Friday, May 26, 2006

Travel Deals: "Book Early" and "Shop Wisely"

Isn't it interesting how one expert in a business will tell you one thing, and another will tell you the opposite, and to some extent they are both correct. Less than a week after I read the article "Save Hundreds of Dollars with a Summer Rental", which advocates waiting 2-3 weeks before you leave to get lodging deals, this article:"The Summer Travel Size-up" appears and says that planning ahead is one key to bargains. I tend to agree with the latter expert, because in many cases, the best options (at least for lodging) disappear quickly. I started planning a side trip to NYC this summer hoping to go the week after I visit my vacation home in Maine in July. Low and behold, not only were the vacation rental apartments I wanted already booked, but so were the best suite hotels in Manhattan. Forget about deals! I just want good, uncramped accommodations... I ended up having to go the week before I planned - Tip: Be Flexible in your Travel Plans

Anyway, don't wait - book early. However, if you haven't firmed up your plans for summer the second expert has other good advice: try off season. The Caribbean and the desert Southwest are two spots where you can get more than your money's worth in the summer, you just have to approach things differently. If you are headed to the Caribbean or southeastern Unites States, pick up trip insurance just in case, and plan on spending lots of time snorkeling in the clear water or sipping cold cocktails to keep cool. If you head to the desert, get up early in the morning to enjoy the outdoors before it heats up; spend 11-5 relaxing at the movies, taking in a museum, or shopping in air conditioning; and head back out for dinner and evenings outside in the great summer nights of Palm Springs.

Keep this in mind for fall travel: the National Parks clear out considerably after Labor Day, but book now for fall and Holiday stays. Personal favorites for shoulder season travel: Zion, Bryce, and Yellowstone.

No comments: