The Global Gumshoe | Ron Stern
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ron Stern, also known as the Global Gumshoe. I have been a travel photojournalist for the past 11 years and my work has been published in major magazines and newspapers in print and online. I am also the editor-in-chief of justsaygo.com, a travel e-zine providing travel content from destinations around the world.
In this first column, I want to give you strategies for finding the best airfares. I usually start online with bookingbuddy.com. This site gives me a good basis for comparing prices and also searches many of the other more popular travel sites, including Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz.
You can also search for vacation packages on bookingbuddy.com. I checked a seven-day Orlando, Fla. vacation package from San Diego on this website—via Travelocity—approximately three weeks in advance of my chosen dates. I found a round trip flight and a nice, value priced hotel with good customer reviews just five minutes from Disneyworld for only $600 per person.
If you have ever had the dilemma about whether to book the flight you find online now or wait to see if it drops, you will not have to do that anymore. You can track fares on websites like yapta.com. Yapta will track the fares on airline websites and send you an e-mail if the price drops. Even if you have already booked a flight, Yapta will notify you if it finds a lower fare and provide you with the airline company’s rules that might qualify you for a voucher or refund if you find it cheaper someplace else.
Sometimes, just signing up for a travel website’s e-mail newsletter can put you in the loop on incredible deals. I was signed up with Travelzoo and received an e-mail of a special deal, via Orbitz.
What was the deal? How about a $296 round trip airfare from Denver, Colo. to Moscow, Russia, including all taxes and fees? Not bad, huh? I saw a similar deal once through farecompare.com, where they were offering a round trip flight from Denver to Paris, France for $530 (including taxes and fees). This was about half of the normal fare.
Stay tuned for more ways to save money on travel in upcoming columns.