4 insider tips to save on your summer vacation
Planning a vacation is truly an art. That’s why there used to be entire agencies to help you do it. But as fewer people use travel agents now, we may often be overpaying or missing out on insider tips.
Here are some of the best secret tips to help you plan your summer vacation. Pretend we are your virtual travel agent (except we won’t charge you a penny).
1. Plan ahead:
While you can sometimes find great last-minute deals, it’s a safer bet to plan farther in advance. Studies have found the window to get the cheapest rates is somewhere around 47 to 55 days before departure. Although different studies vary, that’s the approximate time when you should be booking.
For international and European travel, plan even farther ahead. The magic number seems to be around 270 days before departure.
2. Never pay full price for airfare:
Once you find the unbeatable deal, that’s not the end of your savings. Never pay full price. There are always different coupon codes you can apply, plus many websites and airlines offer Cash Back through ShopAtHome.com.
So once you pick your deal, head to ShopAtHome.com, type in the website, apply any reliable coupons to your deal and then purchase it. ShopAtHome.com will automatically redirect you to the website and keep track of your purchase and the Cash Back. Expect a check to arrive at your door with the savings — which really add up when we’re talking big numbers, like airfare.
For example, Booking.com is offering up to 50 percent off your next trip for subscribers, plus 3 percent Cash Back and 50 ShopGold points, which you can redeem for other purchases.
3. Travel in the off-season:
Summer in America is not the high season for all destinations. In fact, summer is the off-season for Mexico, which means many resorts and restaurants slash their deals when the weather warms up. You can save big by booking your Mexico trip during our summer vacation; how convenient.
Continental, Florida also tends to be an inexpensive summer vacation, if you can handle the humidity and heat.
4. Ask questions:
Before you book a vacation package, make sure you know what is included and if there will be any extra costs (like “resort fees”) when you arrive. An all-inclusive resort can be a money-saving option, especially if you drink alcohol, but unfortunately, they can also sometimes have hidden fees and not be the cheapest option.
Consider upgrading to a suite with a full or mini kitchen and prepare your own meals. This way, you have a fridge to store perishables, a coffee pot to make fresh, cheap coffee and you can eat on your own schedule. Although the idea of cooking on vacation may not appeal to everyone, it can truly be the biggest money-saver, especially if you have kids.
Check Radisson.com for good deals: 20 percent off early bookings, plus 2 percent Cash Back.