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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Laura on TV: Talking Bargain International Travel on WGN in Chicago

Looking to take a bargain international vacation this summer? Here are some of the suggestions I offered today on WGN's Midday News. And here's the segment itself for those who prefer watching to reading!

Strategies for Finding Inexpensive International Destinations

  • Look for countries where the currency is weak against the U.S. dollar
  • Look for airlines that offer low international fares 
  • Look for destinations where summer is the off-season, like the Caribbean

Bargain European Destinations

  • Portugal, including Lisbon, The Algarve Coast, the Duoro Valley and Sintra. New nonstop air service from Chicago to Lisbon via TAP Portugal starts in June.
One of the castles of Sintra

  • Greece, including Athens, the islands and all those historic ruins. New seasonal nonstop air service from Chicago to Athens via American Airlines starts in May.
  • Turkey, including Istanbul, Cappadocia and the the Turquoise Coast.


Other Money-Saving Strategies

  • Be flexible with dates and destinations
  • Comparison shop on last-minute deal websites or flight scanners like Hopper and Skyscanner
  • Use airline-branded credit cards to book flights. The caveat--you must book the flights on the airline's website. But in return, you get free checked bags and early boarding, so you don't have to scour the plane for overhead bin space.
  • Look for hotels that include value-added extras in the room rate, like free parking or an ample breakfast (stale doughnuts don't count). At the same time, make sure the hotel isn't tacking on a daily resort fee.
  • Book on Airbnb

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