Everyone loves a good deal, especially when it comes to travel. Booking a vacation can often seem like a chore when you’re on the hunt for the best flight and hotel deals. Avoid spending hours doing your own research and use this handy guide to get ahead. If you’re looking for where to book cheap flights or score the best hotel room deals, read on.
Book outside peak tourist times
My first tip, which may seem rather obvious, is to book outside of peak tourist seasons at your destination. It’ll take some detailed research and careful planning to make sure you get the best deals, but it’s well worth the time and effort up front. By booking outside peak travel times, your destination should be less crowded, which allows you to plan an itinerary you’ll really enjoy. You’ll also enjoy cheap airfare and some of the best hotel deals.
Book well in advance
Everyone will tell you to book in advance to get the best deals, but just how far in advance are we talking? The sweet spot depends on the season according to CheapAir.com. It analyzed more than 917 million airfares in 8,000 different markets to generate its annual airfare study. Here are the best times to book based on the season:
Fall: 69 days out.
Winter: 94 days out.
Spring: 84 days out.
Summer: 99 days out.
Book during the offseason
Most often, tourist season lines up with the best times to visit popular destinations, but not always. For instance, if you don’t mind traveling to a place that’s typically warm when temperatures are low, you’ll likely snag cheap flight tickets and even cheaper hotel rates as a reward. Some destinations, like Chicago, are among the best places to visit in the fall.
Book on certain days
Is it true that certain days of the week are better for booking travel? You bet. It used to be that Thursdays were the top time to book travel, especially airfare. These days, Tuesday is the time to book according to multiple sources. If you have the flexibility to leave and return during the week, that’s where you’ll get the best airline rates. Your hotel stay should also be cheaper thanks to the lower, weekday rates.
Book with Rakuten any time
It’s always a good time to book your next big trip through Rakuten. To start, you can get 5% Cash Back every day through Rakuten Hotels. If you’d prefer to book through another partner like Booking.com, Expedia, Priceline or Travelocity, you can expect to get anywhere from 2 to 5% Cash Back. If you’re looking for a package deal, you can take advantage of discounted airfare and hotel bundles from some of the same Rakuten partners.
Not a member of Rakuten? Join now and start earning in the form of a Big Fat Check. You’ll get $10 after your first purchase of $25 in any participating store, and you can earn an additional $25 for every friend you refer.