After living through a winter season, most people will have had their fill of the cold and will want to travel as soon as summer comes. Summer is the time when the travel bug bites everyone who has some vacation time due, but its popularity as the get-up-and-go season means travel is more expensive. However, travel experts say there is a way to avoid paying more to travel even when it is summer. Here are some of their pointers.
- Survey your options well when you choose your destination.
Fares for some destinations start going up way before winter is over. This is because for some strange reason, everyone wants to go specifically to these places at this time. In fact, plane fares for Hawaii, one of the best-loved summer travel destinations, are often up by 15 percent starting January, and these keep going up until summer is gone. Cancun, Mexico, despite its extreme heat and humidity in summer, is another vacation favorite, so you can expect your ticket to Cancun to cost a lot more in summer than at any other time of the year.
The experts say that if you want to save on travel costs, it pays to look at all options when you plan your summer. There are some wonderful places for your break, and with just a little digging, you can have fun without paying more than you should.
- Look for bargain destinations.
Due to a variety of reasons, it often happens that you can get airline tickets to certain places at surprisingly low prices. For example, after the Olympics in Russia, plane ticket prices did such a nosedive flying to Moscow suddenly became cheaper than going to London.
Another case in point is Milan. Travel to Europe is on the rise for people who have had to cut back on trips because of the recession. Now that the global economy is better, people are eager to tour Europe again, and this has made traveling to Europe costly. For some reason, however, during the first quarter of 2014, while fares from the United States to Europe cost upwards of $1500, fares to Milan were significantly lower. If you were planning to see some parts of Europe, Milan would certainly not be a bad place to start. Moscow, Milan, and other places where fares are substantially lower are the types of destinations that allow you to avoid paying more to travel this summer.
- Book your flight early.
In general, if you plan to go to Europe in summer, you should do your booking months before your trip. Some travel advisers say if you can book your flight to Europe 319 days or 10 months and one week in advance, you will probably get the best possible deal. Prices would have gone up by about $100 if you book your flight in January and by 35 percent if you wait till May.
For domestic flights, booking your tickets two months in advance may be sufficient to get you the best prices. However, you would also need to check with travel websites to find out when tickets to certain places are at their least expensive. For example, it is best to get tickets to Pensacola, Ft. Lauderdale, or Orlando in Florida 75 days before you travel. If you plan to go to Vegas, make it 81 days in advance.
- Monitor time frames and airports.
Pay close attention to the time frames in the airlines’ booking page. Fares sometimes vary depending on your arrival and departure day. Some travel agents and travel experts have noticed, for example, how tickets cost a lot more when you book them for a Saturday arrival and a Saturday departure. In terms of better ticket deals, arriving and leaving on Tuesdays seems to work best.
Airports are another thing you need to take note of. Most major cities have more than one airport, and tickets to alternate airports are sometimes substantially cheaper. Especially if you are planning to rent a car for your stay, landing in an airport a little farther away from the city center should not be a problem. Compare the costs and see if using a smaller airport will yield savings for you.
- Look for all possible savings.
Explore the different ways you can get discounts. Many travelers have found that they are able to save hundreds by booking their hotel and airfare together. Find out if you can make similar arrangements for your vacation. Also, ask your bank what you should do to avoid charges that come with withdrawing money from ATMs while you are abroad.
It is possible to avoid paying more to travel this summer, but achieving this means careful planning. Invest in some serious research so you can create a hassle free and totally enjoyable vacation without breaking the bank.