Most savvy travelers know that comparison shopping and traveling in the off-season can net significant travel savings. MarketWatch asked a panel of travel agents for some lesser-known tips for finding vacation travel bargains:
Repositioning Cruises – Cruise companies regularly reposition their ships from one region to another, as from Alaska in summer to Mexico or the Caribbean in winter. These twice-a-year cruises are less crowded and provide all the amenities of cruising, all at significant savings.
Score a Bounce-Back Deal – Ever notice what happens when you start to order something on a website but don’t complete the process? You start getting pop-ups, and even emails offering the product at a discount. Try filling in your name and email address at a few of your favorite travel websites and opting in for email offers. Travel companies want your business, and most will offer worthwhile savings to reel you in as a customer.
Think Home, Not Hotel – You can see your destination like a native and save big bucks in the process by swapping homes for a time. Check out sites like Homeaway.com, which lists 41,000 homes in 152 countries. If you’re not willing to swap homes, sites like VRBO.com or Airbnb.com can help you find vacation digs that are frequently less expensive than hotels—and often more comfy, especially if you are traveling with family or friends.
Call Direct – The best prices may not be on travel websites. Calling a hotel direct, even if it is overseas, may not only net cost savings, but put you first in line in popular destinations when/if cancellations open space.
Know When to Book and Travel – You may find the biggest discounts on domestic air travel if you book online between midnight and 1 a.m. on Wednesdays or after 3 p.m. on Tuesdays. Also, the cheapest days to fly domestically are Wednesdays, followed by Tuesdays and Saturdays, when demand is lowest.
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