Hotwire, HotelTonight and Other Great Ways to Save on Travel
Maximize your travel savings by following the 9 insider tips listed below:
#9 Utilize Hotel Freebies
Hotel stays can actually save you money! For example, rather than purchasing the $5 bottled water in your room, grab a complimentary bottle from the hotel gym. Or take advantage of the free coffee, tea, and possibly even wine in the hotel lobby. Sometimes, wifi is even complimentary if you sign up for the hotel's loyalty program. It is also key to state if your stay has gone wrong, in a respectful manner of course. Hotels love feedback and will most likely reward you for it. When a room is not ready for check in or if your maid never cleaned, a complimentary gift should be offered for your inconvenience. Typically these gifts come in the form of room upgrades and/or waived fees. In person reviews can get you much farther than one many think.
#8 Sign Up for Airline Newsletters
Several airlines send out monthly newsletters by email, which are basically discounts and deals delivered straight to your inbox. These deals consist of two - day flash sales for last minute getaways, 35% off domestic and international travel, as well as low rate alerts. Jetblue is popularly known for offering deals exclusive to email subscribers only. These awesome newsletters will also include airline mileage program information and applications where special members who reach a certain number of miles will reap upgraded seats.
#7 Apply for an Airline Credit Card
Joining an airlines frequent flier loyalty program will save you money. If you fly at least 25,000 miles with any given airline you will generally receive free upgrades, waived baggage fees, and better seat choices. These savings can add up to over $200 per airline ticket. And even if you do not plan to fly that often you can still reap those same benefits by signing up for an airline credit card! You may even reap a large signing bonus if you time your promotion. We recommend the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard through American Airlines. Upon approval for this card you will automatically receive 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles, if you spend $3,000 in the first three months of ownership. While this may sound like a lot of money, you can use this card for monthly bills that you already pay i.e. gas, groceries, and utility bills. Please remember that all credit cards have annual fees but the Citi/AAdvantage card will waive its $99 fee the first year. With your credit card you will get free priority boarding, free checked bags, and accrue miles for every dollar spent.
#6 Fare Drop Flight Alerts
Google Flights is a great way to book flights as it shows you the best 'real-time' airfares with features to help you purchase the cheapest ticket. Google flights will suggest utilizing cheaper airports, show you the cheapest days to fly, and allow you to track airline prices. If a route's pricing happens to drop, Google Flights will alert you via email. Check out smart phone applications like Hopper and Skyscanner to track airline price drops as well.
#5 Aim to Book Hotel Grand Openings & First Time Flight Routes
New hotels and flight routes search far and wide to fill their rooms/seats and will implement discounted rates to do so. Thus, it pays to be on the lookout for what's newly opening within destinations you have a desire to travel. Just google 'new hotel' in the destination you wish to go and hit the 'news' tab for the latest updates. It is also a good idea to check out travel websites like Travel + Leisure to get insight on new hotel construction. On the other hand, airline newsletters are the best way to find out about new flight routes. Travel sites like Airfarewatchdog and Smarter Travel will also announce new-route discounts whenever they are available.
#4 Travel to 'Unknown' Places
Head off the beaten path and discover beautiful places unknown by the touristy crowds. These types of places tend to be far cheaper as they can not afford to drive away customers. Mexico is a great place to check out! Areas like Puerto Vallarta may cost you up to $180 a night but further up the cost near San Blas hotel rates drop significantly. We highly recommend checking out the rustic Punta Monterrey boutique resort where you can stay on a private beach for only $80 a night. This rate includes home cooked meals utilizing organic ingredients from an onsite garden. Talk about a deal!
#3 Take Advantage of Last Minute Hotel Deals
If you are a flexible traveler, learn how to take advantage of booking last minute deals. HotelTonight is an amazing application for locating discounted hotel stays. Hotels need to fill up rooms and will do so for extremely cheap. Plus, HotelTonight lets you book these rooms weeks in advance. You do not have to necessarily book the night before. Hotwire is another site that offers a similar deal but their discount is offered through 'opaque pricing' a feature which hides the name of your hotel until you book your stay. This way hotels are able to give hotwire their unbooked rooms without compromising their integrity. You can book your hotel at the lowest rate possible if you use Hotwire deals and coupon codes during the checkout. For example, now Hotwire offers up to 60% off their Hot Rate Hotels. Indeed, the offer is generous, but you can find even more Hotwire promo codes, coupons and deals at coupon sites like promocodes2018.com and slickdeals.net. Planning your next getaway, make sure you check these sites to find the best deals on a wide range of hotel accommodations, from luxury to budget friendly ones. If you travel often you might want to download the Hotwire app. Using the app you can easily browse the Hotwire hotel list and book accommodation faster, let alone have access to exclusive Hotwire coupon codes. Also you can save hundreds of dollars if you book your Hotwire flight and hotel together.
Travelzoo is a great place to score last-minute deals on all-inclusive trips with airfare prices included! Try flying two to St.Lucia for only $632 total, this is possible with Travelzoo.
#2 Get Locals Recommendations
Social media is a great way to connect with people world wide! When visiting a destination ask locals (whether it be in person or through social media) for the cheapest places to eat, stay and visit. This method only works if you are not shy! Locals know their land and have no promotional agenda like concierge who partner with nightlife brands. Instead, ask your valet, bartender, or uber for recommendations as they seem to know all the good spots. Plus, they work off of tips and will be eager to offer you money saving suggestions.
#1 'Dead Week' Traveling
Industry professionals utilize the term 'dead week' to describe the absolute cheapest time of the year to travel as business is dying and the seasons are off. This time of year typically takes place after New Years day until around January 15th. People are heading back to work during this time and have already taken their Christmas/New Year vacations. During 'dead week' hotel rates drop, flights are extremely cheap, and travel packages become readily available. When searching for 'dead week' make sure to use works like 'winter sales' and prepare to locate last minute deals off of unsold inventory.