Summer Travels Deals: Booking Family Vacations
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s not too late to get a deal on your family vacation.
While the deals maybe harder to come by this year, some experts offered us some clever tips to still find savings.
KDKA talked with Ruth Nagy from AAA Travel and Taryn Grant from Worldview Travel in Washington, Pa.
10 Helpful Tips:
Tip #1: Late-Night Booking
If it looks like a hotel, cruise or plane is all booked up, check back late at night. Nagy says that’s when computers dump inventory that’s been on hold but not actually paid for.
“Usually by midnight those sets drop,” said Nagy. “So if you’re a night owl, what wasn’t available at three o’clock this afternoon might be available by one o’clock this morning!”
Tip #2: Disney Deals
We found Walt Disney World is offering discounts at its resorts again this Summer.
It’s offering up to 30% off at some deluxe resorts, 20% off some moderate resorts and 15% off some value ones.
Grant says those value resorts are already a good deal, and we found a rate at the All Star Music Resort for $76 a night.
“When you’re up in the morning, you’re out of the hotel,” said Grant. “You’re in the park and you don’t come back until it’s time to go to sleep. Do you really need a luxury resort?”
Also, remember that Disney resorts have a free shuttle from the airport and back.
Tip #3: MouseSavers.com
The MouseSavers.com site has deals on hotels not owned by Disney. For instance, the rate at a Best Western near the park is $15 a night less if you book through MouseSavers.
Tip #4: AAA’s 48-Hour Deals
AAA is now offering something it calls 48 hour deals. They’re all for hotels at a variety of destinations this Summer.
The deals come out each Tuesday, and you have two days to book them before they disappear. Some are special deals for AAA, others are hotels deals that AAA has compiled.
“It’s hotels that are trying to fill up space,” said Nagy.
This week, a hotel outside Orlando offered 50% off. Another one on Miami Beach was offering a 30% percent discount.
Tip #5: Restricted Fares
If you’re booking a cruise, Nagy says go through a travel agent because they have access to restricted fares for certain groups that you won’t online on your own.
“My law enforcement fares, my military fares, my seniors fare—-you have to go through a travel agent,” said Nagy.
Tip #6: Travel Midweek
Our experts say you’ll save money to most destinations by traveling midweek.
In one case, Nagy said: “It was a family of six, and they saved almost $1200 by changing it to a midweek departure instead of a weekend departure.”
Tip #7: Really Last-Minute Deals
Waiting until the last minute isn’t normally a good idea, but Grant says in rare instances, you can get a great deal.
She books some vacation packages through Apple Vacations, which uses non-stop charter flights from Pittsburgh.
“Because it is a charter, if you’re flexible with your vacation.. the closer it gets – if the flight is still available – they will pop some specials into the computer,” said Grant.
Tip #8: If You Can Stand the Heat, You Can Sometimes Save
Nagy says if hot temperatures don’t bother you, going to Las Vegas And Cancun when the temperature rises, generally means prices drop.
The average high temperature in July in Las Vegas is 106 degrees. However, Nagy offers a solution: “You book one of those hotels on the tram, and you never really have to walk outside in the heat!”
There are deals right now at Vegas.com.
For example, there was a deal for up to 50% off at Treasure Island earlier this week, but it went fast and that particular deal is now gone.
Tip #9: End of Summer Savings
If you take your vacation at the very end of Summer, it will save you money.
“It can be several hundred dollars a person less,” said Nagy. “If you wait until after Labor Day.”
But you don’t always have to wait even that long. We found a three-bedroom townhouse in Myrtle Beach, which is more than $1400 a week in mid-July.
However, if you wait until late August the weekly price drops by $375 dollars.
Tip #10: Hotel Tonight
If you’re okay with very last-minute plans, check out the app Hotel Tonight.
Everyday beginning right at noon, it lists deals that night for hotels in a variety of different cities.
The deals are less than you could get on your own by going to the hotels’ websites.