Planning a journey or trip is always a very interesting and exciting thing for travelers. Not only we are excited to go, but we get the whole virtual idea of a place or travel market by self-planning a trip. Many of my readers always ask me about how to plan a trip and find the best travel deals? So presenting you my personal experience or how I research before planning for any destination. Read this to, find the best travel deals by following some of the tips or tricks mentioned below. Know about how to find the best hotel deals or best flight deals and save your money by cracking some good offers.
How to plan a trip and find the best travel deals?
- If you are flexible in adjusting your travel schedule, then from research it has been found, taking domestic flights on Tuesday and international flights on Wednesday is always the cheapest option of that week’s trending rates. The mid of the week is always cheaper than weekends for hotels and airlines. But check weekends range too as Middle Eastern countries weekends are e Friday and Saturday.
- Always search flight rates or booking rates on GOOGLE’S INCOGNITO Mode which means your cookies and browser history will not be saved and inflated rates will not come up in your next research. Also, you can do one thing, after every search, clear cookies and cache of your computer, and do new research. Because it has been seen if you search for example flight to London from Dubai, then from the next search onwards you see inflated rates of this connection with hotels and all other stuff. So clearing the computer’s cookies, cache, and researching INCOGNITO MODE of your browser is always a good idea to see actual rates.
- Try different browsers apart from your regular browser to research, for example – Yandex, Opera, Vivaldi, Edge, Yahoo, Avast, etc. Sometimes searching on different browser too gives many options.
- Many times, talking directly to the hotel by calling them, gives you the best rates as they are waiting to close their financial books with certain targets. You never know when you are lucky enough. Call the hotel reception or booking number given on their official hotel website. Call them and ask for special discounts. Many times they will give the same rates but 50% you might get lucky enough to crack your deal. I called several times and got many good deals directly. Sometimes if they don’t give price discounts but they adjust your room’s view or other facilities at the same rates.
- Download the hotel apps of your favorite chosen hotel or become their free members by filling your details. Sometimes they send you good deals through email. Also before booking check discount codes on the Amazon store or some coupon sites. Many a time Hotel.com sell discount vouchers on Amazon store.
- Earn loyalty status for a specific brand and add points. You can redeem points or miles on your next travel.
- Compare prices through Priceline or Skyscanner to find good deals for you. Select your destination and they will suggest you the best day to fly or book the best time, the best route according to your budget.
- Sometimes taking a flight to the nearest destination is also a money savior option and then you can reach the destination by taxi, train, or bus. For example, if you are planning for City A, then check all nearby international airports and maybe get better deals on them.
- Become members of Booking.com, Tripadvisor, Expedia, Agoda, Hotels.com and sometimes they have good deals for members. Membership is free and if you are active and regular on your favorite site, then you start earning points that earn some status for you. For example, after booking 10 nights with Hotel.com you get 1 extra night to stay free.
- Generally when you are looking for a direct deal through a hotel by filling up their form, just do not book, and opt for sign out. But as they have your all information about traveling, hotels will soon start sending you deals. The First 2 to 3 days you will receive expensive deals but then the specific brands will start reducing rates. Catch the deal at that time. So inquiring is not a bad idea. Inquire and leave the deal open and hotels will come to you for finalization and give some good offers. It does not work all the time, but many times you are lucky to crack the good deals.
- If you are smart enough to plan last moment travel, then check last moment deals, Sometimes a day before many deals are given and you just have to grab it. Keep following social media handles of your favorite hotel brands or set alerts or notifications.
- Find a good credit card that offers nice payback for travel-related stuff. Some credit card companies have to tie up with flights or hotels and you get good cashback if you book tickets or hotels through that credit card to that specific hotel brand.
- Apart from big websites, try to research local websites of your travel destination which are popular in that region. For example, Booking.com gives good deals in Europe and Asia. com works best in the USA. Expedia too for Europe. Find regional popular sites and then research on that to get good deals. Agoda for Asia gives good options.
- Momondo, Skyscanner, Kiwi, Airtreks, Google flights are some of the best sites to compare prices of air tickets. They give a whole comparison of your route with multi-city or direct flight options. I generally use a combination of Skyscanner, Google flights to compare flight rates, and 90% of the time, I can get the good deals or ideas from where to book or the cheapest slot of that month.
- Rome2Rio website helps for internal travel and it gives all options, by road, rail, air, taxi with kilometers, and estimated price. So through that, you can estimate your internal traveling. For example, if you want to travel from Paris to Munich then Rome2Rio will give several options on how to reach there concerning time and cost factor.
- Always check for cancellation policies before booking any flight or hotels.
- For insurance check international travel insurance by World Nomads or local insurance companies of your city where you live. While taking travel health comprehensive insurance, just check that you are getting in-patient and out-patient both coverage.
- Check out specific museum or palace free tours on a specific day of the week. Plan your visit to the palace or museum on that day. Many museums or palaces in Europe offer one day in a week as a free entrance. Grab that offer by planning accordingly.
- Book longer stay or bulk deal. I have seen sometimes staying for 7 days is cheaper than 6 days. So go ahead and book 7 days one though you are staying there for 6 days. The same comes with 15 days, or 30 days cap. Check this kind of deal too, if some hotels are giving days wise offers.
- Join some popular hotel loyalty programs – Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, IHG Rewards (Intercontinental and Holiday INN group), Choice Privileges, Club Carlson, Le Club Accorhotels. They give special deals to their loyal patrons and if it is not possible then you can ask to upgrade your room as per your loyalty points. Also on reception, you are greeting a welcome kit if you are have booked a room under your loyalty programs. Some hotels even customize your stay by welcoming you to your room, by personalizing the handwritten cards, chocolates, flowers, and your names on embroidered on pillows.
- Book a room in a new hotel, if you are confident enough about the brand. Sometimes newly opened hotels give the best rates and services for initial growth and publicity.
- Follow the rules of opposites – like book a business hotel on weekends and family resorts or hotels on weekdays. Both will give you good rates.
- Also, check other services included in your hotel loyalty rewards. For example, if you use Uber for the whole day, then Starwood Preferred guests get some cumulative points.
- Try to research tickets or hotel stays after the weekend, not before the weekend, though you are traveling after 2 months. All prices inflate when the weekend is about to start and after the weekend, you can again see normal regular prices. So play with time, like research your travel destination, when most of the people are not looking for it. Select Monday or Tuesday to research flight or hotel rates, because after Wednesday rates will inflate till 2 to 3 days. Even researching at mid-night is a good option.
- For me most of the time, these tips have worked and I got some good deals or upgraded room. Many a time during peak season or on national holidays, these tips might not work. But researching is not a bad idea and maybe by luck, you can crack some good deals.
SO SOME THUMB RULES FOR TRAVEL PLANNING WHICH I FOLLOW TOO BEFORE PLANNING ANY OF MY TRAVEL – How to plan a trip and find the best travel deals?
- ALWAYS CLEAR YOU COMPUTER’S CACHE, DISABLE COOKIES, AND SEARCH ON INCOGNITO MODE.
- COMPARE FLIGHT OR HOTEL RATES THROUGH COMPARISON WEBSITES. THEY SHOW YOU TRENDS FROM LAST FEW MONTHS TO FUTURE MONTHS.
- BE LOYAL TO SPECIFIC BRAND OR TALK TO HOTEL MANAGE BY CALLING THEM ON THEIR NUMBER (NOT TOLL-FREE NUMBER). PERSONAL INTERACTION ALWAYS CREATE WONDERS IN BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP.
Let me know your best tips on how to crack a good hotel or flight deals. Would love to hear yours below in the comment. And do let me know whether you also use the same tips mentioned above to book your trip. I hope you would now know How to plan a trip and find the best travel deals for your next travel.
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