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Archive for the 'Tips and Tricks' Category

Hacker’s Guide to Cheap Travel

Sunday, March 11th, 2007

Most people who have travel tips that work, never release them! Why would they want to risk having their key to cheap travel closed?

We’ll I’m going to share the tips my travel agent friend gave me with you. Why you ask? Well I have enough airmiles to last a lifetime and my status as a ‘frequent flyer’ cannot be any higher. So basically…I don’t need to use these tips any more.

Follow my tips and you may not need them for much longer either. Vacation more often for less money!

1. Join a Frequent Flyer Program
Most frequent flyer programs are free so there is no reason why you cannot be a frequent flyer with every airline you fly with. And many airlines share memberships so you can collect miles on a single memebership, (for example, Asia Miles membership is available at asiamiles.com and can be used on a dozen or more airlines).
If you find yourself flying one airline more than others, spring and pay for a ‘premium membership’. For example, Cathay Pacific’s free frequent flyer program is Asia Miles and their premium frequent flyer program is called the Marco Polo Club. After flying with them for a few free flights, I received free business and first class lounge access at all airports when I fly economy, (free food and drinks including booze).
Frequent flyer program members are also offered free upgrades first when flights are full.

2. Price Shop Online
Check popular online sites like expedia.com or travelocity.com and search for the tickets/hotel you would like. Once you have done this, DO NOT BOOK YET! Call the airline and/or hotel that you have selected and tell them that you “calling to confirm availibility and if you are able to get a better deal if you book directly with them instead”. Booking agents usually receive a commission so they’ll do whatever they can to get you a better deal!

3. Board ALAP
Board your flight AS LATE AS POSSIBLE! If you board you flight as late as possible, you stand a chance that your economy seat will have been reassigned to someone who is flying on standby. Leaving you a seat avaiable in business or first class without paying the big bucks!

4. Travel Light and Flexiable
All fights are generally over sold, (because airlines are expecting a few no-shows); the percentage of seats over sold by vary by airline. If you are flexiable with your travel times, an airline may ask you take a later flight in return for free flight vouchers for future flights, (and may put you up in a hotel if the layover is ling enough). They’ll award this to passengers who have no check baggage first so ensure you fly light.
Important: Ensure you get your voucher before you give up your seat; I’ve heard of stories where people have been offered vouchers when they reach their destination but never received them!

5. Search for Online Codes
Google is man’s best friend. Before booking a flight, hotel, cruise, or other vacation package, do a google search using key words such as ‘flight coupon code’, ‘vacation coupon code’, ‘Southwest Airline promo code’, ‘cheap cruise promotional code’, etc…I’m sure you get the picture. Basically you are looking for a coupon code that will allow you to get a special discount when booking your flight, (to be entered when checking out in the ‘promotional code’ field in the shopping cart).

Thanks for reading and happy travels!

Earn Credit Card Reward Points Without Spending a Cent!

Friday, March 9th, 2007

In recent months, I have earned enough AIR MILES to fly me and a friend to Bali and back without spending a cent! How did I do it? Can’t tell you! Just kidding…if you want to know…email me at think (at) zoobat.com!

High Credit Card Interest Rates?

Thursday, March 8th, 2007

Credit card companies rarely reward you for being a good customer by lowering the interest rate. And by rarely…I mean NEVER! But you can negotiate for one…

1. Ensure that you have been up to date with your minimum monthly payments.

2. Do some online research and find out which credit cards companies offer lower interest rates.

3. Call up your credit card company and tell them that you are considering cancelling your account to move over to XYZ company because they are offering you a lower interest rate, (and that you are able to transfer your balance to their card interest free for 1 month).

In 99% of the cases, if you are up to date with payments…they’ll lower your interest rate leaving more money in your pocket!

Not a good pool player? Beat your opponent every time!

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

While you’re chalking your pool cue, slyly dip your finger in your beer and rub some of it in the chalk before handing it to your opponent. This’ll slick the other guys tip just enough to send the balls flying all over the table. If that’s not working for you, see if any women in the house have Chapstick. If you manage to score some, rub some of it into the house chalk. (Be sure to leave a clean one for yourself hidden somewhere close.) This’ll really mess up their breaks and angle shots, leaving you free to rule the felt with a waxy fist.

Watch TV Online!

Monday, March 5th, 2007

Thanks to the internet, you don’t need a connection from your cable TV provider in order to watch your favorite shows. You can watch your favorite TV programs online for free. Who is a prime candidate for online TV channels? People who:

1. do not have cable tv, (obvious).
2. have missed their favorite TV show and forgot to set the TIVO, (video on demand)
3. do not like commercials, (online tv channels can either be fast forwarded or commercials have already been edited out)
4. who want to take a break from working on their PC and watch a little tele
5. PEOPLE WHO WANT TO WATCH SHOWS THAT ARE NOT AVAILABLE THROUGH THEIR CABLE PROVIDER!

WARNING: Beware, I’ve caught myself watching TV on my PC at work…while I am supposed to be working.

Interernet Protocol Television, (IPTV), does have some limitations though. The quality will obviously not have the same quality as your conventional television however I’m sure that does not matter to most of us as long as the quality is acceptable.

Where can you watch? Here are a few links to get you started. Please leave me a comment if you know of other sites that do the same thing!

Global TV -watch popular shows like Heros, Survivor, Deal or No Deal etc online

FreeTube -completely free alternative to cable television that lets you watch tv channels and TV shows online using just your browser

Hive Productions -lists shoutcast tv streams

Tape it of the Internet -over 2,000+ TV shows or 90,000+ episodes, including all the big shows like Lost, Prison Break, etc

Streamic -more then 300 real TV channels to choose from including NBC, ABC, ESPN, BBC1 and many more, organized in categories and ranked by the site users

TVlinks -a directory that amalgamates the most popular tv shows, cartoon & anime series.

PPStream -sports, movies - all in one, just choose a show from the list of available channels

ABC -watch popular shows like Lost, Desperate Houswives, Alias etc online

PeekVid -over 700 episodes of popular shows such as 24, Buffy, Desperate Housewives, Family Guy; shows can be downloaded

PPlive -a popular service for watching many foreign channels

TV-Video -all the latest TV shows as they aired including 24, Smallville, Prison Break, Lost etc

TVU Player -TVU is a nifty little player that offers users a variety of channels that can be used to watch normal TV or Sport; US channels are also found on this player

Choose and Watch -it’s a free TV portal where you can watch more than 250 online TV channels. Some of them have to be good

Happy channel surfing!


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