Traveling is one of my favorite things to do. Whether it’s just a long weekend away or a planned vacation, I absolutely love traveling and seeing other parts of the world. This time of the year is my favorite. Traveling during the holidays is a great experience for anyone. It is unique in that you get to see sites and sounds that you don’t get to see any other time of the year. But travel during the holidays can also be very expensive. I have decided to set up a guide for traveling during the holidays to give you some resources on how to get the most out of your trip without having to spend a fortune.
Locating the Best Airfare
Locating the best airfare can be tough this time of year. As the demand for airfare goes up, so do the prices. Listed below are a few tips on getting the cheapest airfare possible.
1. Plan your trip ahead of time – You may want to go ahead and plan your trip now. As the holiday season gets closer the prices will only go up. If possible, try to purchase the tickets for your flight about 15-20 days in advance. Never buy a ticket within 7 days of the departure unless it’s an emergency because the prices tend to sky rocket.
2. Try to depart during the week – If at all possible, book your flight sometime in the middle of the week. Normally the weekend departures have a much higher demand than your mid week flights so you will find better prices if you can leave on say a Tuesday or Wednesday.
3. Think about late flights or red eys – I have taken a few red eyes during my travels and have been on a few flights that are pretty close to empty. Airlines usually offer much cheaper airfares for you to take a flight later in the day or at night. They need to fill these flights!!
4. Compare round trip to one way – Sometimes it is actually less expensive to book one way than to do the preferred round trip fare. Booking your flight one way gives you the flexibility once at your holiday destination to decide when you want to fly back home. I prefer the round trip tickets but have found in the past that it is better for me to go one way.
5. Use the internet – I always book my flights on the internet and I almost never book it through the airline. You can find many great deals online with many travel agents such as travelocity or orbitz. Research “cheap airline tickets” and see what you find.
Get Better Hotel Rates
1. Use the internet – Now days you can book your flight and hotel all at the same time. Search the internet for hotel deals. There are many travel agents to choose from so compare all of them. I personally use expedia, orbitz, and travelzoo for most of my hotel needs.
2. Negotiate – In my travel cities there is a hotel on every corner or right next to one another. Get a price in your head and see if the hotel manager can come close to that price. If they will not come down on their price, walk away and see what happens. Many times the hotel staff is not going to risk losing you to a competitor. Hey, it’s worth a shot and has worked for me.
3. Search for coupons – If you go to any search engine and type in “hotel coupons” you will get many results. Before booking anything online see if there are any coupons out there that may lower your rate. Be patient because there are many coupons out there that are expired or simply do not work.