Travel planning requires putting a little time and effort into your trip ahead of time. You can use a professional travel planner or do it yourself. Either way, planning ahead gives you the most options and usually the best prices.
Flights usually go on sale about 11 months before the departure date. It’s recommended you book at least 25 days in advance. However, you probably don’t want to book more than 150 days in advance. There are a variety of recommendations for when to book, including some that are as specific as saying 54 days in advance and others that say at least 14 days in advance.
You may have heard there are certain days or times when booking will save you the most, but airfarewatchdog.com says that isn't true.
"There is no magic time to search, no precise day of the week," the site reports. They go on to say that airlines adjust airfares multiple times, depending on seat availability, which fluctuates throughout the day. "As the cheaper seats are sold, the airlines make more seats available at the lowest fares."
The site does say, however, that there are certain days that are cheaper to fly than others. For example, if you don't have a certain day you need to fly, consider flying on Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday. Those days have lower fares.
The most expensive days? Friday and Sunday. Makes sense, given that people love to book weekend getaways.
Regardless of the recommendation, it’s a good idea to start checking flights as soon as you start planning a trip and then book when it makes the most sense and you get the best deal. If there are one or two airlines with the best times, sign up to receive their deals. A great offer might come along while you are waiting to buy your tickets.
If you are flying, driving or planning a staycation, you can save money on your hotel by planning ahead as well. Plan your trip at a less busy time for the area you plan to visit and watch for special offers.
If you plan on visiting Naples or the Southwest Florida area, for example, you’ll get the best hotel rates in the summer. The most expensive stays are during “season,” which is typically around Thanksgiving to Easter. The busiest times are the winter months when it’s snowing in the Northern states and during Spring Break.
If you want to visit Naples, FL, on a tight budget, consider visiting June-September for the most options and best prices. You may be worried about the heat during the summer, but you can stay cool by the pool, at the beach or visiting local attractions.
At the Inn at Pelican Bay, you can get 20% off if you plan a summer stay now.
Once you’ve booked your trip, you might want to start looking for special offers from the attractions and places you’d like to visit and even for local dining options. At the Inn at Pelican Bay, we have several special packages for local activities and restaurants.
Remember, the key to getting the best deal is to plan ahead and book directly with your hotel and airline. You will be guaranteed to get the flight you choose or type of room you request at the best rate available.