Best way to get travel deals?

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z91
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Best way to get travel deals?

Post by z91 »

Is there some "life hack" or something people do to get good deals on flights/hotels? I vaguely remember there were certain days of the week where one could find the best deals, and figure out the best timing on when to book things.

One of my friends seems to always pay 50% of what the booking rates are. He claims he always gets "lucky" but it seems to happen way more often than not. For example, he recently booked a flight from SFO to HNL for $200 p/p round trip.

Please share any resources that I can use to try and save some cash on a trip! FWIW we are looking to go to Hawaii (island not important) in the summer.
Parkinglotracer
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by Parkinglotracer »

Scotts cheap flights is a inexpensive way to find airline deals.
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

I think Hawaiian airlines has deals ending very soon
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livesoft
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by livesoft »

When I was working, my employer paid for travel, so I tacked on vacation days in those locations. Multiple times in China, Japan, Australia, Hawaii, Europe, South Africa, .... So I guess you gotta work for the right employer?
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02nz
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by 02nz »

z91 wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 4:19 pm Is there some "life hack" or something people do to get good deals on flights/hotels? I vaguely remember there were certain days of the week where one could find the best deals, and figure out the best timing on when to book things.

One of my friends seems to always pay 50% of what the booking rates are. He claims he always gets "lucky" but it seems to happen way more often than not. For example, he recently booked a flight from SFO to HNL for $200 p/p round trip.

Please share any resources that I can use to try and save some cash on a trip! FWIW we are looking to go to Hawaii (island not important) in the summer.
Stuff like "book at 2 pm on Tuesday afternoons" is pretty much bunk. And these days for 99.99% of itineraries the price will be the same - to the cent - across all websites.

IMHO Google Flights is by far the best resource for finding flights. You can do searches to multiple airports (e.g., search San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland to Honolulu, Kona, and Maui, with 1 search instead of 9), use the calendar view to see when flights are cheapest, and set alerts to be notified when flights are below a certain threshold.

BTW the very first Google Flights search I did for random dates in July dates about $330. Took about 3 seconds.
Last edited by 02nz on Mon Jan 10, 2022 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Watty
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by Watty »

z91 wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 4:19 pm FWIW we are looking to go to Hawaii (island not important) in the summer.
I have found that in normal times being flexible and going where the best deals are can make a huge difference. For example instead of saying you want to go to Hawaii, if your goal was a tropical beach vacation that would open up lots of other destinations where there might be better deals available.

During a pandemic you also need to be pragmatic and make compromises and maybe settle for a less ambitious trip like cabin on a warm lake that is within driving distance.
02nz
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by 02nz »

Watty wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 8:28 pm
z91 wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 4:19 pm FWIW we are looking to go to Hawaii (island not important) in the summer.
I have found that in normal times being flexible and going where the best deals are can make a huge difference. For example instead of saying you want to go to Hawaii, if your goal was a tropical beach vacation that would open up lots of other destinations where there might be better deals available.

During a pandemic you also need to be pragmatic and make compromises and maybe settle for a less ambitious trip like cabin on a warm lake that is within driving distance.
During the pandemic one probably needs to be even more flexible. My guess is that demand for Hawaii is much higher than before the pandemic, due to the current restrictions/hassles of international travel.
Jags4186
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by Jags4186 »

Skiplagged.com will help get you some deals. Be aware of the pitfalls of using that type of service—no checking bags, and if you are forced to gate check you could be really screwed.
life2.0
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by life2.0 »

Wife and I travel frequently. For flights, I use "Google flights" and then check those results against Southwest. For rental cars, I've found that Costco.com consistently has the best prices. And since you're not pre-paying, you can book, cancel, then re-book as the prices fluctuate. Price fluctuations are very common for rentals in Hawaii. As an example, we're going out there in a couple of weeks and I have "booked, cancelled, & re-booked" many times over the past few months... going from approximately $3100 to $1600 for a 21-day trip. For lodging, it really depends on the type of accommodations I'm looking for. If it's high end, I'll use AMEX Travel & Virtuoso (for the additional benefits) and compare those results with the advertised rate I find on the location's website. Finally, "FlyerTalk" is an excellent resource for travel deals, maximizing cc points, reviews, etc.

Have fun in Hawaii!!
hunoraut
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by hunoraut »

02nz wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 8:24 pm Stuff like "book at 2 pm on Tuesday afternoons" is pretty much bunk. And these days for 99.99% of itineraries the price will be the same - to the cent - across all websites.

IMHO Google Flights is by far the best resource for finding flights.
Yes. Travel "tricks" is a legacy of the past before really centralized, computerized, dynamic pricing. There may be deals where certain consolidators have bought fares in bulk for resale, but most of that business have been arbitraged away. Now at best they operate as pass-through portals and get a small cut of commission.

Google Travel uses the ITA engine which is/was the core engine in most of the industry
https://matrix.itasoftware.com/

Hotels there is a bit more variance in the price depending on the broker/agency. I typically compare hotels.com vs booking directly with the hotel, because hotels.com offer an effective 10% cashback and sometimes their rates are even lower. On big chain hotels in large cities "your " employer ;) may have a corporate code for discount --- discount rate is highly variable based on exact property and employer code. And for very upscale hotels there are often great deals through Amex's Fine Hotels & Resorts program.
dbr
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by dbr »

We have sometimes found the best deals by checking the websites of travel providers that might be candidates for what we wanted and seeing if going direct to the provider shows a deal. For example we found an adventure cruise we were interested in for 2/3 the cost shown elsewhere advertised for a short time at the cruise provider. We found a great deal at a premium hotel in a city we were visiting by walking into the lobby and asking if anything was available at a reduced rate and got a good room the next night at half price.

We have never been interested in trying to book with an OTC or buying packages because we like to plan our own choices and do the research.
UnLearnYourself
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by UnLearnYourself »

Skyscanner.com has a search "Everywhere" feature. We tend to browse various dates that interest us until a great deal pops up, and we'll often choose destinations based on those results.

The Google flight matrix calendar is a great way to browse good rates for known destinations. https://matrix.itasoftware.com/

We've done some Timeshare Presentation deals where you get anywhere from 3-7 nights at a super cheap rate, often with additional bonuses and perks, all for attending a "90 minute" hard sales presentation. We've used Hilton, Bookvip, and Wyndham. You just need to be really good at saying no repeatedly for an hour and you can walk away with some fantastic deals and residual benefits.
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climber2020
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by climber2020 »

This may not be the type of answer you're looking for, but good deals can be had when you travel in the off-season or travel to places that no one else wants to visit (e.g. several years back I spent less than expected on a vacation to Egypt when many tourists were too afraid to go).
sunshine631
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by sunshine631 »

Scott's Cheap Flights (SCF) is an excellent way to find flight deals. I have recently seen a deal for Hawaii (from NYC area) for $300s per ticket. Hawaii deals seem to come out somewhat regularly.

There is a free subscription and a "premium" subscription. Premium costs $49 per year. On the SCF app, you set your preferred departure airports. SCF will then email you flight deals from those airports. The only catch with SCF is that the deals are time-sensitive. Their emails will tell you what the deal is, the months that the deal works for, and how long SCF expects the deal to last - usually 24 to 48 hours.

I have had great luck with SCF and think that the premium subscription is worth every penny. In the past two years, I've booked flights to Lisbon ($226 nonstop RT on TAP) and Tokyo ($236 RT on United), among many others. SCF has saved me thousands of dollars on flights over the years.

If you have specific dates in mind, I recommend Hopper. You enter your departure airport, destination airport, and travel dates, then Hopper tells you when the best time to buy your ticket is. It will send a notification when prices are at their lowest for the route/dates.
Fat Lip
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by Fat Lip »

Thepointsguy.com has some decent deal alerts on flights to popular destinations. Also play around on Google flights and set alerts for routes that you are interested in.

In my experience the problem is going to be hotels. Prices are through the roof for places like Hawaii and I'm not sure there is any way around that.
dbr
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by dbr »

The best travel deal is to get what you want, not necessarily to get the lowest cost for something kind of like what you want or maybe not.
diy60
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by diy60 »

The name of the game for me is:
- be flexible
- refundable only
- check back often

We went on multiple leisure trips in 2021 and the difference between my original air tickets, hotels & car reservations vs. what we ended up with was considerable (30% to 50% less than the initial go round).

We use the usual sites for research and then go directly to the provider sites to make the reservations.

Good luck.
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lthenderson
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by lthenderson »

z91 wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 4:19 pm Is there some "life hack" or something people do to get good deals on flights/hotels?
Most travel aggregating website like say Expedia have tabs full of deals so if you aren't tied into specific locations or times, you can get some pretty good deals. For example:

https://www.expedia.com/lp/b/sun-vacati ... unPackages

Has many deals to Hawaii.
citygirldc
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by citygirldc »

We have gotten some deals (and more modest discounts) using Costco travel. Prior to the pandemic surge in rental car prices, they were always the best deal. They also have resort packages that are a little cheaper than booking directly or through other third party sites.

I also subscribe to a service called "Next Vacay" for flights. I think it's $25/yr. It only sends you deals from airports that are local(ish) to you. It's also supposed to focus on "vacation" destinations, although some of them seem questionable to me lol. Out of candor, I've only actually booked a flight they found once, but it was a great deal for a trip to Europe over Thanksgiving that definitely paid for the service for the several years I've used it. I basically maintain it now just for dreams, given the pandemic and the fact that I now have a toddler that precludes spur of the moment travel. I am not affiliated with them.
Topic Author
z91
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by z91 »

dbr wrote: Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:55 am The best travel deal is to get what you want, not necessarily to get the lowest cost for something kind of like what you want or maybe not.
:?: :?: :?:

I read this three times and kinda get what you're saying, but don't.

Anyway, thanks folks for the tips, I'll look into some of these resources to see if anything catches. I certainly haven't heard of most of these, other than Costco/Google Flights, so I've got some more bookmarks at least.
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GeraniumLover
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by GeraniumLover »

For car rentals, Autoslash can save you tons of money. Make your best refundable reservation, then register it with Autoslash. It will monitor prices and email you when it finds a comparable rental at a lower cost.
dbr
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by dbr »

z91 wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:14 am
dbr wrote: Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:55 am The best travel deal is to get what you want, not necessarily to get the lowest cost for something kind of like what you want or maybe not.
:?: :?: :?:

I read this three times and kinda get what you're saying, but don't.

Anyway, thanks folks for the tips, I'll look into some of these resources to see if anything catches. I certainly haven't heard of most of these, other than Costco/Google Flights, so I've got some more bookmarks at least.
It means to focus on exactly what you want to do rather than taking something that is a compromise because it is a "bargain." As often as not when you avoid getting sold something it might not be more expensive anyway.
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z91
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by z91 »

dbr wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:38 am
z91 wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:14 am
dbr wrote: Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:55 am The best travel deal is to get what you want, not necessarily to get the lowest cost for something kind of like what you want or maybe not.
:?: :?: :?:

I read this three times and kinda get what you're saying, but don't.

Anyway, thanks folks for the tips, I'll look into some of these resources to see if anything catches. I certainly haven't heard of most of these, other than Costco/Google Flights, so I've got some more bookmarks at least.
It means to focus on exactly what you want to do rather than taking something that is a compromise because it is a "bargain." As often as not when you avoid getting sold something it might not be more expensive anyway.
I understood that much, but it's not like I'm asking to change my plans from Hawaii to Denver. Travel prices can fluctuate, even for identical itineraries. I'm just wondering how to get the best deal, that's all..
sureshoe
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by sureshoe »

I haven't used it for a long time, but on hotels specifically, I would usually save hundreds of dollars on Priceline.com. It was not uncommon to see a hotel that goes for $200-$300/night to go for $80/night on Priceline. The trick was you had to be closer to the booking time, and that rate is driven by vacancies. Same is true for Cruises/etc.

Flights are a lot more difficult. I never had success on the bid sites with them.
dbr
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by dbr »

z91 wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 1:10 pm
dbr wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:38 am
z91 wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:14 am
dbr wrote: Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:55 am The best travel deal is to get what you want, not necessarily to get the lowest cost for something kind of like what you want or maybe not.
:?: :?: :?:

I read this three times and kinda get what you're saying, but don't.

Anyway, thanks folks for the tips, I'll look into some of these resources to see if anything catches. I certainly haven't heard of most of these, other than Costco/Google Flights, so I've got some more bookmarks at least.
It means to focus on exactly what you want to do rather than taking something that is a compromise because it is a "bargain." As often as not when you avoid getting sold something it might not be more expensive anyway.
I understood that much, but it's not like I'm asking to change my plans from Hawaii to Denver. Travel prices can fluctuate, even for identical itineraries. I'm just wondering how to get the best deal, that's all..
I suppose I should apologize for not being helpful though I do have some suggestions below.

I guess we have never been in the habit of considering how good the deal might be when making travel plans. Of course that does not mean being willy-nilly oblivious to costs.

Our planning involves doing a lot of research on what, where, and how to visit a certain location and then looking up different transportation options, lodging, activities, etc. to see what appeals. Sometimes data bases like Google Flights, Expedia, travel guides, internet searches, etc. turn things up. Talking to people we know is often helpful, and we have done the same for others. We don't ever buy packages or guided tours or book with online travel agents rather than directly with airlines, hotels, individual guides, and so on. For us the project is part of the hobby.

Interestingly we have found some of our best lodging choices by opening Google Maps and seeing what is on the map in an area we are visiting. Or there are suggestions in travel guides or articles or from friends that come from or have been to a place. But it never starts with searching on price.

But then, I don't shop for deals on much of anything really.

I am also an investor that does not try to ferret out the best return or the optimal portfolio but rather just invests to ensure a reasonable ability to get what we want and need given the resources we have.
NorthDakota
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by NorthDakota »

I find cheap flights for a living, previously was a CPA in banking. Founded Thrifty Traveler back in 2015. Long time lurker here.

The easiest thing you can do is sign up for a flight deal alert service. A few of our competitors were mentioned above. Many of us use automated and manual tools to find deals 24/7, so few deals are missed, even from small regional airports. Save your time and have someone else search while you're sleeping, working, etc.

When searching and booking on your own use Google Flights to search for every flight. No other tool touches it. Only weakness is you can't book Southwest flights via Google Flights. If you have a specific destination in mind, use Google Flights price alerts, these are the industry best, and are always improving. Search "Google Flights" and there are plenty of great guides out there to master it in only a few minutes.

There are plenty of myths out there related to cookies, best day to book, etc. You don't need to clear your cookies, the cheapest days to fly are Tue/Wed/Sat, and avoid the Thanksgiving and XMAS holidays if at all possible. Flight pricing is constantly changing and is dictated by supply and demand but people want to dream up that airlines are evil and constantly tracking your searches, which they of course are not.

For hotels you should try to be using points and miles when possible from various credit card sign-up bonuses. If you have to pay cash, sign up for a loyalty account with that hotel (Hyatt, Hilton,etc.) you likely can get slightly lower rates when logged in and booking online. Airbnb and VRBO are great options if traveling with a group. Happy to answer any additional questions :sharebeer
dbr
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by dbr »

I could also add that almost all our air travel for some time has been on frequent flyer miles, whether in the long run that might have been the cheapest approach or not. Effectively using miles for travel is a whole hobby in itself that has its own resources. I usually do our planning by conducting the research myself. Airlines are kind of a hobby actually. Miles have also been used for hotels, but to a much smaller extent.

And, yes, some of those miles came from brokerage transfer bonuses -- still another hobby for some people.

So, as an example our last serious travel before COVID was to get to Australia and New Zealand. We had some miles to use and it turned out the best way to get that trip was to route through Hawaii. So now we added on stopovers in Hawaii both ways, where I had never been before. This leads to finding hotels etc. and planning activities even for a short stopover. The one that takes some planning is getting onto the Pearl Harbor tour, which can be booked only far ahead, at least if you are already committed to travel dates. So it all worked out, but you have to do some work on myriads of sources. Also, we were able to recognize that you can make an overnight connection from Sydney to Brisbane on the same ticket for the same miles, which means if you want to include Brisbane you just go there first, overnighting in Sydney, and then instead of flying back to Sydney, you can use miles to head straight over to New Zealand and do the rest of Australia later. And for the Sydney overnight we chose to stay in an airport hotel to avoid finding ground transportation late at night and early morning, and because the overwater flight was in business, that made the Sydney to Brisbane leg in first class as well which means "free" breakfast in the lounge in Sydney as well. So that is what I mean by a hobby and being your own travel agent. You could probably call that finding deals in a sense.
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snackdog
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by snackdog »

Best deals are through point via credit card churning. With credit cards you can usually rack up 1-200,000 miles per year with various bonuses, multipliers and some use of the card. I just flew daytime from the west coast to a couple places in the Midwest and back for 25,000 miles. Airline upgraded me to biz class on all flights. Cheap and easy.
dbr
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by dbr »

To show how esoteric this can get, as far as deals, here is a blast from the past concerning "hippie air" travel US to Europe on Icelandair. The deal was to fly Chicago to Luxemburg, the only city they served in Europe. That trip on the DC-8* was my first one to Europe and the travel agent who knew how to do it was my newly wed wife, who to this day is the best travel agent I know. Icelandic can still be one of best deals for Europe (and Iceland).

*I've flown every Douglas passenger aircraft from DC-3 to DC-11.

Regarding current advice, people planning trips to Europe should look for the best entry points to the continent and then getting a train pass to get around. My expert on Eurail is also my wife. There are also lots of other examples of that sort of thing, such as travelling to Manchester NH instead of Boston and Manchester UK, as the case may be, and stuff like that. BWI is a good entry point to the DC area. There are also a bunch of alternatives in the LA area. Also whatever current conditions, choose AMS over CDG. Someone we know just had another horrible experience at CDG.

http://andrewmondt.com/?p=461

"Back then, the cheapest ticket was with Loftleiðir Icelandic, more commonly known around the world as Icelandair. Loftleiðir was often referred to by the somewhat pejorative nicknames “Backpack Air” or “Hippie Air.” If it was good enough for Bill Clinton, it was more than good enough for us! Loftleiðir managed to work around the IATA tariff regulations by selling two tickets. One from the United States to Keflavik and then another on to Luxembourg. Luxembourg was the only European destination, as the country was not part of the IATA tariff regulations. Loftleiðir also threw in a Greyhound style bus connection on to Germany."
Last edited by dbr on Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
hunoraut
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by hunoraut »

z91 wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 1:10 pm Travel prices can fluctuate, even for identical itineraries. I'm just wondering how to get the best deal, that's all..
If we're talking A specific flight by A carrier on A date - by and large airfares move monotonically.

Fares are priced based on lettered classes (F,Y,J,H,C,T, etc...and no, they dont make alphabetical sense), and each are available in durations of 7/14/21+ days before departure.

The closer to departure you get, the cheaper-lettered fares sell out or expire. Therefore, the longer you wait on a particular flight, the more expensive it becomes.

On odd occasions when an airline want to promote an existing route, or a different carrier introduces a competing route, etc, the airlines might initiate a discount scheme. But this is like timing entry into the stock market. If right now you want to fly to a plan within <2 months time... you book now.
dbr
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by dbr »

hunoraut wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 4:52 pm
z91 wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 1:10 pm Travel prices can fluctuate, even for identical itineraries. I'm just wondering how to get the best deal, that's all..
If we're talking A specific flight by A carrier on A date - by and large airfares move monotonically.

Fares are priced based on lettered classes (F,Y,J,H,C,T, etc...and no, they dont make alphabetical sense), and each are available in durations of 7/14/21+ days before departure.

The closer to departure you get, the cheaper-lettered fares sell out or expire. Therefore, the longer you wait on a particular flight, the more expensive it becomes.

On odd occasions when an airline want to promote an existing route, or a different carrier introduces a competing route, etc, the airlines might initiate a discount scheme. But this is like timing entry into the stock market. If right now you want to fly to a plan within <2 months time... you book now.
Right. I would say getting on top of the schedule way early is a really good idea and checking days around your planned date helps. Most airlines and fare sources allow +/- 3 day searches. There are cheaper and more expensive days and times of the day to fly as well. It is also a good idea to avoid bad connections and bad flights. There are data bases that track likelihood of cancellations and lateness by flights. A cheap flight that is frequently cancelled is not a good deal. Cancellations and diverted flights can be associated with times of day, such as fog in SFO or patterns of aircraft availability.

It is good to not book the last flight of the day somewhere. Another hint is to always allow more than the MCT (minimum connect time) between flights because while that is a theoretically feasible connection often in practice it is not. On line ticket agents often book what are actually impractical connections, and that is a really bad deal.

And it can sometimes even be cheaper to connect through a city than to start there for the same destination -- or -- to and from a nearby small town can be horribly more expensive and one is better off driving or finding an airport bus to get to the airport.
Freefun
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by Freefun »

Most airfare sites allow searching fares for months and not just 3 days.

Google flights will let you know how reasonable affair is based on history i.e. whether it’s higher or lower than usual. Skyscanner and most other search apps do this as well.

The app Hopper shows airfares in color on calendars which may be easier to look at.
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

dbr wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:38 am
z91 wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:14 am
dbr wrote: Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:55 am The best travel deal is to get what you want, not necessarily to get the lowest cost for something kind of like what you want or maybe not.
:?: :?: :?:

I read this three times and kinda get what you're saying, but don't.

Anyway, thanks folks for the tips, I'll look into some of these resources to see if anything catches. I certainly haven't heard of most of these, other than Costco/Google Flights, so I've got some more bookmarks at least.
It means to focus on exactly what you want to do rather than taking something that is a compromise because it is a "bargain." As often as not when you avoid getting sold something it might not be more expensive anyway.
One or two of our best trips (Bermuda & Aruba) have been driven by where our miles or hotel points can give us the best value (usually over the holidays). Unlikely we would have chosen these specific locales otherwise. I think both times we were looking at the Caribbean/West Indies/Barbados etc

Ymmv (really 😉)
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
dbr
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Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by dbr »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:25 pm
dbr wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:38 am
z91 wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:14 am
dbr wrote: Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:55 am The best travel deal is to get what you want, not necessarily to get the lowest cost for something kind of like what you want or maybe not.
:?: :?: :?:

I read this three times and kinda get what you're saying, but don't.

Anyway, thanks folks for the tips, I'll look into some of these resources to see if anything catches. I certainly haven't heard of most of these, other than Costco/Google Flights, so I've got some more bookmarks at least.
It means to focus on exactly what you want to do rather than taking something that is a compromise because it is a "bargain." As often as not when you avoid getting sold something it might not be more expensive anyway.
One or two of our best trips (Bermuda & Aruba) have been driven by where our miles or hotel points can give us the best value (usually over the holidays). Unlikely we would have chosen these specific locales otherwise. I think both times we were looking at the Caribbean/West Indies/Barbados etc

Ymmv (really 😉)
I don't exclude that at all. After all it was actually a fit to what you wanted to do. We had the same experience using Hawaii as a stopover that wasn't actually the plan for a trip to Australia, due to miles value, but Hawaii was always something we had thought about and not something that was an unwanted compromise. Of course this was not a "real" Hawaii trip being for a short time, twice.
Shallowpockets
Posts: 2193
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:26 am

Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by Shallowpockets »

OP. I can see that you may get caught up in the hunt for the best or cheapest deal. This is exhausting. And, it will delay your decision and time will pass and you will not have gone where you wanted because the deal did not come up. Maybe you will not have gone anywhere. Maybe the season will have passed, or your time for being able to go.
You can only look for so long before a decision needs to be made. And, remember, even no decision is a decision.
Best bet is to decide what it is worth to you.
Best bet is to be retired, have enough money, and be able to go at whatever time frame the best deal shows up, regardless of the season, or the length of the deal.
Joyful
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2022 11:31 pm

Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by Joyful »

I’ve found the best travel deals by using different IP addresses. The travel websites have trackers and when they know u r interested they will continue to raise their prices or reduce availability. I use my computer, my iPhone not using my WiFi, the libraries computer and my work computer which has a vpn. I booked airfare to Italy at the library 3 or 4 years ago thru Priceline at a fantastically low price. In December I used my work computer to book a hotel room in the theater district/Central Park area with a fabulous view of nyc, the Hudson River and NJ. I suppose if you have a Personal vpn that would eliminate the need to check travel websites using multiple IP addresses.
Wannaretireearly
Posts: 2213
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

Shallowpockets wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 9:05 am OP. I can see that you may get caught up in the hunt for the best or cheapest deal. This is exhausting. And, it will delay your decision and time will pass and you will not have gone where you wanted because the deal did not come up. Maybe you will not have gone anywhere. Maybe the season will have passed, or your time for being able to go.
You can only look for so long before a decision needs to be made. And, remember, even no decision is a decision.
Best bet is to decide what it is worth to you.
Best bet is to be retired, have enough money, and be able to go at whatever time frame the best deal shows up, regardless of the season, or the length of the deal.
Great post!
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
Wannaretireearly
Posts: 2213
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

dbr wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:31 pm
Wannaretireearly wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:25 pm
dbr wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:38 am
z91 wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:14 am
dbr wrote: Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:55 am The best travel deal is to get what you want, not necessarily to get the lowest cost for something kind of like what you want or maybe not.
:?: :?: :?:

I read this three times and kinda get what you're saying, but don't.

Anyway, thanks folks for the tips, I'll look into some of these resources to see if anything catches. I certainly haven't heard of most of these, other than Costco/Google Flights, so I've got some more bookmarks at least.
It means to focus on exactly what you want to do rather than taking something that is a compromise because it is a "bargain." As often as not when you avoid getting sold something it might not be more expensive anyway.
One or two of our best trips (Bermuda & Aruba) have been driven by where our miles or hotel points can give us the best value (usually over the holidays). Unlikely we would have chosen these specific locales otherwise. I think both times we were looking at the Caribbean/West Indies/Barbados etc

Ymmv (really 😉)
I don't exclude that at all. After all it was actually a fit to what you wanted to do. We had the same experience using Hawaii as a stopover that wasn't actually the plan for a trip to Australia, due to miles value, but Hawaii was always something we had thought about and not something that was an unwanted compromise. Of course this was not a "real" Hawaii trip being for a short time, twice.
Fantastic! Hawaii as a stopover has been one of my wants/dreams. Having some extra time/retirement is the key coming back to the post above
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
THY4373
Posts: 1688
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: Best way to get travel deals?

Post by THY4373 »

Given the complexity of travel and the pricing models travel "hacking" is a very deep and complex topic. You will often get out of if it what you put into it. If you love the hunt, learning complex systems and understanding their sweet spots you can do quite well. On the other hand if this all seems like a lot of work then you will probably be less successful. Travel hacks that I am aware of:

Deal sites (mostly for airlines) and Flyertalk Mileage Run forum.

Credit card and other point shennanigans (one deal I recently got in on: https://viewfromthewing.com/huge-aadvan ... 42-apiece/).

Travel blogs (use a news feeder like Feedly).

Fuel Dumping (a way to purchase cheap air fare by getting the airline surcharges that often make up most of the cost of an airline ticket to drop by buying an "odd" combination of flights).

Hidden city ticketing.

General "thinking out of the box" on airline routings (a good example is going to Australia via Hawaii stopover).

Exploiting airline ticketing differences. A couple of a years ago I went to Easter Island. I bought a business class ticket on the Chilean LATAM website for less than what they were selling Economy for on their US website.

Flexibility. The more flexible you are on where you go, when you go and the like the better deals you will find. I want to see much of the world. So I take advantage of deals or miles availability when I see a deal to someplace I want to visit.
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