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The value of reading the fine print

Highlighting added by EverywhereOnce

Highlighting added by EverywhereOnce

It’s as easy to do as it is to overlook. But consistently paying close attention to details is something that has easily saved us thousands (or is it tens of thousands?) of dollars over the years. That’s especially true when taking advantage of special rates that increasingly come booby-trapped with unexpected fees.

Today’s example comes courtesy of Ryanair, a well known champion of loading their teaser fares with hidden fees. One such fee we hadn’t encountered before is Ryanair’s requirement that passengers check-in and print their boarding passes prior to arriving at the airport. This is an especially tricksy surcharge considering how common it is to get your boarding passes from an agent or a kiosk at the airport.

But if you’re flying Ryanair and show up at the airport without printing your boarding pass beforehand, that simple oversight will cost you an extra €45 / £45 per ticket. Had we not read this little detail in our confirmation e-mail, the flight we thought was going to run a mere €38 would have cost us more than double that amount.

Paying twice as much for something is a pretty steep penalty for not reading the fine print. Unfortunately we’re encountering more stuff like this all the time.

Four Finds for (Female) Travelers

Shannon with Backpack

Refining the contents of my backpack is a process that will last as long as I’m on the road. With space at a premium, every item that goes into the bag has to be well thought out. I’ve downsized and streamlined, but I’m always on the lookout for resourceful products that make packing easier and take up less room.

Here are a few of my favorite finds:

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Get $40 Off Your Next Booking With Hotels.com

Please Note: This offer has expired.

Well, this is timely. We just published an article describing our process for Finding the Perfect Hotel Room in which we said that our final stop is always Hotels.com. Just now we got an e-mail from the company offering a $40 off coupon for new users of the site. The offer is only available to people who have never booked with or received an e-mail from Hotels.com. And it’s only valid on bookings of $300 or more. But if you meet those criteria, you can get a $40 off coupon through this link.

Redeem Your $40 Hotels.com Coupon

One of the big reasons we tend to book more often with Hotels.com than with any other booking site is because of their Welcome Rewards loyalty program. It’s basically a 10% off program for frequent travelers. And because Hotels.com will match any other publicly available price on the internet, you can pretty much guarantee you’re paying 10% less than the best available price. Oh, and with this offer you can now pay $40 less than that as well.

P.S. If you click through the “Redeem Your $40 Coupon” button and it doesn’t bring you to the following screen, that means you’ve already been cookied by Hotels.com. 

$40 Hotels.com Coupon

How to Find the Perfect Hotel Room

Brundholme, Keswick, England

Brundholme B&B, in the Lake District (Keswick), England

(Update: The Chase Ultimate Reward portal no longer offers bonus points for booking hotels through Hotels.com)

As full-time travelers we live our lives out of hotel rooms and other rented spaces. Sometimes we’ll sleep in as many as three different cities in a single week. That adds up to a lot of hotels over the course of a year. As a matter of necessity, we’ve become pretty good at finding the best places to stay.

And by “best” we don’t necessarily mean cheapest. While we definitely consider ourselves budget travelers we focus at least as much on value as on absolute cost. Some things, like private rooms and central locations, are worth paying a little more for, in our view. So this article won’t teach you how to find the cheapest bed anywhere within commuting distance of your chosen destination. But if what you’re looking for is a great room, in an awesome location, at a terrific price then the process we outline below should work as well for you as it has for us.

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