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Posted by on May 29, 2011 in Travel | 0 comments

Travel Deals: How They Work and Where to Spot ‘Em!

I once knew a guy who told me he sometimes goes to places like Hong Kong for a weekend. This guy doesn’t have a private plane or millions of dollars (that I know of), so how DOES he do it? How would I go about booking a last minute vacation when I have three days off? While I have yet to become a last-minute traveler like that, there are many benefits you can reap from a last minute booking! Last night when I was considering planning one of these last-minute-I-have-three-days-off-in-a-row-where-should-we-go trips, I was surprised to find my coworker had no knowledge of these last minute deals online. Well friends, Ferocia is here to help you!

Due to some scheduling shifts, I will be having three days off in a row next week, and my little heart beats faster and faster at the idea of a last minute vacation! The first place I check is Continental, because whenever possible, I fly Continental. On Continental’s website there is even a whole tab for “Deals and Offers”, this means special deals!

Under ‘Deals and Offers’ there is a tab for ‘Specials’ and ‘Special Offers’. The ‘Specials‘ are weekly deals that change from week to week. It is an amalgamation of discounts on airfare, hotels, etc, such as ‘$100 off the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas’. Under ‘Special Offers‘ you can select the type of deal you’re looking for: a Caribbean vacation, a Las Vegas vacation, a flight to Denver. While it may usually cost over $1,000 to fly to Hawaii this summer, a last minute deal might be $600. That may seem like A LOT, and it is, but what if you had a friend in Hawaii, or Texas, for example, and didn’t have to worry about a place to stay? Round trip airfare for next week is as low as $278 for Texas, or just $200 to fly round trip to Fort Lauderdale. You can find some crazy flight deals, and as I mentioned, it helps if you had a friend in that area you wanted to visit, then you won’t have to pay for a hotel! Cheapoair.com is another site with amazing last-minute airfare! I know a woman that travels frequently last minute, and this is her go-to-site for cheap flights!

Airlines need to be filled to capacity to be profitable, and especially on days when people rarely travel, they want to fill those last minute empty seats! Not only is it cheaper to fly some days, such as mid week rather than flying home Sunday when everyone else is also flying home because they ALSO have work on Monday, but it is also cheaper to book on certain days than others! Did you know that? The airlines are tricky, and they know that most people are going to book a trip either after work in the evening, or especially on weekends. Most of the population works 9-5 ya’a'll! The airlines and hotels jack up those prices during the weekend when you are more apt to book your trip. Try looking at trips or booking during the middle of the week in the early afternoon! Prices will start to look different at different times if you keep an eye on em!

My other go-to site for all things travel is Travelocity.com. I personally always use Travelocity, no matter what! When I book a trip on Travelocity, as long as I select a Continental flight in my package, I still get my frequent flyer miles even though it wasn’t booked on Continental.com. I do frequently check the other discount sights, Expedia.com, Orbitz.com. Hotwire.com, but I always find that the deal I have on Travelocity is better. They have never steered me wrong!

I stay clear of travel agents, also. Recently, a friend told me she had wanted to go to a Travel Agent, and I vehemently advised her otherwise. Honestly, I have only ever been to a travel agency once, when looking into going to Paris. My Ferocio and I left with our dreams crushed, because the travel agent had told us it would be at least $1,500 to $2000 to get there, plus thousands more for incidentals. Ferocio and I did eventually book a trip to Paris, but it was on Travelocity, and absolutely NOT for that amount! I don’t know what she thought she was talking about, but my trip to Paris was far less inexpensive, and I have been weary of travel agents ever since!

Travelocity offers a multitude of last minute deals! Hotels also want to maximize occupancy, and they wantchya money! They are willing to knock that price pretty far down for you to come stay, and these prices are worth looking at! On Travelocity.com the specials are listed under ‘Travel Deals‘. Here, you can scroll through tons of different deals, which are usually the lowest airfare, etc, that they can guarantee for the next 90 days! The deals will astound you! You can sort through lowest to highest, packages, flights, dates, hotels, anything you want! I find their site incredibly easy to navigate and user-friendly. $434 per person, including flight and hotel for 5 days in Cancun…um, yes please! Three days in Vail, Colorado including hotel and airfare at $440 might be a great last minute getaway! These last-minute deals don’t even really have to be last minute, while I am spontaneous and thinking about three days next week, that Mexico deal is actually for August! Granted, you need to keep in mind the weather and political climate of where you are going. Mexico might be so cheap because there is a civil uprising, or the rainy season, or maybe that hotel is in DA hood! Be smart and do your research!

I have yet to figure out exactly what I will be doing this week with my three blissful days off, but you never know where the road will take you!  Rhode Island, D.C, Phoenix, the Jersey Shore, NYC, at home? What do YOU think? How should Ferocia spend 3 days off?

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