We may be in the midst of economic downturn, but travel providers and tour companies tempt the budget traveler with more deals and incentives than ever before. For those in the know, it's simply a matter of outlining a budget, deciding where to go and finding the best possible deals to make it happen. If this sounds easier said than done, read on to find out how you can go further on a lot less.
(1) Stay in the game with the latest rates by following major airlines and holiday companies on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Not only do they regularly share the best deals with their followers, but sometimes you get a special treat. For example, on April Fool’s Day http://www.cheaphotels.com let their Twitter followers in on a secret – for one day only, user could book hotel rooms for only $8 a night. No joke!
(2) The experienced tourist knows that timing is everything when it comes to snapping up those bargains. If you can be flexible, this is a huge bonus: off-peak and out of season is the way to go. Try popular spots like Aspen in the summertime, and you won't be paying for the ski chalets, but you'll still have access to that amazing mountain scenery.
Unless you've planned your vacation over a year in advance, try to book flights 45 to 60 days before you leave. This is generally when the airlines and their partners are trying to entice you with deals. Booking a flight for mid-week and after lunch is good advice as well; a Wednesday night flight will typically be far cheaper than traveling on a weekend or Monday morning, sometimes saving hundreds of dollars.
(3) To save a few extra pennies, check several different comparison websites when searching for cheap hotels. Regular travelers can also save with vacation club membership, which can sometimes shave 60-80 % off hotel packages.
(4) Don't forget to check for online coupons if you're heading somewhere with big-name attractions, and there are still advantages in scrolling through the all-inclusive packages, especially if you don't mind where you end up.
(5) On arrival, keep expenses down by planning meals and making up your own snacks using superstores and street markets like the locals. If your overnight rate doesn't come with breakfast, don't pay extra to eat in the hotel; get to know the neighborhood cafés for better prices and generally better fare as well.
These days, it really is possible to stretch your savings and grab a bargain hotel room or low-cost flight anywhere in the world, as long as you use your resources well.
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