By Shelby Klose
As summer nears, it is important to start planning ahead. With the right deals and opportunities you and your family could go on a great trip. Your dream vacation is within reach with the right information.
The economy is improving slowly but surely. This is positive news but it also means other prices are rising as well. One of the markets that is recovering from its slump is travel. Flight and hotel costs are rising so it is important to consider these cheap options (LA Times, 2012):
According to Catharine Hamm, from the LA Times, a round-trip flight from Los Angeles to Seattle (2,270 Miles) would cost $920 in the Month of July. This same distance in the car would cost at most $363. Driving saves you money in travel fees, luggage fees, as well as car rental.
If you have to fly there are many cheap options to consider. First, make sure to buy your ticket for Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday. These are the cheapest days for travel. Second, shop for tickets at 2 PM (Central Time) on Tuesdays. This is the time that Airlines fight to post the lowest deals so you can get the best price. Third, you can use travel websites that post great deals. Examples of these sites are Priceline.com or Hotwire.com. The sites offer easy, quick travel deals for you to pick from. However, you must consider that these sites do not reveal times or routes so they are harder to plan around.
According to Mark Whalen, from About.com, the internet has many opportunities for cheap hotels and lodging. The same sites that you use for travel can be used to find a place to stay. On these websites there are many options to get a cheap room. On sites such as Biddingfortravel.com you can bid against others to get the cheapest deals. However, these sites pick the location of your stay. This opportunity is great if you are looking for a cheap, nonspecific room this summer. However, if you have a more specific location in mind, sites such as the two above as well as Travelocity.com allow you to enter a location and maximum price in order to find the perfect hotel for your needs. Make sure to plan ahead, however, because these deals change every day.
It is common for companies that require a lot of employee travel to use Preferred cards or Credit Card Points. However, you can take advantage of these deals as well. Whalen explains that if your family uses a certain chain of hotels, such as Holiday Inn or Hilton, you can get a card that will add up points every time you stay. After a few trips you can earn free stays. Another card option can be found at your local credit union. They often offer credit cards with the point option. Each time you use the credit card you will accumulate points. After a while you can get many gifts including frequent flyer miles. These add up and can be used to get a free plane ticket. Contact your local credit union for more information (About.com, 2012).