It is easy to find small travel discounts throughout the year. These 5% to 15% discounts permeate the travel business; members of AAA, AARP and other broad-membership organizations routinely get these discounts.
But what if you are looking for a great vacation with deals that really slash the prices? Discounts that are up to half off are much harder to find and are often available only a limited number of times per year.
To make matters worse, big discounts are not always accurate. Those promotions featuring “50% off” are usually not actually half of what you would otherwise pay. The supposed discount may be figured from an inflated list price that nobody actually pays ‒ or would consider paying.
Nonetheless, if you know where to look and know how to spot the fake discounts from the real ones, you will soon find yourself booking a bargain vacation.
- Airlines will sometimes offer really big discounts in international busienss class and premium economy. For example, in mid-October, British Airways sold business-class tickets to many European cities at prices less than half of the usual fair, matched by some other airlines. The deal only lasted two days.
- In economy class, Southwest frequently promotes short-term Ding sales.
- Consolidators are another great place to find cheap flights. While they do not actually take on any inventory, they do have access to discounted “fare buckets” from airlines, allowing them to sell tickets, one by one, when someone buys.
- Amtrak’s biggest discounts include free or reduced-price companion tickets. They can sometimes have short purchase windows.
- Amtrak posts weekly deals on its website, or you can sign up for regular email or mobile bulletins. When you enter a trip, Amtrak’s website automatically calculates any eligible discount.
- Hotels prefer to offer savings by promoting second, third, fourth, or fifth night free deals. This could work out to be 50%, 33%, 35% and 20% off, respectively.
- You can find really big discounts through opaque buying sites such as Hotwire and Priceline. On Priceline, the best strategy is to bid as low as you think might work; on Hotwire, look for really low prices in your preferred star class.
- When a ship has yet to completely sell out, cruises will often offer sharp discounts or other incentives to get you on board. Often the primary incentives take the form of extra onboard credit or multi-level cabin upgrades.
- The best websites for cruise deals include Cruise Critic and CrusiesOnly.
Information courtesy of USA Today. If you would like more information on where to find the bet travel deals, check out this article.