A round-the-world trip remains the world’s greatest journey. For two out of every three people, this is the ultimate travel experience, according to recent research. Needless to say, in a world obsessed by travel, travelers and travel agents are both looking for the cheapest tickets and airfares available.
Cheap airline tickets, in most cases, can be obtained from wholesale dealers and discounters.
If your requirements are simple – you want a round-trip ticket from one place to another, you have a particular airline on your mind and you have definite dates; then you can go directly to the source – to the ticket discount agency which buys cheap tickets in bulk from wholesalers and consolidators.
In real life most trips require more planning, and most people need a help from the agent to figure out what would be the best air ticket solution for their particular case. Cheap airfares to a particular region can often be found with local airlines that specialize in that country. Sometimes an agency that operates and retails tours to a particular country will have a discount agreement with the national carrier and will sell discount tickets on that airline.
With a bit of research through travel magazines aimed at the particular country of your choice, you can often find agencies dealing with national carriers for that country. For the cheapest possible airfare to many places the most affordable prices are often found in local travel agencies that deal with a particular destination selling round-trip discount airline flights – most likely to the capital of that country and a few main cities.
Sometimes you can find a really cheap air ticket with a discount retail agency that specializes in trips to a wider range of destinations or to multiple destinations. Through the sheer number of tickets that they sell they can command a reasonable discount. However, keep in mind that most advertised prices do not include taxes, luggage fee and airport tax, so the cheap airfare may end up being not so cheap. Best to read the small print to clarify exactly what you are getting before you purchase a ticket.
Another trick of the trade is for agencies to grab attention by indicating the lowest possible prices, which only apply on specific dates in low season. You’ll find that all agencies do this, even the most expensive ones so, don’t be surprised if you get a quote at double the price from what was displayed in the ad.
Airlines usually publish their scheduled flights and prices six months in advance. If you have decided on a destination it can be a good opportunity to get an ‘early bird’ discount by booking well in advance. Keep your eye on the travel press and also airline web-sites. There are often special discounts and incentives aimed at travelers who book online, as carrying out a booking online is cheaper for the company than through an intermediary who will take a commission.
However, although you can expect to get the cheapest air ticket if you start searching many months ahead, there are some exceptions. At times like Christmas or other periods of high demand the prices are usually inflated and planes fill up many months in advance. If you can be flexible and travel on actual holiday days such as Christmas day or New Years Eve you can find some pretty attractive discounts.
The key to enjoying an affordable vacation is to finding inexpensive hotels to stay in. This is because accommodation costs are a significant chunk of the total vacation expenditure and by staying in a cheap hotel vacationers can afford to experience more of what a holiday destination has to offer.
Families planning a vacation need to keep their eyes open for the best hotel deals on offer. The Internet is a great resource for finding cheap hotels that offer good food and lodging. One can compare services offered across hotels for a given rate; this knowledge helps while negotiating for accommodation. Hotels can also be compared for nearness from the airports, railway stations, and tourist attractions. It is important to look up hotels on more than one site that list comparisons. This is because not all hotels in an area may be listed on a site. Hotels also list discount deals and vacation deals on their own websites, subscribing to hotel newsletters is another option that helps to keep abreast of rate changes.
Staying in a cheap hotel is a great idea not only for budget vacationers but also for those who may not have budget constraints. Cheap accommodation does not necessarily mean having to rough it out.
A little research will enable one to come up with hotels that provide good accommodation at surprisingly cheap rates. However, there are several things that need to be considered while searching for cheap hotels. Most hotels have the cheaper rooms taken up fairly quickly, so it’s important to book in advance. Also, hotel rates during the off-season are low; so families can plan their vacations accordingly. If the cheaper rooms have been taken up when one first enquires, there is no harm in checking again after some time. Also, if the hotel tariffs have fallen after one has made a reservation, some hotels will in fact offer accommodation at the revised rates.
Even if a hotel’s rates appear slightly on the higher side, very often they are negotiable. In fact, vacationers should keep in mind that good bargaining skills can help them get some pretty amazing accommodation deals. In order to be able to bargain skillfully, one needs to first of all communicate with the right person in the hotel, for example the sales manager. Also, it pays to be informed about the facilities that can be had for the rate a hotel is charging and to know the times of the year when the hotel is in demand from business travelers and vacationers.
AAA cards can earn their members discounts of up to 10% on their hotel stay. Points earned on credit cards can also be redeemed by vacationers to contribute to lodging expenses, many hotels that offer cheap rates accept AAA cards and redeem credit card points. Thus, a little planning and careful research in selecting a hotel can enable families on vacation to enjoy the sights and sounds of their chosen destination to a far greater extent.