Taking a vacation each year is supposed to be fun, relaxing and enjoyable. Settling for your second or third best destination or worrying about how you’re going to pay for the trip the entire time you’re away are not the ingredients for a memorable getaway. Here are 5 tips for booking your trip online.
1. Start Early
Don’t start planning your trip a week before you want to leave. Once you know precisely which dates you will be away from work, start your research. I’m not talking about late night hours at the computer here. Just start checking airline sites, train or bus sites as booking way in advance can save you a lot of money. Look for package deals that fit your budget. This is no pressure shopping, but it will give you an idea ahead of time of how much your trip will cost.
2. Start Late
This is contradictory to #1 on this list but, if early research is not an option, you can hunt for those last minute deals. This method is something of a ‘winning lotto ticket’ approach but last minute deals do crop up. You might have to work a little harder at rustling one up but it can be done. Check those travel websites and shop around. A lot of carriers don’t like sending planes, trains and buses out half-empty and will discount heavily to fill them up. You might get lucky.
3. Reward Miles
Here is where those reward miles you’ve been collecting all year might come in handy. Check you club’s site to see if there are deals to be had. If you’ve got enough to cover you’re airfare, then booking early will guarantee you a spot. Barring that, you might only get one or two free days in a hotel for your miles but that can add up to $100s of savings off that vacation bill.
Nobody likes their email inboxes being cluttered up with spam but signing up for e-newsletters from your miles provider, carrier or travel websites just might land you the deal of the century. Repeatedly going to these online resources hoping there’s a deal to be had can be hit or miss so knowing in advance where and when to book can be a time saver while taking the load off your wallet.
5. Deal Vs. Cherry Picking
There are two ways to approach booking your getaway. The first is to simply purchase an all-inclusive package, which covers travel fare, hotels, insurance etc. These are great if the price is right and it meets your travel needs, but there’s not a lot of leeway with package deals. The other route is to put your vacation together piece by piece, finding the best travel fare, scoping out hotels in the destination you’re heading to in search of the best rate. This approach ensures that your trip is truly yours – you call the shots.
The internet has made booking a trip easier than ever. So roll up your sleeves and work that mouse. You just might save a bundle.
This article was written by Andrew Salmon. He writes for a number of websites, including the life insurance resource LifeCover.ca.