Traveling is a lot of fun but finding the right deals and finally booking it can be time-consuming and even stressful at times.
There are now literally hundreds of places you can visit, both online and offline, to find a good deal on your next vacation, flight or cruise. So with all these choice at your fingertips, how can you ensure you can find the best deal without losing your sanity? Here are some easy tips that will ensure you are getting the best deal as well as having the perfect vacation.
Start looking at least 3-6 months out
If you have a good idea of what your timeline for travel will be, start searching for your vacation at least 3-6 months before your expected travel dates. For example, if you know you will be off work for 2 weeks in July and would like to visit Europe at that time, you can start searching for flights or vacation packages from as early as January. Some may think that is way too early, but from personal experience, you get better deals and be the first to a lot of things. For example, you may be the first to find out about early schedules, the choice of your seat on a plane, early promotions specials and more. But just because you start 6 months out doesn’t mean you have to book then. Only if you find a deal that is too good to be true should you go ahead and book it. Otherwise, you only have to check the prices for now and keep comparing them every week. For my latest Vegas trip this past summer , I actually started looking at deals from January. This helped give me an idea of what prices were like and where they would likely be heading as we entered spring. After checking prices on multiple websites on a daily and weekly basis, I finally booked a vacation at a price that beat everything else I had seen.
If in Canada, watch CAD$ fluctuations
With the recent and constant decline of the Canadian dollar came an increase in travel prices, from flights, to hotels and everything else in between. Some vacation companies even announced that they would be increasing their rates due to the declining Canadian dollar. This was like the last warning sign for me before booking. Three days after I booked my vacation, I checked the price for the same package and it had gone up by about 10%, thanks to the declining Canadian dollar. This wouldn’t matter much if you were traveling within the same country (i.e within Canada or within the US). And vise versa, if you were coming traveling from the US to Canada, a strong US dollar will go a long way.
Look at 5 different websites at least and check them at least 2 times a week
There are a ton of travel booking and comparison websites out there and you should check at least couple of these as prices could vary from one to the next
Sign up for price alerts through email
I do this, especially with different cruise lines, and I always get good deals and promotions through emails. Be sure to sign up for these and never miss a deal. Instead of looking for the deals, they will come to you.
Ask local travel agents to match the best price you found
And just because most travel related activities has moved online doesn’t mean there is no room for traditional travel agents, who still have the knowledge and expertise to search, customize and package the best travel deals.
To conclude, finding good deals on vacation packages, flights and cruises can be time-consuming and stressful, but by following some easy tips, it’s possible to have the perfect vacation at the most affordable price possible. As vacations as a whole are not cheap – especially when booking for a full family – it is worth spending the time to find the best deal possible. The effort and time could save you hundreds, even thousands.