Even if vacations are your chance to splurge and pamper yourself, there’s still no harm in looking for a little discount. Christmas vacations are no exception, as they can often turn out to be much more expensive than the typical excursion. The holidays are peak season for the tourism industry, which can jack up the prices of fares and accommodations considerably.
Saving by Planning
Planning is an important part of any vacation, and you probably do it for convenience. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be stuck waiting at an airport if you carefully planned out every leg of your journey. But you may not be aware that planning and preparing for your vacation ahead of time could actually save you a lot of money. Here’s how to do it.
Accommodations will be a major expense in any trip, and even more so because hotel and inn rates are much higher between Thanksgiving and New Year. If, however, you reserve your rooms several months before, hotels and inns are much more amenable to better room rates or additional benefits. Getting reservations as early as August will get you the most bang per buck.
Major airlines work with similar policies. Flights close to December – the peak season – have much higher fares than other times of the year. Booking your flight with little lead time before the flight itself will also jack up fares. Seasoned travelers usually book tickets well in advance to get a deep discount. Christmas vacations – even ones abroad – need not be expensive.
Research Reduces Prices
Always be on the lookout for special rates and prices. While it’s true that the Christmas season is the cue for many establishments to raise prices, it’s also the time when a lot of hotels and airlines give promotional holiday rates. It’s all a matter of when those special rates come out and how to avail of them.
That’s why it’s so important for you to keep visiting travel websites and subscribing to newsletters as early as several months before your trip. Sure, they might be just clutter early on, but they’re also a very convenient way for you to find out promotions and special prices. Many also advertise their special prices in newspapers and on television, so be sure to watch out there too.
Many travelers underestimate the power of asking. A lot of establishments – hotels, particularly – would be willing to offer discounts and additional value-added services if customers asked for it. It works out in their favor anyway. Negotiating with you might mean that they get less profits, but that’s better than your not staying, where they wouldn’t get profits at all.
Don’t take on an aggressive tone when you’re haggling for better rates or added benefits. You improve your chances of making the deal when you present yourself as a friendly, amicable traveler. The person you’ll be dealing with, whether it’s a clerk or a manager, is a person too. You have to get on their good side because it’s their call at the end of the day.
Work on those reductions one by one – a reduced rate here or a promotion there – and you’ll find that it’ll all add up. Find savings wherever you can, whether it’s a negotiated room rate or an outright discount. Christmas vacations don’t have to be expensive. All it takes is a little planning and extra effort to keep your travel costs manageable.