By Elizabeth Lang
<https://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang> on 6 December 20117 comments
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a vacation will be as fun as using the vacation. But sometimes you wish someone
else to try and do all the work in your case and just book a holiday package.
Because, after all, sorting through hotels, itineraries, and flights generally
is a daunting task if you just want to escape. Plus, you can often find better
deals whenever you book a package. (See also: The 5 Best Travel Reward Credit
booked multiple cheap holiday packages over the years. One time, I visited
Toronto, Canada for the last-minute long weekend where we stayed within a
3-star hotel but happened to be a nonstop, round-trip plane ticket for $300 - a
lot less than the expense of any multi-stop ticket with no hotel.
Another time, I
traveled to Vienna, Austria to get a week by booking an inexpensive vacation
package - we stayed in a very fancy 4-star hotel (that they had a bowl of free
mini-Toblerone chocolates from the lobby!) along with flights with a stellar
foreign airline for around $500.
Perhaps the best
selection of all the travel packages I've purchased would be a round-trip
ticket to Hurghada, Egypt (a resort town within the red sea) along with a week
within a 3-star resort, with two meals a day for $330.
How did I do this?
Here are my cardinal rules for a way to book an inexpensive vacation package,
then an easy three-step process.
Tips for Booking a
Cheap Vacation Package
For the highest
savings on your holiday package, begin using these nine suggestions to guide
you with the booking process.
1. Be Flexible on
You're getting the
cheapest vacation if you might be completely available to any destination. I
recommend either choosing a pursuit that you're trying to find (e.g., beach,
skiing, museums) or perhaps a general destination (e.g., Europe or South America)
and looking for travel packages that meet this more general criteria. When
you're more flexible on place, you're getting a better deal. (See also:
Affordable International Vacation Destinations
2. Plan Far in
Advance or Book Last Minute
The best vacation
deals I've found will always be last-minute trips. However, my vacation to
Vienna was planned about nine months beforehand. You are best off planning
greater than three months before hand (four for summer travel) or a lot less
than two weeks. Planning a trip in only 2 weeks may sound scary - however, you
can block away from the dates now and select the destination later!
3. Be Flexible on
Just just like
flexibility on destination, travelers who will be flexible with whenever they
go are getting better deals. "Time" includes days that you simply
travel, how much time you stay, as well as time of day for flights. The more
flexibility you might have, the cheaper trip you'll snag. (If you're unclear
about how to search determined by flexibility, start with checking out the most
popular search engines for flexible travel
4. Be Flexible on
packages typically include flights and hotel. Some have a car hire, admission
passes to some nearby attraction, or all-inclusive meals. It's best to be
flexible for the amenities you need - you can opt to not make use of the
tickets or even find a rental car in your own.
5. Bring a Friend
The majority of
vacation holidays are priced per person for two main people. If that you are
traveling alone, you will most probably see a surcharge. Some packages charge
less per person when you will find three or four people all booking together
(usually sharing one room).
6. Know That You
Can Extend Your Dates
A holiday package
frequently has certain dates or number of days guaranteed. For example, an
extended weekend package might begin on the Friday and go until Monday. Don't
feel confined by these dates - many of the holiday packages will allow you to
extend the dates for a number of more dollars. And if they don't let you extend
your journey, consider finding your way home. One time, for instance, a holiday
package I found was this type of good deal that I booked it, but I wasn't
capable of extend the trip with the company. So once inside my destination I
found different lodging all through the trip and got such a one-way ticket
home. (See also: Hotels vs. Hostels
7. Travel From a
Major Airport Hub
The best vacation
holidays are priced from major airport hubs like LA, NYC, DC, and Chicago. Some
companies will only allow you to book out there hubs. Other companies will add
a surcharge for smaller airports. If you're finding a surcharge added for ones
airport, consider booking this flight separately by checking to ascertain if
you could get an even better price on your own own. Just be forewarned that in
case something fails with the first flight on the hub, you will be left inside
a lurch. So intend to arrive extra early or buy holiday insurance.
8. Travel From a
The $330 steal to
Egypt that I snagged? That was flying round-trip from Moscow. (Hurghada is
really a hotspot for Russians.) When I traveled in Germany I noticed some
amazing prices on holiday packages to foreign countries. So, in case you are
lucky enough to hold the flexibility to invest more time traveling - when you
get to a foreign destination, head into a travel agency and have where the best
travel packages are to determine the following stop.
9. Splurge: Spend
the Money to Upgrade
Usually with travel
packages, you will have a cheaper choice for the package, you'll be given a
choice to upgrade with a fancier hotel. If you upgrade, you're going to get a
far better hotel in the much better location. Every time I've upgraded, it's
been in excess of worth the cost (e.g. the Toblerone hotel in Vienna). And
every time I've passed I've regretted it. (The Egypt hotel experienced a barely
functioning shower. For $50 more we might have stayed with a 5-star resort with
pools with swim-up bars. But back then we had little money and didn't understand
the value of the higher hotel - until we arrived.) (See also: How to Negotiate
Your Hotel Deal <http://www.wisebread.com/negotiate-your-own-hotel-deal>)
How to Find a Cheap
Vacation Package in Three Steps
Now which you know
the information, you need to start actually searching for if you want a package.
1. Make Some
throughout the tips above and earn some decisions about dates, places, people,
budget, etc. As I mentioned, a lot more flexible you are the cheaper trip
you'll get; but note that you simply'll also spend added time searching for
2. Determine What's
a Good Deal
Before you know
you're getting an affordable vacation package, you should get a baseline price
to compare and contrast the trip to. I recommend choosing you favorite travel
google search (I like Kayak <http://kayak.com/>) and entering a versatile
date search to your city for the location under consideration and first obtain
a baseline feeling of what flight tickets cost. Next, make use of the search engine's
hotel function and understand the approximate tariff of a hotel for just a stay
of the length. For instance, if the least expensive fares you're finding are
$500, as well as the hotel to get a week's stay is $600, you know that a trip
package that's below $1100 is a great deal.
3. Search and Book
How for your
requirements actually search to get a deal? Here are the top places to take a
<http://www.lastminute.com/> (I've used Lastminute.com and liked it)
<http://www.go-today.com/> provides the easiest browsing and great deals
for travel abroad. (I've used Go-today for a number of trips which have been
<http://www.priceline.com/> lets you be flexible on location - just look
underneath the "theme vacation ideas" box. (Here's a good post with
general Priceline Bidding Tips
that may help you further be aware of the Priceline process.)
<http://www.cheaptickets.com/> similarly has packages determined by theme
For All Packages
· Pick inside
the travel section of your respective local paper - as some of the most
effective deals on packages from your neighborhood airport is going to be
listed in your neighborhood paper which has a local # travel agency #.
· Try Groupon
Getaways <http://www.groupon.com/getaways>. Groupon for travel is completely,
and I haven't used it, but dependant on what I've seen you will find some cheap
deals through a partnership with Expedia.
· Finally, the
regular online travel agencies Orbitz <http://www.orbitz.com/>, Expedia
<http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-10515287>, and Travelocity
all have great deals, although the sites are easier to navigate if you've got a
set location and dates.
Wise Bread's awesome set of Travel Resources <http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources>.
Have you ever
booked a trip package? What was your experience?