We never like to pay full price in our everyday life and booking our travel is no different. The less money we spend booking our travels, the more money we have to spend while on vacation or, better yet, take more vacations! Here are some of our top tips to save you money when booking your travels:
Start planning early
We always start planning our next vacation as soon as we return from one. This allows us to get a handle on prices for airfare and accommodations. This doesn’t mean that you book anything right away. It just means that when a seat sale does happen we are prepared and know that the prices are good.
Be flexible on travel dates
Booking websites make it easy to look at a range of travel dates to find the cheapest dates. I like to be flexible on not only the actual date that we are willing to travel but also the number of days of the vacation. If we are looking at a 2 week vacation maybe 10 days would suffice.
Being flexible on travel dates also requires weighing the cost difference with the amount of vacation time you are willing to use. For all inclusive trips, it’s usually cheaper to travel early in the week. But for us the cost savings isn’t worth the extra vacation days it would require.
Travel during Shoulder Seasons
We love going to all inclusive resorts in November and find the prices to be fantastic. Sometimes it can be half the price of what you would pay in February! An added bonus is that the resorts aren’t too busy so there is no fighting for loungers around the pool or waiting in line at the buffet. November too early? The low prices are good for the first couple weeks of December too.
The other time we travel is spring! This is when we do our “explorer” travelling. April or May is when we go to Europe. The weather is usually warm, tourist spots aren’t busy yet so it’s not overly crowded and prices are still pretty low.
Canada is so beautiful in the summer, we use this time to camp or go to the cottage.
Compare Travel Websites
Well it seems like all travel websites have the same prices and for the most part that is true, it is worth taking the time to check out a few different websites. We used kayak.com recently to book our flights to Vancouver and saved a couple hundred dollars by booking our return flight with a different airline. Just as we were about to book our trip, we found the flights for one hundred dollars cheaper on flighthub.com.
Kids Free Promotions
For all inclusive resorts, don’t just look for the lowest per person price when searching for a resort. When travelling with kids, the prices for them can vary wildly and actually be higher than the adult price! For all inclusive trips, we found some vacation travel providers offer “kids free” promotions, such as Sunwing.ca. This can result in significant savings, but be aware that you still need to pay the taxes on these promotions.
In the end, it really depends if the resort is family friendly.
Hotel Price Match Guarantee
When booking a hotel it also is worth checking out different websites. Websites, like kayak.com and trivago.com make the task easier by comparing prices at multiple booking sites. Checking the lowest price against the rate offered directly by the hotel chain may save you up to an additional 20% off as many hotels have lowest price guarantees.
AirBnB and Homeway are great booking sites that offer a great alternative to staying in a hotel. Not only are these home rentals often cheaper, they are much more suitable for children with separate bedrooms and a kitchen. If we are staying in a hotel we look for hotel suites that also have kitchen and a bedroom. Sometimes it is worth spending a few extra dollars to get accommodations that suit your needs, resulting in saving money in the long run.
Do you have tricks to save money when booking travel? Leave a comment below and share them with us!