Tips for Summer Travel

3691600612_f348564418_mSummer is right around the corner! Have you made your family vacation plans yet?   If not, you are in luck!   Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite tips and tricks, to save time and money by booking online and while actually traveling. (Coming from a crazy person who once planned and booked her weeklong honeymoon tour of Athens & the Greek Isles, entirely online!)

Tuesdays around 3 pm is the best time to search online and book airfares. Major airlines unveil their best discounts around this time, with the smaller carriers often responding with their own deals on Wednesday morning. If you are able to fly mid-week as well, you’ll see deeper discounts because fewer business travelers are filling up planes on those days.

Aggregators are an excellent way to find the best deals on everything from hotel rooms to airfare. My favorite search aggregator is Kayak.com. It will search Hotwire, Travelocity, Expedia, Hotels.com, CarRentals.com and Priceline, as well as all the major airlines sites, with one click. You can also sign up for a “fare alert” which will email you with notifications on price changes to your selected route or destination.

Many people swear by Priceline but I’m not a huge fan because of the unknowns. But I’ve heard if you start your bid any higher than 50% off the lowest published rate you can find, you are selling yourself short.

Grab the red-eye. For long haul flights (such as the beforementioned trip from New York City to Greece), I strongly suggest taking the overnight run. Fewer people means more room to spread out and sleep, thus passing the long in-flight hours with ease.  And they can be cheaper too!  I’ve never done this with children, but I can imagine it makes sense for them too – less time to keep them busy if they can sleep on the plane.  Or if driving to your destination, plan to drive overnight.  Less traffic, fewer stops with sleeping children, and virtually no “Are we there yet?” complaints more than makes up for being a little road weary when you arrive.

Happy traveling!

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