How to Get the Best Summer Travel Deals
With summer upon us, it’s time to start getting serious about booking that vacation. Even if you’re working with a small budget, that doesn’t mean that you have to stay home. There are plenty of ways to make your dollar stretch far when it comes to travel. Whether you’re looking for a fun beach vacation with the kids or a romantic getaway in wine country, here are some tips on how to get the best summer travel deals.
- If you’re looking to fly a particular route, sign up for fare alerts from Airfarewatchdog. The company will alert you by email when it finds a low fare for your route. Also be sure to follow the company on Twitter as it tweets fantastically low airfare as it finds it.
- Unless you have to fly on certain dates, do a flexible fare search. Many booking sites, such as Travelocity, Orbitz and Hotwire, allow you to see results for multiple dates and even months. This way, you’ll know if flying two days earlier, or in August rather than July, saves you big money.
- Consider flying into an alternate airport. Many booking sites also have a feature that checks the fares for neighboring airports. For example, the fare for Oakland International Airport, which is directly connected to San Francisco by public transportation, may be much lower than for San Francisco International airport.
- Don’t have a specific destination in mind? KAYAK has a great feature called KAYAK Explore. Enter your starting location, budget, month, and any other criteria and it’ll show you where you can fly for that price.
- While on vacation, food costs can get out of control, especially if there’s multiple mouths to feed. Rein them in by booking a place with a kitchen so you don’t have to eat out for all of your meals.
- For big savings, especially on higher-end properties, take advantage of flash sale sites. These sites provide discounts on certain properties for a limited amount of time. They also frequently provide discounts on packages, cruises, activities, dining and more.
- Consider booking something directly from a property owner. This is especially great for cabin and vacation house rentals that give you more space for your money.
- Be sure to search online for coupons. Coupons are especially great for car rentals, reservations at major hotel chains and bookings with online travel companies.
- Join deal sites that alert you to low prices. Travelzoo in particular is a great site for travel deals because it not only tells you about low prices but also negotiates exclusive deals for its members.
- Cruises can be a great deal considering that your accommodations, dining and entertainment costs are included. Costs for extra items, however, such as gratuities, alcohol and excursions, can quickly add up so be sure to read the fine print on what is and isn’t included in the advertised price.
- Consider booking a package. Just be sure to price everything out separately to make sure that the package price actually makes sense.
With these tips in mind, you’ll soon be on your way to a vacation that recharges you both mentally and physically. Remember, life is too short to go without vacation!