Just because we’re in a recession doesn’t mean you can’t get your vacation kicks. On the contrary, when the tourism industry is suffering, deals are to be had. Check out the best ways to score big and save money on your summer travel plans.
1. STUDENT DISCOUNTS
If you’re still a student, you’re in luck. STA Travel and Student Universe offer special discounted flights and hotel rooms for anyone with a valid student ID (teachers too). Student tickets are also more flexible, so changing or canceling flights is easier as well. [STA Travel, StudentUniverse.com]
2. FLASH SALES
The newest trend in travel deals are flash sale websites, like Jetsetter and Vacationist.com. Both are invitation-only communities with deals offered on a first come, first served basis. You can find luxury hotels, African safaris and more at 40 percent off, but the deals only last between 24 to 72 hours, so you have to act fast. If you’re the type of gal who likes her thread count in the thousands, these sites are for you. [Jetsetter, Vacationist.com]
3. DISCOUNT WEBSITES
There is a plethora of discount websites that take the guesswork out of planning a cheap vacation. The companies have special deals with the airlines and hotels and are able to offer package rates at extremely deep markdowns. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive Caribbean vacation, this is where you turn. Plan a girls’ trip with your closest buds and enjoy a week of sun, Pina Coladas and endless buffets. Another amazing resource you should know about is Travelzoo and their “Top 20 Deals of the Week.” Sign up for their weekly email newsletter and they will send you their 20 best vacation deals to both local and exotic destinations. Recent ones include Ireland, Africa and India! [Cheap Caribbean, Book It, Travelzoo]
4. SUMMER DESTINATION STEALS
Certain destinations are economical to visit in the summer due to decreased demand for hot temperatures. Take advantage of this and go somewhere you wouldn’t be able to afford in the winter. Need some inspiration? Nancy Mercurio of DT Travel, a corporate travel agency, suggests Hawaii, Florida and Las Vegas. “These popular winter destinations see a nosedive in tourism in the summer when the rest of the country finally warms up, so you can really save some money by traveling to them in the summer.”
For a romantic getaway, try Waikiki, Hawaii. While it’s more “touristy” than Maui, hotels are at an all-time low and direct flights are extremely affordable. Florida is a perfect long weekend trip — Miami and Fort Lauderdale are easily accessible and a quick flight away if you live in the South or on the East Coast. If you’re thirsting for some debauchery, Las Vegas is the place to be. Due to an influx of new hotel developments right before the recession hit, there are too many rooms and not enough guests. Four and five star hotels can be found for less than $50 a night. That’s less than you’ll pay for your dinner! Cruises are another great option for those looking to save some coin and are a great opportunity to see a variety of places without having to buy a bevy of plane tickets. [Kayak.com]
5. BAD PRESS = GREAT DEALS
Western Europe, especially Greece, is especially affordable nowadays due to financial troubles in certain countries. The dollar is strong, so you’ll get more bang for your buck. Take advantage of this before it’s too late. Mexico is still suffering from the “swine flu” bad press. It’s completely unjustified, so don’t let it stop you from visiting. As long as you’re not facing a serious threat (for instance, avoid countries with civil wars going on, such as Thailand and North Korea), bad press usually just means affordable vacations for savvy folks.
The Money section and all articles within it are sponsored by Free Credit Report; however, the articles are all independently produced by The Frisky and the opinions and views expressed by the writers and experts are their own.