There are two types of travelers we all know. Those who start planning months ahead and have everything scheduled down to an hourly itinerary, and those spontaneous travelers who go where the wind takes them and figure everything out along the way. There are certain travel purchases that are better to buy ahead of time and some that can score you the best deal if you wait until the last minute.
Whether you are a planner or the spontaneous type, it always helps to know how and when you can save money and get the most out of your travels.
When you are shopping for plane tickets, choosing the right time to buy can be tricky. You may hear some people swear that booking as early as possible saves the most money. While others may tell you that waiting until the very last minute will guarantee you the best rate. So which is it? The answer, according to an annual study done by CheapAir.com, is neither. The study found that there is generally an airfare “sweet spot.” On average, 47 days before the flight is the best time to book your seat, but you should buy at least 14 days before. This is, however, just a general guide and is not true for every flight.
Another way to save money on your flight is to be flexible with what days you travel. If you are not on a fixed schedule, check flight fares for days surrounding the time you want to travel.
It can be rather tricky to find the best deal on hotels. The prices of hotel rooms vary drastically depending on many factors, such as peak travel times, days of the week (weekends are always more expensive), holidays or events and where the hotel is located in relation to major attractions in the city. When searching for a hotel, consider what amenities you need and what you will be doing while you are there. For example, if you’ll be renting a car, you may be able to save some money on a hotel by staying a little further away.
If you can wait to book your hotel until the last minute, HotelCoupons.com provides the best last-minute hotel coupon rates. You can search by your destination or hotel preference, and the new mobile app allows you to search by distance from your current location.
Events and Shows
Whether you are traveling for vacation or business, there is usually at least one or two attractions you want to see. For example, if you’re a sports fan, you may want to catch a game at a new stadium. Or if you’re traveling to New York, you’ll certainly want to catch a Broadway show or concert.
Finding the best deals on tickets when you are not in the city of the event can be difficult, but there are certain ways to save. According to Mashable, last-minute tickets fluctuate the most in price, so you should check several price-predicting sites to make sure you are getting a good deal. You can also buy tickets at the box office or a re-seller in the city at a discounted price, but you run the risk of not getting the show you want to see or getting stuck with bad seats. If there is a specific show your heart is set on, tickets are one travel expense you shouldn’t risk. Sites like Telecharge generally have a steady discounted price and offer detailed seat and show information.