Labor Day first started up in Canada around 130 years ago. Back then, workers had to fight for the right to work less than 12 hours a day. They banded together and demanded nine-hour days.
When they got their wish, they partied in the streets for an entire day — probably yelling things like: “Yay! Nine-hour work days!”
Well, times have changed. And here in the Great Escape Publishing, we say: Why work, when you can make money having fun?
Get out your camera, write down your thoughts, and get paid. Readers and past workshop attendees are doing it, and so can you… as near to or far from home as you like.
This week, in celebration of this upcoming Labor Day (and in gratitude of how times have changed over the years), I’m going to send you some Labor Day Travel Tips for a changed world — a wireless world.
Gone are the days when we pay shelf price for our vacations. Today’s tip is about getting travel deals to find you.
Scroll down for details.
Director, Great Escape Publishing
Twitter Travel Deals:
Four Ways to Find Cheap Travel Online
By Bonnie Caton in Portland, Oregon
This Labor Day, before you book a hotel or rent a car, check for travel deals on Twitter.com.
Twitter.com is an incredible tool for travelers. If you know where to look, you can find some unbelievable Twitter travel deals, delivered in short messages called “tweets.”
Here are four ways Twitter can help you travel better, and on the cheap:
** 1. CHECK THE LATEST CHEEPS AND TWARES
United Airlines and JetBlue are filling empty flights by posting super-cheap, Twitter travel deals. United calls them “Twares.” JetBlue calls them “Cheeps.” But cute wordplay aside, if you’re quick enough to catch one of these Twitter travel deals, you can save some serious cash.
Just last week, JetBlue posted one-way tickets from New York to the Bahamas for $9, New York to Oakland for $49, and Boston to Seattle for $39. You’ll find new deals each week by going to Twitter.com/jetbluecheeps.
United posts its Twares rather randomly — usually once a week or so — and deals only last an hour or two. Under the twitter username UnitedAirlines, the most recent Tware offered deals on flights to Kuwait. The Tware before that was for Tennessee. You never know what you’ll get.
** 2. EAVESDROP ON A HOTEL
Another way to find Twitter travel deals is by “listening in” to tweets from hotels. For example, Portland’s boutique Hotel deLuxe (username: hotel_deluxe) offers 15% off plus free WIFI if you book through the Twitter link. It also posts trivia questions, giving away free drinks at the bar as prizes for correct answers.
Not all hotels are on Twitter, and you might have to do a little digging to find the one where you’d like to stay. If you do, you could get a lower rate, find updates, and even join in on the conversation, asking about what’s new in the area, good restaurants nearby, etc.
TIP: To dig up hotels, airlines, travel magazines, or other companies on Twitter, use the search function at twibs.com, an online directory of businesses on twitter. I typed “travel” into their search bar and found Twitter usernames: TravlandLeisure, USATODAYtravel, TripAdvisor, ZagatBuzz, fairmonthotels…
** 3. FOLLOW THE DEAL HOUNDS
Following travel companies on Twitter can get you some good deals. But you can take it a step further by following individuals on Twitter who spend their time seeking out discount coupons and sales. For example, Twitter user “couponsaver” posts deals and coupon codes for a wide variety of things, travel included. This week he posted coupon codes and promotions for hotels.com, Southwest Airlines, Travelocity, Expedia, and a flurry of non-travel companies, too.
Other coupon-code-sharing Twitter members include: CouponLadie, CouponEconomy, and ShareInfoOnline.
** 4. SEARCH FOR THE DEAL YOU WANT
Twitter also has its own search engine, at http://search.Twitter.com. I typed in “flight bahamas” and found tweets referring to JetBlue’s $9 flights (mentioned above), as well as hotel and resort deals. Not all of the results were useful… some were just people talking about their upcoming trip to the Bahamas. But finding that $9 flight makes up for any unrelated chatter.
** BONUS TIP: GLEAN STORY IDEAS FROM BREAKING TRAVEL NEWS
As a travel writer, if you’re looking for story ideas, Twitter is rife with to-the-minute travel news and trends.
Travel + Leisure (TravlandLeisure) just tweeted about the World’s Strangest Conventions. MSNBC (msnbc_travel) tweeted about America’s best flea markets. And USA Today (USATODAYtravel) recently tweeted about Santa Fe’s 400th birthday celebration, resorts that offer discounts for couples who conceive while on vacation, and news that New Orleans tourism is on the upswing…
Some other Twitter members to follow for travel news include: YourTravelGuru, nytimestravelqa, travelchannel, and of course AWAItravel where we’ll post tweets about workshop updates, product discounts, photo and writing opportunities, and more.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]