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Travel planner tips: 45 suggests improving your travel experience

Do you want to go somewhere for a trip? The travel planner tips help you to get ready easily for your tour. I propose you some advice to improve your experience. Traveling in the years helped me to learn how to avoid bad surprises, at least the majority of them. I just want to share my knowledge with you.

Travel planner tips: the suitcase

A traveler has to deal with the airline company policy about the luggage. You need to respect the rules about size and weight. This means to have the proper bag and of course to check carefully what to put inside. The travel planner tips give you the chance to bring all that you really need and do not pay for the exceeded weight.

A small bag

Buy a light suitcase, because at the airport they weigh the luggage, including the tare. So you have to search for a strong and light item, ready to protect your personal objects, without to make them exceed the quota admitted. Then purchase a small backpack or bag, around 35/40 liters. This is useful to not carry too much but to have the most important items with you. Especially in case, they will lose your luggage.

Pack light

It is not mandatory to change clothes every day or more times in a day, but after some time you need to do it. The travel planner tips include a part about what to put in the luggage. The best advice is to prepare a list, according to your agenda and to the type of trip. If you go for business maybe you have to consider suites, ties and so on. On holiday you can be freer. Count how many days you will stay there and calculate the clothes you need.

A towel in the suitcase

Are you going to walk a lot under the sun or to go hiking in nature? Well, you will sweat a lot. For this reason, you need a towel. Also if you find a good place close to the sea or to a river, a towel is perfect to stand on the beach or to dry off. Also for a picnic, a towel helps you. You can use it in many situations and it doesn’t weigh much.

Don’t forget extra socks

You will walk a lot during your trip and you won’t have the chance to do laundry. So for taking care of your feet and feel fresh, you should have more socks than the ones you normally need. They don’t use much space in the suitcase and they are not heavy, so carry the socks. You will be glad to follow this particular step among the travel planner tips.

Flashlight

If you like the adventure or you like to walk in nature during the night, maybe to see the stars, the flashlight is highly suggested. There is the risk to fall down, so this item becomes essential. In the case of a blackout in your room, you will be ready. Are you traveling with friends? In the evening you can tell them some ghost stories and the flashlight will help you to be more realistic. 

First-aid kit

When you go around the world you are exposed to climate changes and also to accidents. Something bad can happen, so be prepared. You never know what you may need, so be sure to have some band-aids, some antibacterical cream or liquid to wash and protect your hands and skin and the basic medicines for you. It is a good idea, as I suggest to follow the “travel planner tips”, to include ointments for minor cuts and scrapes.

Take a picture of your luggage

It is always risky to travel with the suitcase. Due to the high traffic in airports, your luggage can be lost during the traveling process. So for the loss report is really useful to attach a picture of your suitcase. It will help them to find it. Anyway, I suggest you keep track of it. How? Easy, today there are different GPS systems created to monitor the luggage position. There is a chip inside the label with your name. You can use an app on your smartphone and insert a code to know where it is. 

Check out a couple of services provided to track the suitcase travel:

Clothes and accessories

The travel planner tips concern also the clothes and accessories because these are the main elements to be comfortable while you go around. First of all, put in your luggage good shoes to walk with comfort. In case you need also something more elegant for a special occasion, you can put in the suitcase one more pair of shoes.

Get a jacket with you because during the night the temperature goes down and it can happen a cold day during your trip. Take with you some earplugs, because you might find snorers, also on the plane. You need to sleep to recover energy for your visits, with this simple item you will save your rest.

The last advice concerns sunscreen. It depends on your destination, but consider that sunscreen gives you long-term benefits. Scientists said that and they are right. It is so nice to stay under the sun, but it is dangerous for your skin and your health. You always need protection. 

You can easily find them online:

Travel planner tips: the flight

I suggest you follow the website that offers deals on plane tickets. There are different platforms ready to send you some newsletters and especially updates regarding the airline companies’ proposals. You can subscribe just using your e-mail and also insert some data regarding your destination so you will get the news about the prices.

It is plenty of these resources online. I can suggest you a couple of them, to start: The Flight Deal, and Secret Flying. Don’t forget that your flight is the biggest expense of your trip. You can also use Skyscanner to get the cheapest rates. 

Book your tickets in advance

As you know very well, if you book a flight ticket at the last moment, you will pay a huge amount of money. That is why to find the best rate, I suggest you book for 2 or 3 months in advance. Also because of a few days before your departure, you will just spend hours to try to save 10 USD, without any good result. You can really save more money following my tip.

Miles for discounts and free tickets

If you have a fidelity card issued by an airline company or by a hotel chain, you collected some miles. Maybe the amount of points that you have is enough for a discount or for a free ticket. Don’t forget also to check the airline or hotel’s partners, because they can have good offers. You can redeem the miles not only for a plane ticket but also for a room, a transfer and much more. You save money with this step.

Find the cheap connections

Among the best “travel planner tips”, this is one of the most important, if you don’t like to spend a lot of money. Never book a direct flight. Why? It costs much more. Search for the planes that go to smaller airports and then use buses and trains in combination with the plane. You will reach your destination for a better rate. In order to find your flight, use the search engines. They are a lot. Momondo, Google Flights, and Skyscanner.

At the airport

Once you purchased the ticket you completed the first step of your plan. Before to write the other tips, I give you advice that you should use at the airport. When you go to the security control follow the business travelers. Why? Because they are used to take planes and they are fast and well organized. Never go behind families because they need time to manage the luggage (many of them) and the kids. You will stay blocked for a long time.

Travel planner tips: accommodation

When the flight is booked you have to go forward in organizing your trip. So it’s time to think about the hotel. Hotel, hostel or apartment? It depends on what you like and what you want. The hotel offers comfort and tailor-made services, of course, according to the ranking. Its cost is generally the highest. The apartment gives you the freedom to move, but it is your duty to manage it, to keep it clean. In this case, you can prepare the meals by yourself and save money. In the end the hostel: cheap, without specific services and with good chances to meet new people and make friends.

If you want to find the best accommodation for you, you have to make a bit of exploration. In my “travel planner tips”, I suggest you check on a complete search engine, then you can also book through the official website of the hotel. Anyway if you go on Booking.com and then you check the various options using filters, you will get a list of possibilities. So you compare prices and features and you choose. The website proposes to you also some advice on your destination so you can get inspiration for your tour. If you want to move efficiently on Booking, read my previous guide.

Travel planner tips: tickets for the attractions

Surely before to leave you to decide what to see do your research online. I suggest you plan your activities and book them online. It is not valid for all the world and all the types of tours, but checking the offers of the local tour operators you find discounts. It is useful to book online for other reasons. Paying by credit card you have more protection on your purchase and you can collect some point as cashback to spend them on other services.

Pre-book your visit

In Italy to enter Uffizi in Florence or the Vatican Museum in Rome takes a lot of time. This situation is common in many countries with important attractions. The queue is so long and this reduces the time for the visit. That is why it is better to spend a very little amount of money more to skip the line. Consider that online the museums’ websites are going to offer directly the ticket you need to enter immediately, as a fast track to the airport.

Free tours

Don’t forget that there are some free tours offered by some local associations or also by some agencies. They are generally walking tours and the guide is a volunteer who explains to you the main attractions and some curiosities. You can learn so much, flood questions the guide and meet other travelers. It is a good experience and it doesn’t cost anything. The world is full of walking tour companies, you can easily find them online and get in touch with them already before the departure. 

Museum card

How can I exclude the museum card from the travel planner tips? I can’t definitely. Most of the cities in the world give the chance to get discounted rates for access to the main attractions. It costs less than the sum of the different tickets’ rates. Sometimes the price includes also the public transportation so you can move around the city for a very cheap rate or free.

Planning

Many times happens to discover something particular in a place and to change the idea on the tour. At least it happens to me. That is why I suggest you do not plan too many visits during your travel. Leave space in your day. You can rest, do shopping or dedicate more time to an attraction that you like a lot.

Travel planner tips: money

You already spent money to purchase your flight ticket, to book the hotel and so on, but you need them to manage your stay also. So let me give you some advice on how you can be safe and get all the benefits. My travel planner tips concern credit cards and also the cash that you will put into your wallet.

Your extra credit card

You never know what can happen during your trip, that’s why you need an extra credit card. If you lose or if someone steals your bank card, you are not totally lost and without access to your money. Keep it in a different wallet and use it when you need it. You will not ask anyone for some money because you can’t withdraw and spend any more. If you are far from your country it is difficult to solve the problem with your bank.

No-fee cards

Some banks are asking you commissions when you withdraw or when you spend your money in a certain type of way. It can happen to pay a fee for fuel, for example. Your credit or debit card must have no fees. Check the conditions offered by your bank or financial institutions. Imagine paying fees all the time during your trip. The sum of the costs will be like a luxury dinner but offered to others.

Don’t put money in the belt

In my “travel planner tips”, there are also some things to avoid, like to buy a money belt. Thieves already know about them and to wear them it is like to say “hey, do you see my belt full of money?”. You have to act like a local, so don’t show the tourists stereotypes on you. It will be easy for a thief to find you and to rip you off.

Emergency cash

Traveling to certain countries it can be difficult to use bank cards, so have some emergency cash ready for use. Carry them, you will be safe in case you can’t found an ATM or a shop without any card payment system. The amount of money depends on the country or on your trip, but I suggest to keep 200 or 300 USD.

Travel planner tips: before to leave

There are few things to do more before the departure, in order to be prepared. You need to be sure to have all the documents and to get ready to face the country with its beauties and its risks. Follow carefully my next travel planner tips.

Read a history book

The place where you go has its history and its culture. As a traveler, you should know in advance what to see, but also to be aware of the past of the country. In this way, you will get some advice about the culture. This will help you to get in touch with locals and also to focus on what you like most.

Do a copy of your passport

Scan your passport and send a copy via email to yourself. Why? Because you can lose it or someone can steal it. It will be easier with a copy to go to the police for the report and also to ask your Embassy a new provisional one. Also, you can use the copy when it is not necessarily the original and you don’t want to carry it to go out.

Purchase a travel insurance

To enter in some countries it is mandatory to have insurance. It supports you in case of accidents of any type. Especially if you need to go to the local hospital the cost can be very high and you need to spend thousands of dollars in bills. If you get sick or injured the insurance cover all your expenses and helps you also to go back home.

In case you are an EU citizen and you move to EU countries, you don’t need health insurance because you are already covered by your national system. In other cases, it is better to sign a contract. It costs even less than 50 USD and it guarantees you. Online you can easily find good offers.

Find a lock to carry on

Safety, when you travel, it’s a must, a priority. For that reason among you need to get “travel planner tips”, I include this one. I suggest you take with you a lock so you can ensure your luggage all the time, especially if you sleep in a hostel or you leave it in a deposit. It is better a lock with a combination because if you use the keys, you can lose them.

Vaccination

An illness can ruin you the holiday or worst the life. So get vaccinated before to leave. Check the foreign affairs ministry website of your country and search for the datasheet of your destination country. It doesn’t matter your opinion, follow the experts’ tips, especially to keep safe your health.

Water bottle

Take an empty metal water bottle with you through airport security. You will fill it up at your gate. Why?  Because you will need it and if you can drink the tap in the country, you will save money. To be safe, use a water bottle with a filter.

Travel planner tips: during your trip

The advice regards also your stay because when you reach your destination you deserve to enjoy all the travel. That is why it’s important to follow some steps I did before. The travel planner tips will make you able to benefit more of each experience.

Learn basic phrases in the local language

Not all people know English so you will take advantage of learning some words and sentences. They will be useful to ask directions or just to be kind and get easily help and answers. Among the most important things to learn there are: “hello”, “goodbye”, “thank you”, “where is the restaurant/hotel/toilet?”, “how much does it cost?”. In the place, you can find some guide with these sentences translated in English or in some popular language.

Upgrade your room

When you check-in at the hotel you ask for an upgrade. In many cases, they will be flexible and they can also offer good conditions. Don’t be scared or shy, just try. You can have a better room for a small amount of money. I suggest you do it because there are some good chances. If the hotel is full or if it is too expensive, you didn’t lose anything. Be kind and ask.

Use the hotel staff knowledge

The staff of your hotel is there to help you by giving you some advice to find what you need in the city. They can recommend a restaurant, explain where to go or purchase tickets. If you are in a hostel the staff is the best one to give you advice about cheap restaurants. Anyway, they are there to support you. Do you think their recommendation comes from an earning commission? Maybe, but they gain treating well the guests. Especially in internet reviews era.

Enter to the tourism office

Do you want to save money and time? Are you searching for the updated information? The right place is the local tourism office. Visit it and you will get the best travel planner tips about the city you are visiting. They have the entire view of attractions, events, and services for travelers. So they are the proper people to answer all your questions. They give precious advice for free.

Use a map and get lost

Two travel planner tips together. The first one concerns the map. Sometimes people are shy to use it because they look like a tourist. It is exactly what you are. Why get lost if you have a map that can clearly help you to reach your destination? About get lost, anyway, I suggest you do it by purpose. Why? Sometimes it is funny to do, also it gives you the chance to explore some hidden pearls of the city.

Have with you the necessary

When you go out of the hotel to take the only what you really need. First of all, it is more comfortable, then you limit the risk to lose something. You also reduce the risks to be robbed by a thief. You don’t need a lot of cash and it is enough one ATM or credit card.

Be open and pay attention

Be open to strangers, not all of them are dangerous. You can learn a lot in getting in touch with local people. That is why I suggest you talk to people. They are like you, with their life and their dreams. They can give you some hints about the city or just share a pleasant conversation. Anyway, pay attention to keeping a healthy level of suspicion. Someone can take advantage of you and do a scam.

Be patient and respectful

You are on holiday, so there is no reason to be all the time in a hurry. If you are in the line, just wait your turn with patience. Never forget to be respectful of the people and especially for locals. There are obviously language and cultural barriers, but to overcome them will be a benefit for you. So try to understand and be kind all the time.

Be careful to taxis

If you want to travel at cheap prices, to move in the city and especially to reach places outside the city you are visiting, avoid taxis. If you want comfort transfers you can use the taxis, but be careful, especially in airports and train stations. It is full of fake drivers ready to cheat you. In case of a luxury trip, check the limousine services. When you book the car with a driver you already deal on the track and on the price. In this case, you will avoid bad surprises.

WiFi and local sim cards

If you need to use the internet it is a good idea to go to a bar whit WiFi connection. So you can share your pictures on social networks and also be in touch with your relative. It is quite easy to find places with WiFi and you find also toilets. I do not suggest to use McDonald’s or Starbucks as places where to eat because it is better to taste the local food.

Anyway, those brands give you a toilet and WiFi when you need it, so you can drink a coffee or a Coke. As an alternative to using internet SMS and call, my travel planner tips include the purchase of a local sim card. It is cheaper than yours. Remember if you are EU citizen traveling into EU that roaming is free, so it is like to be at home in all 28 EU countries.

Travel planner tips: where to eat

You have your accommodation, your tour planned, but you need to eat. Chose a restaurant is sometimes hard, especially if you don’t know the place and the local food. I want to share with you some advice to find the proper place that can combine budget and quality. As a traveler, I needed to learn how to manage this part of the journey.

Eat or visit?

When I go around sometimes I skip lunch. Why? Am I on diet? No, because lunchtime is the best moment to see the attractions. People go to eat and places are empty. If you don’t want to take this advantage to visit historical places, I have other tips for you.

Avoid restaurants for tourists

Don’t go to the restaurants close to the attractions, because they are opened only for tourists. This means that they will apply very high prices, more than the country rates, and they will serve bad quality food. They are obviously focused on money. Do you need help to find a good restaurant? Use the internet.

Yelp, Foursquare, Open Rice and Google Maps can help you. Are you scared by the restaurants for tourists? One more hint: if you see outside a menu translated into many languages, don’t enter.

Shops and expensive restaurants

Would you like to have an idea about local food and the locals’ habits? Go in a grocery and check what they have and what people buy. You will learn what to search for in restaurants. Then you can also purchase something and eat it in your room or on the street. Keep in mind, as “travel planner tips”, that the most expensive restaurants offer a fixed price for lunch.

You eat the same food they serve for dinner but you will spend the half. Never be scared anyway to try new food. If you search for a restaurant who serve food in your country, you will never find good quality.

Street food

Now it became trendy, but I always suggest street food, because you can easily find traditional recipes and specialties. It can be dangerous for health but go where you see kids eating. Those places are safe. If you come to Italy, for example, in Rome and Sicily street food is a must. You will be happy to try it.

Travel planner tips: last advice

Let me give some other tips to make your journey more pleasant. Some advice to use your travel experience deeply.

A solo trip

Travel by yourself at least once in your life. Because it will help you to learn more about yourself and to become independent. What do you learn exactly? To talk with people, to fend yourself, to handle all type of situations. You put yourself out there. Get out of your comfort zone and don’t be scared or shy.

Use the sharing economy

Thanks to the internet you can use some platforms that allow you to save your money in sharing. You can find locals ready to host you, to eat with you or to give you a ride. If you want cheap opportunities to travel, check these websites:

Couchsurfing allows you to stay on people’s couches or spare rooms for free

Airbnb connects you to homeowners and you can find rooms or apartments for a lower price than a hotel

EathWith asks a little fee (upon member’s request) to allow you to find a local to eat with

BlaBlaCar is a ridesharing platform. You can choose among the offers present on the website to get a ride by car-sharing the cost

Gumtree one of the best resources for travelers. It offers travel mates, jobs, homestays, second-hand gears, and many other things

Lyft gives a transport service of about 30% cheaper than a taxi

Getaround where to find people available to rent their own car for a few hours. It costs less than rent a car agencies

Haggling

In certain countries is a normal way to act. Learn to haggle to reduce the price charged to foreigners by sellers. You have to negotiate because they expect it. You will have a better price, at least the correct one. It will be also funny. Of course, do not exaggerate and do it with respect. Don’t waste money and neither time in searching something a bit cheaper far from where you are.

Photos

Don’t forget to take an extra USB charger with you to store the pictures and to overcome the batteries’ death. When you take pictures of people or with them, ask before. Anyway, do it, because a great memory of your trip will remain.

TripAdvisor

My travel planner tips are almost finished, I have only a last one: avoid TripAdvisor. On the website, you can find maybe opening hours and the address of the places you want to go to. But the reviews are written freely. So most of them are fake. You can’t even be sure that who posted the opinion has been there.

*****

I hope you will enjoy my travel planner tips and you will get benefits. I am sure you will live a better experience following them. If you want to add something, feel free to do it using comments. 

Art of Romanticism

The magnificent Art of Romanticism. In 1861 Italians united Italy. After some battles. Thanks also to a great engagement of artists. All the kingdoms disappear to let space to a unique country. The process that brought all the country under the same king started in 1815, after the Congress of Vienna. We call this period Risorgimento (Resurgence). It gave the chance to Italy to change its shape. People worked hard to reach the goal and art gave an important contribution to it. Art of Romanticism became the flag of the movement.

The ability of the art to make a revolution impress me a lot. This happens many times, in almost all the eras, especially in the last centuries. Anyway, who loves art has an interest in analyzing the historical context. Not only. Who loves art want to pay attention to the techniques. It’s amazing how artists changed the way to paint in the 19th century. I like a lot of painting and sculptures and going around the Italian museums and exhibitions I saw the evolution of the style. Also the differences among the artworks of the various artists of the same period.

Art of Romanticism: the 19th-century revolution

Romanticism started at the end of the 18th century. When the new generation of artists understood that Neoclassicism wasn’t influencing anymore the society, they started to search for something new. They changed completely the way to express their ideas and point of view. The art of Romanticism has various features. Romanticism canceled the Neoclassical reasoning, control, geometric perfection and, above all, imitation of the art of the ancients.

Not all the artists of the period made a radical change, but most of them yes. They wanted to draw a line to separate the past from the present. Their style was dominated by unbridled passion, strong feelings and a renewed fervor for the religious world. Moreover, if the neoclassical artist was convinced that the perfection of art had been reached by the ancients, the romantic drew, instead, inspiration from the dark and mysterious world of the Middle Ages. That period until then had been considered a period of no importance and purely negative.

Art of Romanticism in Italy

Who loves art can easily understand how nice is a journey into the art of Romanticism. That period is really amazing because it takes people into modern art. The paintings are not only a representation of a view, but there is a sign, something more. I think the feature of the style is visible in the vigorous brushstrokes capable of interpreting reality. Color and not too defined signs tell a story.

This is what I like about the art of Romanticism. Then, of course, there are many elements related to the history of that period. I love to explore the most important event of Italian unity. Also, I like to see in the paintings how Italy was at that time. The same feelings, especially talking about techniques, come from the sculpture. If you want to see art in Italy you have a lot of opportunities. But I recommend you to explore the artworks of the 18th century.

Romance artists

If you like art visit Italy. Art of Romanticism has a huge collection spread in all the country. There are many museums that offer the view of great artworks to the visitors. Time to time in various Italian cities there are thematic exhibitions. I like them because they collect paintings and sculptures also from foreign museums and private collections. So it’s easy to see some artworks that are usually not visible to the public.

I will write more about some art galleries and museums. Because Italy can show you the best examples of the art of Romanticism. But now I want to share some pictures I took during my visits. So I let you enjoy them. Before I remind you that after finding a flight, maybe using some free miles obtained with your credit card, you can reserve a hotel and buy the tickets to enter the museum. Planning in advance will be useful especially if you want to see some temporary exposition because you will check the place and the dates.

Paintings

                                          One of the famous “kiss” of the painter Hayez

 

In the painting, you can see the famous writer Alessandro Manzoni, one of the Italian literature icons

 

                                     This young girl represents Italy, that was born in 1861

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you want to read more about my art incursions, check out the dedicated section of my blog. Share this post and subscribe to my newsletter, you will get updates and extra contents.

Cheap flights: how to find them

It’s Christmas time and you are searching for cheap flights to spend a few days on holiday. Maybe for the New Year’s Eve or just to go to meet relatives and friends who live far from you. Well, purchase a ticket at the last moment can be quite expensive, but if you apply my advice you can save money and fly to your destination for an excellent rate.

Let’s proceed step by step. First of all, I want to focus on last minute cheap flights so you will be able to leave for your Christmas holidays very fast and without spending all your salary. Then I will give you some advice about the method to find cheap flights in general and I will conclude the post with first class tickets. Read till the end to know the best way to get low rates.

Last minute cheap flights

Now you are in a hurry and you expect to pay a huge amount of money to buy your ticket. Don’t worry, you have a chance to find cheap flights also at the very last moment. How? With a few steps online.

Where to look and how to book

At the check-in desk at the airport, there are not anymore deals for you. They ask you the full rate and the price is very expensive. Too much. What can you do? Switch on your computer first of all. The entire process will be online. I suggest you book always in advance, at least 50 or 60 days before the departure, but if you can’t, pay attention to the next lines. A couple of months earlier guarantee you the best rates.

Once you know your destination go on Skyscanner.com. It is the best search engine for plane tickets. If in the city there are more airports, choose “any”. For instance, if you go to New York, select “New York any”. In this way, the engine will show you all the connections to the city, in all the local airports. This is the first step to find cheap flights. You can also tick the box to “add nearby airports“. The system will scan all the closest airports. You can do the same research on Kayak.

Book a seat on a charter flight

If you search for last minute cheap flights the best option isn’t a low-cost airline. Their strategy is to take advantage of the passengers in need. Start to scrap the list of charter flights. Consider that tour operators book entire planes and they need to make it full. There are always excess seats and they sell them reducing the price. You don’t have to buy a holiday package, but only the flight. For this reason, I suggest you check on Thomas Cook and TUI fly if your destinations are Florida and the Caribbean.

Get deals to your mobile

Are you in a hurry but you can wait for a few days? Subscribe to get directly in your email or on your WhatsApp the updated offers. You will be updated on flash sales, on new flight launches and also on last-minute discounts. This helps you to find your cheap flights. SkyscannerCheapflightsTravelzoo, and HolidayPirates are the websites that you need to explore to reach the goal. The first three platforms update you via email, meanwhile, the last one sends you the news via WhatsApp. Don’t forget to check the social profiles of these search engines on Twitter and Facebook to find the deals for the cheap flights.

Keep yourself free on Tuesday

The last advice to catch cheap flights is to search for them on Tuesday. Buy the ticket on the same day, because the last-minute deals are more convenient. Airlines prefer this day of the week to sell all remaining seats. Especially because at that point they know if the planes are full or empty for the weekend. The sales appear on Monday, but the competitors need one day to set the offers.

These steps will take you to purchase the last-minute cheap flights.

Cheap flights: how to find them

Now you know how to find last-minute cheap flights but there are some rules that you need to keep in mind always. Also when you book your ticket in advance. Let’s go to see what you need to do to have the best deal all for you. You can easily save money.

Keep your research secret

Each time you start research on the internet, your data are registered, especially from the engines. So if you type some information about the flight you want and then you do the same research on different websites, the prices will be higher. Why? They already know that you need a certain ticket. Your need becomes their strategy to earn money. To avoid this problem you don’t need to do anything particular. It is enough to keep your research top secret. Browse in incognito.

Don’t worry, it is not a hard issue. If you use Google Chrome or Safari hit the Command (Control for the desktop computer), Shift and “N”. If you use Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer instead of “N” press “P”, the other steps of the procedure are the same. In any case in the menu bar, you find the voice private browsing or incognito. Nobody will recognize you and nobody will register your research. You will see the real prices and not the increased ones.

Select the best engines

If you want to book cheap flights, you need to search for them in the proper places. Some platforms show you the highest rates, meanwhile, others propose you low prices. Here you can find a list of some good websites to use. If you know others, just add them in comments.

Skyscanner

AirFare Watchdog

Momondo

CheapOair

AirWander

JetRadar

Kiwi

Google Flights (It doesn’t give you the cheapest prices, but it is really useful to compare the dates)

You should keep in mind that the list of airlines on these websites is not complete. So I suggest you, especially for regional and low-cost companies to go directly to their official pages.

Choose the proper day to book

Generally, there is the cheapest day to fly and it helps you to find the airline tickets best price. If you search on the internet you will find different opinions and mostly the sites indicate Tuesday as the perfect day. Be careful, because it is not true. It is correct that fly during weekdays is more convenient many times, but each company has its own policy. So there are deals to travel on Saturday or Sunday as well. So what to do? Don’t worry, there is a solution.

The procedure you must follow to find cheap flights is easy and immediate. Go on the search engine, for instance, Skyscanner. Then type the departure date, don’t consider the return ticket for a while. Select the “one-way” option. Do your research for an entire month. In this way, you will find out what day is the cheapest one to move. Once you collected the information you can adjust your search. Don’t forget to do the same for the return date so you will know how to manage your round trip.

This tip is valid to find the airline tickets best price. Keep in mind that if you have to add more days to your stay just to have a cheap rate, you will increase the accommodation cost. Is this convenient? The answer is up to you. If you use Kiwi.com or Hopper you can track the changes in the prices.

Use your miles

As I mentioned in my travel planner guide, if you have in your wallet a loyalty card issued by an airline company or a credit card with a cashback plan, you can travel for free. It depends on the miles present on your account balance. Maybe you will get a discount or you will purchase the ticket without any expense. Also, the main hotel chains propose cards that give you miles to spend on your airline tickets. In this case, check what you have and visit the programs web pages. Pay attention: the number of miles follows the same policy of the prices, so check the best day to travel. The cheapest flight can be free for you.

Prefer low-cost airlines

For the last-minute tickets, the low-cost airline is not the best choice, but they are if you book in advance. Around the world, there are many airlines working with budget deals. They generally propose you very low rates, like almost nothing, but there are some compromises. In fact, to reduce the prices they put more seats and you have less space for your legs. Then they don’t give you food and drinks for free on board. You may pay also for the suitcase. To have a better treatment they offer some privileges to who wants to pay more.

The convenience has to be check up to your needs. Anyway, I always suggest checking the low-cost airlines. Because maybe you book a flight for a short trip and you can do some sacrifices to save more money. Last thing about this step. The airport location is most of the times the less close to the destination, so think about the transfer and the time that you will need. You will go straight to cheap flights.

Take advantage of the mistakes

Do you want to find easily and immediately the airline tickets best price? Search online for mistakes. Often the offices of the companies publish online the wrong rate. There are many reasons, but what is important is the result. If you catch the error and buy at that rate, you have the right to travel without any other costs. They can’t change, as the law says, the price after the ticket is sold. The mistakes are on the official website and they are your luck in the research of cheap flights.

How can you find them? You are thinking to stay 24 hours online without sleep hoping to catch the error… No, you don’t need this. You can just connect to some platforms that search for you. Then you need to be lucky. Visit AirFare Watchdog and Secret Flying. On the first one, the updates are in real-time. Use the same search criteria already described in previous steps.

Slit connecting flights

Are you searching for connecting flights? Maybe to go to your destination it is necessary to change plane e in another airport or country. Never search for all tracks. Split them. If you book each flight, also with a return ticket, you will find better deals. It is also possible to save money just changing the airline company. If you do this you are freer to choose the best options, according to the price and to your convenience. It gives you more chances to find the cheap flights you want.

Keep in mind that you need to work more on hours of arrival and departure. This because you have maybe to move and to catch the connection with a different airline. If you use a low-cost company and a traditional one check the arrival airport. It can happen that they use different locations and you have to organize the transfer on time to catch the other flight. You can in case consider also a stopover to see another place.

Choose the destination carefully

To find the airline tickets best price you have to focus also on budget companies. As I already wrote they offer you a good rate for different reasons. One of them is the airport used. In the big cities, there are more locations, with different distance between the city and the airport. Anyway, if this looks a sacrifice, you should consider one more element. There are different tracks to get to your destination for less money. This is an important step in the research of cheap flights.

You are thinking…WHAT?!?! I am going to explain to you two interesting options. The first one is that around the region of your destination there are smaller cities or town connected with their airports. It can cost less to go there and then to move by car, bus or train to the place where you want to stay. The second aspect is made by the connections.

For instance, if you move from the USA to Italy and you stop in Spain to change flight you have more chances to save money. In fact, airlines have some track that they need to promote and they offer good deals. Or simply using different airlines and prefer a longer trip can become an economic benefit for you. It happens especially if you choose airlines without a hub in the departure or arrival countries.

Some risks

In this way, there are always some risks. Be careful because if you book a connecting flight with different companies and you miss the plane to continue your trip, you will lose your money. That is why it is good to prefer dedicated search engines. Some of them help you to use different airlines in combination and to purchase your ticket in the same order. In this case, your money is guaranteed and you can get refunded in case of problems. This because they sold you the deal for the whole trip. When you choose the website read their policies. Otherwise, cheap flights become very expensive.

Prevent the hidden city risk

While people were searching for their cheap flights, they discovered the “hidden city” connections. It means that airlines are going to hide the flight connections because they are cheaper than the direct flight. Anyway with the steps described you won’t have problems to find them. The problem concerns the risks and you need to be aware of this.

What are the risks? To not have the luggage checked directly for all flights, so you need to claim it at your arrival and then do again the check-in. You may not be allowed off the plane in case the flight is continuing to its final destination. You may lose the connection without having any assistance from the airline. There is no solution, but that is why I suggest to choose carefully the website and especially to check the conditions.

Book all flights in the same moment

Did you find the cheap flights? Will you use the same company? Buy the tickets altogether. If there is no chance to have a lower rate in splitting the flights, buying each of them separated it will cost more. Companies prefer to sell the round trip, otherwise, they propose a higher rate. It doesn’t make sense. Try to do the research through the multi-city flights.

For example, a company can offer more routes together for an interesting rate. In Europe, it is quite common with Turkish Airlines. The same does Virgin Atlantic. Include regional passes, because there is a cooperation between local companies with the big ones and it costs less to mix the flights among them. The same airline will issue the ticket.

Check local airlines

Never forget to check the proposals of the regional airlines. They are small but they have connections and they may propose low rates. Especially in the countries where tourism is now so much developed. It is difficult to know them and to find a complete list, but searching on Google you will access to their web pages. It is also hard to find them in the main cheap flights’ search pages. The small companies can be a surprise, it is good to check every time you need to travel.

Book the trip when you know the date

It is another important rule to follow for who are searching for cheap flights. When you decide the dater for your travel start immediately to check the flights. Also, purchase as soon as possible the tickets. All the steps will help you to find quickly the best deal but keep always in mind that approaching the departure day the rates will increase in any case. It can be useful, if you don’t have fixed dates, to search for the best one to travel, the one that has the lower price. So you will let the search engine decide for you. It can be convenient.

Pay attention to the currency

The last tip about how to find easy and immediately concern the currency. Booking form different countries you can see different prices. That is why you should consider checking the different currencies on the same website. Sometimes it is not a simple conversion and also it depends on the conditions apply for certain countries. You can save again a bit of money. Be sure to have a credit card that doesn’t apply fees for the transactions in foreign currency. It is part of the steps to find cheap flights.

Cheap flights: first class

Sometimes there are discounted first-class plane tickets, you can fly inside the USA for less than 1,000 USD or internationally for less than 2,000 USD. How can you find the cheapest flights as a first-class traveler? I like luxury and for that reason, I try to search for good deals. Why spend more than enough? Here I want to share an efficient strategy that I learned and applied.

One-way ticket

The first-class cheap flights are usually not many, so if you search for a round trip you will reduce the chances. You can go to your destination with a company and go back with another one. On domestic flights, it is not common to find a ticket that costs more than half of the round trip. Searching for a flight don’t be surprised if the cost is around 100 USD more than a coach seat. Of course on domestic connections.

Deals on your mobile

If you are not in a hurry, I suggest you search first-class cheap flights on websites able to send you alerts. So you will be among the first to know the deals. The alerts are important because discounts are short living. You can find them also on the Twitter feed of TheFlightDeal. My tip is to check and subscribe to FirstClassFlyer.com and to FlyerTalk.

Pay attention to the small airlines

In recent years also the smallest companies improved their first-class setting. They also propose good deals for the cheap flights, so check them. So companies from Norway and Poland, for example, offers very low prices to travel from Europe to the USA. They have often new aircraft with a well equipped first class. The service is very well organized and complete. I have to confirm anyway that the big companies are doing something more, also because they have to win the competition, especially on first-class.

Become a loyalty card member

Do you want first-class cheap flights? Well, subscribe to the airlines’ loyalty cards. Why? Because some of them are offering discounts on your first-class ticket purchase. For example, British Airways reserve too AARP members 400 USD of discount for business and first-class tickets. Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, and Brussels Airlines give to the cards’ holders 15% off. If you fly from Europe to South America the discount is up to 30%. Cathay Pacific recognize to the loyalty cards members 20% off. There are many airlines that give discounted prices to their loyal customers.

Check the upgrade cost

One you bought your economy-class ticket you can purchase your upgrade. Some airlines offer you discounted options. So adding a limited amount of money you can fly in first-class. The American company United do that, meanwhile, Delta let you switch to a first-class fare on the same itinerary with no change fee. If you see a good first-class fare open up after you book, call and lock it in. Austrian Airline allows you to make an offer for an upgrade. The best offers are accepted. This means you can change class spending a small amount of money more.

Use your frequent flyer miles

The biggest airlines in the USA give the chance to their frequent flyers to book a one-way ticket for half price using miles. This allows you to save money for a first-class seat. Don’t forget that your miles, for all the airlines in the world let you get discounts, mixing miles and money. Also, you can use your miles, if they are not enough for the entire ticket, for a class upgrade. Your first-class cheap flights are so easy to get.

Plan your itinerary

Don’t exclude any option for your travel. Check all the airport close to your destination, because the rates can be different also for the first class. You can fly in first-class spending less money and than adding a cheap coach ticket to reach your destination. This trick allows you to use the best airline benefits, just changing the airport. Of course, it depends on the country where you go.

If you follow these steps you will easily find first-class cheap flights. Now book your seats and enjoy your journey!

Booking.com offers you new experiences

In last year Booking.com improve its activity offering new experiences to its customers. I am exploring the various services provided by the platform and I discovered that Booking Experiences are not only in the U.S., but also in other countries, as mine: Italy. In Milan, Venice and Florence using the app of the hotel search engine I can buy tickets, use fast track in the museums and get some other discounts in the city. This is reserved to all clients of the company who reserve a room.

Tours and activities can be personalized. The functionalities are developed by the Booking Holdings-owned brand and they were firstly developed in certain destinations as Amsterda, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore. Now it is possible to enjoy the experiences in USA and in Italy also. To use the opportunity you need to book an hotel in one of the cities where the “experiences” are active and download the app. It is not finished. Continue to read and I will explain all the details to use it.

 

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Book your experience

 

How it works

When you complete the reservation of your accomodation on Booking.com, you get an e-mail with a link post-booking that directs to a personalized landing page. You find the different option concerning the tours, the activities and the local attractions. There is a QR code that you can use to obtain discounts for museums and tours tickets.  You don’t need to do anything special, just use the code when you buy the experience. Of course the conditiones and the type of activity are different in each city. In USA you can try the service in many places, included New York, Miami, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Make unique your stay

Meanwhile I write this post to share with you this special think that I discovered on Booking.com, they are working to create new experiences and also to increase the number of the cities participating. So try it and check what are the best offers of the moment. Christmas is coming, maybe it can be the proper way to give a unique trip with a special experience to the people you love.

Booking.com: how to book an accomodation

Booking.com is one of the most known hotel search engines of the world. It is not the only one, but one of the most complete that you can find. Most of the people, me too, don’t use it to reserve a room, but tho get inspiration. How? Thanks to the filters and to many options regarding the amenities to choose, it is possible to have a list of the best hotels. “Best” according to our own criterias. Infact in the website it is possible to search selecting a lot of options.

As I wrote a couple of days ago in a post about hotels search, this is a time-consuming activity. You have to list the structures, then select the ones that offer you the best conditions. It is not only a matter of price, but you want a good location, close to the main attractions or at least near the public transportation stations. You need included breakfast, free WiFi in the room and so on. Each of us has different wish and paying the bill we have some expectations.

The reasons to use booking

Why is Booking.com, if you want the best deals online, your starting point? Because it helps you to save money and support you in the fast research. With few steps you can find the ideal hotel. I think that you really want to save time and money. That is why I am going to explain you how you can use efficiently the website and get exactly what you are searching for. If these aspects are essential for you, this engine is the solution. Because it is trustworthy than others and it easy to navigate, more than others. The intuitive steps in the menu requires few minutes to insert all your choice and have the list of the structers that answers to your criterias.

Surely you already tried the platform, but are you sure to know very well about the different types of accomodation available? I want to give you some tips. So you will be aware about the opportunity that Booking.com gives to all of us. As a traveller I really need to optimie my time in organizeing my trips and as well to find the best service that can support me. To be more clear I am going to make some examples, trying to be concrete and practical.

Hotel or apartment?

As you know reading my posts I love luxury, so I generally search for high level hotels. This means to be available to spend a certain amount of money, but not more than enough. I can have good services for a reasonable price. Anyway not in all countries is is possible to find the same condition and also the same rating with stars. So I nedd to compare the hotels and to see what they offer. So I can mix the results and catch the best deal. Booking.com shows hotels and also other types of accomodation. For example you can rent a luxury apartment for a cheap price and have some hotel services offered by the owners.

Thanks to the variety of accomodation types you can consider a different way to spend your holiday. You can easily book a room in a B&B, a villa or a boat. Yes, Booking has also that option. It is really easy and immediate to reserve your stay online in very few steps. There are also the main hotel chains and you can choose the best deals regarding a huge variety of rooms and suites.

Before to go deep into the tips, I think it is good to list the reasons why you should start to use Booking.com. These must be added to the main elements mentioned before.

Thanks to the hotel search engine you have at your service:

  • Over one million properties world-wide to guarantee you the chance to compare and to find the best deals on your next accomodation
  • You can book immediately and then pay at the hotel
  • You can change your reservation anytime
  • Free cancellation on the majority of the rooms
  • Booking.com gives you assistance 24/7
  • There is a guarantee on the best price
  • The reviews are verified

The staff is going to ask and accept reviews only from who booked and stayed at the property. This means that you can’t find the fake opinions made on other websites. I suggest always to read them carefully because each of us has different standards, but surely those are real opinions by real customers. The process for the evaluation of the property is strict and checked in all the stages.

Now it is time to make the examples I want to specify that I decided to become an affiliate of Booking.com. So if you book a room through my links, I will get a small commission, meanwhile you will have the best deals without any other cost. Why? Firstly I chosen it, so I did by my own because I had the chance to try it personally and to notice what I am writing here. With very few exceptions I reserved my hotels and apartments through this platform. My advice comes from other experience. In the other side, as you already know, I am just using some ads to revover the costs of the domain.

The hotels

One of the best hotels where I stayed in Rome, one of the city that I know more, is Hotel d’Inghilterra. It is located few steps far from Spanish Steps. Since I like to change and to try different structures I research a lot using many websites. The best deal for me was on Booking.com. I decided to stay in a hotel to have the room service and other amenities. I wanted comfort and a central location. These condition were fully satisfied, together with included breakfast and free WiFi.

Closed to the main attractions, in the heart of the city and with many amenities available, like airport shuttle, free cable TV, laundry facilities, 24-hour reception, a minibar, and coffee machine. I ticked the different options starting from “Luxury hotels“, five stars, breakfast included, free Wifi. You can easily choose the type of hotel ( family, business, romantic, beach…) and then select the amenities that you want.

The apartments

Ginnasi Palace Penthouse is a special apartment with a great terrace overlooking the city. It is located in the central Rome, few steps from Pantheon. I was searching for a prestigious flat where to spend some days and where to be free. Comfort and luxury were the leimotiv of the accomodation, but also the price was good. Certainly appropriate to the type of apartment, but cheaper than a hotel of hight level. Travelling a lot and spending many days in the hotels, to choose an apartment means to feel more like at home.
Thanks to Booking.com I could select the apartments and then list them through the features that I like most. It was possible for me also to have some visits from my local friends during my stay. In case you want to host someone you can do it adding a small fee. What are usually the benefits of this type of accomodation? Access to a full kitchen, so you can cook the meals by yourself and save money, have separate bedrooms and maybe more bathrooms. You have also the laundry to manage by your own and a lot of privacy.In some cases it is possible to add a cleaning service during your stay, otherwise you have to clean the apartment by yourself. Do you want an apartment? On Booking.com you have just to search among a huge inventory to find the best deal.
 

The resorts

Do you like resorts? On Booking.com it is really easy to find one and to reserve your room in a while. In Rome there is one that I never tried, as a resort, but only for the restaurant, and I listed as a wish. It is called Rome Cavalieri, a Waldorf Astoria Resort. Five stars luxury accomodation located on a hill from where to enjoy a marvellous view of Rome. Comfort is part of it. What they offer is more than a hotel room, because it is full of facilities where you can spend an entire holiday without move.

I like to explore the places where I go, but in case I know that I will not be bored to spend one day at the resort. It is not so close to the centre, but that gives the perfect setting for a relaxing stay. If you like resorts on the website you just need to select the proper voice on the menu. They give you some advices and ideas about the destination and for each of them you have the list at your disposal. It is always possible to select the main amenities.

 

The hostels

I am not used to go in hostels now, but when I was youger to explore the world I did it. This type of accomodation offers cheap rates and also the chance to make new friends. Young travellers from all around the world are always there and open to chat and to meet the others. There are also some family friendly structures. It depends on the countries, because not in all the places you can find a big number of them, but I suggest you to try to search them on Booking.com.The hostels are in down town and very close to public transport and to main attractions. They offers also private rooms and free services like breakfast, laundry and WiFi. There is almost always a kitchen for guests where they can prepare their meals and share the food with others. Rome, for example has a lot of them well spread in the most important parts of the city.

The motels

In Italy there aren’t some many motels, meanwhile they are present everywhere in USA. It happens time to time to use them, especially the ones close to the airport or to the main roads. You can sleep there and start again to continue your journey. These type of accomodation is not the best deal only for the location, but also because it is budget friendly. This means that you can have a clean room with good amenities without spending a huge amount of money.

Mostly depends on the management, because some of them apply highers rate giving more facilities and services. Anyway on Booking.com you can select the best ones ticking from the menu the amenities that you are searching for. It can be WiFi, breakfast, air conditioned, car parking. It depends on you. You can easily check the location and compare the different motels.

The vacation houses

In Rome there is a good choice of vacation houses, where to stay in chosy rooms where privacy is guarantee. The prices are generally cheaper than hotels and those structures are located close to the main attractions and to the public transport stations. You can also find entire houses with a lot of space and more bedrooms. For families or groups of friends they offer the perfect budget solution. Rates are not so high, meanwhile you are frre to move and to use kitchen, living room and so on.

This type of rental involve private owners who wants to monetize their property hosting tourists and travellers. It is possible to rent on a short or long-term basis. They are on Booking.com to get more visibility and to easily get reservations. The vacation houses can be homes, condos, lodges or cabins. The common element is made by the comforts of home proposed by these accomodations.

The homestay

If you like to explore the local culture and to stay in touch with inhabitants, you should consider the option of homestay. It means to choose an accomodation that gives you a real example on the local life. You become for a while a citizen of the destination where you go. This is a similar service to the one offered by Airbnb. You find an apartment or an house for few days or for a long period and have your private home. You are directly in touch with the owners and you meet easily the neighbours.

Booking.com propose a great list of homestay properties. You select the various options and then you decide which one is the best for you. When you book it you start to be connected with the owner who will welcome you at your arrival. You can exchange messages and prepare your stay and maybe the details of your arrival to let them be ready for you.

The farm stay

Do you like nature? Outside the cities in the countryside is is full of farms where you can reserve a room and also taste the local food made with genuine ingredients. On Booking.com there are dedicated pages with the list of the different accomodatons of this type. You generally need a car to reach them, but you will live a great experience. The prices are lower than the ones applied by hotels. You have contacts with the family who manage it and sometime you can attend to some cuisine courses, creativity classes and so on. They are full of activities.

The farm includes different types of structures: cabins, cottages, converted barns, tents, yurts and so on. It is also a great experience for kids, under the entertainment and educational aspects. They are able to host families and also couples. In some cases there are spa services included. You can enjoy specific activities for wellnes, with unique and well prepared pathways.

Now it is your turn, you have to start to search for your favourite accomodation and to book it.

Enjoy your holiday!