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Trip Doctor: How to Haggle

how to haggle

Do...

Determine what you’d like to pay. Ask trusted locals what they’d spend.
Enjoy yourself. A sense of humor and patience are equally important.

Don’t...

Be afraid of lowballing. Make your starting offer at one-third of the price.
Indicate how badly you want an item. Be willing to walk away, and you’ll almost always get a better deal.

Amy FarleyHave a travel dilemma? Need some tips and remedies? Send your questions to news editor Amy Farley at tripdoctor@aexp.com. Follow @tltripdoctor on Twitter.

 


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TODAY Show Video: America's Top Free Attractions

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Want to sightsee across the U.S. without spending a dime? Travel + Leisure’s features director and senior correspondent, Nilou Motamed, shares her tips on America’s top free attractions.

Her picks:

Read More

Trip Doctor: How to Get Last-Minute Hotel Deals

hotel apps

Procrastinators, rejoice! There’s a slew of new apps aimed at snagging a last-minute hotel deal. Here, our tech expert’s road-tested favorites.

HotelTonight (Android, iOS): The pioneer of same-day booking apps, HotelTonight features staff-vetted properties in more than a hundred cities around the world, with tags like Hip, Luxe, or Charming to guide your search. Expect trendy boutique hotels and even some splashy new openings—but don’t get too attached to any one spot. Deals change daily and can be reserved only from noon onward.

Our Best Score: Mexico City’s sleek Las Suites for $163 a night (37 percent off).

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United Airline’s New Frequent Flier Minimums

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Woe to frugal miles hoarders like me: United, the world’s largest airline, recently announced annual spending and mileage minimums in order to earn status on its frequent flier program. This seems to be the new reality among legacy carriers: United’s statement comes just a few months after Delta, the world’s second-largest airline, made a similar decree.

Come January 2014, United fliers will need to travel 25,000 miles within a year (or 30 qualifying flight segments) and shell out at least $2,500 total on fares—and buying tickets for other travelers don’t count—to qualify for Premier Silver, the program’s entry-level elite status. And for top-tier 1K Premier status, you need to spend a whopping $10,000. Check out the site for more details.

Read More

Trip Doctor: New Index Ranks International Cities by Cost

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Newsflash: Oslo (pictured) is an expensive city.

Actually, according to a recent study by TripAdvisor, the Norwegian capital is the most expensive city for travelers. And while the priciest cities shouldn’t be too surprising (Oslo is followed by Zürich, Switzerland, and Stockholm, Sweden), the results are fascinating.

The website ranked 49 popular travel destinations around the world on a pricing index based on the relative costs of an evening out (cab rides, dinner, and drinks) and a one-night stay at a four-star hotel.

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Hotel Challenge: What Are You Giving Guests For Free?

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You know me: Always complaining about excessive fees aimed at travelers. I've kvetched about the worst rental car rip-offs. I've bemoaned the world's most outrageous hotel fees. I've griped, groused, growled, and grumbled about airline surcharges here and here and here. But before I have to rush back to my thesaurus again for another way to say complain, let me acknowledge that there are some travel companies that are doing it right: They're giving stuff away, free. May I just say, yay.

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Vacationist Hotel Deals: Santorini, NYC, Puerto Rico + Nicaragua

Book now on Vacationist, and you can stay in some of your favorite hotels and resorts for up to 40% off.


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Sales ends in 5 days!

Carpe Diem Santorini - up to 65% off
Pyrgos (Santorini), Greece
Carpe Diem is set between tourist-filled Firà and Oia, ideal for travelers who want to experience Santorini's quiet charms.

Seton Hotel - up to 39% off
New York, New York
A small but chic newly renovated hotel in midtown Manhattan, within walking distance of Grand Central Station.

O:live Boutique Hotel - up to 35% off
San Juan, Puerto Rico
This sexy retreat in Condado, Puerto Rico, has 15 rooms—some overlook a white-sand lagoon—and a rooftop pool.

Hacienda & Ecolodge Morgan's Rock - up to 29% off
Playa Ocotal, Nicaragua
A 15-room eco-lodge in Nicaragua's El Aguacate nature reserve, on the country's eastern coast.

Vacationist is brought to you by Travel + Leisure and LuxuryLink.com.

 

Photo courtesy of Carpe Dien, Santorini.

Vacationist Hotel Deals: Greece, Sundance + California

Book now on Vacationist, and you can stay in some of your favorite hotels and resorts for up to 40% off.

Sales end in 3 days!


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Naxian Collection - up to 41% off
Naxos, Greece
Sea views from a clutch of bi-level villas at a petite property on the Greek island of Naxos.

Sundance Resort
- up to 53% off
Sundance, Utah
Actor-director Robert Redford's rustic-chic mountain retreat is set high in Utah's Wasatch Range, less than an hour's drive from downtown Park City.

Santa Ynez Inn - up to 41% off
Santa Ynez, California
Explore the small-batch wineries of California's central coast from this gracious inn, accented by Tiffany lamps and four-poster beds.

Vacationist.com is brought to you by Travel + Leisure and LuxuryLink.com.

Photo courtesy of Christos Drazos Photography / Naxian Collection.

Vacationist Hotel Deals: Chicago, Costa Rica + Kauai

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Book now on Vacationist, and you can stay in some of your favorite hotels and resorts for up to 40% off.

Sale ends in 3 days!

Public Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

Ian Schrager's Chicago hotel brings an infusion of style to the Gold Coast neighborhood.

Sale ends in 5 days!

Kura Design Villas (pictured) - up to 41% off

Uvita de Osa, Costa Rica

Six minimalist, open-air villas in Bahía Ballena, Costa Rica.

Ko`a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach - up to 29% off

Koloa, Kauai

A 121-room boutique hotel on Kauai's Poipu Beach.

 

Vacationist.com is brought to you by Travel + Leisure and LuxuryLink.com.

Photo courtesy of Kura Design Villas.

Family Friday: Embracing The All-Inclusive Resort

Club Med

Admit it. As a parent, the idea of an all-inclusive is incredibly appealing. I never thought I'd be a fan, but two kids later, things are changing.

It's the easiest kind of travel: non-stop supervised activities for the kids, free time for you, restaurants within walking distance, and of course, nighttime babysitters. And with the new crop of stylish all-inclusive resorts, it's not all blue cocktails and spring breakers. Here, four of my favorite deals for spring and summer.
 
° Club Med: Starting in May, kids under 4 stay free; ages 4 to 12 get 50% off; and teens receive a 40% discount. Clubmed.com; April through October.

° Now Resorts & Spas: With every night at the resort (3 night minimum), you'll get a $50 air credit, per room. Do the math and that could save you $200 for a four-night stay. Bonus: You're eligible for up to $400 in resort coupons. Nowresorts.com; April 1 through December 22.

° Elite Island Resorts: Travelers get a $300 air credit on stays 3 to 6 nights, and $500 for 7 nights-and one child stays free. Eliteislandresorts.com; April 8 through end of August.

° Beaches: If you book a minimum of 3 nights at any Beaches resort, you'll get 65% off. Beaches.com; through 2013.

Clara Sedlak is a mom of two and a senior editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Club Med

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