Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Budget Lodging in Europe--Ikea Hotels

The Swedish furniture maker Ikea has recently announced that it is going to go into the budget lodging business. The Ikea hotels that will make up the chain will not be linked to the brand in name or furnishings, but are expected to offer guests a simple room, a solid breakfast and easy check-in. Luxury amenities will be nonexistent.

The budget hotel business is booming. Motel One is a German chain that saw revenue increase by about 70 percent last year. Motel One charges the equivalent of about $60-$70 per night, about the cost for many budget hotels in America.

The increased number of budget lodgings may keep prices lower for Americans who plan on traveling to Europe. With the cost of airfare and food that can frequently be incurred, American travelers should find this to be a very beneficial development.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Earn Hawaiian Airlines Miles for Internet Searches

A tip that can earn those attempting to hack travel some frequent flyer miles on Hawaiian Airlines is just a click away and costs nothing. Every new download and search on the Hawaiian Airlines toolbar until August 11, 2012 is an entry for 40,000 HawaiianMiles, which is enough for a round-trip ticket from the mainland to Hawaii. The toolbar that has a search function that will earn searchers 1 mile for every three searches. There is a limit of 5,000 HawaiianMiles per month. That's 15,000 searches, so very few people would be able to get to this limit.

Another cool feature of the toolbar is the shopping feature. Those shopping from can earn one HawaiianMiles mile per dollar at the retail giant. If you are already planning to buy from Amazon and don't have another perk that it gives you, why not use the toolbar? There is even a handy little tab that will get users directly to the Amazon shopping site to earn the miles. Those using a credit card affiliated with an airline will usually earn at least another mile per dollar in addition to the mile mentioned above.

There are several ways that HawaiianMiles members can cash in their miles. The obvious one is flights. A round-trip inter-island flight goes for around 15,000, depending upon the season, etc. A flight from the continental US will go for around 40,000 miles. Those who aren't planning to use the miles for a flight can get gift cards to various hotel chains including Marriott and Outrigger/Ohana. The best reward may be transferring miles into HiltonHonors points at a 1:2 ratio. Miles must be transferred in 5,000 mile chunks. They pay 10,000 Hilton points for each 5,000. Not bad for doing something you would be doing anyway.