Do My Essay Cheaptickets

Unhappy holidays. It’s happened countless times: I buy a plane ticket to a foreign country and then discover I’ve scheduled my trip during a national holiday, or the first week of school vacation or some other time where hotels may be overbooked, local flights pricey, restaurants closed, streets deserted. So take that destination wish list and search online right now for a calendar of national or local holidays as well as major festivals. Otherwise, you might end up like me, in Sumatra during Ramadan or Seoul during the Korean New Year.

Apply for a credit card. I wish airlines and credit card companies would abandon the bloated, convoluted, pro-business, anti-tourist points-and-miles system and plow those resources into lower fees and fares across the board. But that won’t be happening. The easiest way for occasional fliers to get in on the game is to sign up for credit cards that offer a huge bonus and one year without an annual fee. I recently got the Citi AAdvantage card that is currently offering 50,000 miles on American Airlines if you spend $3,000 in the first three months — that’s worth a free trip from Washington to London or from Chicago to Buenos Aires if your dates are flexible. Before that I got 40,000 points from a Capital One Venture Card, which meant $400 back on any travel expenditures. Both waived the annual fee for the first year.

Were these the absolute best cards to get? Probably not. But I’m unwilling to slog through the obsessive blog posts that spell out in detail why one card is slightly better than the other. Instead I took 10 minutes to do some research at creditcards.com/airline-miles.php. And then I programmed a reminder into my phone for 11 months ahead, giving me plenty of time to cancel my card before the first annual fee kicks in.

Crack the codes. Have you ever been ready to type in your credit card number when you spot a “Discount Code” box on the screen, and feel bad because you know there might be a discount code out there? Install the Honey browser extension, which works on several prominent travel sites, like Hotels.com, Priceline.com and Trivago.com (as well as many other non-travel retailers). Once it’s in there, it will alert you to any discount codes as you are making a purchase, and will even test them all automatically with one click.

Switch your cellphone plan. If you want to use your cellphone abroad, switch today to TMobile, which offers free text messaging and data (and cheap phone calls) in well over 100 countries, versus Sprint’s 50 or so. Data is slow — 2G or 3G, depending — but it’s enough for email and messaging services and, if you’re patient, Google Maps and social media apps.

It’s not ideal. I’ve used it on five continents, and though it has never failed, it has always exasperated, forcing me to restart my phone or switch airplane mode on and off before it finally latches onto a local carrier. Occasionally I’ve even had to go into my phone’s settings and manually test each individual carrier until I figure out which one works best. (A TMobile technical support person taught me this workaround, so obviously I’m not alone.)

Depledge allegiance. What’s your favorite car rental agency? Wrong! Prices vary so widely and unpredictably across companies, locations and dates that it is insane for occasional travelers to pay extra so they can collect points or save a few minutes or get a free upgrade. Instead, just search your favorite online travel agency and pick the cheapest rate from a company you’ve heard of — including Ace and Fox, which you’ve now officially heard of. Do some companies have nicer cars? It’s possible, but plenty of hotels have nicer beds, and I don’t pay extra to stay in them. And here’s a final thing you can do right now: Find out what your credit card and personal car insurance covers so you can vehemently decline what you don’t need at the checkout counter.

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Sure the Euro is down, but that does nothing for the Anglophile cheapster. London’s on the pound sterling, a.k.a., the oldest currency still in use, but don’t let the old pound keep you from hopping over the pond. You can actually experience London on the cheap and it’s bloody brilliant.

Related: 5 cheap European destinations

Inside the British Museum | Photo courtesy of Luca Piffaretti

1. Museums in London are FREE. That means you can see the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum, pose next to a painting of the handsome royal brothers at the National Gallery, learn about the city both prehistoric and present at the London Museum, and tell all your friends you went to Tate Modern for zero cost. You’re basically making money.

Food vendors at Camden Market | Flickr CC Credit: Herry Lawford

2. Cheap street food at Camden Lock Market. At Camden Town you’ll find yourself amongst tattoo parlors, street art, Amy Winehouse’s old stomping grounds and tons of leather. It is CRUCIAL that you grab a bite to eat at one of the many food vendors whiletaking in the area’s unique grunge vibe. You can get three tacos smothered in sour cream and a can of Coke for just under £6 pounds. If Mexican isn’t your fancy, you can find Chinese, falafel, donuts, mac n’ cheese, or just about anything you had or didn’t have your eye on.

Changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace | Flickr CC Credit: Rennett Stowe

3. Changing of the Guard is FREE. We already know that you’re standing outside Buckingham Palace in hopes that you’ll eventually exchange a wave with the queen, so why not spare 45 minutes to experience Changing of the Guard, for free?

Boris Bikes | Flickr CC Credit: Gary J. Wood

4. Bike share, old chap. Rent a “Boris Bike” (Santander Cycle, i.e. the red bikes you see everywhere) and take a ride along the South Bank where you can check the time at Big Ben and look upon the London Eye. You’ll only be out £2 for a 24-hour rent. Tube, who?

Inside the Globe Theatre | Flickr CC Credit: McKay Savage

5. Standing room tickets at the Globe Theater. Relive your high school Shakespeare days by catching a show at the Globe Theatre and bring your college wallet because you can find standing room tickets for £5 (which also happens to be the best view in the theatre).

Tower Bridge at night | Photo courtesy of Monica Pedraja

6. Bridge bargains. Recent updates to Tower Bridge means that you can experience the hustle and bustle of bridge traffic below by walking across a glass floor way up above for only £8.

Marylebone Bar | Flickr CC Credit: Ewan Munro

7. Yes, a box of shots.The Marylebone bar will give you a buzz to match the buzzing city with a treasure chest full of shots for just £20. You don’t need all eight, so save yourself a hangover and split the cost with a few friends. Choose from an assortment of infused liquors such as caramel tequila, white chocolate vodka, or chili Nutella cognac.

Flickr CC Credit: Mikey

8. Posh threads for less.Primark is like the Forever 21 of London, meaning tons of clothes, shoes and accessories for way cheap. Plus, when your friends ask where your top is from you can say, “I got it in Europe,” to make yourself seem even more trendy.

Flickr CC Credit: Viaggio Vero

9. DIY high tea. Sweet-tooth cravings call for a trip to Ben’s cookies where you’ll find flavors like coconut, ginger & dark chocolate, and lemon. Grab a cup of teato-go from Café Nero and you’ve created your own “high tea” for less than £10.

Picnic in the park | Photo courtesy of Monica Pedraja

10. Lunch al fresco. Pack a basket and take your pick of London parks to have a picnic. We highly suggest Regent’s Park because after lunch you can escape the city and spend a peaceful afternoon in apaddleboat for just a tenner.

View from the Shard | Flickr CC Credit: Raphael Chekroun

11. Buy a cocktail, get a view. Indulge in a cocktail while 1,016 feet inside the tallest building in London and Western Europe, The Shard. Cocktails at Aqua Shard can be costly, but you’ll get a drink and see Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and Saint Paul’s Cathedral, which is cheaper than buying the tourist-trap ticket to the top.

View of the London Eye | Photo courtesy of Monica Pedraja

12. Twice around the Eye. If you planned on seeing the views from inside of the London Eye, then kill two birds with one stone and invest in the “Day and Night Experience.” This ticket will get you two rotations so you’ll have a lot more bang for your buck.

Tagged: City, FREE!, International, Tips & advice, Uncategorized

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