Do you ever feel that even though you know there are super good travel deals out there waiting for you, you just can’t seem to find them? There are ways to find the best deals, and here are a few tips on how to travel cheap.
Not that many years ago the tried-and-true method for airplane tickets which was accepted by one and all was simply to book your tickets three weeks in advance at the travel agent or the airline company itself. That has all changed to the tune of too-numerous-to-count online discount travel sites that can make buying your tickets and reserving your rooms extremely chaotic.
But the good news is that all this chaos has created a bounty of discount opportunities for bargain hunters. It’s almost like playing a slot machine sometimes to check for air ticket prices. Pull the handle and see what great deals come out. Nothing? Try again a few minutes later, it all could change.
So your first step is to head over to the travel websites like Travelocity, Expedia, Hotwire, and Kayak (to name a very few). Check for prices or set up an email alert to let you know when bargain fares are available. You can book your hotel and rental car at the same time, often in a package deal to save you even more money.
Budget travel sites not your thing? Try the consolidators then. Consolidators buy tickets at low prices in bulk volume and then turn around and resell them to bargain-hunter travelers. Beware of the restrictions that come along with these low-price tickets though.
As for your hotel room, I have heard it said that the “quoted” price of your room is to be taken like the sticker price of a car, only a ballpark starting point. Not many people are aware of this though and they simply go with whatever rate is given to them at first. Hotels, just like planes, want to maximize occupancy, whether it’s seats or rooms. If you are traveling in the off season you are in luck as you can find cheap prices for hotel rooms. Be flexible though, and do your research to find the best deals. Start by checking prices on the Internet but do thorough research before clicking “purchase” or “reserve room” because you may be hit with a hefty cancellation fee if you change your mind.
Also, when it comes to hotels, you should call the hotel directly before making your final decision. Often their prices are not completely up to date on their website and you might get a much better deal simply by picking up the phone. Ask about discounts, upgrades, or specials they have going on.
For rental cars I have had great luck with Travelocity. The rates fluctuate as the demand goes up and down so this is another thing you need to check on a daily basis. Once you see the rates have fallen a bit, that is the time to reserve your rental car.