5 Quick Ways To Save On Travel, Since You Did Not Win The Lottery

Those who gamble were dreaming of a win that would have rendered a desire to save on travel useless. Sure, it would have been nice to win a half-billion in Wednesday’s Powerball lottery drawing. Instead, we’re left with worthless lottery tickets, unfulfilled lotto-dreams and a life that must go on as normal. No doubt, travel will be part of that life, albeit without the gold Rolls Royce for each of our friends. Here then are five quick ways to save on travel.

Airline Tickets- Sign up for every airline’s email notifications of sales, discounts or values. Use a price-watching service like AirfareWatchdog. Sign up for frequent-flier programs and try to be loyal to a favorite airline or airline alliance group. Bump up miles by using an airline credit card for all purchases. Better yet: drive rather than fly if the numbers work out in favor of a road trip vs. an airline ticket.

Cruise Vacations- As long as they are still in the game, use a travel agent who will have access to the best values and can be your advocate for savings throughout the life of your booking. Time is running out as cruise lines try to push consumers to book direct, without representation.Hotel Reservations- Like airlines, sign up for major hotel email notifications, newsletters and past-guest loyalty programs. If possible, book far in advance but check pricing on a regular basis all the way up to the date of stay. Prices can and do change frequently and being on top of it can make a huge difference. Also, avoid discount online sites that charge a cancelation penalty.

Car Rentals- First, check with your personal auto insurance carrier to see if you are covered for rental cars. If so, skip the car company insurance. Next, check the gas mileage possible with different classes of automobiles if not exact makes and models. At the rental counter, that free upgrade to a full-size SUV might cost a whole lot more in fuel than it is worth on a long haul.

Bring Your Own Entertainment- Hotel movie rentals and last-minute, full-price admissions to amusement parks and attractions can be expensive. Bring CDs, DVDs, books on tablets and other small items that will not take up space/weight in luggage if flying. Road trip? Board games to play at destinations work too.

Surely there are many more ways to save on travel but this short list will hopefully chase away the post-lotto depression. Don’t feel too bad though. Often called a tax on the poor or mathematically challenged, the odds of winning the lottery were staggeringly against us anyway.

[Image Credit- Flickr user Peter Gerdes]

Infographic: Road Trips, Now And Then

The price of road trips, what it takes to make them happen and what we do along the way have changed over the years. Not all that long ago, iPads were not the mobile way to entertain children as DVD players ruled the roads and mini-vans of family vacations. Going back further in time, we find camping that was nearly free, a Burger value meal cost almost ten times less and the price of gas would not have been a consideration by today’s standards.

This infographic from Baby Authority illustrates just how much has changed in 50+ years of road trips and makes us wonder what traveling the road will be line 50+ years from now.

Click to Enlarge Image

[Flickr photo by Stuck in Customs; Infographic via Baby Authority]

This is Melbourne…Wow! (confusing video edition)

Ever wanted to visit Melbourne? Well dear traveler, today’s your (un)lucky day! We’re going to take you on a video tour of Australia’s second largest city like you’ve never seen it before – down streets lined with “fanciful emporiums!” Inside a place where restaurants serve meals chock full of “extrinsic flavors!” and past public spaces adorned with the work of “young genius.” Wait…huh?

If you’re feeling confused (or even a little deceived) not to worry. We are too. Apparently the above production, crafted by the geniuses at Powervision (Asia Pacific), is a tourist DVD intended to wow visitors with Melbourne’s show-stopping beauty, mouth-watering cuisine and buzzing nightlife. We’re not so sure it’s working. Then again, who wouldn’t jump at the chance to visit the “Big Spine”? Give it a watch and decide for yourself.

Daily gear deal – Rosewill portable DVD drive for $60 + free bonus

So, you got yourself one of those shiny new Netbook computers, but you are only now beginning to realize that the lack of a built in DVD drive is a bit of a pain?

Then this Rosewill portable DVD drive may be just what you need to become happy again with your purchase.

The unit is powered off the USB port on your computer, so you won’t have to drag a power brick along with you. The drive can read and write to DVD discs which means you can use it to watch a movie, or to burn a backup of stuff to a recordable CD or DVD.

Included in the box is the USB cable and a version of the NERO CD/DVD recording suite.

If you purchase by April 30th, you’ll even get a 4GB USB memory stick thrown into the deal for free as well as free shipping.

Playing for Change album hits stores TODAY

After four long years of filming and recording musicians around the globe and featuring them in their wildly popular documentary, “Playing for Change,” the organization’s 10-song CD and 7-track DVD entitled “Songs Around the World” is being released TODAY. You can buy the recording online HERE or purchase it from your local Starbucks café.

This music compilation demonstrates that the world can unite through music regardless of race, gender, religion and politics. The proceeds to the music compilation goes toward helping to spread music to disadvantaged youth around the world.

Here is one of their newest videos which features U2’s Bono singing Bob Marley’s “War/No More Trouble.”

I was also pleasantly surprised to discover the Playing for Change website has experienced some really nice upgrades! There is a very sleek and frequently updated blog, as well as an online shop where you can buy cool clothing and accessories.

I absolutely love this organization and encourage you to check it out or give what you can.

NOTE: You can stream all of Playing For Change on AOL Music for free through May 4, 2009.