By Team Tomorrow
Published July 28, 2021
After 15 months of shutdowns, Americans are excited to be traveling again this summer. Some aspects of travel will be different, but the strategies we use to find cheap travel deals and amazing vacation opportunities remain the same.
Here’s how to find the best deals while avoiding scams:
Airline ticket prices can substantially vary based on:
It’s usually cheaper to fly mid-week, rather than on the weekends. Most people have weekends off and choose those days to travel. Early-morning and red-eyes are also cheaper because fewer people want to fly during those hours.
Another excellent time to fly is right after a holiday. For example, consider traveling the week after Thanksgiving. As of this writing, the cheapest round trip flight on Alaska Airlines from Seattle to New York over Thanksgiving weekend (Wednesday-Sunday) is $616.80. If you book the week after, you can book for as low as $284.80.
If you’re not dead-set on where you want to go, you can find great deals on new destinations. Multiple airline search engines are making it easy to find the cheapest tickets and travel deals out there.
By signing up for various airline newsletters and sites like Travelzoo, Momondo, and Skyscanner, you’ll have access to the best deals in the world. All you have to do is enter your local airport code and discover where your travels can take you.
Many travel sites offer special deals, features, and discounts through their mobile apps that can’t be found on your desktop. When you book through Expedia’s mobile app, you can get up to 30% off on hotels and earn double points. With Orbitz’s mobile app, you can save up to 40% on hotels when booking.
Sites like Kayak have special deals called “hacker fares.” Hacker fares combine multiple one-way bookings to save you money on airfare, rather than booking round trip. Just make sure you look closely at your final booking. In some cases, you may be required to switch airlines or re-check-in along the way.
Some cheap travel deals may seem too good to be true. Unfortunately, some of them are.
Here are a few things to consider before booking:
During the pandemic, United, Delta, American Airlines, and several other airlines eliminated change fees for domestic flights. Some airlines also waived cancellation fees, which can sometimes cost more than the flights themselves.
Travel sites like Hotels.com and Expedia have free cancellation policies for most bookings, while Travel Zoo has a whole section dedicated to 100% refundable deals.
Make sure you read the fine print before booking, so that you know if some or all your trip is refundable. Not every site is clear on these, and getting your money back can be a real hassle.
Travel scams are on the rise. According to Consumer Affairs, there’s a “proliferation of fake travel sites” disguised to resemble real ones. If you’re on a government website, double-check to make sure it ends in “.gov.” If you’re in Canada, it should end in “gc.ca.”
Also, make sure the site you are searching on is secure. The link should start with “https://” and there should be a lock icon on the purchase page. If not, it’s unprotected against scammers.
Money.com suggests you check the company’s BBB rating and social media reviews, especially if you’re booking on a site you’ve never heard of. Conduct a Google search to see if anyone is complaining about them. Read what they’re saying, and search for commonalities.
Click on the site’s social media links to see where they take you. If you don’t end up on a Facebook page that’s something like “Facebook.com/CompanyName,” that should give you red flags. If the company hasn’t posted in months or even years, it’s probably not legitimate.
Congratulations! You’ve just won a free 7-day Carnival Cruise for two.
Except you didn’t. Just hang up.
We’re all itching to get out of our houses and go somewhere new. By following some or all of these strategies to get cheap travel deals, you’ll get to go on a great vacation and have a little extra money left over.
Give yourself an extra layer of protection by also updating your will, trust, and/or life insurance policy. Doing so will give you and your loved ones that extra peace of mind.
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