SPRINGFIELD, MO. TravelNow.com, providing a worldwide database of hotel, airline, cruise, and car rental reservation information and booking capabilities, has compiled a list of tips for booking online travel during the holiday season.
The tips were developed with information from TravelNow customer service representatives and consumer responses.
1 - Read the fine print
That great deal may have many blackout dates limiting the times and days of travel. Airlines may also list special holiday fares with low prices on one-way tickets when a round-trip purchase is required.
2 - Plan in advance
Plan now for travel over Christmas or New Year`s. Lower prices can be found with seven-day and 14-day advance airplane ticket purchases. Planning ahead will also help you stay within your budget and leave you more money for all those holiday gifts you may need to buy. The stress you save by knowing you have reservations will make your holidays more enjoyable.
3 - Be flexible
Consider alternative airports near your destination for lower prices and available seats. For example, fly into Columbus instead of Cincinnati. These airports may also be smaller and less crowded, which will preserve your holiday cheer.
4 - Try a travel auction
For vacation packages, an auction Web site could provide access to extra inventory not available elsewhere. Some larger sites not specializing in auctions also carry auction services through a third-party source. You may still need airline tickets or a car rental, so be sure you can also get to your destination and get around once you’re there.
5 - Subscribe to email newsletters that deliver travel deals to your desktop
Some Web sites provide email newsletters that will send the most recent travel deals directly to your in-box. These newsletters can save you money on airfare, hotel rooms, car rentals, and other travel-related costs.
6 - Save with accommodations outside the city
Check the availability of hotels outside of the city center. You can often save money on hotel accommodations if you stay in the suburbs instead of downtown.
7 - Stay extra days
Many airlines will give you a better ticket price if you stay at your destination through the weekend. You can actually be enjoying a longer vacation while you are saving money.
8 - Take advantage of e-tickets
Many airlines offer the convenience of paperless e-ticketing. This option may be best for those travelers who want one less thing to worry about.
9 - Consider hotels in the business district for weekend stays
Accommodations in the business or financial centers of a city may be widely available during the holidays or on weekends. These hotels fill with business travelers on weekdays, but they may have the most available rooms at the best price for holiday travelers. Some hotels might even offer special weekend rates.
10 - Travel by train
You can avoid delayed flights and crowded highways by traveling by train. Book a train ticket online and enjoy the scenery.