How To Plan the Perfect Trip – & Save Loads of Money

In the first part of this series, I talked about how I plan my trips from gathering information about a country and its attractions, to picking the right hotel room or checking what events are going on in town. In this part, I’ll be talking about how to find out about the best deals, last minute offers and packages and any corners that you can cut to get more bang for your buck.

Booking the Trip

When I’m flexible with my plans (or procrastinating) and working with a shoe string budget I hit to get an idea of what my options are; it never fails to inspire. Aside from being able to search through many internet sites for the best and cheapest deals that fit your budget, it also has a great Twitter Stream. It offers a real-time search for the best deals offered on Twitter and there is always a chance to catch some awesome fire sale offers on there.

Some of the best deals are offered on Twitter

Some of the best deals are offered on Twitter

I usually like to compare deals and prices that I get on the web and hence I love, too.  Kayak allows searching across several online booking sites like Expedia, Orbitz and others along with their own site, giving the option of comparing them head to head and picking the cheapest deal. The flexible date search option, which requires you to register with them, is always helpful to make sure you get the best price.

When will Facebook realize that it won’t ever be “Twitter”?

Watch the sequence very carefully: First, Facebook changed their status feeds into a Twitter-like live stream, then they introduced their own version of real-time search, after that they acquired FriendFeed, and now they plan to launch Facebook Lite – a simplified (twitterified?) version of Facebook itself -.

Their obsession with Twitter is far beyond my comprehension! With their huge size, and continuous growth, they can’t be threatened by the increased popularity of Twitter. It probably has something to do with their strategy of biting off chuncks of every aspect of the social networking market. But the question is, do Twitter’s features really suit Facebook’s digestion system? How far should Facebook go in changing its anatomy in order to catch up with Twitter’s *cool* appeal?

Broadcast vs. Feed

Facebook is for feeds – mostly friends’ feeds -, Twitter is for broadcast; this is a core and fundamental difference that defines the nature of both services. You log on to Facebook in order to check out your friends’ activities and connect with them, while on Twitter you log on in order to say something, broadcast it, and promote it to the world. It is not common to add people who you don’t know over Facebook, but it is very common to follow and be followed by people you have never met in your life on Twitter and start some conversations with them. Facebook friends are also limited in number; you can only add up to 5000 friends, which limits the broadcasting capabilities for those trying to reach more people, unlike Twitter, where there is no limit whatsoever. In my opinion, even though many companies and celebrities find Facebook’s fan pages useful, I don’t think it gives Facebook a business and marketing value as Twitter does.

Facebook Lite... a Twitter look-alike?

Facebook Lite... a Twitter look-alike?

9 Real-Time Search Engines Which Go Beyond Twitter

We followed a simple criteria to pick services and build our list: Any search service must be (1) Real-time and (2) NOT limited to Twitter search results. Read on…

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