Money Forward

This blog is about money and trying to keep my money from flying out the window.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Playing the Travel Website Game

Paying for travel is always a hassle, especially when you're trying to find the best deal. The travel websites like,, Travelocity, etc. all give discounts here and there, but getting the best prices isn't always easy. Some of these may be obvious, but it's good to review.

First, these are from my own experiences:

1. If you check a website for prices and they're high or they seem to be increasing as you do your research, do not buy the ticket. Wait a few days and go back and usually the price is lower. This was a frustrating discovery.

2. If you're going to a resort where you can book your flight and resort stay all on their website, first research other sites and airlines. On one vacation we saved about $300 by buying our tickets separately from the resort.

3. Be flexible about your dates. This seems obvious, but remember this when you're planning on using frequent flier miles as well. We were able to buy our honeymoon plane tickets using 70,000 miles by flying into a major city (then we bought tickets on a local airline for the second 30 minute flight) and by waiting 2 extra days, rather than for 140,000 miles.

And now the more obvious stuff that is repeated a lot of places, but worth reiterating:

1. Always check the airline's website before you purchase through one of these services. Even better, check the airlines that are not on these services. Sometimes the smaller airlines like Southwest and JetBlue have better prices.

2. Look at packages. It can often be cheaper to get everything together than separate. This is not always true though. Check out hotels for their own special deals that may not be shown on a travel website.

3. Travel during low peak times. Some airlines show what off-peak days are (usually Wednesday, Saturday, etc.). This also means on holidays when fewer people seem to want to fly.

(I'm not promoting any site, airline, etc. I'm just giving information about my experiences and thoughts)


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