Expedia trip tips: The best ways to save on travel
Here at ShopAtHome.com, we love a great deal — especially on travel. We are always looking to share the freshest and easiest ways to save on that family vacation you’ve been meaning to take, or that weekend getaway with the girls that will be here sooner than you know.
Want to save even more on travel? Check out the Expedia page through ShopAtHome.com.
We also know booking your long-awaited trip can be a hassle and a bit overwhelming. What’s the best way to save? How can I get my travel-dollar to stretch? Should we fly, or rent a car? The list is endless.
To help clear things up, we turned to Expedia’s Sarah Gavin — an expert on all things travel and savings. She shared the best ways to save and some tricks and tips to making your money go the extra mile. Next big trip? Bring. It On.
What are the best days and/or times to buy plane tickets?
Knowing when to book is very important in the travel process. Typically, the time period between 21 to 28 days out from the intended travel date is the best booking window. Airlines will release inventory around this time period and, as the supply of tickets increases, prices tend to drop. As it gets closer to the intended travel date and the window of opportunity gets smaller and smaller, ticket prices will undoubtedly rise. If a traveler can book within this sweet spot, there are often opportunities to save some money in the process.
Tuesdays generally hold the best deals to find ticket prices. The cheapest day to fly is usually Wednesday, followed by Tuesday and Saturday. Early morning flights tend to be the most cost-effective while giving you more time at your destination. The real key to saving on your vacation though isn’t to try to save $10 or $25 on your airfare. If you want to save real money, book your flight and hotel at the same time and you can save on average up to about $500 which you can then pocket or reinvest into great experiences on your trip.
Are there tricks to scoring on-flight upgrades?
Flight upgrades are generally airline specific. However, for hotel upgrades, the Expedia Rewards program is a great place to start. It’s free to join, and members accumulate travel points that can be redeemed for travel and upgrades. You can even get hotel upgrades at more than 1,300 hotels worldwide and, while that few hours you sit on a plane matter, the hotel you spend a week at can really make or break your trip.
What are ways to get better deals on hotels and flights during your online search?
There are easy ways to be sure you’re getting the best air and hotel deals available. First, check out Expedia’s Flight Fare Calendar, which keeps track of the lowest fares found on Expedia in the last 48 hours, and their Top 10 Deals page that lists the top 10 best hotel deals.
Expedia also offers deals called ASAP, which stands for A Sudden Amazing Price. These are promotions that offer daily travel deals at up to 50 percent off. These deals are live and bookable for up to 12 hours and are great for last minute getaways.
There’s no better way to save than to book your flight and hotel simultaneously. You can save up to $525 on the combined price. Book your flight and your hotel at the exact same time and you will save. Groupon Getaways with Expedia, which offer properties at exceptional prices, is a good example. Because the deals follow Groupon’s voucher model, travelers don’t have to travel immediately. So imagine that trip to see New York during the holidays, or the escape to the beach in Cancun, people can find those deals via Groupon Getaways with Expedia and travel when the time is right. This is a wonderful way to travel during the holidays, and really at any time of year.
Lastly, Expedia’s Mobile Deals are a great way to save up to 60 percent on mobile-exclusive offers. The app is free and is available for download.
What are some ways to save on car rentals?
A 2012 Expedia.com analysis for the top 20 U.S. destinations showed that one in five people got their car for free by purchasing their car at the same time they booked their hotel. That’s to say that by purchasing the package together, they saved so much that the car was essentially free. It’s a great tip to save big on car rental this summer, or to upgrade to a convertible or SUV for the price of a compact or economy.
Another way to save is to purchase car rental insurance when you book your trip through Expedia, rather than at the rental car counter. In many cases, the coverage can be cheaper than what the rental agency offers for the exact same coverage.
Is there a time of year for better rates or certain locations where you can get more bang for your buck?
Expedia aims to provide our customers with great deals for every season and location. With so many seasonal deals and ways to save, there is no one time of year or particular location that’s better than the others. Keep checking out our ways to save and you’ll find the perfect vacation for you and your family.
The biggest thing about travel today is that there are more ways to save than ever before, so look at deals sections of sites like Expedia – like our ASAP program or our Last Minute Deals program – or book via your mobile phone where there are deals exclusively for mobile users to save 40 to 60 percent year-round.
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