One of the perks to being a Tri-State resident is being within a reasonable reach of several major airports. If you would like to save a few dollars and spend it on your upcoming trip, take the extra time to compare ticket prices at the following airports and you could save a big chunk of your vaca cash.
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
The obvious choice is CVG, one of the most active airports in the country. But even though this airport has the closest location, it reigns as one of the most expensive in the nation. It has all the standard amenities such as Wi-Fi access and boasts some of the most convenient parking around. CVG also became the third airport in the area to offer equestrian trails around the airfield. The riding paths are open until September 3, and registered members can bring up to three guests to ride with them.
Dayton International Airport
A short drive north takes you to Dayton International. Where better to fly out of than the birthplace of aviation? With this being a smaller airport, it’s just a short walk from even the furthest parking spot. Besides being a top-notch local airport, you can spend some time around Dayton to check out some of the local attractions dedicated to air travel.
Columbus Regional Airport Authority
If you’re not opposed to driving a little bit farther, the Columbus airport is just a couple of hours north of Cincinnati. It boasts free Wi-Fi for all you frugal chic geeks out there.
Blue Grass Airport
If you wish to stay in Kentucky, take a look at Lexington’s airport. Boasting one of the most beautiful airport approaches around, Lexington also offers some business services for its working flyers.
Louisville International Airport
A recent winner of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Runway Safety Partnership Award, Louisville has been taking steps to ensure the runways are as safe as they can be.
Indianapolis International Airport
Indianapolis is in the midst of expanding and upgrading. A new main entrance is under construction, and with it will come more streamlined security check-in processes and customer amenities.
With all the Web sites dedicated to helping travelers find the best airfares, buying tickets can be a daunting task. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most popular ticket outlets:
- Cheaptickets.com: Known for its “Best Price Guarantee” hotel rates.
- Priceline.com: Name your own price and see if they go for it.
- Travelocity: Boasting it’s “You’ll Never Roam Alone” slogan, Travelocity provides destination reviews and a Travelocity Guarantee to make sure you get what you paid for.
- Studentuniverse.com: An online student travel agent with cheap tickets.A university address e-mail address is required.
- Orbitz: Known for its innovative technology with RSS feeds to update you with the latest deals, customized coupons via e-mail and mobile alerts.
- Lastminutetravel.com: The name says it all, as this is the place you should go if you get a wild hair to take a last minute trip. Check out this week’s “Best of the Web Travel Guide” story to help you navigate the world with resources on the World Wide Web.
It is a good idea to start watching ticket prices a couple months before buying. Airline tickets are like concert tickets; some are on reserve and then become available when you get closer to go time. You can get some of the best deals to be offered at 21 days prior to your departure.
Bag It Up!
After buying your tickets, it’s time to start packing your bags! As women, we’re predisposed to the over-packing bug. But, airline companies are cracking down on extra luggage and heavy baggage. American Airlines became the first major carrier to announce that it would charge a $15 fee for the first checked bag for most of its coach customers – that’s on top of the $25 that it and other airlines have already begun charging for a second bag.
You just might want to re-think that extra outfit or pair of shoes. To know for sure what to expect, you should either call or go online to check and see what each carrier limits when it comes to luggage.
But air travel rules and regulations don’t stop there. Don’t forget about the carry-on limitations. All liquids must be 3ozs. or less and they must be inside a ziplock bag. This includes hand sanitizer, lip-gloss, mascara, hair spray, nail polish, liquid eyeliner and so many more. To see a complete list of items that may be carried-on, please refer to the TSA regulations.
If you’re a bit concerned about what to do or know when traveling, another great tip is to simply arrive early and allow yourself extra time to get situated and get set for the trip ahead. You should always arrive at least 1 hour before a flight. Airlines reserve the right to change flight times without prior notice. So it serves you best to go by the time that you were given, arrive early and have a little bit of patience to get through the traveling process.
On the Road Again
If you’re opting out of all the confusing air travel regulations and just hitting the road instead, here are a few ways you can ease the pain at the pump:
- Tire pressure. Imagine running laps with 5-pound weights strapped to each leg. That’s what driving a car with underinflated tires is like. Underinflated tires can sap 4 to 10 percent out of a car’s potential gas mileage. So, make sure you get your tire pressure checked before you get high blood pressure from your gas bill.
- Don’t feel the need for speed. While it feels good to weave through traffic at 74 mph, that speed doesn’t feel so good when you look at its price. According to the Daily Green, you get the best fuel economy at 55mph.
- Don’t drive aggressively. This is probably one of the most over looked things, but go easy on the accelerator. If you’re in traffic tailgating the car in front of you, you won’t get to your destination any faster, plus you are increasing your chances of an accident. Check out Hypermiling.com, where they are attempting to get 100 mpg from regular gas cars.
- Don’t drive during peak times. You could save a lot of time and gas by not sitting in rush hour traffic as you’re traveling to your destination.
- Weight reduction. It’s time to get rid of that junk in your trunk, and we’re not talking about your low rise jeans. It’s time to open the trunk and see what kind of weight you can leave in your garage. Golfers who love to tote around their clubs can save weight by leaving them at home when they aren’t headed to the course. But don’t get ridiculous. Keep the spare tire.
- Proper oil grade. Use the lightest grade of oil recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer. A multiviscosity oil such as 5W30 can save gas compared with regular 30-weight oil because it creates less friction. (Decoded version: The engine doesn’t have to work as hard.)
- Air conditioning. If you can get away without using air conditioning, you’ll save gas. But opening windows as a replacement won’t help as it creates more drag (a.k.a. less aerodynamic). For example, a Honda Civic driven at 45 miles per hour incurs a 4 percent energy efficiency loss if the windows are open. So, if you don’t want to bake with the windows up, you might as well cool off in the air conditioning.
To check out exactly how much your trip will cost you, click here and go to the “Calculate Your Gas Costs” section on the left. Plug in your vehicle MPG, gas price, and distance and it will tell you how much to put aside for gas bills on your summer trip this year.