By Rebecca Dolan
There are countless Twitter handles dedicated to travel. Some are excellent at sharing photographs, some at detailing the world's most mouthwatering dishes, while others are reporting on the most luxurious hotels and spas. And, of course, there are those bringing you advice for traveling on a budget.
Between writing about travel and serving as a social media manager, I've spent more than my fair share of hours scanning Twitter for interesting travel leads. Here are a few of my favorite travel Twitter handles to follow that will be especially interesting to budget-minded readers.
Christopher Elliott is a consumer advocate, author and journalist. He specializes in fighting for the little guys when it comes to travel issues with airline mergers, junk fees, loyalty programs, code-sharing and more. Give him a follow to see how he solves his readers' travel problems, or check out his guidance to consumers in sticky situations. His advice may prove helpful next time you face a travel snafu.
Airfarewatchdog.com was founded by George Hobica, another travel journalist who specializes in consumer issues. As an airfare alert site, it scours all airlines (following an intensive set of criteria) to bring readers the best in airline deals. Follow the Airefarewatchdog team for up-to-the minute money-saving flight deals.
The world of airline points can be incredibly confusing, but The Points Guy Brian Kelly has it under control. Follow him and his team to make sense of and maximize your use of frequent-flyer and credit-card programs, with deal alerts in there as well.
Johnny Jet is a blogger who specializes in money-saving travel. With an itinerary that includes visits to more than 20 countries each year, he knows a thing or two about the ins and outs of the travel industry. He's a great follow for top daily travel deals, useful travel tips, top apps and Web sites, plus interesting travel news.
Chris McGinnis is a travel journalist, correspondent and author, with a particular eye for business travel. His money-saving travel advice can be found in a number of publications, as well as on his Web site travelskills.com. Follow him for tips that range from international cell phone plans to rewards programs to destination-specific advice. He's also the co-host of the popular #TravelSkills Twitter chat (with @JohnnyJet), during which travelers across Twitter come together online to share their favorite travel tips.
EuroCheapo specializes in helping people make the most of a trip to Europe, particularly through its reviews of wallet-friendly hotels. Follow EuroCheapo for hotel recommendations, plus advice on budget airlines, car rentals, rail passes and money-saving destination guidance.
The Frugal Traveler is a blog by the New York Times that focuses on "high style on a low budget." Its feed is a great follow for lots of destination-specific advice about saving in various cities. Want to do a weekend in Chicago on $100? Frugal Traveler has you covered.
This one's particularly great for our Starting Out readers. STA Travel specializes in discount travel for students and young people. And on Twitter, STA shares numerous deals on its already discounted excursions. Give it a follow to double down on savings.
The official twitter handle of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs may not save you much money, but it could save you a headache. Follow the agency for updates on travel warnings and alerts, plus guidance for travelers heading into less-than-ideal conditions (think weather emergencies or health and safety concerns.)
Don't let the name fool you: There's more to this handle besides New York City. For weather and traffic updates from airports across the country, this is one to follow and check before your next flight. Again, it might not save you much money, but it could keep you from rushing to the airport only to find out your flight has been delayed.
For more on this and similar travel topics, visit Kiplinger.com.
This column was printed in the November 2 - November 15, 2014 edition.