Top Travel Booking Tips

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by Candice Cerro, Consumer Expert

azfamily.com

Posted on February 7, 2014 at 3:20 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 28 at 9:23 AM

Top Travel Booking Tips

Getting Mobile with Travel – Need a travel agent? There’s an app for that. Mobile apps from companies like Expedia and Hotels.com are now offering as great of deals or better than travel websites. Users can save up to 40% on hotels with exclusive deals available only on the Expedia app. The free app from Hotels.com helps travelers find last-minute accommodations with the “Tonight’s Local Deals” feature for special daily offers and late room reservations, only available to Hotels.com mobile users. Once it’s time to fly, GateGuru keeps users posted in real-time on any updates to itineraries such as security wait times, flight delays, gate changes or layover time adjustments. For those flying through an unfamiliar airport, GateGuru provides a wealth of airport information while immediately showing a signature visual representation of the airport.

When to Book – About a month in a half for US flights, 3 months in advance for international. Book mid-day, and midweek. I find Tuesdays to usually be the best day or cheap fare, but I usually check prices every day for a week or two and watch the trend.

Best Times to Travel – Days of the Week: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturday. Times of year – anything that is the “off season” for the destination you’re going. Google when the peak travel season is for the destination you’re hoping to go to. For instance, peak season in Hawaii starts in mid-December and ends in April. Try traveling August – October to Hawaii. The deals will be cheaper and it will still be beautiful there. Vegas’ off-season is when the pools are closed. While you may not get to lay by the pool if you go in February, the weather will still be great and prices will be cheaper. Spring break, Thanksgiving and Christmas are going to be extremely expensive times no matter what. If you do have to travel at these times then book early. If you can travel in the weeks after the peak times though, you’ll save a tremendous amount.

Being Informed – Comparison shop for bundled deals, try using the frequent flier and points programs. Use sites that have indicators or forecasters that will predict whether or not you should buy or wait. Don’t just go to a comparison engine when booking for US travel. Check the cheaper airfare sites like Southwest.com that won’t show up in Kayak and other search engines. If you have a AAA card, look on the hotels site or even AAA.com to see if your card will save you more money than you see on comparison engines. Sites like Hotels.com often offer an additional 10-20% off so go to sites like PromotionalCodes.com to see if they’re offering that deal before you book. Use providers that offer payback like CheapAir.com for airline tickets and Tingo.com for hotel rooms. Then if you book your trip and the prices end up going down, you will get paid back the difference. If gives you the peace of mind if you do like to book early.

More information can be found at www.promotionalcodes.com.

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