soft. Just make sure you are ready to pounce if a flash sale hits, because they don’t last very long and are regularly followed up by really high prices once they end as airlines hope you’ll pay the higher price since you’ve already gone through the hassle of finding a flight.

Shop At Least a Month in Advance, If Not Longer

While it’s possible to get a great deal on a last-minute flight, it’s certainly not very likely. In fact, it’s common for last-minute flights to cost three or four times the amount it would have cost had you bought tickets a couple months ahead of time. This is especially true during popular travel periods like holidays or spring break. The other nice thing about shopping at least a month out is that you can plan your trip around the flight. For example, if you are able to get a spectacular deal on a flight, then you can book the rest of the trip based on the plane tickets. It’s much easier to get a good price on the plane tickets if you buy them first and then plan the trip around the flight as opposed to setting up all the other trip details and worrying about the flight later.

Join Airline Loyalty Programs

You should make it a habit not to fly with a particular airline until you’ve first signed up for its loyalty program. These loyalty programs are almost always free and reward you for giving the airline repeat business. Some even provide incentives when you first sign up that you can use to get seat upgrades or a free checked bag. If you’ve heard of “frequent flyer miles” they refer to these loyalty programs. The more miles you build up with an airline, the more points you get in their loyalty program which you can later redeem for free flights or other perks. Even if you wind up not using the airline again or getting anything out of the program, there is no downside as you don’t usually have to pay to join.

Find a Credit Card With Travel Perks and Always Use it to Fly

If none of your current credit cards offer points or cash back for traveling, then you should either considering signing up for one that does or call one of your current credit card companies and ask them if they can switch you to a card that provides benefits for traveling. Even if you don’t anticipate traveling or flying very much, it still makes sense to dedicate one of your credit cards to this purpose, so you can have in case of potential unexpected future trips you might have to make. Similar to loyalty programs, credit cards with travel perks allow you to build up points that you can then redeem for discounted flights, hotel stays or attractions. Sometimes you can even get a free flight. Other travel cards offer straight cash back, rather than points, so once you spend up to a certain threshold on flying and other travel-related expenses, the credit card company will give you cash back, typically in the form of a check or gift card, but occasionally as a refund applied to your statement.

Consider Two One Way Flights Instead of Round Trip

For those of you not interested in joining any loyalty programs or getting any new credit cards, this is the best option. The more flexible you are as a traveler, the better chances you’ll be able to score a good price on plane tickets. By researching all of the airlines that travel between your host city and your destination you can compare the prices for one-way tickets with all of them. Should you be flying into and/or out of cities with multiple airports, then you can also research how much he one-way flights are from those various airports. Odds are you’ll find that the best price involves you flying to a different airport than you return from using a different airline each way.

About the Author:

Jason Feller is the Director of Marketing with Dealspotr.com and writes tips and advice articles for the site on how to save money on a broad spectrum of items. He’s a former journalist with The Washington Post, NFL.com and the Times Record News.

 


signature

Couples Getaway: Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center

I had been telling my fiancé and how much I want to get away from the noise and hustle and bustle of New York City. I wanted to be near nature in an open space.  A place where there was no pushing for personal space, no sirens, no yelling, and definitely nostand clear of the closing doors please, ding, dong or this. I wanted to go to a place so quiet I can hear my own thoughts.  And since we normally go on trips like this with friends I wanted it to be just the two of us.

Being the amazing man he that he is, he came up with the wonderful idea of going upstate New York to Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center, just about 4 hours north of the city.

upstate new york - peaceful trip

Listening to Spanish and English oldies in the car

A photo posted by Lucky Seven Ten (@luckyseventen) on

We took an scenic drive with the Fall foliage leading us, and tall majestic trees welcoming us to this place filled with nature, peace, quiet and loooots of space… it was pretty much everything I had asked for.

wpid-img_20141023_001716.jpg

The roads were deserted and so of course we stopped to take a selfie.

Road trip selfie

and to strike a pose…

Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center - upstate new york - romantic getaway - couples getaway - peaceful - quiet- fall foliage

(PS I love my TOMS!) 

image

We l arrived around 3:30 PM on Saturday and the weather was fairly nice, in the mid 60’s with a bit of an overcast.

Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center - upstate new york - romantic getaway - couples getaway - peaceful - quiet

As soon as we checked in we rented bikes and went for a ride to the lake.

wpid-20141018_162053.jpg

wpid-20141018_162056.jpg

wpid-img_20141018_161434.jpg

We were awe-struck by this view…  (press play)

…of the Adirondack Mountains.

image

After we let this gorgeous sight sink in, we grabbed the (self-service) kayaks and went on the lake.

Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation -boatCenter - upstate new york - romantic getaway - couples getaway - peaceful - quiet

I swear we weren’t alone but you wouldn’t know that by looking at these pictures. There were a couple people here and there, but nobody on the lake when we were kayaking, nobody on the trails, and nobody in close proximity and it was such a luxury to have this time.

imageLapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center - upstate new york - romantic getaway - couples getaway - peaceful - quiet

I attempted to give him a kiss on the kayak but… watch the video to see what happened.0741(1)

😂

A post shared by Leslie – Lucky 710 (@luckyseventen) on

We kayaked for a while but stayed near the shore since we were alone and I don’t know how to swim.

After a while it started to rain, so we went back to cabin, dropped off our bikes and for lack of time went on the Vasa trail.  This particular trail was alright but not much to see.  Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center - upstate new york - romantic getaway - couples getaway - peaceful - quiet

Leaf peeping…

Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center - upstate new york - romantic getaway - couples getaway - peaceful - quiet - fall -autumn - leaves - fall foliage

IMG_20141018_153422

Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center - upstate new york - romantic getaway - couples getaway - peaceful - quiet - HM - HandM

Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center - upstate new york - romantic getaway - couples getaway - peaceful - quiet - fall foliage - leaves - autmn

Somewhere in between we ran into Viima and Littlebit.

image

Look at this map for the real trails.

image

After the walk we were very hungry and went to find the Wal-Mart, located in Gloversville, one town over.   We ended up driving in the wrong direction for almost 40 minutes!  How is this possible?  Well, no cell phone signal means no GPS. I can’t believe how reliant we are technology now a days. I can’t imagine living without GPS, I would never get anywhere.

Right before we got to the highway though we found some hunters. And we just had to stop for this… O deer!
Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center - upstate new york - romantic getaway - couples getaway - peaceful - quiet - hunters - deers

We ate Burger King for dinner and picked up frozen food from Wal-Mart.  Fast food when you are hungry in a place far from home is the most amazing meal on earth… it’s a blessing. (ps I don’t eat fast food at home)

image

We returned back to our cabin which had very nice fireplace. Antonio lit it up using log and newspaper that was provided.  Really cool experience.

Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center - upstate new york - romantic getaway - couples getaway - peaceful - quiet

Then I beat him at Candy Land in 45 seconds, beginner’s luck I thought, but then I beat him again, and again. Finally we traded turns and he beat me. He used to play this game as a kid and claims is not as fun as he had remembered it ::wink::

Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center - upstate new york - romantic getaway - couples getaway - peaceful - quiet - board game -

Before going to bed, I insisted  that we should go to the lake and watch the sunrise. We had no idea when the sun would rise so I set the alarm for 4:30 AM and convinced him to wake up with me. It was pitch black. I thought ok, well that gives me time to shower and get dressed, and so I go on to that. I come out of the shower, still pitch black. I made breakfast for us …and coffee, still pitch black. Finally around 6 AM I was so sleepy and there was no sign of the sun coming out so I gave up and went to bed. Antonio had given up way before me. At around 7 AM the sun starts to come out but by then I didn’t want to get up and so we slept lol.

We left at around 11 AM since we had to be in NYC for a baby shower but it is incredible how barely 24 hours in a place like this can fill one with peace and positivity.  We had a very nice time.

On the way back we came across many pumpkin sales.  We picked up some for our nieces and nephews.

image

 

image

image

Back in the city.

image


The details

Lodging: Lapland lake is a made up of 10 cabins:  Pohjan, Kota, Suksi, Poro, Pulkka, Ruska, Tunturi, Lumi, Latu and Lapin.   We stayed in the Kota.  The lodging is very rustic and not for everyone but we enjoyed it very much.

Activities:  Nature Trails; Bird Watching; Kayaking (kayaks are provided free of charge);  bike rentals are available for half a day or full day.  (There’s a beautiful lake a bit of drive north, great for pictures)

Important to know: No cell phone service.  No TVs in the cabin.


I have to say that although we were completely disconnected from the world we didn’t miss any of it.  We didn’t miss the cell phone (except when we got lost), the TV, the noise, the crowds.  Being around nature is such a blessing and so good for the soul.

The next day I woke up refreshed, happy, positive and energetic.  The total opposite of  how I usually am on Mondays.

I would love to hear about your favorite weekend getaway.  Would you ever go to a place that makes you feel completely disconnected to the world, with no cell phone or TV, etc? Have you been to similar place?  Comment below to let me know.

Xo, Lucky


signature

Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas Cruise Review This was our first cruise and it will definitely not be the last... we are hooked!  

We went on the Majesty of the Seas 4-night Bahama cruise from Miami with 2 stops in the Bahamas (Nassau and CocoCay) and 1 stop in Key West.  This ship was not the biggest, baddest or newest but it was a lot of fun and we loved it.  And did I mention we got engaged!!!  (video)

Everything was so organized and smooth sailing.  Every morning they would deliver the daily compass with itinerary information, activities and port information.  There was no waiting in lines, the staff was attentive  and overall an enjoyable experience.   So here is the breakdown of the trip:

THE SHIP
The decor was not impressive and a bit outdated but overall very clean, well-kept and somewhat elegant in an old-school kind of way.  It provided plenty of elevated viewing areas for sunrises, sunsets and sail-away city views. It had two large salt-water swimming pools (one was 10 ft the other 2 ft), hot tubs, bars and DJ/music. I don’t know how to swim so I wish the height was a bit more scaled for pools however I still enjoyed being in the water. The ship had plenty of elevators, stairs and multiple lobbies per floor which made it easy to navigate and was free of crowded spaces. Tip: take glass elevators leading to the shopping area for a nice view of the interior.

Click to enlarge
Photo Credit: AM Photo
ROOM/LODGING
We had a Superior Oceanview Suite and it was very comfortable. The room had a small closet and plenty of drawers. It also had a safe box, mini bar and cable TV.

FOOD & BEVERAGE
The complimentary restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner were a self-serve buffet style for casual dining at Windjammer Café and a multi-course menu with waiter service at the two Main Dinning Rooms (each serving different menu options).  There was also a Deli (not sure about the hours), Sorrento’s Pizza available 24 hours and free room service before midnight.  For an extra fee you can get Johnny Rockets burgers (the guys put on a nice dance show!), gourmet coffee and gelato.

The food was neither excellent nor bad, I would say we were satisfied. The self-serve buffet was very efficient and convenient and so was the 24 hour pizza.  Fruits and vegetables were plentiful.  If you are a steak or seafood fan, the Main Dining Room always had steak and seafood options.  There was a formal night at the Main Dining Room for which you are expected to dress-up an although no enforced, most woman wore cocktail/evening dresses and man wore suits/business casual.  All dining rooms had water views which was nice add-on.

There were plenty of bars all around.  Some bartenders were very slow and looked tired and sometimes we were better off finding the cocktail server and going on about our business until they came back with our drinks.  We found that tipping the cocktail servers cash, as with any other establishment, kept the drinks coming.

ENTERTAINMENT/ ACTIVITIES
There were many types of entertainment going around at every time. There was Karaoke every night, pool parties, very funny comedy shows and a special night for couples (that was a lot of fun!).  The rock climbing under the stars on the highest part of the ship was really nice (tons of little kids but go for it anyway).

Royal Caribbean - Majesty of the seas - Activities - Things to do

PACKAGES
The liquor package is worth it if you are a heavy drinker. We bought the package and found ourselves drinking just to make it worth our spend.  I think next time we’ll put that money towards something more useful.  We only bought one package and shared it (meaning Antonio got me drinks on his card) and even between the two of us there were days we barely had anything to drink because we were off the boat.

The photo package seemed pricey considering we spent $250 on alcohol but  the pictures were good quality.  

SHOPPING
Bring spending money! They had used Rolex watches for sale, jewelry, sunglasses, perfumes and ran deals/special discounts for each department on different days.  Purchases were tax-free and many stores automatically  added us to a raffle with each purchase.  I bought super cute bracelets and babe bought Michael Kors sunglasses.

CUSTOMER SERVICE
Customer service was impressive… excellent all around.  The room attendant was very attentive and kept our room nice and tidy.

THE STOPS & BEACHES
Below is a summary of the things we did on each stop.  I am the type to research and have a list of things to do prior to a trip but I didn’t do that this time.  And although there were things I wish I had done I found that going with the flow was freeing and refreshing.

Nassau (8 am – Midnight) 
The currency is at par with the dollar (1 Bahamian dollar = 1 American dollar) so you’re not getting any deal here.  The island was very safe and it seems that you can wander around without fear.  They warned us not to rent scooters since Bahamians drive on the left side so we took a taxi to cable beach at $5/pp.  Later on we realized that we can take a jitney bus for $1.25/pp so we did that on the way back to the ship (bus #10 will take you from the port to cabbage beach or cable beach).
 
  • Cable beach it is by far a better option than cabbage beach.  It was clean, beautiful and somewhat deserted which was great.  You can however still find vendors for para-sailing or jet ski.  We rented a jet-ski for 30 minutes for $60.  The only downside of this beach was not having many food options right on the beach.  According to our friend’s research Cabbage Beach is not as pleasant and is very crowded, but the upside is that it is closer to the port and you can easily find food vendors.
  • Atlantis is very close to this island (you can actually see it from the ship) but we chose not to go.
  • Places I would visit next time: Sandy Toes beach

cable beach - Nassau - Bahamas - Royal Caribbean - Majesty of the Seas

 

CocoCay (8 am – 5 pm)
This is a tiny private island owned by Royal Caribbean and here they organized a really nice BBQ for us at the beach. The beach was beautiful and clean. There were souvenir shops, a water park and other water activities going on.
CocoCay - Nassau - Bahamas - Royal Caribbean - Majesty of the Seas
Key West (10 am – 6 pm)
At key west we rented a scooter and that was A LOT of fun, I highly recommend doing this instead of the tour bus.  It’s a fairly small island and you can get around in just a few hours.
  • Sights to visit: 0 Mile, Southernmost Point in the US, Hemingway’s house and light house (all within walking distance of each other).
  • Beaches:  I highly recommend going to Salute! restaurant on the beach – this was located in the nicer part of the beach – great for pictures!  Too bad we couldn’t stay for sunset.
  • Next trip: Hunted House Tour (which we didn’t do).    
    Royal caribbean - Majesty of the seas- Key West Things to Do
Hope you found this post useful.  Please like my Facebook page.

signature