3 Solid Strategies to Help You Anticipate Travel Deals
Traveling is expensive. Or, it can be if you’re paying full price and not looking for deals. How can you use the information around you to anticipate travel deals? It’s not too difficult once you know where to go.
To get deals for travel, you can scour the internet for various deals on deal sites, but to what end? You lose so much when going through sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Booking.com. Don’t get me wrong, I use them, but when booking fares on airline deal sites, you may get stuck in Basic Economy. Or you may lose your ability to cancel your hotel room. You may find yourself restricted to be able purchase upgrades with an airline, hotel or rental car company. Sometimes, the way you get nickel and dimed with upgrades, extra fees, and hidden charges, you end up paying more through deal sites than if you simply book directly with the vendor.
For great sites who truly post deals, you can find reputable travel companies who gather multiple deals and trip packages from all around and compile them into one helpful email. My favorites:
- Indus Travels
- Gate 1 Travel
- The Flight Deal
I’ve used deals and packages from each of these multiple times and they’re wonderful. They all take great care of their customers and are extremely reputable. These four sites are Three Star Traveler tested and approved.
Beyond searching for deals, or waiting for them to arrive in your inbox, you can look into areas with a high season. If there are peak travel times for destinations, you can bet there are valleys as well. Take a destination like the Outer Banks of North Carolina. There are three distinct season: High season, off season, and no man’s land. High season is usually Easter through Labor Day. Off Season is early September through Thanksgiving. No man’s land is December through Easter. It’s guaranteed you will pay the most during the high season, but then you have a choice between off season and “no man’s land.” What most people don’t realize is many businesses on the Outer Banks close December through Easter, and particularly January through February. While it may be the least expensive time to visit the Outer Banks, it’s the coldest, windiest, and most boring months to be there.
The Caribbean is another interesting example. Their off season is during the summer because it’s so hot and the peak season is the Autumn and winter for the Northern Hemisphere. Many destinations have peaks and valleys in their travel, particularly locales along the equator as those destinations have monsoon seasons to contend with.
With all this information, you should determine if you are willing to travel during the off season. Usually, airfares are cheaper, crowds are smaller, and you can have an equally enjoyable experience during the off season.
If you really want to elevate your game for predicting travel deals, it’s important to stay on top of current events. I don’t mean you have to spend every day reading every in print newspaper and online publication of repute to get information, but scan the headlines and investigate further if something piques your interest. As an example, as the U.K. Brexit vote loomed closer, I spent more time watching the events unfold. Why? Inevitably, the economic ramifications of Brexit would cause the value of the pound to drop, making the American dollar stronger in Britain and potentially making it less expensive to visit. Those who predicted that outcome were spot on. Just a few days following the decision to leave the U.K., flights to Britain dropped, travel packages including London and Scotland popped up for great prices, and the cost of hotels throughout Britain dropped.
Other similar situations occurred with financial crises in Greece, Ireland, and Iceland. Additionally, when you have global powerhouses, like China, attempting to gain a positive image throughout the world, prices in the travel and tourism industry drop dramatically to encourage international visitors. Often, the packages you see for situations like this are government subsidized to promote specific government owned businesses or to promote tourism in general. This in no way degrades a travelers experience. In fact, it often opens excursions and hotels that might have otherwise been out of budget for many travelers. Personally, we’ve traveled to Ireland, China, Iceland, and Portugal with these government backed travel packages. Each trip was absolutely top notch with fantastic flights, hotels, services, and cultural immersion.
If you’re out there searching for ways to improve your travel game, I hope these tips help you. Sign up for the mailing lists noted above, and sign up for the Three Star Traveler mailing list right now for more helpful articles and great stories.