Even the experts agree that travel is good for the mind, body, and soul. But not everyone feels like they have the resources to enjoy it — at least, not as often as they should. In reality, most people can probably afford more vacations than they realize, if they just knew how to find the best deals.
The good news is that travel deals pop up all the time. Hotels try to book rooms at the last minute on slow weekends. Airlines have flash sales for underbooked flights. And resorts offer potential guests some sweet incentives to check out their properties for the first time. Here’s a few more places to look for great vacation deals.
Each state has its own visitors center or bureau which offers tons of information on what to do, where to stay, and how to get there. And most of these centers allow you to sign up on their websites to stay updated on new happenings. They’ll even send you maps and company brochures for prime destinations. But the best part is that you can typically get mailings once a year or more that are packed with coupons, discount codes, and other hard-to-find savings for lodging and activities in their state.
We recommend signing up for all the states you might like to visit. For example, if you’d like to explore Henry County, Georgia, contact the Georgia visitor center or sign up on their website to find out how you can do it cheaply.
If you’d like to attend a particular event, you can often get discounts directly from the company promoting or hosting it. For example, when attending sporting events in Lansing, MI, you could call the event center directly and ask about area discounts. Or sometimes certain events, such as conferences or concerts, will attract local hotel sponsors who list discounts right on their marketing pages and flyers.
It also doesn’t hurt to call the hotels in the vicinity of the event you’re attending and ask if they offer discounted room rates for that occasion. You might even get lucky and reach a manager who decides to go ahead and discount your room for asking.
Travel search sites
Travel search websites like Expedia or Kayak often get overlooked as hyped up marketing ploys. But in reality, there are genuinely decent sites out there where you can find some good deals. The key is to use their “save search” tools so that you can get automatic alerts when good deals pop up for your desired destination. You might save a search for Mackinac Island lodging or Los Angeles flights before receiving a notification about easy ways to visit. Great bargains do come along — they just don’t usually last very long.
If you’ve never used a travel agent, you could be missing out on some fairly big discounts. Many people never speak to an agent because they think that you have to pay more than the trip itself just to cover their services. But that’s actually not the case. Travel agents are paid by the hotels, airlines, or resorts that they sell bookings for. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, and most of the time, their packages cost less than what you could put together yourself.
If your dream is to take surf lessons in Waikiki, tell your travel agent and see what they come up with. You’re not obligated to purchase the package they put together, and you can see for yourself if it’s a cheaper deal than whatever you found without them.