Trip Coach: March 22, 2005 Budget Travel Editors answered your travel questions on Tuesday, March 22 at noon ET Budget Travel Tuesday, Mar 22, 2005, 12:00 AM Budget Travel LLC, 2016
 

 

Trip Coach: March 22, 2005

Budget Travel Editors answered your travel questions on Tuesday, March 22 at noon ET

Need help planning a trip? Have a question about your next vacation? The editors of Budget Travel magazine answered your travel questions Tuesday, March 22, at 12pm EST.

Budget Travel Editors: Welcome to our live chat - we're ready to answer your questions!

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Cooper City, FL: I will be traveling to the Netherlands this October. Any tips on how to find the best airfare? Should I book now, or wait? Thanks!

Budget Travel Editors: One of our favorite travel tools is a comparative search engine called SideStep.com. I recommend it regularly and suggest using this to price Netherland airfares for your selected travel dates. We did a sample search for October 13-17 and got a best price of $476 from United. KLM is also a good airline to start with, and we recommend not booking your trip too far in advance (before Sept. 1).

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Orange County, CA: I'm trying to arrange a company trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for about 80 people in February 2006. My travel agent has been trying with absolutely no success to get package rates for the last month or so. She has resorted to trying to get us quoted directly with resorts and airlines, which is maybe why the amount has shot through the roof. We haven't used an agency in a while, and of course, I have no way of knowing whether this is true or not. I've just fired off emails to a couple packagers, but do you have any suggestions? I really need to get this back in the budget originally quoted to me.

Budget Travel Editors: You have several options. Your travel agent's suggestion to go directly to the airlines and hotels in an excellent one if she can't accommodate you with an air-hotel package for 80. Chances are you can strike a deal with both an airline and with a hotel but it'll require a few more calls. Typically, 16 or more people is considered a group, and sometimes that number can be even smaller. I think you'll be surprised at the willingness of companies to work with you, if you can guarantee so many warm bodies. Another suggestion would be to use Groople.com--a travel booking engine for groups! It's still new and working out some kinks/adding new features, but the savings can be phenomena.

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Encinitas, CA: My wife and I are planning on taking 8-9 months and travel around the world. Can you suggest a good place to look for airfares for such a trip?

Budget Travel Editors: Airtreks specializes in RTW tickets, with a website that plans and prices any journey for free, 877/247-8735, airtreks.com
Go to our March issue, where Gayle Forman, author of You Can't Get There From Here, took a year-long trip around the world with her husband, and wrote about it in the magazine. She's chatting live next Tuesday at noon ET.

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Savannah, GA: I am guardian of a physically limited 57-year-old cousin. She cannot walk far. Mary would like to go on vacation, but has no ideas of what she would want to do, just get away for a few days. There is not much money available. Is there any options to a cruise? That is the only vacation idea I have had and am not sure that is a good one. Sorry for the vague details. Thank you for your ideas.

Budget Travel Editors: Fortunately, there are companies that cater to the mobility impaired and more and more companies are being formed to offer terrific vacations to this often under-recognized group of travelers. (It's about time because their 55 million strong!)Here are three excellent companies:
Flying Wheels Travel Service
Phone 507/451-5005
Web: flyingwheelstravel/


Accessible Journeys
Phone 610/521-0339, or 800/846-4537
Web: accessiblejourneys.com/
Wheelchair Getaways
Phone 800/536-5518
Web: wheelchair-getaways.com/

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St. Louis, MO: I want to plan a summer vacation with my family. Parents in their 40's, daughter 15, son, 10. We went to Cancun and stayed at an all-inclusive last year. We enjoyed it , but would like to be more adventurous this year. We are on a budget of $3000 total. Do you have any great ideas? I have searched the internet until I am exhausted. Need Help! Thanks for anything you can offer.

Budget Travel Editors: Why not check out the Riviera Maya, where you can still get a great value, and certainly stay within that budget. One particularly active all-inclusive resort is the Sunscape Tulum: sunscaperesorts.com. They have daily bike trips to the Tulum ruins. Check out the April issue for more information on this and other all-inclusives on the Riviera Maya.
Also, look into renting a house - for $3,000, you could get a great house - it may even come with a cook! Then you can save even more money by not eating out.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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