Magazine article Black Enterprise

Vacation Time! Best Places to Find Travel Bargains

Magazine article Black Enterprise

Vacation Time! Best Places to Find Travel Bargains

Article excerpt

For many of us, summer vacations evoke memories of friends, family, and exotic locations--and debt Chat can take months to pay off. With careful planning, however, you can take the trip of a lifetime without breaking the bank. Whether you're flying, taking a cruise, or piling the kids into the minivan, read on for tips on how to make the summer of 2004 one to remember.

These days, airline travel can be expensive and stressful. But it doesn't have to be. "When I travel, I want to pay the lowest amount for the best value," says Thomas Dorsey, the founder and CEO of Soul of America. a Website for African American travelers. Dorsey likes Websites like Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz, which often have great air, hotel, and rental car bargains. He suggests booking flights at least six weeks in advance of your trip and flying during the week--especially Tuesday through Thursday--when airfares are lower.

Hotel and motel stays can really bite into your travel budget. But with some careful planning and research, you can save big bucks. Try hotels.com, placestostay.com, and hotwire.com to book rooms. Another alternative to consider is a home exchange. Elaine Lee, an attorney in the San Francisco Bay Area and author or Go Girl; The Black Woman's Book of Travel and Adventure (The Eighth Mountain Press: $17.95), belongs to a home exchange program that costs about $70 a year. "I save lots of money and I have a kitchen, which helps me save even more. I find that staying in a home, rather than a hotel, really allows me to savor the lifestyle and culture that I'm visiting," she says. …

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