CouchSurfing Offers Free Lodging with Benefits*

June 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Travel 

CouchSurfingIf you’re looking for an exciting and inexpensive way to explore the world, you may want to consider CouchSurfing.

I heard about CouchSurfing about four years ago and was just in awe of the concept.

CouchSurfing is a community of people who open their homes to travelers…for free. Likewise, people travel the globe and stay with strangers.

You can choose to Surf, and visit other parts of the world while staying with locals; and/or you can host and invite travelers to stay at your place. Hosts are not allowed to charge a fee for your stay.

There are several benefits to CouchSurfing. The obvious one, of course, is free a room (or couch), but there’s also the benefit of having someone in the community help you find the best places in town to explore.

There are safety checks in place such as an online profile, reputation, and feedback. Hosts and Surfers get to select who they want to stay with based on their online profile and feedback.

Check out the CouchSurfing Blog to learn more and read some firsthand experiences.

Have you tried this service? If so, how was it? If not, do you think you would give it a shot? As a host? As a traveler?

*Not THOSE kinds of benefits! :)

Sears Vacations Offer Discounted Travel Options

June 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Travel 

Sears VacationsSears has launched a Sears Vacations program which allows you to use your Sears credit card to book your trip. The site launched in February 2012–have you heard about it?

The travel website offers vacation packages including flights, hotels, car rentals, golf, skiing, and cruise packages. They also offer 100 vacations priced lower than $399.

Here are the benefits of Sears Vacations as listed on their website:

  • Best Price Guarantee: Rest assured we will meet or beat any price
  • No Hidden Booking Fees: You see all your charges up front
  • Book Online with ease 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Personalized Service: Allow an extremely knowledgeable U.S. based Personal Vacation Consultant to assist you and plan the perfect trip
  • Satisfaction Guarantee: We strive to make sure you have the best booking experience and vacation possible. We will go above and beyond to ensure satisfaction
  • Exclusive Offers: Onboard Credits, Free Hotel Nights, Deeper Discounts

The group running this travel program is International Cruise & Excursions (ICE), Inc. They are a worldwide travel and leisure organization with more than 14 years of service.

If you have the ability to plan a last minute vacation, you may want to check out their Last Minute Cruises section. To see this part of the site, you do need to register (it’s free).

I saw a 4-day Caribbean cruise out of Miami to Cozumel for $269 per adult. You can add airfare and select your room type which may change your rate, but it’s all laid out with the rate differences right there.

I’m not in the market for a cruise, so I can’t speak to the price, but the site is quite user friendly and worth a look.

If you sign up for their email alerts, you should get a coupon. I just signed up and received a $50 off my next hotel purchase; however, the coupon expires on July 15, 2012, so not a lot of time to use it. You may want to sign up when you know you’ll be traveling soon.

Huge Nationwide Airfare Sale Ends Today

June 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Travel 

Southwest AirlinesSouthwest Airlines launched a 3-day sale on Tuesday for one-way tickets to select destinations. Sorry for the late notice on this deal–I wasn’t able to write about it yesterday when Madison Consumer reader Kathy mentioned it. Thanks for the tip Kathy!

There is still time to get these discounted tickets. You have until 1:59 AM to purchase your tickets (11:59 p.m. Pacific Time).

Click here to see the list of discounted Southwest Airlines destinations. Travel dates must fall between August 13 through November 14, 2012. Blackout dates include August 18 & 30, September 3 & 4 and you cannot travel on Fridays or Sundays. Additional details can be found at the bottom of the list of destinations.

Some example fares include a one-way ticket from Milwaukee to Orlando starting at $98, or head to St. Louis and pay $48 for a one-way ticket.

I also saw on Milwaukee Consumer that Clark Howard mentioned a nationwide fare sale for fall travel that included this Southwest sale and a sale at AirTran. According to Howard, almost all airlines are matching this sale. (an airfare consolidator) is offering the following roundtrip fares from Milwaukee:

  • Minneapolis – $96
  • Orlando – $174
  • Washington D.C. – $176
  • Boston – $196
  • New York – $196
  • Phoenix – $230
  • Las Vegas – $230

Check out the website for a full list of fares–there’s lots more including some international destinations!

Hitch a Ride to Summerfest 2012 with Badger Bus

June 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Event, Travel 

Badger CoachesBadger Bus has round trip rides to Summerfest from June 27 to July 1 and from July 3-8, 2012.

Round trip tickets are $25 if you buy them online ($12.50 one way).

Tickets will be available at the Essentials Desk inside the Union and at Kelley’s Market (636 W Washington Avenue); however, round trip tickets purchased on-site will cost $38 and will be available as space allows.

Badger Bus will depart from the UW-Madison Memorial Union at the following times:

  • 10:30 a.m.
  • 12:30 p.m.
  • 3:00 p.m.
  • 4:00 p.m.
  • 5:00 p.m.

The Summerfest stop is four blocks from the North Gate on the Summerfest grounds (Wisconsin Coach Stop at East Michigan and Jackson Street). This stop is only available while Summerfest is in session.

For your return trip, you have four options:

  • 5:45 p.m.
  • 7:20 p.m.
  • 9:20 p.m.
  • 11:55 p.m.

Skip the parking hassles and let Badger Bus take care of the driving for you! Most buses have free Wi-Fi and outlets so you can sit back, relax with your friends, and avoid the hassles of driving!

Save money and book your Badger Bus tickets to Summerfest online!

Stay at Madison’s Beautiful Mansion Hill Inn for $150

January 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Travel 

Mansion Hill InnSpend a romantic night in Madison and save money at the same time. GoGeddit is offering a one-night stay at the Mansion Hill Inn for $150. You can use this gift certificate and stay any night of the week–including weekends.

The Mansion Hill Inn is located in downtown Madison and is one of four historic mansions at the  Pinckney and East Gilman intersection. The Mansion Hill Inn was built in 1857 by Alexander McDonnell; McDonnell also built the second State Capitol building. Head to their website to read the complete history of this beautiful building.

The Inn offers 10 luxury hotel suites each with Frette linens, a flat-screen television, and Aveda bath products. Depending on your room selection, you could relax in a whirlpool bath or curl up next to an in-room gas fireplace.

Each room includes a complimentary breakfast, turndown service, wireless internet, and so much more! The GoGeddit deal will get you the best room available when you book your stay at the Mansion Hill Inn.

The room rates start at $200 and go up to $350. Depending on  your timing, you will save somewhere between $50 to $200 on your room. The gift certificate is valid until March 15, 2012.

Order your $150 gift certificate from GoGeddit and get your getaway booked! This deal is available from GoGeddit for eight more days.

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