Ex-Waitress' Guide To World Travel

How to save money while booking international travel

Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. To claim your free tour, contact her at info@tourismgymhtx.com

Everyone should experience travel to another country. Sure, Houston is really diverse and has a representation from most countries. There is nothing like being completely submerged in a different culture. There are many people who can afford any trip that they want many times during the year. However, there a lot of us who have to save our nickels and dimes to see the world. Still, there are many people who have just given up on the hope to leave the country. Here are some tips on how to save money on international travel.

For starters, make sure you do these two things before anything else.

  1. Make that sure your passport is valid. It has nothing to do with saving money, but, it would suck to plan and pay for a trip and you have an expired passport.
  2. Research thoroughly and start early. Travel.State.Gov, Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet, Rick Steves, and Google.

Use frequent flyer miles.

Most people think that you have to be an executive or an old to have frequent flyer miles, but this is not true. I fly United everytime I leave the country, I find each and every opportunity to earn some frequent flyer miles.

Use Travel search engines.

This seems like the obvious answer. Search engines like Kayak, Travelocity, and others give you the unique opportunity to prices from many different airlines at once. Do this in an incognito search. There are cookies on the webpage that track when and how many times you have searched these flights. They will never give you the lowest price after the first search.

Avoid straight flights

Leave the shorter flights for when you are a celebrity or an executive. Use flights that connect in hub cities. What is a hub city? Airlines use certain cities as hubs for their flight traffic. Frankfort, LAX, and Houston are hub cities. Flights that connect through these cities can be cheaper than a flight that connects in other cities.

Book flights on off times.

Book flights to fly out on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Flights are cheaper than traveling on Friday or Thursday. Don't be afraid to fly the red eye. These flights need to be filled, so the tickets are cheaper.

Book hotels with airport transfers.

If you are staying at a hotel, make sure they have airport transfer included. This will save you upwards of $60 and a lot of time and worry.

Book hotels with breakfast included.

While you are booking your hotel, make sure that breakfast is included. That accounts for one meal of your day that you don't have to spend money on. When I went to Iceland, I packed energy bars and other snacks that I could eat while I was sightseeing. It was a great way to save money.

Stay at hotels with an in-room kitchenette or a refrigerator/microwave.

You can eat cereal or make sandwiches. This opens you up for more savings. These places are great, not only to save money, but to stay on your diet. If you are traveling for a race, you need to know what is going in your body. The best option. Guesthouses and Airbnb's offer entire houses with kitchens and laundry rooms. This makes your traveling experience extremely convenient.

I'm sure there are many more ways to save while traveling. While planning your next trip, implement a few of these suggestions and see the savings. Next we will take a closer look at these frequent flyer miles and how you can rack them up.

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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