What do you need to do to secure the best travel deals possible? Following some time-tested, proven strategies can get you the itinerary you want to the places you want to visit.
You could spend hours searching through multiple sites for airline flights, hotel rooms, rental cars or cruises. But when spend all that time when you can instead follow these 7 proven strategies to get travel deals.
1. Aggregate Your Search
What’s the alternative to slogging through all of those travel sites? Use websites that collect the results from many different airlines, hotel chains and rental car companies! Sites like Expedia, Hipmunk, Booking.com and TopTravel.tv all allow for you to enter some simple terms — your departure location, desired destination and dates — and get a list of the best deals.
2. Use Social Media
Yes, your favorite social media networks can be used for much more than checking feeds and posting your latest photos. Many travel providers use Twitter to send special deals, discounts, and limited offers to their followers. Others use Facebook and Instagram to share news of hard-to-beat deals that will help get you where you need to be.
3. Try Someplace Different
Looking to go to Portugal? How about trying the Azores, a group of islands in the Atlantic that are a part of the country and offer beautiful attractions and pristine beaches. That’s just one example of trying a spot that is off the beaten path. Sometimes less-popular destinations offer you a chance to experience a different culture without the demand — and cost — of some of the more popular spots.
4. Get Alerts
You can get lots of deals sent right to your email inbox by using services that send you fare alerts. Sometimes travel providers will offer these alerts directly. There are other services like Airfarewatchdog that let you set up very specific alerts. Prices and deals change multiple times each day. Let these services do the work for you.
5. Stay Outside the City
Lodging can eat up a large part of your travel budget. If you’re going to a major metro area, think about finding a suburb. Many large cities have great public transportation that extends beyond city borders and can get you in and out of the city in no time. Hotels located in the middle of a city’s tourist district are going to command some of the top prices. You want to find a spot that lets you access what you’ve come for while not breaking the bank.
6. Choose Times Wisely
Timing is everything, especially when it comes to booking great travel deals. Consider traveling in off-season times, avoiding the time of year when destinations are most in demand. There are other benefits of such an approach too. The places you visit will be less crowded, giving you easier access without the throngs of people.
7. Stay Loyal
While sometimes you need to be flexible when it comes to the airline or hotel chain you choose, loyalty has its advantages. Be sure to sign up for frequent flyer/stay/renter programs for everything you might use. Those points can add up and sometimes those programs offer deals for members only.
With a bit of strategy, you’ll be able to find a great deal that works for you.