Sometimes to get the best deals in travel you just have to plan ahead. Although it is true that you can sometimes score amazing deals at the last minute, you might only score the flight and not the hotel, so it can still get a little bit expensive. If you plan ahead, and looking at various seasons for highs and lows for those time periods, you can usually workout an extremely inexpensive vacation and get the best deal possible. We love to travel, and we have found the planning ahead is sometimes part of the fun. Going through various websites for various deals, checking the season’s, and making sure that you are in the right place at the right time is part of the game. Here are some things you need to have in your planning to make sure you get the best deal.
The right destination at the right time
One of the most important things to know is picking the right destination at the right time of the year. It seems fairly obvious, but if you travel in the high season, or to locations that have an event that brings in world travelers, then, of course, the prices are going to be higher. If you travel in the offseason, those beautiful locations, museums, archaeological sites, and whatever else is in that location are still there. They just do not have the crowds that you have in the high season. As a smaller side hint in the same theme, check out the different times of the day for something you want to see and find the time with the least amount of visitors. Very often this is very early in the morning. Sometimes you can feel like you’re the only one there. So, back to planning ahead. The one thing you might have to be careful of is the weather at times in the low season. You’re taking a bit of a bigger gamble on the vacation, but usually, it’s fine. Another good time is just after the high season or just before it, as the weather and everything else is usually pretty much the same.
Tracking flights with historical data
There are many sites that will also attract historical data for flights. This will show you what time of year is probably the best one to travel in, and it will also show you more importantly, what the best price you probably going to pay is. If in the last few years the best price to a location is $X, and you can get your flight pretty close to that price point, then you know you have about the best deal you’re going to get for that flight.
Economics and exchange rates
Just a quick note on country economics and currency exchange rates. This will be the same whether you are booking in advance or not. We mention this here as it is also important on how to get the most out of your money for a vacation. There are always currency fluctuations around the world, so sometimes your dollars can go further or they can go less. To give you an example, in the Philippines the fluctuation has been as much as 20% in the last year. So, without you having to do anything, if you pick the right country, it can seem as if you have 20% more money. if you pick the wrong country you could have 20% less money. So, you need to pick a country where the dollar is presently very strong.
Budget is another aspect for any vacation, regardless if you are planning ahead or not. Very often setting a budget can turn a possible disaster into a great success. There is nothing worse than underestimating your budget and running out of money before you finish your vacation. You need to plan for contingency, so making a good budget is imperative. The advance planning part of this comes in when you know what your budget is. When you know how much you can spend, you can then start making search criteria based on what you know you can spend. If you can’t afford the center of Paris with 5-star hotels, there is not much point tracking the center Paris and 5-star hotels. Know what you can afford and then search for places that are within that criteria.
There are many sites that track special deals and prices. We have had some amazing deals from these sites. The trick with the sites is to grab the deal when you see it. If we are unsure of what our schedule will be in the future, we try and book the flight as far in the future as we can, after we checked the season and the hotel prices of course. Sign up to get alerts for deals. We have had some amazing deals from Travelzoo, and Scott’s cheap flights is another great place for this. Sometimes the deals that pop-up are so cheap that it’s worth taking the risk at buying the flight nine months in advance, even if you can’t take it later. To give you an example of this, we picked up a flight from Los Angeles to Singapore for $300 roundtrip. The flight sold out within one hour. We booked it for 10 months in advance and had a great time.
Check often and compare
Flights and hotel prices change all the time. You may look up a hotel one day, and when you check it again a few days later it might be 20% different. Agoda.com has many flash deals like this, but there are many many websites that handle hotels that you can find amazing deals on. The trick is you have to keep checking. After you have checked sites for a while you will start to get the feel of what a good deal is at which hotels. Even spending a few minutes online every couple of days for a month will give you a much better feel of what a good deal is and what isn’t for any place you might want to go.
There are many other ways you can have a great vacation for a better price by booking ahead. We have just touched upon a few. One thing to think about is anything you can do locally to save money, you can probably also do in that remote vacation location as well. Even such sites that are similar to groupon in that locale can save you quite a lot of money. You can often get over 50% off local attractions if you plan well. If you book your vacation and you come across another deal too good to be true, you might as well book it too, enjoy the rest of the world as travel jetsetters. see you around.