Candace Rose: Do you have any tips for those still planning their summer vacations?
Emily Kaufman: "Oh definitely. We're not going to see those great big bargained discounted airfares we were hoping for but there are some terrific ways you can stretch your travel dollar. The first thing you can do is to make sure you are using a credit card that is giving you cash back for your travel purchases. For example Chase Freedom has a great deal going July through September where their card members get 5% cash back on up to $1500 in travel purchases, just by putting them on their card; so whether you're filling up your gas tank or booking a hotel room or purchasing an airline ticket, you can stretch your travel dollar and gather more information at Chase.com/Freedom.
And, Candace, and you know I've always talked about looking at the hotel incentives; what people are doing to entice you to come stay with them and Doubletree by Hilton is running an awesome sweepstakes this summer. You have the opportunity to win weekly getaways, giveaways and also up to a million bonus points from the Hilton Honors program. I travel all the time as "The Travel Mom," the soccer mom, a mom taking her kids back to college and I look forward to staying at Doubletree Hotels. They always give you that warm chocolate chip cookie when you check in, one of my favorite sweet treats and all the details are at Doubletree.com/sweetrewards."
CR: What is the biggest travel savings tip most people never know to use?
EK: "What you want to do is plan ahead of time, get on those visitor and convention center websites to gather information about the destination. Also, bring snacks for you for the road trips so you don't have to purchase. Bring your meals for your air travels, so you don't have to pay the higher prices in the airport. Also, plan for the unexpected> nobody goes into a trip thinking there's going to be an earthquake or a broken arm, but I always promote the use of travel insurance and travel assistance. Travel insurance covers the hard costs of things associated with your vacation like trip cancellations but travel assistance with a company like On Call International provides you assistance when you travel more than 50 miles from home, so no matter where you are, no matter what time of the day or night, you will get assistance in a medical emergency that includes things like evacuation to the hospital of your choice and this can be as little as $55 a trip, so a worthwhile investment – oncallinternational.com."
CR: What are the best ways to save when you get to your destination?
EK: "Well, that's where those visitor convention centers come in handy. You can print tickets ahead of time with discounts to area attractions. You can find dining offers, family friendly activities, special events that are going on. Also, there's a cool website – befrugal.com, that will allow you to calculate which is more cost efficient to fly or drive to a destination. So, I know I tossed out a whole bunch of information with a whole bunch of different websites, everything is in one simple place at yournewscafe.com."
Find out if it's cheaper to drive or fly on your next trip on befrugal.com.