By Noah Henry • May 05, 2014
Summer is nearly here, which means it’s time to plan for summer vacationing. If money is a concern—or if you just want to get the best deal for your budget—it’s possible for you to lessen the blow by following these six tips:
Summer Travel on a Budget
Time it right. Nonpeak travel times usually offer the lowest rates on airfare and hotel accommodations. These are typically between mid-August and September, when people are packing up their beach towels and chaises for autumn. It’s also a good time to travel because there are lesser crowds and fewer tourists. FareCompare.com states the cheapest day to fly is Wednesday for domestic travel, followed by Tuesday and Saturday; Friday and Sunday are the most expensive. The cheapest time to buy airline tickets is Tuesday at 3 p.m.
Find coupons. With top travel deals spanning nearly every travel website, there is never a shortage of great coupons to use for flights, hotels and rental cars. Travelers can book local or long-distance travel at Living Social for up to 70% off at the moment. You can also use a basic $25 off promo code at Expedia, or take advantage of a Jamaican vacation for $100 off at CheapCaribbean.com. Coupons can be used for almost any purchase these days, and it’s no different for every aspect of travel.
Live as if you’re a local. There’s nothing that kills the buzz of an exotic vacation like drowning in tourists. Hotels can sometimes take the fun out of the journey. Depending on your location, sometimes it’s best to immerse yourself in the experience of the local. Only Apartments is a good start; it offers hundreds of apartments in major cities across the world for short-term leasing. It has over 50,000 transparent reviews which allow you to make the best purchase decision possible. For the best in local foodie locales, you should browse Restaurant.com for deals and top dining options at your destination.
Book ahead of time. Senior project manager at Expedia Erik Halvorson recommends booking 60 days in advance. However, recent travel trends suggest booking 42 days in advance, according to Airlines Reporting Corporation. To settle this debate, CheapAir.com compiled 560,611,868 airfare records in 2012 to summon the final answer—49 days. So, book your flight seven weeks before your vacation.
Alert yourself with fare deals. Combined with coupons, signing up for fare alerts will give you the best idea on travel deals before you set off. AirfareWatchdog, for example, will send you email alerts when they’ve located extremely low fares—for free. Unlike other websites, actual people locate these fares for you to help you save the very most. You can also sign up for fare alerts at CheapAir.com.
Stay longer for optimum savings. If you can afford it, hotels usually offer lower rates the longer you stay. In addition, it gives you leeway to negotiate a lower hotel price. Trying to haggle for a cheaper price on a hotel room—especially if you explain to the relations manager you’re on a limited budget. If you book a stay during a nonpeak travel period they will be more likely to negotiate with you.
Noah Henry Noah Henry is an amateur movie critic, foodie, bowler, and beer reviewer. But he's no amateur when it comes to saving money, so listen up!