Mask mandates are being lifted left and right and spring break is just around the corner, so you may be itching to get away.
A lot of people have the same idea. Demand is way up and prices are too. In fact, many travel agents say if you didn’t book by now, it’s too late.
But Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke says there are still ways to save money.
Think about buying a vacation package.
“If you can bundle your hotel and your air and your car all together through one vendor, you’re going to save money,” Roni Fishkin, with Mann Travels, said.
Be strategic about when you fly.
Kiplinger says to fly on Tuesday or Wednesday and pick flights that are very early.
“If you can fly out first thing in the morning, before most people are awake, you’re going to get a better price than you’re going to get mid-morning or mid-afternoon,” Fishkin said.
The Washington Post says book three weeks out for a domestic flight and three to five weeks ahead for international ones. Or—go the other extreme. If you aren’t picky when and where you go, wait until the last minute.
Sign up for price alerts.
The Post recommends Google Flights, Kayak, Hopper, Scott’s Cheap Flights, and Skyscanner. Kiplinger suggests Airfarewatchdog and the Twitter handle @TheFlightDeal.
Take the Caribbean for example. “The best deals right now are in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, even Jamaica. Some of the other islands are a little pricier,” Fishkin said.
You can also look at companies like RedWeek (which allows you to book a timeshare someone isn’t using). Kiplinger says don’t forget, airlines have packages too—like Southwest Vacations and United Vacations—and so do coupon sites, like Groupon and LivingSocial.
Some hotel chains offer “best-rate” guarantees.
Kiplinger said that, if you find a better deal on a third-party site for the same hotel within 24 hours of reserving your room, Marriott will charge you the competitor’s rate and then take up to 25% off.
Or, you can go the old-fashioned way. Call the hotel and ask about deals over the phone, including AAA, AARP, or government rates.
(WATCH BELOW: Some claim Airbnb canceled reservations because of inaccurate criminal background checks)
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