Don’t feel like booking your travel reservations is the one place where you can’t comparison shop. You’d be surprised at how much money you’re not saving by booking your hotels and plane tickets on the first site you come to. Don’t fall prey to expensive prices when you can find great deals with just a little bit of research.
Plan Your Cruise Strategically
Cruise ships have to be moved during certain seasons (think taking cruise ships out of Alaska in the winter) and instead of moving them across oceans, they’ll offer passengers a cheap one-way “repositioning cruise”. This makes the cruise line’s time worth it, and you’ll still get all of the regular features of a cruise like the food and entertainment. Not only is it cheaper, it will be less crowded, too. According to Wayne Dunlap, the author of “Plan Your Escape, Secrets of Traveling the World for Less Than the Cost of Living At Home”, the best way to find these deals is checking websites like vacationstogo.com for lists of the repositioning cruises. If you’re planning a trip to Europe anyways, consider taking a repositioning cruise there.
Let The Deals Come to You
You don’t always have to search the deal sites to save some money. Enter all of your information like you’re going to make a reservation. You’ll choose your destination and dates, add them to your cart, and then put in all of your contact information. Within a few days, you should start getting emails offering you lower rates than you initially “purchased”. Don’t do this when you’re down to the wire; it should be done while you have plenty of time to spare.
Don’t buy into the idea that deal websites are the only way to get a screaming deal on a hotel room. Oftentimes, you’ll find the best deals on the hotel’s own website. If their site isn’t listing the best deal, call and see if they’re able to match a deal you’ve found through something like Orbitz. Most of the time they’ll match the offer or give you something comparable. Keep in mind that the better deal is actually a smaller room and cancellation policies are less stringent when you book directly through the hotel. This policy is the same for booking anything touristy, too. Always check with the company itself to see what kind of deals they can offer you when you book directly with them.
Take Advantage of Rewards Cards
Travel rewards bank credit cards can make travel extremely cheap, sometimes even free. Some cards give you two travel miles for every one dollar spent, for example, and have no penalties for international travel. If you spend enough, you’ll find that your miles quickly add up and you might even fly for free. Experts recommend paying your regular bills with the bank credit card to rack up your points/miles.
If you love to travel, you don’t have to suffer financially. With some savvy shopping, you can leave as often as you want to without going broke.