With gas prices skyrocketing and airfares flying higher courtesy of added fees for everything from checked bags to in-flight food, bargain hunters will have to look a bit harder this year to score a good deal on Spring travel. When planning a spring break trip, don’t surrender to peak prices. With a few frugal travel tips provided by consumer savings expert, Regina Novickis, even the most inexperienced bargain hunter will find a deal during the travel season.
- Don’t procrastinate. Make travel arrangements as soon as plans are set in place to secure the best price. Some airlines will honor a refund request if the fare drops after you purchase a ticket, minus a change fee.
- Comparison shop online. Compare rates among airlines, hotels and car rental companies and between discount travel sites to find the best price. Travelocity and Expedia are two websites that offer discounted prices for various companies so users can easily compare rates.
- Search for coupon codes. Practically every travel site has a box at checkout where shoppers can enter a promotional discount code. Sites such as PromotionalCodes.com, CouponWinner.com and PromoCodes.com organize codes into categories to allow for specific searches by company; or category such as flights, hotel accommodations, cruises, theme parks, top vacations, rental cars and more. A recent search for codes on PromotionalCodes.com turned up coupons such as 30% off spring and summer travel vacations from Travelocity; three-night flight and hotel vacation packages starting at $249 through JetBlue; and Enterprise Rent-A-Car weekend rates starting at $9.99 per day.
- Be flexible. From travel dates to destinations and means of transportation, flexibility provides more options and cheaper choices. Certain countries may experience a slow season during our peak spring travel times, which could mean discounts on flights, hotels and attractions.
- Think local. Planning a great getaway does not require traveling to a far-off destination. Consider booking trips to locales within driving distance of an hour or two. This way you can pack the entire family into the car; and still enjoy a relaxing and fun vacation.
- Shop online for trip essentials. Luggage, new apparel and shoes and even basic necessities can quickly add up when shopping for the family trip. You can find the best deals by using online price comparison tools. CouponWinner.com’s CouponScout is a coupon comparison tool which lets you compare sales and coupons from up to five stores side-by-side and all on the same screen. You can save even further if a retailer offers free shipping. There are also shopping comparison engine sites that help you find the item you’re looking for at the lowest possible price. For example, myShoes.com uses a detailed price comparison to show you all the stores that sell the same pair of shoes by price, and tells you which stores offer free shipping and free returns. The site even applies any available coupon codes to help you get an even better deal.
Guest post by Regina Novickis, a consumer savings expert who travels across the country teaching shoppers how to get the best prices on everything from travel to electronics, subscriptions and shoes.
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