We took to our Facebook page and asked the question: How do you decide when, where, and how to travel? The response was overwhelmingly a combination of three criteria: destination + price + timing. We sat around the office and talked all evening and came up with the tips below to help you design better vacations using online resources, no matter the time of year, your price range or destination! Today, we’ll cover some tips for the price-conscious traveler and expand into destination research on Thursday. As timing is related to both pricing and destination, we’ll discuss it throughout. Happy travel planning!
When price is a determining factor in your travel plans, it’s useful to begin by figuring out what’s on sale. Every destination has a peak season. This can relate to popular activities in the area like skiing, beaches, or festivals (think Vail, Miami Beach, and the popular SXSW conference in Austin). The best pricing will always be in off-peak or early season (right before peak season). When you’ve got low-season locked down and start to plan, you can also use timing to help you score last-minute deals.
Some tips for price-conscious travelers that cover take timing into account as well:
- Airfare Searches: We happen to be big fans of Airfare Watchdog. You can set up multiple searches by destination and wait for the sale results to pour into your inbox each day.
- Sign Up for Deals: Most travel sites have alerts that you can sign up for that will deliver great deals to your inbox, based on a combination of preferences. Even if you’re planning on booking a vacation rental through a site like Evolve, TripAdvisor, HomeAway, or VRBO, you can still check out what’s on sale and pick up great prices on airfare, rental cars, and recreation!
- Check Vacation Rental Sites: Most vacation rental sites list rate ranges on each property. Why not drop a line right to the site or the property owner and ask when the high/mid/low season rates are if they’re not posted? Many properties list the date ranges and that’s even better to help you plan your travel on a budget.
- Check Surrounding Towns: Many resort areas like Aspen, Colorado have surrounding towns (like Snowmass) where you can book accommodations at a lower rate than right in the heart of things. If you’re planning on driving, you’ll have a car anyways so why not save the cash and explore a place 5 to 15 minutes away instead of paying the premium?