It’s been said that some people live to travel and others travel to live. No matter which sentiment best describes your outlook, chances are you’re due for a nice vacation.
The challenge, of course, is how to find great travel deals, which often involves timing and a little savvy. Here’s how frequent travelers make it happen.
GET ON THE LIST
Start by signing up. I love The Flight Deal because it collects discounted airfares, promotions and deals — like something they call “The Short Haul,” which is trips under $200 and 3,000 miles roundtrip — being offered by both domestic and international airlines. The site sends them in a daily email blast to subscribers.
Using The Flight Deal, I once scored four round trip tickets for my family for just $122 each, nonstop on United Airlines between Newark, New Jersey and Miami, Florida.
This year, I also booked a weeklong Valentine’s Day visit to Paris for my husband and me — yes, Paris! — for just $466 per ticket round trip via United and Air Canada.
Like to stay at Hilton hotels or fly on Delta? Then “like” them for real.
Following your preferred travel partners’ Facebook or Twitter accounts gives you early access to flash sales, discounts, promotions and other travel packages.
TEAM UP WITH TOUR OPERATORS
For tours and excursions, have a savvy tour company or travel operator in your corner.
Places like Intrepid Travel are good for small group tours that promise “real life experience,” while Context Travel is known for hosting informative walking tours from expert local guides in major cities in the U.S. and Europe.
Whatever tour operator you use, factor the benefits of connecting with a team that has on-the-ground knowledge when you’re considering cost. This can come in especially handy if you decide to jet off on a side trip, or need a hand navigating a language or cultural barrier.
I booked a weeklong trip for my husband and me to Paris — yes, Paris! — for just $466 per ticket round trip.
I love Travelzoo’s “Top 20 Travel & Entertainment Deals of the Week” email, which curates deals for both stateside and overseas trips, including cruises, stays at all-inclusive resorts and complete vacation packages.
On Kayak, you’ll find a similar email offering, plus their powerful search engine that hunts down cheap deals on flights, hotels, trains and rental cars.
Needless to say, being flexible in your vacation planning is about more than just the specific month when you can travel. If you can be flexible about the day of travel, the airport you use, or the city, state or country you’re willing to visit, you can save even more.