Travel Deals Abound for the Attentive Consumer

Now more than ever it is important to look for travel deals when planning a vacation. Who wouldn’t want to get a good deal on a trip to a beach in the Bahamas or the ski slopes in Vale, Colorado? Think it’s just not possible? Actually, getting a good value on a vacation for your hard-earned dollar is easier than you’d imagine. All it requires is a little bit of flexibility and a lot of creativity.

Where you plan to go on vacation will largely determine what kind of travel deals you will qualify for. If you are brainstorming about where to take your next vacation, consider the following:

  • Do you hunger for hot weather, or the chill of a mountain breeze?
  • Are you craving non-stop action, or would you rather spend a string of lazy days?
  • Are there some travel components on which you are willing to splurge, and others on which you’d prefer to be conservative?
  • Are you going away for a quick weekend, or a two week odyssey?
  • Will other members of your traveling party have different opinions as far as activity level and weather requirements?

If you can successfully answer these questions, then you probably have a pretty good idea of what kind of vacation you’d like to take. Now it’s just a matter of finding travel deals for your chosen destination. One of the biggest expenses associated with any vacation is the airfare. It tends to be expensive. However, if you begin planning sufficiently early, you should have some fairly good opportunities for getting a deal. Start tracking airlines prices as soon as possible, making note of all the airlines that serves the airport for your destination. You’ll see that ticket prices fluctuate quite a bit. If you do not yet have travel dates that are set in stone, utilize a flexible date search tool to find the lowest airfares, and then plan your trip for those dates. If your dates are not as flexible, try to hang in there until you see prices dip, then get ready to pounce on the deal.

Accommodations are another typically large vacation expense. If you are quite specific about what you are really seeking in lodging, you’ll probably get plenty of bang for your buck.

  • Is the hotel an integral part of the vacation experience for you, or just a place to sleep at night?
  • Is it important for your hotel to have amenities like a spa, fine dining restaurant, or lounge?
  • How close to high profile attractions would you like to be?
  • Would you prefer an urban high rise, or a bed and breakfast based in suburbia?
  • If you are planning on a longer stay, will the hotel provide you with a discounted rate?
  • Is room service indispensable, or something you would never plan to use?
  • Will you have access to, and the need to use, facilities like fitness rooms, laundries, and computer centers?

The most expensive hotel is not necessarily going to be the best choice for all travelers, nor is the least expensive motel bound to be a great deal. Something in the middle, with attractive, useful amenities and a reasonable rate, is probably going to be the best deal. Of course, if staying at an all-inclusive resort is the main point of going on vacation, then perhaps this can be the component on which you decide to splurge.

One of the best ways to save money on travel deals is by not renting a car. In some destinations, this works out just fine. You can take a taxi from the airport to your hotel and then use taxis and public transportation to get to the various attractions you’d like to visit. For other destinations, this is simply not a realistic option. You’ve got to have your own set of wheels, even if it is only for part of the vacation. To save a little money, think about the following:

  • Can you get by with an economy model, or do you have to have a luxury car?
  • Renting a car that has better fuel economy will save you some money.
  • Do you need to add on GPS service, or can you bring your own device?
  • Does your car insurance cover you in a rental, or will you need to purchase the insurance offered by the rental company?

With a little effort, you can find travel deals on just about any vacation. Comparison shopping, and being specific about what your needs during vacation will be, can help you save a great deal of time and money. Whether you choose the ocean or the mountains, great travel packages are just waiting to be discovered.

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