Where to find the best deals

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Wait for it.

If you’re looking for a price cut on airline tickets or hotel rates, you’ve probably heard this advice. The fall season is a great opportunity to find a travel deal.

But will this advice work this fall?

“The further you look, the greater the uncertainty,” says John niser, director of the International School of Hospitality and Tourism To Fairleigh Dickinson University. “It’s more true than ever this fall.”

He says now, in early fall, bargain hunters are looking for fall travel deals, but are reluctant to book. This prevents travelers from planning too far in advance and creates new discount opportunities.

So what to do? It turns out that many of this year’s travel bargains are more or less in the same geographic location. According to experts, you can find lower prices by combining smart timing and proven strategies.

But this year there are a few new pitfalls that you will need to avoid.

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Where are the offers?

The cheapest places to travel in the fall aren’t necessarily the usual suspects. Of course, Orlando is a permanent magnet among domestic destinations, with an average round-trip airfare of just $ 196. Tampa and Jacksonville, Florida are also on the list. But there are also Minneapolis, Detroit and Houston. This is according to the analysis of the travel booking application Hopper (see table below for the complete list).

Price lineThe data show similar trends for the fall. The cheapest places to fly include Fort Lauderdale, Florida; New York; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Miami.

Florida dominates the list of budget destinations, with three of the top five cities. For hotels, you can find fall bargains in Kissimmee, Florida (near Orlando), as well as Myrtle Beach; Salt Lake City; and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Bottom line: shoot for Florida this fall and you can’t miss it.

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How to find offers

There is no hiding the deals, but you may need to adjust your strategies to the reality of a faltering pandemic recovery.

If you’re looking for savings on car rentals, you’ll find the lowest prices on “dark” sites like Priceline and Hotwire. Sites often don’t tell you the name of the car rental company until you book a non-refundable reservation, but you can save a lot of money.

“We have seen heavily discounted rates for the major car rental companies at these sites,” says Michael Meyer, president of Highway Tariff, a provider of pricing systems for car rental companies.

Remember the proven methods of finding a deal. Hospitality consultant Jeff David, who heads the Club Fitler in Philadelphia, says you should book your hotel at least a month in advance while the market is still rebounding. And consider signing up for member-only discounts through a program like AAA Specials.

“Usually that’s the biggest discount there is,” he says.

Plus, go against the grain by booking hotels that most vacationers wouldn’t consider. For example, if you are planning to visit Boston this fall, consider the Holiday Inn Express Boston-Waltham. Midweek room rates are around 40% lower than they were in 2019, as this is primarily a business travel hotel.

“We are awaiting the return of business travel,” said Keith Gilbert, the hotel’s managing partner. “Fall is a great time to visit New England.”

Don’t overlook hotels with high-end amenities. For example, you wouldn’t think about Kimpton Monaco Hotel in Washington, DC, as a budget hotel. But he offers between 5% and 20% off Kimpton’s Best Flexible Rate this fall if you book at least seven days in advance. (If you are a IHG Rewards Member, you can save more.) You can cancel or change your reservation more than seven days before your arrival without penalty. Even the Club Fitler is offering discounted rooms this fall that include all the benefits of the club.

Avoid these mistakes when looking for a fall travel deal

Don’t wait too long to book, experts say.

This is especially true for vacation rentals. November and December reservation volume in the United States is 157% higher than the same period in 2020 and already 80% higher than in 2019, according to the vacation rental platform Guest.

“If you are considering booking a vacation rental on Airbnb or other platforms, book now or risk having a lot less inventory to choose from at higher prices,” said the spokesperson for Guesty. Lauren Gumport.

Where you go is also important. As always, careful research will help you find the best deals.

“I recommend avoiding luxury travel advisers or consultants,” says Patrick pahlke, executive vice-president of Sage Hotel Management, which operates luxury hotels in Chicago, Denver and Philadelphia.

The reason? Luxury agents usually don’t cater to the bargain crowd.

“Digging for deals can take a bit of time, but it’s worth it once you get a good deal that also gives you some fun and exciting perks,” he adds.

At the same time, you don’t want to book too far in advance. With COVID-19 still an issue, you can’t predict what will happen when fall turns into winter.

But one thing we do know: The traditional holiday travel season will bring higher prices – and even more uncertainty. What height and what uncertainty? We do not know yet.

How to get the best deal?

Essential tips for your fall trip:

Book your flights mid-week. The cheapest days to fly this fall are mid-week, departing on a Tuesday or Wednesday and returning on a Tuesday or Wednesday, according to the Hopper economist. Adit Damodaran. “The day you return counts a bit more, with midweek departures saving you around $ 20 round trip and midweek returns saving you around $ 30 roundtrip, on average,” he says. .

Buy everything together. Consider consolidating your hotel, flights and car rentals into one transaction, says Ben harrell, Marketing Director at Price line. “A common mistake made by travelers is to book these travel elements separately,” he adds. “Those who need both flights and accommodation can often find better deals, potentially saving hundreds of dollars, by booking them together.”

To consider travel insurance “cancel for any reason”. Time and time again, experts say that travel insurance could save you money if you run into trouble. If you have to cancel due to a quarantine or closure, you could lose some or all of your trip. Rajeev Shrivastava, CEO of Travel Insurance Market CoverVisitors.com, says he has seen an increase in the purchase of “cancellation for any reason” policies. “This allows you to cancel your travel plans for any reason while still recovering some prepaid expenses,” he says.

The cheapest air and hotel fares

Rank Destination Return plane ticket Hotel rate per night Total cost of the trip for 1 return ticket and 1 night at the hotel
1 Orlando florida $ 196 $ 128 $ 324
2 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina $ 199 $ 133 $ 332
3 Minneapolis $ 200 $ 134 $ 334
4 Detroit $ 218 $ 121 $ 339
5 Houston $ 227 $ 114 $ 341
6 Greensboro, North Carolina $ 219 $ 123 $ 342
7 Tulsa, Oklahoma $ 253 $ 97 $ 350
8 Tampa, Florida $ 205 $ 146 $ 351
9 Jacksonville, Florida $ 216 $ 139 $ 355
ten Newark, New Jersey $ 218 $ 137 $ 355

Source: Hopper

The most affordable destinations for fall

For travel until October 31:

Based on avg. Round-trip ticket prices:

  1. Fort Lauderdale ($ 183)
  2. New York LGA ($ 216)
  3. Myrtle Beach ($ 220)
  4. Miami ($ 220)
  5. Orlando ($ 228)

Based on hotel average. Daily rates:

  1. Kissimme ($ 100)
  2. Myrtle Beach ($ 130)
  3. Salt Lake City ($ 138)
  4. Pigeon Forge ($ 141)
  5. Niagara Falls ($ 144)

Source: Priceline


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