Trendy (Travel!) Tuesday — 5 Budget Mistakes You Might Be Making

beachSummer is the time for relaxing, rejuvenating and, hopefully, traveling! But, if you’re a student on a budget, sometimes taking advantage of all the places you want to go to can be too costly.

Instead, avoid these common travel budget “don’ts” in order to take advantage of the best deals out there!

1. DON’T rely upon low price guarantees. Shoppers should scrutinize the wording of the guarantee. In most cases, the online travel agency (OTA) guarantees only that the traveler is getting the lowest advertised price. However, many of the best prices for hotel rooms and flights are secured by private agreements, with the stipulation that these discounts cannot be advertised to the public.

2. DON’T assume OTA sites are competitors. Users of online travel agencies have a great many travel sites to choose from, yet most seem to have the same rooms and flights at similar prices. “Most travelers don’t know that the largest two OTA’s control 80 percent of the U.S. market for online travel bookings or that they own many of the other popular online travel agency websites,” said Isar Meitis, President of Last Minute Travel Club.

3. DON’T ignore the fine print. Often, the lowest priced plane ticket is non-refundable and the fine print contains details that raise the cost of a flight. For example, some airlines charge extra fees for checked bags or carry on bags that are not included in the ticket price. Be sure to read the fine print and understand how changes and cancellations work before you book.

4. DON’T forget to use a discount club membership. Millions of Americans join retail discount clubs to gain access to member-only rates, and the same is true within the travel industry. Many of the best prices on travel are negotiated with the stipulation that they cannot be advertised. Consider joining a discount travel club to cut vacation travel costs or check out AAA or CAA for further discounts and benefits.

5. DON’T limit lodging choices. Particularly for larger groups, renting a villa or townhome can be less expensive than booking several hotel rooms. Last Minute Travel Club offers homes and villas in popular destinations and the ability to check availability and reserve directly on the club site (

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