(Memphis) Hoping to take a summer vacation, but think it’s not in the budget? Travel industry experts say this summer, there are plenty of opportunities to snag travel savings.
“Lot of hotel prices, there’s a lot of specials out there, different theme parks are offering specials,” says Cheryl Keating of AAA Memphis.
Travel bonuses are big too, like, stay four nights get a fifth free. Online savings expert Brent Shelton of fatwallet.com says rental car companies are offering similar promotions. “You rent a car for three or four days and they’ll include a $25 gas card,” explains Shelton.
Cruises continue to be a cash saver. “Those looking to take a cruise or book a cruise in the summer should take advantage of price drops that you’re gonna see in June and July,” Shelton says.
There are some simple steps to finding your own travel bargains.
First, search online travel websites. Travelzoo, Kayak and Trip Advisor are good starts.
Fatwallet members get cash back when they book through the site.
“Travelocity is having a Memorial Day day sale, 50% off, plus $50 off your vacation package,” but Shelton adds you have to use fatwallet’s coupon code to get the deal.
Sign up for alerts to see when sales are posted. You can have the deals delivered directly to your inbox. Another tip, visit online forums.
“These are people that are very knowledgeable, they know how to stack coupons, how to get the most rewards out of your credit cards, they post rates, when the best time to buy is,” explains Shelton.
Companies often use social media to post specials, so check there too.
We met a couple visiting Memphis who says they did it the old-fashioned way. “Calling the hotel or the airline directly, they can sometimes offer you better rates,” says Mollie Kelley.
Flexibility is probably your best tool for travel bargaining. Experts say you’ll find the best deals when kids are back in school. So, if you can wait until after Labor Day, you’ll get more for your money. Also, look for deals that offer vouchers that you can purchase now, but travel at a later date.
Shelton also says there are often discounts available for students, teachers and military. Plus, don’t forget about memberships like AAA and AARP.