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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Getting Pampered on Your Travels 9.17.11

Okay, so I don’t often suggest doing things like getting massages and facials on vacation, because they can be expensive and also because you’re already “away from it all” and are probably more relaxed than you’ve been since your last trip. Plus, I can always think of other ways to spend that money while I’m away. Of course, traveling should be all about you and if it’s your only time to get pampered in any sense of the word, then I say go for it if you can fit it into your budget and schedule. The schedule can always be redone, but sometimes the budget is firm and has no give to allow for extra things that aren’t “necessity”. 

Luckily, there are some ways to give your budget a little bit of wiggle room. When you save on one thing, you can afford to do another and I find that my tips can cause a domino effect in that regard: save on your airfare, get a better hotel or room. Save on your hotel, eat out more. Eat in some nights, squeeze in more activities. Get a CityPASS to save on activities, have money to see a play, eat at a famous restaurant, do a bit of shopping or get a massage. I mean, just think of the possibilities!
If you’ll be hitting the road in the middle of October, you can take advantage of Spa Week. Twice a year, participating upscale salons in the U.S. and Canada drop prices of your favorite treatments: massages, body scrubs, glycolic peels, facials, pedicures and more. Each treatment will be just $50, which is a great deal for the more involved treatments, like body scrubs that can be over $100. Go check out the Spa Week salons in your area (whether traveling or not) and make an appointment to get peeled, scrubbed, painted or rubbed for the week of October 10-16. This is also a great way to try something new that you were afraid to spend the money on before. You can even buy a Spa Week gift card for a friend. How awesome would you be?

Other ways to get pampered for less are super easy with daily deal sites like Groupon (or Groupon UK), Living Social, Sharing Spree and others in your area. Generally, you get 50% off, but the deals can be anywhere from 40-90% off. All of these have daily deals that include dining, shopping, spa services, attractions and more, so if you don’t see something you like right away, don’t worry. The deal will change the next day and you’ll have a chance at something else. I like to subscribe to the deals to where I will be traveling and it’s also how I saved a bunch of money on my upcoming trip to Hawaii! See my post on how Groupon was instrumental in my travel planning and budgeting for this trip and how you can use it to save a bunch on your trips, too.

Living Social has some fantastic deals, even on vacations. I posted a deal on Facebook and a friend’s coworker saw it and purchased it and saved almost half on her trip to Cancun by using it. Instead of $3,000 paid out of pocket for her trip for air, hotel and activities, she spent a mere $1,750, because her hotel and some activities were super discounted with her Living Social deal. (Another great reason to follow me on Facebook or Twitter, too!)

Do you have an Entertainment Book? Consider buying one for your vacation destination. You can save on dining, entertainment, activities, hotels and more! In March and April the books become deeply discounted, giving you an even larger ratio of savings to book cost. Purchase it through Ebates to get cash back, too!

Use those daily deal sites to your advantage and save, save, save. You’re never going to regret using a coupon if you have it. If you could have and didn’t, you’ll be mad that you didn’t get to do something else (or saved that money and used it on bills or some other necessity). Now, go get pampered!

This week you'll see me on it! That's right. Shereen Travels Cheap will have an article in FareCompare's Travel Advice section. Stay tuned for a link.

Join me on Tuesday for a Live Chat in the Ebates Savvy Living Community at 6pm PST/9pm EST where we will talk about saving on your holiday travels. It's best to start planning now in order to get the best deals, especially if you are visiting family and must be there.

Vera Kratochvil
The new travel stats have just come out saying that airlines will be cutting flights even more in the next year. They will be chopping 2-3% of their active flights, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but considering the small number of flights they already have and the overpacked planes, this could make it harder to find a cheap rate wherever you want to go. Also, airlines have reported at least a 2% increase in revenue from fees (mostly baggage) over last year. In just several months, one airline has racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars from their customers in fees alone. If nothing else, this just makes it more obvious that people are encouraging them to continue raising fees on checked bags, because they are willing to pay them.

Books make great gifts!  Anna Cervova
You know what you can do about it? Besides traveling carry-on only yourself, you can purchase a copy of my book (which will be out soon) for an overpacking friend for the holiday season! Not only will it be cheaper than even the lowest checked bag fee, it will also be packed full of tips to travel within and below their budget to save them hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on each trip! Imagine how many massages that will get someone. Maybe buy one for yourself, too. (And that is what I'm working on at the moment that I bring you this very short post. You can sign up to receive my newsletter and be the first to know when the book is available for purchase.)

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