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Scoring travel deals as demand and prices soar this Spring

With spring break just around the corner and low COVID-19 numbers, many people are itching to get away. That means demand and prices are way up!

But travel agents say there are still ways to book now and save money on a trip:

TIP 1: Think about buying a vacation *package*.

“If you can bundle your hotel and your air and your car all together through one vendor, you’re going to save money,” said travel expert Roni Fishkin.

TIP 2: Pick the right time to fly.

Travel experts recommend you fly on Tuesday or Wednesday, and pick flights that are very early. “If you can fly out first thing in the morning, before most people are awake, you’re going to get a better price than you’re going to get mid-morning or mid-afternoon,” Fishkin said.

The Washington Post says book three weeks out for a domestic flight and three to five weeks ahead for international ones.

Or go the other extreme: if you aren’t picky when and where you go, wait until the last minute.

TIP 3: Sign up for price alerts.

The Post recommends Google Flights, Kayak, Hopper, Scott’s Cheap Flights, and Skyscanner.

Kiplinger also suggests Airfarewatchdog and the twitter handle: @theflightdeal.

TIP 4: Destination Matters.

“The best deals right now are in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, even Jamaica. Some of the other islands are a little pricier,” said Fishkin.

You can also look at companies like Redweek which allow you to book a timeshare someone isn’t using.

TIP 5: Shop around

Kiplinger says don’t forget: airlines have packages too, like Southwest Vacations and United Vacations—and so do coupon sites, like Groupon and Livingsocial.

And some hotel chains offer “best-rate guarantees.” Kiplinger says that, if you find a better deal on a third-party site for the same hotel within 24 hours of reserving your room, Marriott will charge you the competitor’s rate and then take up to 25% off!

And finally – don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. Call the hotel you’re targeting ad ask about deals including AAA, AARP or government rates.

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