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How To Snap Up Those Great Travel Deals

How To Snap Up Those Great Travel Deals

By Paul Marshman  

Boomers love to travel. But travel costs money, and those of us with limited resources — and that’s most of us — are always looking for a great deal on the trips we’d like to take. With all the competition out there, those deals do come up: my inbox is constantly filled with offers from a half-dozen travel outlets.

But taking advantage of great travel deals isn’t always that simple: it’s easy to let them slip through your fingers, or worse, end up stuck with a vacation that  isn’t quite as good as you thought it was.

Here are five tips I’ve learned while searching for travel deals over the years.

Look around: It’s tempting to just grab a great deal when it pops up on an online site you don’t know, or with an airline you’ve never heard of. But take the time to look around first. In some cases the same price, or a better one, is available at a site you do know. It could be that it’s low season and the bargains are available everywhere.

Check out the flights: Some bargain air flights are cheap for a reason. You may pay for your savings by suffering through three stops on the way to your destination, or enduring an overnight stay somewhere you never wanted to go. Better to spend an extra $100 or so and travel in comfort, especially if you have health issues.

Ticket

Be ready: Before you go looking for a bargain trip, have a good idea of whether and when you and your travel companions are able to go. Otherwise, by the time everyone checks with their spouses and fellow travellers, the deal you’ve found may have disappeared.

Strike while the iron is hot: The tip above is especially important when a really hot deal comes up. If the price is truly exceptional, there may only be a few seats available, and they can go fast. So be prepared, and if the offer checks out (see above), snap it up.

Total the cost: Sometimes a cheap airfare isn’t quite the bargain it seems. Once your plane lands, a lot of other expenses kick in, from transfers to hotels to meals and possibly a rental car. In expensive places like the Caribbean and parts of the U.S. and Europe, those things can turn your cheap flight into a pretty expensive holiday.

Like most other things, travel bargain hunting works best if you have a plan and do a little research. Once you do that, all that’s left is to pack your bags and go. 

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Paul Marshman is a writer, photographer and traveler living in Toronto, Canada. Paul is semi-retired from a 30-year career as a reporter, editor and photographer on Canadian newspapers and magazines where his travels have taken him to 50 countries. Paul’s articles have been published everywhere from the Toronto Star to Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel and Paul now shares travel tips and stories on his popular blog – The Travelling Boomer.

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