If you’re like us, you probably research hotels and trips constantly to see the fluctuations in prices for places you want to go. Be it hotels, flights, all inclusive’s – we’re constantly checking various travel websites and comparing prices! We can look up the same listing a hundred times before clicking that book button. As we’ve come to realize that isn’t always a good idea. These tips should help keep more money in your pockets.
Go Incognito and Delete Your Cookies
Sites often log your computer’s address when you’re looking up hotels and vacations. You might notice a steep price increase in a particular trip you wanted to book. Our natural process is to panic when we see a price increase and try to find the original price. We’re faced with the option of waiting for a possible increase or booking. I’ve seen websites jack up the prices randomly only to locate the original price on a competitors website. This can leave us in a tough spot, as we’re not sure if we should book or wait. If you’re not sure if the prices only went up for you, we suggest calling a friend or family member to check the price on their end. It the prices did go up, it might be a good time to book especially if a competitor website has the original price and didn’t update their prices. I notice that CTO’s or Canadian Tour Operators all have similar pricing, so be sure to shop around. If the price didn’t go up and it’s just your computer and internet connection that saw the price increase then don’t panic, there was no “real” price increase. The company was likely trying to scare you into booking with them.
The Type of Computer or The Device You Use Matters
From our experience booking on a Windows Computer tends to be cheaper than a Apple Computer. I assume companies believe that people who own an Apple laptop or PC have more disposable income. I would suggest using the device you’re comfortable using, but right before you hit that book button you might want to confirm the price on another device.
Book Closer To Your Departure Date
If your travel dates are flexible, last minute deals are possible – but not always guaranteed. We always hear about some friend who got this crazy, unbelievable all-inclusive deal to some great resort and we wonder, ‘why we can’t get the same deal?’ Well, it really depends on a lot of factors including timing and luck. As a standard anything during the two week Christmas break and March Break will always be the most costly time to leave Canada. This is because most people get vacation at the same time because their kids are on holidays. If you’re expecting to get a travel deal during these times, your chances are slim. It’s also important to remember that your friend who got an unreal deal may have been flexible in where they were willing to go. Maybe they had their eyes set on Mexican resort but opted for a Cuban resort for half the price. Most budget friendly tourist destinations include Cuba and The Dominican Republic. Mexico is slightly more expensive, but not always. The rule of thumb is that that the more open minded you are, the more likely you are to get a good deal on travel. Also, do not travel in high seasons unless you have to as you’re paying a premium. The best website I use to get a sense of prices for All Inclusive’s is TripCentral’s Pricing Grid. It’s great to see an overview of what costs what when. If you have flexible vacation time, you can easily set your search criteria, such as 4*, All Inclusive, 7 Days, etc. You might discover an Island or location you had previously not thought of visiting.
Use Historical Data to Help Make Your Decisions When Booking Flights
I think historical data is important in determining the cost, value and likelihood of price increases and decreases. One application I have found that has been extremely useful when booking flights is Hopper. Hopper will give you some pretty accurate price predictions on when to book and when you’ll likely see a price increase and reduction. Hopper can send you automatic updates when the price of particular flight drop, so you’re ready to jump on a good deal!
Consider Budget Airlines and Secondary Airports
Budget airlines are not always a possibility in places like Canada, but there are some options especially for those who live in the Greater Toronto Area. For domestic flights in Canada, check out NewLeaf. They fly out of Hamilton and can get you to places like Halifax, Edmonton and Vancouver through Abbotsford on the cheap. The schedules are limited and the location of the airports might not be convenient for you, but the savings can be pretty significant even for one person. For international travel to Europe from Canada use Iceland Air or WoW Airlines. I found the prices on these sites to be some of the best out there. Also, Iceland Air allows you to book a free stopover in Iceland if your final destination is another part of Europe. If you planned on going to Dublin for a week, I’d seriously recommend adding a few extra days in Iceland. The other benefit to getting to Keflavik (KEF) airport is that EasyJet flies out there, so you can get yourself a ridiculously cheap flight to places like London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Geneva, and Bristol from £50-60 one way. I’ve seen flights to Iceland from Toronto via Wow Airlines for as cheap as $189 (CAD) and flights all over Europe starting from £29. One of the most expensive parts I found about travelling to Europe is the flight there and back, but if you can break into Europe under budget you can literally go anywhere and do anything via budget airlines.
The last bit of advice I can give is that you plan on travelling in America, the cheapest way to fly to America is from America. The US government subsidizes airports and domestic airline companies. I’ve driven from Toronto to Buffalo with four individuals to catch a cheap flight to Orlando only to be snowed in for a few days. On another occasion I was stuck overnight in Cleveland. Toronto gets much less snow than Buffalo, but airport closures are a serious consideration when determining where to fly out from. A lot of time though it’s just plain dumb luck as I’ve managed to fly out of three airports hours before they were shut down.
We recommend the following sites, aside from those already mentioned