Four Ways to Slash the Cost of Summer Travel
Two things seem to happen when the mercury rises:
Hemlines get shorter and vacation prices get higher.
According to Bing Travel, a website that predicts travel
costs, airfares are expected to rise by 15 percent and
hotel costs could increase by 7 percent during summer.
Instead of skipping your holiday, however, follow these
four tips to slash the cost of travel.
AVOID THE CROWDS.
Destinations that are popular during the winter—think ski
resorts and tropical islands—o;er more bang for the buck
during summer, when resorts and attractions have fewer
guests. And lower prices are not the only benefit to traveling during the o;-season, according to Genevieve Shaw
Brown, editorial director for Travelocity.
“Because properties are trying to attract guests,
you’re more likely to see incentives like room upgrades,
spa credits and restaurant certificates.” It’s the VIP treat-
ment without the inflated price tag.
SNAG A SOCIAL MEDIA SPECIAL.
“A lot of places use social media to share their latest
promotions with their followers,” says guidebook
author Beth Kanter.
The best way to score a deal: Add hotels, airlines,
rental car companies and attractions to your Twit-
ter and Facebook feeds before making reservations or
buying tickets, and monitor their posts for promotions.
And when a deal is posted, act fast. According to Kanter,
most social media specials expire or sell out before the
140-character announcements are lost in your news feed.
Package deals o;er big savings. Travelocity found that
travelers saved up to $525 when they booked airfare and
hotel together, compared with booking the same trip
“There is a misconception that packaged vacations
mean prepackaged vacations,” notes Brown. “You
select all of the elements—airline, flight times, hotel—
but booking them together can lead to huge savings.”
TRADE ROOMS FOR REAL ESTATE.
Kanter suggests skipping hotels altogether. Renting
a flat in London or a condo in Toronto costs less than
reserving a hotel room and o;ers all of the comforts of
home, including a stocked kitchen and extra bedrooms.
“Renting an apartment is a great way to explore a
city, because you’re living in a neighborhood with the
locals,” Kanter says.
Websites such as vrbo.com and homeaway.com advertise short-term rentals around the world. Before booking, read reviews from past guests and don’t be afraid to
contact the owner to ask questions about the rental.