Wise Bread Picks · Travel Rewards Credit Cards <http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=belimg-all> · Cash Back Credit Cards <http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=belimg-all> · 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards <http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=belimg-a> Sometimes arranging 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 Cards <http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards>) Personally, I've 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 Place 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 <http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-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 Time 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 <http://gogreentravelgreen.com/money/flexible_travel_best_search_engines/>.) 4. Be Flexible on Amenities Most travel 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 (or Two) 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 <http://www.wisebread.com/hostels-vs-hotels-choosing-the-perfect-place-to-stay-within-your-budget>) 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 Foreign Country 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 Decisions First, look 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 packages. 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 look: For Last-Minute Trips · Lastminute.com <http://www.lastminute.com/> (I've used Lastminute.com and liked it) · Hotwire <http://hotwire.com/> · Priceline <http://priceline.com/> For Flexible Locations · Go-today <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 outstanding.)
· Priceline <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 <http://gogreentravelgreen.com/money/priceline-bidding-ultimate-guide/> that may help you further be aware of the Priceline process.)
· CheapTickets <http://www.cheaptickets.com/> similarly has packages determined by theme and destination. 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 <http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-10525155?url=http%3A%2F%2Ftravel.travelocity.com%2Fel.do%3Fea_sid%3D%25zs%26ea_aid%3D%25za%26ea_pid%3D%25zp%26WA1%3D07010%26WA2%3D%25zp%26WA3%3Dofr-1-%25zs%26WA5%3D%25za%26WA6%3D%25zl%26Service%3DCJUS%26dest%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.travelocity.com> all have great deals, although the sites are easier to navigate if you've got a set location and dates. Lastly, remember 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?