For most people, travel planning is the second most exciting phase in their life— right after traveling, of course. As exciting as it is, however, it can also be stressful and hectic. The endless search for cheap flights and hotels, the millions of questions: should we stay near the beach? is it safe? will there be plenty to do? — can easily ruin the experience before you even set off. While we all want just to book the cheapest flight and hotel room that suits our needs, a lot of us are wondering if there's a better way to make it work.
With a little bit of knowledge and planning, you can make sure you always get the best deal on travel— whether it's for flights, hotels, or anything else.
The best way to score cheap flights is to be flexible with your travel dates. If you can fly on a Tuesday instead of a Wednesday, or take a flight that has a layover, you'll likely save yourself some money. Of course, this isn't always possible— sometimes you just have to travel on certain days because of work or other commitments. But if you can be flexible, it's worth checking different date combinations to see what the prices are like. You can use sites like Skyscanner or Google Flights to easily compare prices for different dates.
A lot of airlines and hotels offer newsletters that you can sign up for, which will sometimes include exclusive deals and promotions. It's also worth signing up for price alerts on sites like Skyscanner or Kayak, so you can be notified when the price of your desired flight or hotel room drops.
When you're looking for flights or hotels, it's always a good idea to check a few different booking sites before you make your final decision. Prices can vary quite significantly from one site to the next, so it pays to shop around. Some popular booking sites include Expedia, Booking.com, Otels.com, and Kayak.
If you're looking to score some cheap flights or accommodation, it's a good idea to avoid traveling during peak times. This includes holidays like Christmas and New Year's, as well as summer vacation for schools in North America and Europe. Not only will prices be higher during these times, but availability will also be more limited. If you can, try to travel during the shoulder season— the period between the high and low season— instead.
If you're a frequent flyer or traveler, you likely have accumulated some points or miles that you can use towards your travel bookings. Many airlines and hotels have loyalty programs that allow you to redeem your points for discounts on flights or accommodation. And even if you don't have any points to redeem, using a credit card that offers rewards like cash back or travel points can help you save money on your bookings.
Another great way to save money on travel is to take advantage of package deals. Many airlines and hotels offer discounts if you book your flight and hotel room together, so it's always worth checking to see if this is an option. You can also find vacation packages offered by tour operators and online travel agencies, which can often be a cheaper and more convenient way to book your trip.
If you're flexible with your travel plans, you can sometimes score some great last-minute deals. This is especially true for accommodation, as many hotels will offer steep discounts on rooms that haven't been booked. You can also sometimes find cheap flights if you're willing to book your ticket at the last minute. Of course, this isn't always possible or convenient, but it's worth keeping in mind if you're looking to save some money.