Tag: Budget Travel

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WOW Air Launching $99 Paris and Amsterdam Flights

July 20, 2015 at 2:55 PM | by | ()

Save your hard-earned money for baguettes and weed. (Bigger vice: Carbs or THC? Discuss.) WOW air's new flights are excellent news for budget-conscious travelers; starting in October, the low-cost airline will begin offering $99 one-way flights from Boston and Baltimore to Paris and Amsterdam. If you've ever wanted to visit the City of Light — or a red light district.

Here's the deal: WOW will fly from BWI to Amsterdam twice a week and to Paris five times a week; from BOS, WOW will fly to Amsterdam three times a week and to Paris six days a week. To reach both cities you'll stop in Reykjavik to jump on a connecting flight. And yes, you can already book them now. And if you haven't already, check out one of our recent reviews of WOW's famous $99 transatlantic flights; overall, it's a pretty good experience (save for a serious carry-on related inconvenience). Important to note, though, that these flights to Paris and Amsterdam are one-way deals; you'll need to spend more for your trip back. (Or, you know, just plan to while away the the rest of your life amid tulips and windmills.) And as Boston magazine notes, only one flight out of each city per week will go for the $99 rate; the others will still reflect WOW as a low-cost carrier, of course, but they may not be quite so bargain basement.

Still, pretty solid deal. Give your booking finger a warm-up stretch and get to clicking.

[Image: WOW air]

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Poshtels Are Putting the Fancy in Low-Cost Travel

July 20, 2015 at 1:51 PM | by | ()

If you’ve ever stayed at a hostel, you’ve probably been subjected to creaky bunk beds, nasty showers and late night noise. It may be a budget traveler’s best friend, but going no-frills usually means going without glamour.

But gaining steam is a fancier new approach to low-cost lodging: the poshtel. A combination of "posh" and "hostel," the phrase refers to properties merging elements of luxury hotels and hostels, reports Business Insider. The trend started in Europe, but has slowly creeped its way into the States.

Some poshtels offer shared or private rooms, some with in-room bathrooms. Others — like, say, the Miami Freehand — offer amenities like bocce ball courts, an outdoor swimming pool and a James Beard Award semi-finalist bar. (Oh, and shared rooms at the Freehand start at $30 per night.)

So, who is staying at poshtels? According to MediaPost, the popular European poshtel brand Generator reported that 15-20 percent of its guests are 30 or older. Half of Hosteling International USA's American members are over 25. Looks like not all budget travelers fit the typical backpacker stereotype bill.

Read the complete story on Business Insider here.

[Photo: Freehand Miami/Facebook]

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Norwegian Is Launching East Coast to Caribbean Flights

July 1, 2015 at 10:00 AM | by | ()

Norwegian already has a rep for those affordable flights across the Atlantic, but now the carrier is looking for fame and recognition elsewhere. Step one: Shuttling passengers away from cold and cruel winters and toward some warmer destinations.

The airline just announced that, beginning in December, it will launch flights from Boston, Baltimore, and New York-JFK to the Guadeloupe Islands and Martinique — so now’s the time to start checking out TripAdvisor for ideas on what to do and where to stay. (Christmas getaway, anyone?)

USA Today has the full rundown on the schedules so that you can successfully plan a long winter weekend. Fares start at juts $79 each way depending on your airport of choice and final destination, and you'll hauling to warmer climes on some Boeing 737-800s — complete with leather seats and free WiFi.

Is it too early to start our wish list, Santa?

[Photo: Norwegian / Facebook]

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One Country Has Completely Rejected Luggage Fees

Where: India
June 29, 2015 at 2:51 PM | by | ()

What's worse than decreasing legroom? What sucks more than have a short flight delay? The answer: paying extra for luggage.

Most U.S. airlines now charge for checked luggage, and at least four airlines already charge for carry-ons-- three of those are U.S. airlines: Spirit, Allegiant, and Frontier. The fourth is Iceland's Wow Air, that of the unbelievable $99 airfares to Europe.

Low-cost airlines highly fond of extra fees in other regions of the world are understandably jealous of all the extra revenue streaming in from baggage charges. Most recently, Southeast Asian airlines considered beginning their own carry-on fees. For now, at least, one country is putting its foot down and saying no: India.

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Flight Review: What It's Like to Fly Wow Air's $99 Flights From the US to Europe

May 4, 2015 at 10:05 AM | by | ()

We know, we know. $99 for a flight from the U.S. to Europe is simply too good to be true. Obviously, with a fare as low as that, something must be wrong, right? Well, wrong. Not only is Icelandic ultra-low-cost airline Wow Air offering such deals, but there's nothing suspicious at hand here.

To prove it, and to test the airline's transatlantic service (we've flown them from Iceland to London previously), we purchased said $99 fare and flew it ourselves. Here's what happened.

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Megabus Expands Seat Reservations to Double-Decker Routes

April 1, 2015 at 6:52 PM | by | ()

While $1 for a bus ticket may seem too good to be true, it's the reality for Megabus riders. The bus line specializes in affordable travel, and the last few years has seen them expand from the east coast, to the midwest, to the west coast (not to mention their original UK routes).

Megabus' latest announcement is not a new destination on the map, but an improvement in passenger experience on all double-decker routes: reserved seating.

The bus line had rolled out the ability to reserve select seats (usually the most desirable) on certain routes already, but today brings the news that the program has expanded to all routes. No more heart palpitations in line to board, hoping to score your favorite seat; now it can be reserved...for a price, of course. It also ensures that persons traveling together will be able to sit together.

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Would You Fly on a $15 Ryanair Flight from Europe to the U.S.? (Did We Mention It's Ryanair?)

March 18, 2015 at 1:22 PM | by | ()

A $15 for a flight from Europe to the United States sounds too good to be true. But that's what notoriously cheap Ryanair is hoping to do.

News came out yesterday that the Irish airline got approval to offer such low fares on one-way transcontinental flights from smaller European airports like London Stansted to key cities in the U.S. like New York, Boston and Miami.. Of course, this being Ryanair, an airline that really sticks it to you with baggage fees and onboard fees, will probably charge passengers other ridiculous fees to makeup for the low fare.

We're thinking boarding pass printing fees, carry-on fees (small fees for small carry-ons, big fees for big carry-ons), in-flight entertainment fees, lavatory fees and maybe even fees to recline your seat and take off your shoes. In addition to the existing food and drink fees and fees for different kinds of seats.

But if you're the kind of person who abstains from buying food and drink on a flight and can wear all of your trip outfits on the plane, then this fare might be just what your strained bank account was hoping for.

In the meantime, here are 5 tips to prepare yourself for the next great airfare deal.

Would you fly a $15 flight from Europe to the U.S., knowing that you'll be nickel-and-dimed the all the way through? Sound off in comments below!

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Be Ready for the Next Great Airfare Deal with These 5 Tips

March 11, 2015 at 10:22 AM | by | ()

Let's be real—most leisure travelers have to mind the money when it comes to booking a trip, and airfare is often the largest obstacle to clicking "purchase." The key to removing that obstacle is finding a great deal on airfare, which can seem a fool's errand considering all the websites, booking engines, and "book on Tuesday" tips on the topic.

The trick to scoring shockingly cheap flights (like our recent Kauai trip, or that $200 surprise to Abu Dhabi) isn't much more than sitting down and thinking through your travel goals so you'll be ready to whip out the credit card the moment the deals pop up.

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Hawaii for Half-Price? Airfare Deals to the Islands Keep on Coming

March 9, 2015 at 2:18 PM | by | ()

Hawaii is cheap this season, you guys. The faraway state of paradise (both literal and figurative) has seen airfare deals from all over the country, for totals that've been beating prices to Cancun, Cabo, and even Florida. Right now is the time to rethink and reroute vacation plans in the direction of the Pacific Ocean.

The onslaught of Hawaii deals began in December, with some roundtrips from almost all major US cities to most major Hawaiian airports in the high $500 range. We jumped on a $570 US Airways deal from Boston to Kauai—one of the most expensive islands to travel to—and a friend snagged Detroit-Kauai on Delta. It seemed a Christmas miracle, having flights to Hawaii for 50% off!

To our surprise and everyone's benefit, those deals have continued and, in certain cases, even sweetened. Our friends at FareDealAlert just dug up a $355 roundtrip to Honolulu on United from Minneapolis and various other middle America cities suffering from the winter blues. Chicago is a hair more at $500.

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$160 is the Price for One Month of Flights with AirAsia's New ASEAN Pass

February 23, 2015 at 11:15 AM | by | ()

How does a month of flying around Southeast Asia for under $200 sound?

That's the question we asked back in December, when it was first announced AirAsia would introduce some sort of pass for unlimited flights. Well, that pass—the AirAsia ASEAN Pass, named for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations—is official and available for purchase, beginning today.

The ASEAN Pass' original promise of travel to 10 countries has been kept, and passengers may elect to fly to airports in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Burma, Laos and Brunei. The greatest variety of destinations is of course offered from AirAsia's base in Kuala Lumpur, although Bangkok also has a bunch.

Popular leisure destinations in the passes include Bali, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Langkawi, and Puerto Princesa. With just those it'd be very tempting to turn an ASEAN Pass into a "best exotic beaches of SE Asia" pass, but culture and business travelers will find plenty destinations of interest as well.

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Reservations Open Today for NYC's Biggest Restaurant Week Yet

February 2, 2015 at 10:41 AM | by | ()

Go and get 'em! Reservation booking has just opened up here for the semiannual NYC Restaurant Week, aka one of our favorite (and super highly recommended) city food events. NYC's Winter Restaurant Week(s) 2015 runs from February 16 to March 6.

Get over to OpenTable quickly to snap up the best and newest tables, lest you get stuck dining at some Theater District steakhouse that survives on tourists being loose with their money and not too particular about what's on their plate. The choices for winter 2015 are better than ever, with a record 340 participating eateries.

The official announcement gives a taste of what to expect:

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WiFi on a Cruise Ship for $5 a Day?!

January 19, 2015 at 9:46 AM | by | ()

Office hours.

A photo posted by Jaunted.com (@jaunted) on

You know that old idiom, “everything happens in threes?” Well, it absolutely applies in the case of WiFi on cruise ships this season. At-sea connectivity is a notoriously sore spot in the cruise industry, since the standard satellite systems bring embarrassingly low bandwidth at a shamefully high cost. In most cases, we’re talking $0.75 per minute. For real.

Several years ago it was normal to be charged ~$300 just to keep up some minimal internet access for emailing and some social media-ing on a 7-day cruise, and as of 2014 not much had changed...other than the passengers’ desire for more time online at a better price.

Then along came Royal Caribbean’s “smartship” Quantum of the Seas and its lower cost, lower orbit, higher bandwidth satellite technology, including—gasp—unlimited plans.

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