When you have simply had enough of the standard work-a-day routine, you are ready to visit the online travel sites for a well-deserved break. Unfortunately, you may lack the insight and advanced understanding to obtain the best deal on your well-deserved vacation.
While the airlines and the travel websites can usually frustrate most people with their widely varying prices from one moment to the next, there are some reasons for this type of operation bound up in a corporate profit-motive mentality to these heavy website variations.
Firstly, as your father used to tell you, it is well-advised to plan ahead. In general, as is almost always the case, the earlier ahead you make your bookings, the better the price. Booking a trip 4 months ahead will almost always result in a much lower overall price than booking two weeks or less prior to the planned date of the trip.
Of course there are emergency situations and last minute business travel that allows for little advanced booking considerations. In those situations, it’s even more important to apply the tips in the remainder of this article.
Making travel plans for your trip on the big bird on a weekend or holiday is a common mistake. These are the days the majority of the population is off work and able to get away. Due to supply and demand economics; this is the most expensive time for a happy holiday. The day you depart is very important to your ability to realize huge savings. Many times it even pays-off to sacrifice a few of your vacation days to reap the benefits. If you can travel on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday, you will almost always get great discounts from the more preferred Monday, Friday or Sunday travel dates.
Did you know that simply the day of the week you purchase your tickets can have a dramatic affect on the price? Most experienced travelers, travel executives and travel agents alike will tell you that Tuesday and Wednesday are the most affordable days or the week to actually book your trip.
You will find the discounted deals start to hit the travel sites on Monday night when discounted airline seats it seems can be reduced up to as much as 15% to 33% in some cases. One of the big budget airlines will typically offer a super discounted fare on Monday night with the other competitor airlines normally following the trend on Tuesday morning. As you pick up your trusty laptop on a Thursday or Friday to arrange your bookings, you will notice the price increase significantly.
To see for yourself the variance of prices subjected to the day you actually book your travel, take a look at travel sites such as Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz on different days of the week. Make sure you compare apples to apples and not apples to oranges though. Use the same online discount travel service and the same airline as reference only go to the sites on different days of the week. For example, set one date a couple of months in the future as your travel date and compare that same date on the three services mentioned above for the same airline, but on different days of the week. Overall, you will probably see a twenty five to one-third decrease in the ticket price in the early days of the week.
The airline sites are very smart nowadays. Be aware that they also seem to track booking patterns. From minute to minute prices can change for a bargain seat. If the volume is high for a particular travel destination/ seat, the price can go up unexpectedly for a given seat a few minutes later. Sometimes it seems as though the searching and looking you are currently performing is influencing the price–and it very well may be. Technology nowadays is constantly monitoring and adjusting to market demands. It’s the way of the 21 century. If you find a deal that seems much better than expected, and your scrooge mentality kicks-in causing you to continue looking for an even better deal on another travel site or airlines, you may be surprised that you lost your too-good-to-be-true deal when you come back to retrieve it again.
A most overlooked method of obtaining additional discounts on travel and airline tickets is a visit to the coupon and promotional code websites prior to booking. These sites will regularly feature discounts in the form of coupon codes and clickable links that will save you additional money on general and specific travel destinations and airlines. Try doing a few Google searches for phrases like: “Miami airline ticket coupon” or “Delta air travel promotions.” Doing so will return a list of coupon websites offering deals and coupon codes for these specific destinations or airlines. Get creative with your searches and try a multitude of different phrases; you will be surprised at the number of websites offering discounts you will find that will help you save additional money on your travel.
Grab your laptop and start exploring the ever-changing world of online travel booking. If you are prudent and long-suffering, you may just end-up with a deal to brag about. But keep in mind that it’s an ever-changing world out there with many variables.