You can save a lot of cash with travel bargains, if you’re willing to do your homework.
Travel bargains are natural grist for the savvy consumer’s mill… even if you’re like me, and you’re already putting all your other savvy savings into a vacation fund. For every buck I save by recycling aluminum or cutting my light bill, I get that much closer to the cruise I’m saving for.
You see, saving money isn’t just about being a skinflint, tightwad, miser, or call it what you will. Most of us simply prefer to spend as little as possible on necessities, while saving to splurge on something fun or necessary. And a good vacation is both!
There’s no reason you can’t still make an effort to get that vacation as cheaply as you can, if only so you can enjoy it more quickly! The same is true of any travel, really, whether you’re cruising the Seven Seas or visiting Great Aunt Mabel down in Florida.
It should be second nature by now for you to opt for the off-season in order to obtain the best deals (insofar as that’s possible given conflicting schedules), so I won’t belabor that point. There are others to belabor instead!
Dig It Up
Your best deals will probably be online, but they probably won’t be the first you’ll see; so you’ll have to be willing to dive in and dig. A lot of the major travel sites want you to view their preferred listings first, and “preferred” usually means there’s more money in it for them.
Instead, be sure to sort the results by price — assuming the site lets you. They don’t always. In that case, you’ll need to go page by page until you find the bargains. And don’t just pick the cheapest: do your homework and investigate their quality of service before you pay, whether for a rental car, cruise, or hotel.
Beware of Bundles
Some travel agents will “helpfully” offer you travel bundles or packages that include everything from a rental car to a hotel room and airfare, with the kitchen sink thrown in for good measure. But don’t just accept their word that you’re getting a good deal… you may not be.
Check the cost of the individual items before signing on the dotted line. It may be cheaper to pick and choose from the various menu items, though it may take a little more time. One tool that makes it easier is DealBase.com, which lays out the good, the bad, and the ugly in terms of cheap travel bundles.
Just think: a little due diligence, and you can land some travel bargains that may let you get started on your next vacation sooner than expected — or help you afford that remodeled kitchen, at least!