Travel saving tips

November 22, 2008 6:43:20 AM PST
"Mom on the run" Colleen Burns suggested tips for saving money on airfare, car rentals and hotels.Q: Business trips are getting more and more expensive. Are there some easy ways to cut costs?

A: Absolutely. Here are a couple of little devices that will save you money. First, bring a portable printer, so you don't have to pay per page somewhere. This one made by Planon is Bluetooth enabled so you can even print documents from your blackberry and it uses heat to print, so you need no ink. Next, use a wi-fi sniffer. This one is made by canary wireless. It will help you locate a wireless network, and let you know if it's free. A lot of hotels are charging now for hi-speed internet, so that's another tip..make sure to book a hotel where it's free. Also look for packages where breakfast is free or deeply discounted. And another new trend is to stay an extra day or two on you trip to squeeze in a family or spouse trip where part of the expenses are already picked up by your company. Your return flight might be even cheaper if you stay until the weekend.

Q: How can you save time at the airport?

A: Exactly. It's the very first thing we do on a business trip and it can really increase your stress right from the start. First, you're seeing more and more of these. The Clear Pass lets you jump to the front of the line at 20 airports including terminals at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark. The company prescreens you, you pay a yearly fee. Then it's easy, breezy you're at the gate when everyone else is still taking off their shoes.

Also, you've probably heard the TSA is changing some of its policies to make life easier on us. Starting next year, we can bring more than those tiny sized bottle of liquid onboard thanks to better xray machines.

And already if you have a special TSA approved laptop case, you no longer have to take your computer out and put it in a bin. Mobile edge makes the only TSA friendly cases designed specifically for women.

Q: If you don't make the trip a family trip and you are traveling alone, that can be scary for women sometimes.

A: True. First, make sure to bring along one of these in your carry-on. This is a screech alarm. Of course you can't carry pepper spray, or mace with you because of threats to airline employees and other passengers, but you can have this. And the loud noise it makes might be enough to buy you some time if you find yourself in a threatening situation. You can also use one of these on your hotel room door. It will let you know if someone's trying to break in. you can find both products at and they're each less than $15. And maybe the best advice I have is to get to know the hotel staff. They can tell you safe places to eat or shop, they can walk you to your room. It's good to have someone looking out for you.

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