As well as the usual ways to get a bargain flight or holiday, it is also important to consider other money saving tips for when you are actually traveling.
Another issue that you should consider before booking is what potential specialist discounts you may be entitled to; for example, many agents offer discounts to students, seniors or individuals that are members of certain organizations may also be able to get better deals.
When it comes to student travel you may find that the discounts are available for anyone aged 26 or under, regardless of whether they are actually students. If you are a student or under 26 then contact the specialist student agents such as Student Universe, STA and Council Travel to find out what deals they have available.
Similarly there are specialist deals for seniors find out which of the airlines you are considering offer discounts for AARP members. If you are getting a senior rate you may find that your companion can also benefit from the same rate. Be sure to ask about these rates and any coupons or vouchers that are offered to senior travelers.
Clubs and Award Programs
Being a member of an airline or hotel awards program is a superb way of finding out about the bargains and also for making ongoing savings every time you travel. As a general rule there is no limit to the number of award programs that you can join, but normally you will have to decide which of the award programs you wish to assign any points you earn during a vacation.
Frequent Flyer Points
As well as gaining points every time you fly you can also become part of a mailing list that ensures you are notified of the hot deals of the day!
The largest frequent flyer programs in America are United’s Mileage Plus, Delta’s SkyMiles and American’s Aadvantage. On average they have 20 million members each.
Hotel Award Programs
Hotel chains are keen to ensure that they have loyal customers and as such the larger chains will almost always offer some incentive for repeat bookings. Always ask what incentives are available, particularly if you can’t choose between two different hotels.
If one offers a good ongoing program, this may sway your decision. Some of the more popular offerings include a free upgrade if you stay for 10 days over the course of a year, free nights, free wine in your room.
Holiday Inn was the first hotel chain to begin to offer incentives and in the early days it was an impressive offer! After 75 days stay a traveler would get 2 airline tickets to Europe! Needless to say, this program was popular but soon had to be discontinued due to the amount it was costing the company. They do now have a very good awards program, just not quite as generous!
Combined Award Programs
Although some hotels and airlines offer frequent flyer points that encourage you to use their specific company, these sometimes will not offer you the best deal in combination. There are now plenty of companies that allow you to gather points whenever you use transport or goods that are affiliated to awards company.
Affiliates can be anything from hotels and flights to restaurants and clothing. Joining is normally easy and free, and with a bit of careful planning can yield huge rewards. What have you got to lose?