1. Use your frequent flyer miles to upgrade or fly free. You’d be very surprised at how many people have frequent flyer miles that never get used. They have either forgotten they had them or they just don’t think to use them when booking tickets. Go online, log into your account, and see if you have flyer miles you can use. You can get some amazing upgrades or super cheap or free fares with your frequent flyer miles.
2. Buy your tickets in advance – or last minute. Sounds contradictory, I know. But those are the best times to get the best prices. Obviously it’s best and easiest to book early, but if you happen to have waited until the last minute it’s a great time to shop for amazing prices. The airlines for example want to fill all of their seats, so if they have seats available at the last minute you can often get them for a big discount. Call and see.
3. Flexibility is key for good bargains. If you are rigid in your travel dates and times, you will not be able to find some of the discount travel prices that are out there for those who are willing to be flexible. Alter your plans by a day or week, and check fares from other nearby airports.
4. Use your discount cards such as AAA. Again, another thing people often forget about. When calling for hotel rates or airfare, mention your AAA and see if there is a discount, or go to the AAA office and buy your tickets.
5. Take advantage of “kids eat free” and “kids stay free” at hotels and restaurants. It may not sound like much savings, but it all adds up over the course of your trip.
6. Package deals can save you money. After you’ve priced your trip buying everything separately, check some package deals to see if you can find a cheaper price for your travel plans. All-inclusive deals don’t always fit with your plans but if they do, you can save quite a bit.
7. Rent a condo or cottage instead of staying at a hotel. Yes, you’ll miss the maid service, but you’ll enjoy the extra money in your pocket. This works especially well if you plan to stay for more than a week or so, and if you are traveling with another family.
8. Go skiing – in the summer. What?! In the summer? Yep, you can find some great prices at the ski resorts in the summer months when tourists are fewer. Most people don’t think to go skiing at this time, so take advantage to find excellent deals. If you don’t ski, you can find tons of other activities at these resorts such as hiking, riding horses, mountain climbing, and biking to name a few, and the scenery is gorgeous!
9. Sign up for email alerts from the online travel sites to find out when low fares become available. But remember to be flexible, as these awesome prices usually have limited seats and availability. Jump on them quickly when you find them.
10. Choose to cruise for an affordable family vacation. Cruises, being all-inclusive, can often be cheaper for a family trip. Book early though for the best prices, as cruise ships often sell out early.