Check out these tips to make sure you are getting the most for your travel dollar when you plan your next vacation.
The Los Angeles Times 20th Anniversary Festival of Books had something for every book reader and fun seeker including how to find great travel deals. On an April weekend for the past 20 years, the Los Angeles Times has held its annual celebration of ideas, creativity and the written word. This year, the event was held at the University of Southern California.
The experts offering advice were (l to r):
Johnny Jet A traveler of roughly 150,000 miles a year, his website, JohnnyJet.com has been featured over 5,000 times in major publications. Johnny also appears every Saturday on Leo Laporte’s “The Tech Guy Show” talking about travel and technology.
What were the best travel bargain tips for 2015 that I learned from these travel experts?
- A strong American dollar at home means killer deals abroad. A higher valued U.S. dollar means better returns in foreign countries. You get more bang for your buck.
- Good deals can be found every day of the week. I’ve always heard that Tuesdays are considered the best day of the week to land a travel deal. But these travel experts shared that you can really find a good travel deal any day of the week– if you search for them. The best resources to discover travel deals are airline newsletters and sites. The travel experts suggested that you sign up for every airlines newsletter and follow every airline on Facebook and Twitter before you start planning your next trip. Another good publication they recommended to follow was Traveltalk, not only for good deals but also to follow message threads with other people looking and finding deals to the places you want to travel to.
- Open the travel newsletters. You can’t take advantage of a deal unless you’re willing to open up the email and discover what is being offered.
- No matter your destination in Europe, fly Norwegian Air. Norwegian Air is Europe’s low fare carrier (think Allegiant and Frontier Airlines) and they fly to most European countries.
- Book now, Change later. Good deals vanish quickly. If you are considering a trip, book the deal and then make up your mind later whether or not you will actually go. Most flights can be cancelled without a charge up to 7 days before the date of the flight. Did you know that American Airlines holds a fare for 24 hours and you can cancel-rebook-cancel-rebook unlimited times? Or that if you use the payment page on United’s website and click on the phone order link, your fare is secure for 3 days?
- Priceline.com bidding for airfare, hotels, and rental cars is a great bet. Always start off with a crazy, low bid. If you get rejected, the experts suggested trying another area in that same city at the same bid price. This was great news for me to hear because I am a huge fan (and user) of Priceline.com.
- Check in after 6:00 p.m. to get the best hotel room. That is when they open up their upgrade options that were saved for loyalty members. I always wondered why I got such amazing rooms when I checked in late at night and now I know why. And to think I thought it was because I was a friendly person!!
- Be flexible. Last minute deals are all over the place. Travel in off seasons for great deals. We went to France and Switzerland in October/November. The occasional cold and rain was not a bother to the money we saved. I looked at it that it was all just part of the adventure.
- When planning in advance, book using your computer or laptop. Only use mobile apps if you need things last minute like a hotel room (hotel tonight) or car rentals (silvercar)
- Travelzoo is a must. I’ve found fabulous deals using Travelzoo.com not only on travel packages and hotel rooms, but local attractions as well.
These were all super suggestions but I thought the very best tip came from Johnny Jet. He said never be afraid to ask for a deal or an upgrade. But when you do, always be nice. The old adage that you get more with honey than vinegar will always work in your favor especially when it comes to landing a travel deal. Heck—that’s great advice for anything you do!!
Do you have any other travel bargain tips to share?