Rethink your “summer vacation”
If your summer vacation window is wide open, why not consider skipping July and August altogether? It’s much more affordable to travel in the spring or early fall when flights and accommodations are about 25 per cent cheaper. However, if you’re set on travelling during peak season, you can still save by being flexible. Flying out on a Tuesday instead of a Friday could save you a bit of money, and if you’re taking a flight with multiple departures a day, flying in the afternoon will likely be cheaper than a morning flight. Don’t forget about the destination you’re considering, either. Portugal and Eastern Europe are much cheaper than, say, France or the United Kingdom, while a trip to Southeast Asia (that’s Halong Bay in Vietnam, above) could be more affordable than you might expect.
Photo: iStock/Johnny Greig/Trafalgar
Book your summer vacation early
It’s always in your best interest to book your summer vacation early. If you plan on flying to your destination, for example, it will be much easier to find seats on your preferred flights if you book in March than if you were to wait until the last minute. (If you do wait until the last minute, follow these eleventh-hour travel tips!) The same thing applies to hotels, where prices are based on supply and demand. What’s more, tour operators often provide financial incentives for early booking, with companies like Trafalgar offering savings up to $466—a significant discount that adds up if you’re travelling with a partner, or in a larger group.
Use the right websites
Whether you’re eyeing-up Puerto Rico or Prague (above), there are a lot of websites vying for your travel dollar, and that competition has led to the creation of a number of very attractive perks for travellers. For instance, when you make five reservations with Booking.com, you become eligible for their “Genius Program” which gives you 10 per cent off as well as early check-in and late check-out at select properties. KAYAK, on the other hand, has a price alerts feature that will send you discounted flight and hotel updates directly to your inbox, which can save you hours scouring the web for the best bargains. (Check out the five best travel apps you can download for free!)