From time to time, we come across some really great travel stories worth passing along. Some are fresh off the press, others might be oldies but goodies as my father would say. But each of them have left us intrigued and/or inspired!

-Over the summer, we came upon 40 Genius Travel Tips That Will Change Your Life FOREVER.  Overly humble title aside, we were intrigued. And it turns out, the title is true to life. Many of the hacks we knew, some we doubt, and many more we were excited to discover! One of our favorites: Use incognito windows when searching for flights and hotels to save money. Use Incognito Window for Travel

A couple months later a reader Kevin passed along Travel Tips, Inspired by Misadventures and we could relate to that too!

-Rent cars every once in a while? Want to save money? We’re fans of fellow travel blog View From the Wing and a post about autslash.com has us excited to try the website on our next car rental! It works like this: Rent your car, enter your confirmation number at Autoslash, and if a lower rate/discount code becomes available, you get alerted. Save money, do nothing. We like that formula A LOT!

-Stay at hotels once in a while? Want to save money? Catching on to a trend here? Yapta has always been one of our favorite tools but last month they became even more useful to us with roomIQ, a new tool to make tracking change of price easier. If a room rate drops, you get alert. One note of caution though: If you’re booking a nonrefundable room, it doesn’t work for that.

-A bit of a more advanced read but good homework if you’re getting comfortable with the miles and points world. Mile Value has a great informational post to help any of us booking award tickets to know three things:

1. Which airline programs allow one way tickets

2. Which airline programs allow you to book awards that include stopovers. A stopover is a chance to stay in a city for more than 24 hours. So say you’re flying AirFrance to Cape Town and connecting through Paris, a stopover means you can make a vacation out of both Paris and Cape Town!

3. Which airlines have fuel surcharges. You want to fly to London using your hard earned American Airlines miles. There’s space available on British Airways, and you’ve heard great things about their business and first class product and just as you’re ready to purchase the ticket- you see the price for fuel and taxes: $1100! Some airlines charge a huge amount on fuel surcharges and several, like British Airways, don’t waive those surcharges for award tickets the same way many other airlines do.

-Finally, many of you know that by night we travel blog, by day Laura works for a nonprofit focused on education in underperforming areas and I work for a university running many of their service and cultural immersion trips. It’s what provides me inspiration, and allows me to make new friends everywhere from Tijuana (like below) to Cordoba, Argentina.

Tijuana, my home away from home and my second family.

Tijuana, my home away from home and my second family since I am down there monthly, often more!

And as of late, these trips have been under attack, and it’s a pretty fun punching bag for a lot of good intentioned folks. Well there’s a blog that beautifully expresses what I would say to anyone who wonders if these trips are valuable and should continue. It was shared with me by one of my students. If you want to do a short term immersion or service trip, the question shouldn’t be whether or not they’re good trips but rather how do you discern which ones are good not only for you the volunteer, but for the community you will visit.

What have you been reading? As always, feel free to use the comment section or shoot us a message. We love sharing what we learn from others in the travel community!

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