Readers’ money-saving ideas keep your costs down and lengthen your vacation

“I assume you’ve heard the definition of an airplane?” reader Paul Brown of Santa Ana asked in an email. “A silver tube hurtling through the sky from Point A to Point B with 100 or more passengers, all of whom have paid a different fare.”

That pretty much sums up travelers’ experiences with “dynamic pricing,” the practice of travel providers charging varying prices for the same product.

It’s widely practiced, and it’s annoying, especially because it leaves you with the disquieting feeling that you could have paid less.

The May 7 “On the Spot” column offered ideas on how to cope with dynamic pricing (using opaque sites such as Priceline or a money-back online service such as Yapta that keeps an electronic eye on airfare and rental car prices, then helps you get a refund if you’ve overpaid).

America's most Irish city

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(Video by Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

(Video by Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Stalking the wildflowers of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

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Plant enthusiasts catalog wildflowers blooming at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Plant enthusiasts catalog wildflowers blooming at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

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