Rudy Maxa’s Top-Five Summer Travel Tips

Tip #1: Accumulate and use award miles and points the smart way

  • Explore the lesser-known world of resources, such as MileValue.com, which publish free, regular advice to help individuals accumulate hundreds of thousands of miles and points.
  • Also, take some time to understand your credit card rewards program. Oftentimes, there are ways to accumulate maximum miles and points through everyday purchases versus actually traveling.
  • Car rental loyalty programs can also yield free rentals when needed most. For example, Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s loyalty program, Enterprise Plus, allows members to earn points that are redeemable at any time for free rental days on any available vehicle at participating locations throughout North America.

Tip #2: Turn local trips into grand getaways

  • Even if you don’t have the time or resources to travel a great distance this summer, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy a vacation.
  • For many families, the most affordable travel option is the road trip. But not everyone’s daily commuter car is up to that effort, whether it’s too small for the luggage and passengers, or just can’t spare the additional mileage. Under these circumstances, renting a car is the perfect way to get individuals from point A to point B.
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car has more than 5,500 neighborhood locations, making car rental a convenient option. Visit www.enterprise.com to check rates.

Tip #3: Conduct some travel research offline

  • The Internet has been a boon for travelers, but sometimes there is too much information out there, which can cause confusion.
  • As a workaround, for a modest fee, consider hiring a travel writer who is familiar with the place you want to visit. These writers, available through services such as FortNighter.com, can help customize your vacation based upon your personal preferences.

Tip #4: Answer the call of the (Caribbean) islands

  • It’s past April 15, which means the Caribbean is now on sale.
  • Airfares are down sharply and hotel/resort rates are 40 percent less right now than they were this time last month.

Tip #5: Don’t change money abroad

  • Use your ATM card but be sure you remember your PIN as a series of numbers, not letters. Many ATMs overseas don’t have keypads with letters. And, no, the number “1” is not where you find the letters “A,B,C.”
  • And, if your credit card charges foreign transaction fees of up to 3 percent on every purchase, explore other cards that may give you more purchasing power abroad.