In these times of economic strife, consumers are being careful when spending their discretionary dollars. The desire to stretch the vacation dollars and seek value while planning a vacation cuts across all income groups. So what are some of the value tips that you can keep in mind while planning your vacation? Let’s take a look:
Almost every destination has a peak season and an off-season when tourist arrivals are low. Everything ranging from airfares to hotel rooms is going to be cheaper in this off-season period. The cost of a trip to France, for instance, can be 60% lower if you travel in November as opposed to May through July. While this may not work for everyone, travelers with a little flexibility in their schedules can take advantage here.
Put it together yourself
If your destination is the Americas or the Caribbean, then all-inclusive packages are normally the way to go. For all other destinations you will save anywhere from 25 to 40% by piecing the vacation together instead of going for a package. If you are planning your vacation within the CONUS (and we’re not talking snails here), it is almost always better to go with a packaged offering.
Browse the social media platforms
Many tour operators and new travel companies advertise on social media to leverage the reach, while minimizing advertising costs. Outdoor-Traveler, an outdoor-oriented travel company, recently launched a campaign on Facebook to attract travelers. In return for “likes”, the user gets an array of perks ranging from discounts, vouchers, giveaways and exclusive offers.
Dare to compare
Most websites will offer you a wide array of destinations and packages. Spend some time researching different offerings for the destination of your choice. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results.
Follow the news
Economies in Spain and Greece are in the financial doldrums. It’s all over the news. This is exactly what makes these destinations cheaper options for the budget-minded traveler. The strength of the dollar is an added advantage, so follow the news to save money on your vacation plans.
Know when to book and travel
Wednesdays are the cheapest day to travel by air within the US. Resort properties are cheaper on a Sunday and midsized city center hotels catering to the business traveler will often have special weekend and midweek packages.
Use your reward points
All the points that you tally up on your credit cards and your frequent flyer cards through the year can be redeemed for lower fares or deals that you can incorporate into your vacation plan.
Use your age
If you are over 55 you can use your age to your advantage. Most airlines, cruise companies and hotels will offer special senior citizen rates. Every dollar that you save counts, right?
Shopping around for the best vacation deals online may take some time but it is well worth the effort. The amount you can save via special deals, coupons and alternate accommodations can help stretch your vacation dollar.