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Two new tools from Expedia make summer travel easier

Just last week, Expedia launched two new tools that may help travelers save money on their summer vacations by combating rising fuel costs: one for airfare and one for car travel.

Fare Alert, a downloadable application, allows people to specify a price limit for domestic and international airfare. Once an airfare, or air-and-hotel package, falls below the set price, users are notified on their computer desktop. The application installs an icon that can be clicked on anytime you want to see the going fare. Once you click on the fare, it pulls up a nifty calendar that allows you to see what days the fare is available. Unlike other third-party sites with similar tools, Expedia's Fare Alert avoids one of my personal pet peeves by including all taxes and fees in the quoted price.

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The Gas Station Locator (scroll down), powered by GasBuddy.com, helps travelers find the filling stations offering the cheapest gas near 50 top airports. Car rental companies are notorious for gouging consumers with fuel surcharges, so it's important to fill the tank to its fullest as close to your drop-off location as possible.

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