Friday roundup: plane-ticket timing, bad travel writing, scams, and the Super Bowl

About Vivek Wagle
Plane

As the weekend beckons, we ask the questions that really matter here at Airbnb. Whether you’re looking to save on an airfare or are stranded in Indianapolis with nothing to do, we’re here for you.

1. When’s the best time to buy plane tickets?

This age-old question has finally been answered by the soberly monikered Airlines Reporting Corporation, which looked into US domestic airfare prices in 2011. So you should either buy tickets months and months in advance or wait until the very last second for a sweet standby deal, right?

Wrong. Six weeks is the magic number. According to the ARC, travelers booking six weeks out generally paid almost 6% less than the annual average for fares, making it the optimal purchase time.

Of course, now that everyone knows, some clever pricing analyst will probably make sure to bump up the fares just at the right time…

2. How can I be a truly atrocious travel writer?

Boring, insipid travel content is within your reach! All you need to do is follow the guidelines set out by David Farley at Worldhum: How to Write a Bad Travel Story.

Some of our favorite tips include such classics as “try not to have much of a point,” “tell, don’t show,” and always describing places as “a city of contrasts.” After all, who wants insight, plot, and excitement when you could have a what-I-did-on-my-summer-vacation narrative?

Indy

3. I’m in Indianapolis for the Super Bowl. What the heck should I do?

You didn’t really think this one through, did you? Fortunately, our friends at Lonely Planet come through, as Karla Zimmerman shows you Indianapolis’ unexpected side. Bet you didn’t know about the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, burlesque bingo tournaments, or insane asylums featuring brains in jars.

4. What are some outrageous travel scams?

Everyone loves a good scam story. Travel writer Leif Pettersen collects some of the classics. You probably know about shortchanging and the old attractive-girl-wants-a-drink schtick. But did you hear the one about how to fund a massive drug deal unwittingly or the scammer who used the Egyptian revolution to sell perfume? Didn’t think so.

5. What’s the most suggestive airline-merger image ever featured on a major business magazine?

That’s definitely a tough one, but we’ve got to hand it to Bloomberg Businessweek, whose cover this week features a Continental plane and United plane…umm…uniting.

Trust us: you don’t want to miss this one.

Video of the week: Sunrise in Yosemite

Time-lapse videos always run the risk of ultra-cheesiness, especially when accompanied by emotive string music. But this one, by Project Yosemite, hits it just right. Enjoy!

Top image courtesy DaMongMan, Indianapolis image courtesy Scopy Cat, Flickr Creative Commons.

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  1. luxury hotels uk

    This is a great article. Nice tips, i will surely do all that you have said in this blog to make my travel inexpensive and stress free.

  2. Paravion - bilete avion

    I usually buy tickets at least two months before I have to leave, but next time I’ll try out this six weeks idea.