Are you thinking about taking a vacation but worried about the expense? With hotel and transportation, the costs can add up, which could make you scrap the entire idea. Before you head on your next trip, here are five secrets to landing big savings.
Sign up for Travel Membership Sites
Scan general price ranges on the big travel sites, like Travelocity and Orbitz, which search major airlines and hotels to show you the best deals. To find even better savings, sign up for a free membership account. Before you begin your search, sign in to your account. Not only will you save some time when you decide to book through the website, but the site show price reductions for members signed into the site.
Of course, the early booker scores the best price, but if you’re able to bend your plans, you can find good prices too. Try searching for the lowest price across a time period instead of locking into a scheduled date. This option may not be possible if you’re limited to work or school vacation dates and need to travel on particular days and times. If you don’t have to travel on a Tuesday at noon, check out websites for alerts to last minute deals. If you plan to travel with many gifts and holiday items, consider sending them directly to their destination, and not pack several bags. In this way, you could save money on fees for checked baggage and reduce the risk that your luggage is lost or stolen.
Discounts also can be tied to location. You can find hotel and transportation packages for less money, but you can also find cheaper costs by skipping the typical hot spots. If you research surrounding areas, you may find savings by flying into a smaller but nearby airport. Be sure to calculate for any additional transportation costs to make this worth the effort. If you can coordinate your holiday travel on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas or New Year, you can even save a significant amount on your return flight.
Look at the not-so-obvious memberships
While travel websites can save you time and money, don’t discount any of your existing paid membership clubs. For example, Sam’s Club members can enjoy more than bulk foods and office supplies. The basic and plus memberships offer members’ only travel deals. Although it is worth comparing prices at various third party sites, you can find a better deal if you check on your own. You must be aware of the average prices that airlines publish on their websites and compare them with those of others. And if you book directly with the airline do not forget to check some offer promotions if you pay by credit card, frequent flyer miles and discounts on other travel-related expenses or traveler.
Use your Smartphone to Book
Simply research with your cell phone, and your iPhone or Android could offer exclusive deals. Many websites are geared toward being mobile-friendly, and some travel-related sites offer special online discounts to mobile users. Before you confirm plans on your desktop, research possible discounts or cost incentives from your phone. With a little extra research at the start of your travel planning, you could enjoy a fun-filled vacation with a significantly reduced price tag.