When people think about travelling, be it for work, vacation or other purposes, most would love to snag the best deals. Gone are the days when people head to travel fairs to sniff out the bargains. These days, there are myriad options available for your travel needs. Consider these options other than the traditional travel fair:
1. Travel sites
Travel sites are pretty much the first source the net-savvy crowd go to these days for their travel needs. They are very useful in the search for good travel deals, enabling you to compare the prices of airfare, lodging and other resources quickly and easily without you having to leave your seat. Besides being free to use, they also provide reviews on places to stay. Examples of travel sites include CruiseCompete.com, Airfare Watchdog, AirTicketOnSale.com, Hotwire.com and XE.com, to name a few.
2. Print media and Social networks
It is good to be included in the mailing lists of hotels, rental cars and cruise lines. On top of that, following such companies on their Twitter or Facebook allows for special deals and other perks to be made known to their subscribers i.e. you. Apps and mobile devices help with notifications that alert you to the best deals available.
Print media such as newspapers also provide information for travel especially when travel companies advertise their travel packages or special promotions. Airlines also take out advertisements to promote their ticket promotions.
3. Seasonal purchase
Knowing when to buy the tickets helps in saving money. Flights on certain days e.g. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, are cheaper as well as at different times of the day. Some airlines give discounts on off-peak seasons. The best time for purchasing an airline ticket is on Tuesday, when discounted flights are featured on sites. By the time Thursday rolls around, most of these specials will have ended.
4. Credit Cards and Airline Loyalty Programmes
Charging to credit cards can help to accumulate air miles for free travel. Some credit cards, for example, the Citibank Premier Miles Visa, HSBC Visa Infinite, Standard Chartered Visa Infinite and UOB PRVI Miles Platinum, are highly rated for miles accumulation.
Travel Reward Credit Cards, such as the KrisFlyer card, also provide another way to get a good deal. While there is no one card that will suit all travel aspirations, travel credit cards allow you to get access to airport lounges and provide travel insurance when you charge your flight purchases to your card.
Signing up for an airline loyalty program offers you the option of using air miles instead of cash to travel. Frequent flyers can maximise this especially if they use more than one airline to travel.
5. Travel Insurance plans
Travel deals do not just mean flights and hotels; it can extend to travel insurance too. Travel insurance does more than provide medical protection. It may look unimportant when you travel but if you break a leg or lose your mobile device, it may mean the difference between getting financial coverage and paying out of your pocket.
Travel insurance plans work best with high coverage. A minimum coverage of $100,000 ensures the high hospital bills are covered in the event something happens to your health. The coverage should also include emergency evacuation and care, which involves your being evacuated to places in and out of the country.
To get the best deals on travel insurance, make use of GoBear’s travel insurance comparison tool.
3 reasons why you shouldn’t do things at the very last minute, at least not for your travel insurance. pic.twitter.com/TUJ809jEBx— GoBear (@GoBearSG) January 7, 2016
6. Last-minute travel plans
Flexibility in the dates of travel allows for cheaper prices and more options to less crowded places. Travelling on days before or after popular periods like public holidays and weekends sometimes mean cost savings. Leaving the destination open opens more doors to cheaper prices and places that may have smaller crowds. Check out sites like CheapCaribbean and LastMinute Cruises which allow for last-minute bookings.
7. Special deals
Travel packages save time and money when the trip involves popular tourist destinations. For instance, Groupon deals enable you to save money on your travel package and help cut down the spending budget. Hotel deals emailed by Groupon let you know what you can get for advanced payment. Online shopping Qoo10 (surprise, surprise) also provides another avenue for cost savings on travel deals.
However when heading for less popular locations or shorter time periods, it is better to hunt for independent or small-time accommodations, where there is no need for bulk buying. Booking flights and hotels separately helps make the travel arrangements more flexible, especially for trips with shorter time periods.
Airbnb and HomeAway are alternatives to hotels, especially if you are looking for a non-hotel place to stay or if the destination has few available hotels. Sites that offer hostel accommodation include Hostelz.com and BedandBreakfast.com.
A reliable travel agent or tour operator ensures the resources and connections to good deals. With good travel agents, there is less risk of flights being mis-booked or a traveller being stranded. These agents may give insights into special deals, recommendations and perks or tie-ups with airlines that are available. One may look for experienced staff in agencies such as Flight Centre Singapore, Travel Media and CityState Travel.