Planning a Vacation? Spend Less and Enjoy More by Shopping Smart.
It’s official; the people of America enjoy vacations. In a recent survey conducted on behalf of Choice Hotels in 2012, 87% of US citizens planned to take a vacation in 2013, and those figures are still on the rise, judging by bookings already taken for 2014. In spite of the recent economic downturn, or perhaps because of it, more and more Americans are looking to escape for a well deserved break. However, whilst vacationing still remains important to most people, never before has the issue of budget been so pronounced; with over 90% now claiming ‘value for money’ as the most significant factor to consider when booking a vacation. It would appear that most people want to get away for a break, but also expect something that represents good return on their investment; which raises the question; where can the best vacation offers be found? What deals are available out there and what other approaches can individuals take to ensure that they are spending money wisely and effectively both before and during their getaway?
In the past, one of the well documented ways of obtaining a cheaper vacation was to leave booking until the last minute. However, it would seem that the days of ‘last minute bargains’ are on the decline. These days, a more successful approach is shopping around; or better still, joining a reputable site that offers discounts to members; which can save a considerable amount of money. When searching for flights online, be aware that the day of travel can have considerable impact on the amount you pay, with many airlines raising the price of airfares considerably for weekend travel; and even from onward. Statistically, the cheapest days of travel are and , where travelers can save significant money on their flights. Consider traveling out of season if possible, as this can also make a difference.
Indulge in Some Alternative Thinking…
It can be tempting to stick to the same destination year after year. However, there are definite advantages to venturing outside of the comfort zone and exploring new territory. There are a number of locations that are gaining recognition as offering excellent value for money for travelers; from the exotic; such as Ko Phi Phi in Thailand (where hotel prices have recently fallen by as much as 25% ) to the more familiar, such as Palm Springs, which has experienced a recent dip in airfare prices. Alternatively, consider a cruise; where a number of different locations can be experienced in the same trip. Cruises traditionally are viewed as the more expensive option, but often, this is misleading; as cruising is generally all-inclusive; including excursions at destinations and, more often than not, spending money on board. For real value for money, consider a cruise in the Mediterranean, where due to the proximity of the countries to one another, it is not uncommon for travelers to experience as many as 6 locations in as many days. As PlanetCruise.co.uk state so succinctly: “A fly-cruise to the Mediterranean allows you to experience many fantastic ports sailing at night and arriving in port for the day”. For those looking to stay somewhere on land, consider the benefits of hiring a rental car and shop around accordingly. Waiting until you arrive at the destination can be a sure-fire way of ensuring you pay premium prices, so instead, book early and make use of comparison sites.
Planning Can Reap Big Rewards
When you’ve returned from your vacation, consider looking into booking your next one as soon as possible. Not only is it an excellent way of beating the inevitable post-holiday blues, but it is also a good way of ensuring that you have time to shop around for the best prices. It is also an excellent time to reflect clearly about what are the top priorities for you and your family when traveling, giving you a better notion of what compromises you are willing to make, and what aspects of your vacation really matter to you. Consider signing up to a high quality vacation discount site to get deals sent direct to your inbox, and remember to start the research early, to get the best prices possible.