Monday, May 21, 2012

Top tips for getting the best travel deals

Traveling on a dime means knowing how to get the best travel deals. The tips that I put into can be used by anyone. Scouring the internet, negotiating with hotels, and locating travel deals takes time but it can pay off in a big way.

Hubby absolutely adores Walt Disney World. Trips can be expensive. Before going, we check the calendar to be sure that we're taking advantage of the off season prices. Next we look at the Disney World website for free dining days and Disney packages. My next call is to our travel agent to see what magic she can work. This helps me recognize and take advantage of travel deals.

Using our Choice Privileges membership has helped us rack up free rooms. This loyalty program is from Choice Hotels but almost any chain offers a similar program. It's at the Econo Lodge or any other brand under the Choice Hotels umbrella. One of the perks is alerts about travel deals and special promotions that Choice Hotels may be offering. Traveling during these promotions has helped me earn free nights even faster.

I love coupons! Chambers of commerce, convention and visitors bureaus... I check websites for each of these organizations for coupons before leaving home. We have tried out restaurants and have gotten discounts and travel deals that helped make a vacation possible.

Call ahead to ask. Theme park attendants will tell you about discounted tickets if you ask them. It only takes a minute to make the phone call. I've also received discounts by calling zoos, aquariums and science centers.

Be nice. Hotel desk clerks are people too. Be nice at check-in and ask if they have any travel deals  available or if you qualify for any discounts. I was recently able to get a room upgrade at a standard discounted room rate just by being nice to the hotel desk clerk. Being nice may not always help me save money but it never hurts and it never makes the trip more expensive.

How to find cheap hotel rates