The summer travel season is just around the corner, bringing us closer to our own personal paradise — whether that’s exploring historical sites and cobblestone streets or ocean-side beaches.  Unfortunately the summer travel season also happens to be the most expensive travel time of the year. So if you really want to get more “bang for your buck” this summer, here are seven amazing insider tips to help keep costs down and your wanderlust-self fulfilled.

1. Time it right 

According to travel data site Farecompare.com, the cheapest days to fly for both arrivals and departures are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, because they’re the least traveled days of the week. In many cases, Tuesday and Wednesdays are usually when airlines launch airfare sales.  Some travel experts insist after 3 p.m. on Tuesdays is the “best time” to buy flights. The worst time? The weekends. Travel sites use very sophisticated pricing algorithms that usually “up” the cost during predictable purchasing windows, when consumers have more time on their hands.  Experts also recommend booking your travel two to three months out to get the best pricing.

2. Consider a throwaway ticket

To save a big chunk of change, consider purchasing a throwaway ticket also known as a “hidden city” ticket. The idea is to buy a ticket to a destination that’s less in demand (let’s say…Lincoln, Nebraska), knowing the layover location is the place you want to go (e.g. Chicago). Therefore, you throw the last leg of your ticket away, hence the name “throwaway ticket.” These can be a little more complicated to plan and requires some flexibility, but they’re also cheaper, because you’re booking a ticket to a slightly less popular destination, even though you’re not really going there. Get it? If not, Business Insider has some great information about throwaway tickets.

3. Call the airlines

Sometimes air carriers showcase different prices online and don’t advertise inexpensive options. If that online ticket is too pricey, considering calling the airline and asking them if they have any “positioning flights” that go from your departure city to your final destination. Positioning flight is a term they use to get an aircraft from one location to another for logistical reasons. It’s not intended for revenue and can sometimes lead to large savings.

4. Clear your cookies

Do you ever wonder why that travel price you looked at yesterday has gone up a few hundred dollars today? Your mind isn’t playing tricks on you. If you’ve searched for travel packages and airline tickets, but didn’t purchase anything, clear your cookies or use a different search browser or device. Why? When you don’t, it signals to the site that you’re an eager buyer and therefore, they increase the rates. Sneaky, huh?

5. Sign up for alerts

Airfarewatchdog.com, Golastminute.com, Farecompare.com and the app Hopper are great options to notify you when flight deals are at an all-time low. Also, signing up for airline and travel sites’ newsletters will usually help give you a “first dibs” on special offers.

6. Book secret rooms 

If you see a hotel you want to stay at, especially for a fast approaching vacation, call the manager or director of sales to see if there’s any rooms that opened up and if they’re willing to sell them to you at a discounted rate. “Secret rooms” as they’re sometimes called, are rooms that aren’t available online and can be sold for 20 to 50 percent less than what’s advertised. This is usually due to events that fell through or last minute cancellations. You can also book non-disclosed secret rooms at luxury hotels using sources like Travelocity Top Secret Hotels and lastminute.com Secret Hotels, to name a few.

7. Use home rentals

Maybe this isn’t the most ground-breaking advice, but if you’ve rented rooms, houses or apartments from sites like VRBO.com, Airbnb and Homeaway.com, you already know you’ll pay a fraction of the cost compared to hotels. Plus, you’ll have access to a kitchen, which is great for saving on food. For instance, you can rent a nice flat in the heart of Paris for $53 a night. And if you like to travel in big packs, check out these 11 amazing mansions you can rent for well under $100 per person, per night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.