Inspired by last night’s www.travelingmom.com twitter chat about frugal travel which you can revisit here, I wanted to share some of my go-to websites for consistent travel deals. Each of these websites has different features that you may not be aware of which can help you save even more money.
Best know for its catchy jingle, Itravel2000 features a great Price Drop Protection Plan. Essentially, if you book a vacation of at least one week and the total price drops by more than $50 per person, you can submit a claim to get the difference back in future travel dollars to be used with any new booking on the site. We were lucky enough to have this happen and within 6 days the credit was applied and we used it later to book a quick and easy flight for another trip. Itravel2000 has also capitalized on the fact that the internet is all about travel on Tuesdays and launched Takeoff Tuesday. Every Tuesday the site offers vacation deals on packages to hot locations from select departure cities. The key is that you must book the deal between 9:00 am on Tuesday and 12:00 am Wednesday.
Tripcentral.ca is my go to site when I have no idea where I want to go but generally want to head somewhere hot. From their home page, you can easily locate a Vacation Pricing Grid that is the most user-friendly chart I have found. You can search for vacations lasting from 2 days to over 2 weeks long in addition to specifying meal plans, the number of children travelling and star ratings. You do not have to complete numerous searches to search more than one vacation destination as they are all listed with the lowest price available per location. The chart also is broken down into months which can be further broken down into weeks or even the exact date of departure to show when you can save the most money.
When I know I want to visit an all-inclusive somewhere hot, my first choice is Beaches Resorts. Essentially, Beaches Resorts are family friendly easy vacations that the kids and I know and love. The site itself often has great sales and tends to offer add-ons like flight credits and free catamaran cruises. Also, the site has a helpful live chat where an agent will determine the best deal for you at each of the three resorts. Each time you visit Beaches, the cost of the vacation declines as you accumulate points that are translated into dollars off for future visits. In addition, on each return visit you are given a one-level room upgrade from the room you booked at no additional cost. When you book directly on beaches.com, you can reserve your room for as low as $400 and pay the remainder a month before your departure date. This is a much more workable option than paying the entire vacation upfront when booking.