7 On Your Side
Great bargains for summer vacations
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Your vacation plans don't necessarily have to be cut back because of the economy. You just need to know where to find some good deals.
Frommers.com reports that travel is down 50 percent over this same time last year. With the drop in travel come some great deals.
It's a sunny Friday afternoon at San Francisco's Pier 39. The popular bay side attraction is full of spring time travelers.
Kathy Zanath thinks she saved 50 percent over comparable hotel accommodations by renting a vacation home with another couple.
"I know it's cheaper than staying in a hotel and it's great. We're right there on the beach. Full use of the house," said Zanath.
She found the home by going to www.vrbo.com -- Vacation Rentals by Owner.
Frommers.com editor David Lytle told 7 On Your Side that now is actually a good time to find deals almost anywhere.
"Hotels are offering stay three nights get your fourth night or fifth night free. That adds real valuable savings to it and this just isn't a Holiday Inn, we're seeing hotels like the Four Seasons do that," said Lytle.
For discounts on airfares, Frommers recommends airfarewatchdog.com.
"They love to look inside the airfare search engines themselves and everyday find real hidden gems. And every day they publish a list of the hundred best air fares," said Lytle.
You can also request air fares to specific cities and everyday airfare watchdog will send you an update.
But whether you're booking your plane fare or hotel, watch for those extra fees.
"Some airlines charge for sitting in an exit row now, or an aisle seat," said Lytle. "Additionally when you're staying in a hotel, there's a whole range of fees. It's maddening what they can charge you for."
They'll charge you for Internet access, maintenance fees for the pool or even using the business center. Some of the things they charge you for you may not even use.
"So what you should do when you check out is talk to the people at the desk and say I didn't use this. I didn't use that. I don't want to pay for that because I didn't use it. And typically if you're police and direct, they'll remove fees," said Lytle.
If you dream of traveling to Paris, Frommers says you can get six nights' hotel and round trip airfare for $782 per person from www.go-today.com.
You'll stay in a clean two star hotel in an outlying area, but if you don't mind getting around by subway, you'll save big bucks.
"Budapest, Romania is a great place to go. They are just starting to build their tourism infrastructure, so it's a great time to go also because they're still largely undiscovered by American travelers," said Lytle.
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