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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

My Favourite Travel Tips

Can you tell I love travel?  It is seriously one of my favourite things in life.  I love to travel, and I love to plan travel.



I've mentioned before that I frequently search travel deals, even when I'm not planning a trip.  It's kind of like people who like finding a good bargain at a store, I like seeing how good a deal I can find, even if I can't take advantage of it.

I decided to post some of my favourite "go to" travel tips.  These are tips anyone can take advantage of, regardless of the destination.

1. Shop early (but not too early) and frequently for deals.  I typically start looking at airfare prices about 6 months out.  Traditionally I have found the best deals to be 8 to 10 weeks before your intended travel.  There are a few exceptions - if you are travelling during a holiday period or March break, it's pretty challenging to find a good deal.  You also get a better deal if you are flexible with your dates.  If you are looking for specific dates, and if those dates fall during a holiday period or the month of March, it's better to book earlier than it is to book late.

2. The best airfare deals typically come directly from the airline's website.  I use travel sites often, but if I find a good deal, I usually check the airline's website first, just to be sure I am, in fact, getting the best deal.  Also be sure to check on cancellation policies, baggage fees, and whether the site or airline you are booking with offers a "best price guarantee".  For example, some guarantees indicate that if you find a better price for the same route/times/airline within 24 hours of booking, they will refund the difference and give you a little extra.  Just be aware that sometimes the process to claim the refund is lengthy, so don't expect an immediate return.  And make sure you have screen shots, etc, that show what you have found.

3. Join mailing list/membership clubs/points clubs for popular travel sites and hotel chains.  This is not always a popular option because it usually means you get a ton of emails, but, these emails can alert you to flash sales or specials.  I have an email address that I set up for myself that I use specifically for these mailing lists, and any other time I need to provide an email when I sign up for something, then I log in periodically to browse the deals.

4. Car rental - always check for the "additional charges": Will you be sharing the driving responsibilities with your spouse or another person in your party?  Check the additional driver charges.  The charge varies from company to company.  Budget car rental waives the fee for spouses.  Some companies charge as much as $15 a day, so it can be significant.

5. Car rental insurance - Check your current car insurance policy to see if you have coverage on rental cars.  Some credit cards as well will offer coverage for car rentals.

6. Hotels. While it is possible to get discounts through travel websites, always double check the hotel's website directly first.  And published rates are not always what they appear.  When a site advertises that a price they are offering is "50% off", it can be 50% off the price that was listed at a particular time, not necessarily the regular price.  As an example, I saw a price listed of $119/night, and the site indicated it was 48% off, but that was 48% off a price listed during a music festival, but regular price was $120 a night.

7. AirBNB.  I cannot say enough about about renting through AirBNB.  You often get a larger space for less than the price of a hotel room.  I will be posting a separate post with my best tips for AirBNB booking.

Those are a few of my favourite tips.  Do you have your own tips and tricks for travel?  Share in the comments!


1 comment:

  1. Oh, this sounds like such a wonderful adventure! I'll be following along and taking notes… I dream of doing a similar trip with my family one day as well.

    ReplyDelete