The word “cheap” can have many meanings – very often, the word is just a synonym for “crap quality”. Nobody, really, wants a cheap car. Telling someone else that their car is “good value” is not a good compliment!
But when it comes to cheap holidays, there is no shame – everyone wants the cheapest deal.
In a time of soaring airline ticket prices and those annoying fees plus the ever-increasing price of fuel, finding low-priced travel options can often mean the difference between having a holiday – or not having one.
A recent Consumer Reports survey found that 40% of respondents are flying less as a result of increased fees.
Fortunately, there are ways to get around this, ways to avoid the peak prices and ways to actually make the travel work in your favor.
Most people have their holidays at the same time, and therefore travel at the same time.
This is the ultimate time for airlines to raise their prices, since they know they can fill the seats up easily. Who wants to break the Christmas tradition of always celebrating with the family? And who doesn’t want to get away for summer holidays?
If you’re just looking for a cheap holiday, be smart and don’t follow the stream.
Does this mean that you will be sunbathing in the cold winter rain in Spain? No, it’s not even that drastic.
And best of all, the streets in Paris, Venice and Barcelona weren’t overcrowded with tourists, and the locals had not yet fled the city to get away from the tourist season.
To travel in “off season” doesn’t mean to be in the Ski fields during summer and beach during winter – all it takes is a month or even a few weeks earlier and later than most people go.
For example, choose your weekend break with care. To travel from Saturday to Tuesday will be much cheaper than Thursday to Monday.
It is proven that Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday planned travel will get you the cheapest airfares.
Since the majority of other travelers will be forced to make their holiday return trips on Sundays or Mondays, open and cheaper seats can be found on less busy travel days.
Another way to get that cheap deal is to sign up for airline frequent flyer programs and get promo codes and updates delivered to your inbox. You’ll gain access to last-minute flight deals with savings that can average 50%.
Hoteliers are willing to help minimize travel costs by offering free gas cards. Several hotels in the Marriott chain are now offering a $25 gift card for each night’s stay through Labor Day (September 5) 2011.
Although hotel room rates have not jumped as much as airfares have so far this year, consumers will still need to reach deeper to fund this years holidays.
Luckily, the concept “Hostel” is changing, and the hostel companies are raising the bar of standards. These days you will find hostels which differ little in quality from cheap hotels – plus give you the opportunity to cook your own food.
Do you travel during off season to get cheap deals? Share your tips!