Believe it or not there are ways you can save on a dream vacation without having to sit in a plane’s cargo hold or sleep in a roach-infested motel.
One way is to learn the importance of timing. Deciding when to book a trip is critical when you are traveling on a budget. For example, you will be hard pressed to find cheap airfare to Hawaii during the winter holidays; however, if you are able to vacation in early fall or late spring, you can save up to 50% on airfare to the “Aloha State.”
Fall is one of the most inexpensive times to fly regardless of whether you are headed to Hawaii or Europe. The airline industry classifies the months of September and October as off-peak, meaning you can typically score airfares at significantly lower prices than you’d find during summer.
Right now, Expedia.com is advertising cheap fares to Boston and Washington, D.C. from major U.S. cities, such as Los Angeles and Chicago. Other destinations that are going for practically peanuts include San Antonio, Denver, Miami, New Orleans and Phoenix.
If you are planning to take advantage of the fall getaway deals, consider packing efficiently to further stretch your savings. Commercial airlines are making a killing by charging passengers an arm and a leg for checked luggage. Spare yourself the financial rub and pack smart to save money.
For starters, consider traveling with carry-on bags only. Consult your airline’s website for the exact carry-on bag dimensions, and maximize them. Ideally, you want to stuff your bag to the brim without violating the airline’s carry-on allowance. By doing so, you may be able to avoid having to check in your bag and dig deep to pay the subsequent fee.
Also, don’t waste your precious personal-item allowance by bringing along a tiny purse. Instead, max out that allowance as well by filling a large tote bag or backpack with items you couldn’t fit into your other carry-on. You can place the bigger carry-on in the overhead bin and the tote under the seat. The tote can also hold things you might need on hand during the flight, such as your eyeglasses, medication, passport, wallet and reading material.