Reader’s Digest’s 4 Ridiculous Money-Saving Travel Tips

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Is anyone else surprised to find out that Reader’s Digest still exists, and that they’ve managed to reproduce their print writing on that newfangled box called the personal computer? I think the last time I saw a Reader’s Digest it was located in a magazine rack in the bathroom of a retiree’s house.

Anyways, a quick scan of Digg’s “Travel & Places” section turned up this article by that venerable publication that ostensibly aims to reveal the best ways to save money in all facets of life, including travel. And now a run-down of these hilariously unhelpful and often ridiculous tips:

1) Ignore The Internet And Call The Airlines For The Best Price (Despite Phone Booking Fees)

Apparently you shouldn’t trust the internet for the best fares. Who ever heard of deals online anyways? RD recommends you call the airline’s “800 number” (how thoroughly modern) and find the best deal that way, never mind the fact that airlines almost universally will tack on a fee to your ticket for the audacity of bothering their customer representatives. What about wiring a telegram to the Pan Am head offices and demanding the best rates? Would that work as well?

2) Don’t Fly The Day Before Thanksgiving

Wait one second here, are you saying that the law of supply and demand does in fact apply to plane travel and that ticket prices are actually higher on one of the busiest travel days of the year? Shocking! I wonder, what happens to prices the Sunday after Thanksgiving? What about the Fridays before three-day weekends? Same rule apply?

3) Head To A Cheaper Destination That’s Close To Your Original Plans (Even If That Means Heading To Lame Miami)

Is that dream vacation to culture-rich Orlando more expensive than one to Miami? (Where, I may remind you, there are far fewer Disney attractions to spend your days and, even worse, the Applebees per capita ratio is far lower.) RD suggests a trip to Miami! Why not? I heard there’s a few things to do there as well, including several Hard Rock Cafes and some excellent movie theatres. (Actually, I’m not making this up, the exact quote from the article is: “There are plenty of things to do in Miami.” Intriguing — who’d have thought?)

4) Periodically Check Prices, They May Go Down

Finally, to the amazement of all, RD points out the fact that fares fluctuate, moving both up and down. And what’s the best way to detect this odd occurrence and to lock in the best rate? RD audaciously suggests looking up the price more than once! Beware, this suggestion is not for the faint of heart or for pregnant women.

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