In this day and time, everyone wants the best deal on everything from groceries to night outs and from clothing to the latest gadgets. There are five simple rules that you can follow to get the best deals on travel, the cheapest airfares, and the last-minute vacations.
1. By being flexible, you can take advantage of the best deals. You will have fewer options if you are more picky about when or where you want to go. If you’re not flexible, you don’t need to continue reading the following steps. You’re already looking ahead and will book your vacation in advance.
2. Before you do anything, make sure that all of your travel documents are in order and obtain a passport. Not all destinations require passports, but places like Cuba, which often have great deals, do. By not having the proper travel documents, you limit your options and are shortchanging yourself when it comes to a cheap trip. Do not forget to bring your credit card, the most essential travel document. Be ready to use your credit card immediately when deals begin to roll in. You shouldn’t wait to book that deal when you first see it. It will likely sell out before you can decide.
3. Avoid peak travel dates like Christmas, New Years’, March Break, Spring Break, or any time there is a large festival or event at the destination. These dates are sold out months in advance, so you won’t find any deals or discounts. These dates are not the best for last-minute deals.
4. The magic number for you is 2. You should start looking for deals 2 weeks prior to your vacation. About two weeks prior to departure, prices will start to fall dramatically. You’ll also find the best deals and packages. If you travel alone, you’ll likely be charged the single supplement, which will negate any savings. It is nearly impossible to travel in a group. There are usually not enough seats, and even if they were, the plane would be sold out by the time everyone had given their “ok”.
5. Use a travel agent. It’s fine to shop around online for the best price, as prices vary between agencies. However, if you call directly and ask if they could do better, they may be able to knock off a few dollars from the advertised price. It’s always a good idea to use an agent, since it is much easier to deal with a person directly than an automated E-mail sent by the website that you booked through if there are any problems or concerns.