Are you a travel junkie who books your own flights and hotels but is not sure the best ways to maximize your dollar? There are many tricks which can help you ease your pain:
• Don’t book a flight for travel during high season. Shoulder season (spring and fall relative to hemisphere of course) are always the cheapest for hotels and airfare.
• Avoid Saturdays, Mondays and Fridays, since they have the highest rates. For some destinations however, Saturdays can be a better time to travel, so it’s best to check around.• Not all hotels or airlines are created equal when it comes to price. Some carriers purchase a hedge contract on fuel and can offer much lower prices than the others.It is typically reflected in the air fare.
•Book early. If you have the luxury of advance booking, do so 11 months in advance, as soon as the return segment of the airfare has hit the reservation system. This is an old trick for securing seats using frequent flier miles, but it works well for better pricing and better seats when purchasing the air as well. This may sound too far in advance for you, but if you own a timeshare and want to maximize an exchange, for instance, that typically requires making the exchange 18 months in advance. If that is the case for you, booking the flight 11 months ahead of time to use miles or save money works nicely.
•Maximize those miles. Do you have frequent flier miles you can’t seem to use for a flight? Check the airline’s web site. Many offer hotels as well in exchange for otherwise unusable miles. This little discovery can allow you to stay in parts of cities for next to nothing, like the Ginza district in Tokyo at a four star hotel for four nights at a total of $45 plus the promotional miles. And the credit card is often free for the first year.
• Take serious advantage of credit card promotions to earn extra hotel points and miles. Once you have earned them, they are yours to use and you can then throw the credit card away and plan your next trip. As mentioned above, only keep the credit card if it can be useful and provide you with additional travel advantages once you have redeemed your points, unless you want the card.
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