Finding a vacation travel deal is important to most of us. We work hard all year for that two week getaway, and we want to get the most from it. We cherish our long weekends, too. Whether planned for weeks, or last minute inspiration, we want the best travel deal we can get. It doesn’t …
Finding a vacation travel deal is important to most of us. We work hard all year for that two week getaway, and we want to get the most from it. We cherish our long weekends, too. Whether planned for weeks, or last minute inspiration, we want the best travel deal we can get. It doesn’t matter if your budget is Cristal or Coors, we all want a deal.
Keep these five tips in mind as you plan your vacation, and your odds of finding a great deal go way up.
BE FLEXIBLE and open-minded
Make up your mind what you want from your vacation. If your set on going to Hawaii, fine. If you just want to get away from the slush and slop of winter, maybe another warm weather destination will do just fine.
TRAVEL SMART and avoid busy times, peak seasons, holidays and business hour travel. In this case– do not follow the crowd!
Most desirable travel destinations go through three cycles.
High or peak season is the most crowded and the most expensive. Discounts and upgrades are harder to come by. On the other hand, some activities are only available during the peak season.
Shoulder seasons are the periods on either side of peak season. For example, high season in southwest Florida runs from approximately Thanksgiving to Easter. Hotels are full, rents are high and restaurant lines can be long. Come in October or May and you’ll be in the shoulder season, with good weather and fewer crowds.
Off season is any other time. Some attractions will close down. If you weren’t planning on visiting those attractions, it doesn’t matter, does it? Businesses are hungrier, so they’re more open to granting discounts and specials.
BE CREATIVE with locations and departures: Alternate airports and travel connections often have both lower prices and less traffic. But not always.
Maybe it will pay off, like it did on a recent trip we took, to fly into a major hub airport and drive a few hours to your end destination.
Consult with agencies and web sites do your homework. Avoid being taken advantage of out of pure ignorance.
NEVER feel pressured into accepting any deal if you feel uncomfortable or uneasy. If things just don?t feel right, pass up the opportunity and wait for a better one.
One thing is certain. Another deal will come along. The hospitality industry is hooked on the last minute vacation deal. They would rather shave their prices and make a little money than have empty seats and rooms and make nothing. Remember that when it comes time to negotiate your vacation deals.
VERIFY the track record and legitimacy of the booking company, travel agent or other channel that you choose to use.
Check with the Better Business Bureau and any regulatory agencies (like a state Department of Commerce or licensing board).
Run a search on the company name in Google or your favorite search engine. Look for complaints. Keep the age of any complaint in mind, and don’t be too swayed by a single incident. Patterns are far more important.
Remember, vacations are for recreation and renewal. These five tips will put you on the road to a trip you’ll remember for a long, long time.