Best ways to save on travel
Stop by these Web sites en route to your next vacation.
Airlines reaped nearly $1.5 billion in baggage and ticket-change fees in the second quarter of 2010. But low-price Southwest has stuck with its fee policy: You can check two bags and book or change your ticket free.
Kayak.com scours hundreds of sources for the lowest prices in travel.
Bonus features: You can add bag costs to the fares on your search-results page, and you can view all flight destinations within a price range.
Stay in a vacation rental and get more space and amenities than a hotel room provides for about the same cost. HomeAway.com offers the biggest selection of rental lodgings -- more than 230,000 properties.
Best site to score game and concert tickets
Avoid the shady scalpers with RazorGator.com. The site provides a platform for ticket sellers to connect with buyers, and it houses a massive selection of hard-to-find concert and sports tickets. The “Gator Guarantee” promises that tickets will always be on time, refunded for a canceled event, and replaced or reimbursed if lost in the mail. The service charge, or “connection fee,”is about 18%, which is typical, and shipping runs $17 to $20 extra. Keep in mind that 60% of visitors to ticket-resale sites pay more than face value. To maximize savings, stay flexible on seat location.
Best Twitter feed for flight deals
Sign up at FareCompare.com to receive city-specific tweets when fares drop for flights from your favorite airport to thousands of destinations worldwide.
Best eyeglass e-tailer
Beat the high cost of eyewear in retail stores
Paying full price for designer frames and contending with eyewear stores' "sales" are best avoided by using FramesDirect.com. The e-tailer generally shaves 30% to 50% off retail prices and includes free shipping on most products. FramesDirect has a massive selection of designer frames, from Gucci to Dolce & Gabbana, as well as bargain brands. You can upload a headshot and "try on" styles in a virtual dressing room.