Summer Secrets – How to Save on Summer Travel

Summertime is one of the busiest travel seasons and that means peak season prices and crowds.  There are however some ways to save on your summer travels.

To save on summer airfares you’ll need to know when to fly, when to buy and what they charge:

When to Fly: 

  • Tuesday and Wednesday are typically the least expensive days of the week to fly.  Thursday through Sunday are typically the most expensive.
  • Knowing the seasons will also help. For those destinations that celebrate four seasons the typical summer is June – August with some variations by destination.  Try traveling just outside of those dates.

When to Buy:

  • I find that Tuesdays especially in the evening is the best day of the week to purchase and get the best airfares.
  • The days of the last minute specials are pretty much gone, however that doesn’t mean you have to book a year in advance either.  14 to 30 days prior to departure for domestic flights and 60 – 90 days prior to departure for international flights can usually give you fair pricing.

Other recommendations:

  • Check the online agencies like Travelocity,  Expedia and Kayak for comparison shopping.  You can also sign up for alerts on sales for certain city pairs.
  • If you can be flexible with your dates and times then you can widen your search and find the a particular airline is offering a discount.
  • Clear your browser history so that you get a fresh search each time.
  • Compare the extra fees:
    • Southwest Airlines do not charge for the 1st and 2nd bag checked under 50lbs
    • JetBlue does not charge for the 1st checked bag under 50lbs
    • Frontier and Spirit Airlines charge for Carry-on’s
    • Some airlines baggage fees escalate at the airport so book/pay  in advance
    • If you’re a family try to consolidate your luggage to reduce the number of bags you’re paying for

To Save on Car Rental you’ll need to know when to buy and where to buy:

Car rental rates are even more confusing than airfares and the so called budget companies don’t always have the best rates so check them all.  The same online agencies can be used for comparison shopping like Travelocity and Expedia.

When to Buy and Where to Buy:

  • This depends on the destination.  Cities that are typically for business travelers will have lower rates on the weekend.  Cities that are typically for leisure travelers will have lower rates on the week days.
  • It’s also a good idea to book in advance and pay in advance.  Advance purchase or pre-paid rates are often lower and are non-refundable.
  • Unless you really need a large car choose a compact care, especially if you choose a late pick up time you could get an upgraded vehicle due to available
  • Airports are generally higher than suburban locations and sometimes have additional fees.  Here you’re paying for convenience and you may find more options available.
  • Neighborhood locations also may offer last minute special to get cars off the lot.

Other recommendations:

  • A lot of travel experts will advise to save on insurance, however I don’t.  Your own car insurance will cover you in most cases, however not if you’re renting out of the country.  Also, if you let someone else drive they are not covered and this is a strict policy with the rental car company.
  • Also, the term “Liability” can mean different things to different companies.
  • Lastly, many will say your credit card company carries insurance.  Well, not all of them do and to what degree.  In my experience American Express is the only one with comprehensive coverage.
  • All in all , I don’t think cutting out insurance is worth the savings. That’s the one time something will happen.
To save on hotel accommodations you’ll need to know when to stay and where to stay:

When to stay:
  • Downtown hotels that cater the the business traveler will offer special rates on the weekend when their hotel has fewer occupants.  They may also offer special packages including meals or local attractions
  • Hotels and resorts in tourist destination will offer special rates during the week, which is when they have fewer occupants.

Where to Stay:
  • Timeshare sales can be great.  Look in your local paper or on line for timeshare owners who are selling their time.
  • Vacation rentals can be a great savings for families and because they have kitchens you will save on meals
  • Budget hotels typically include free wi-fi and other amenities that the more upscale hotels don’t offer.
  • Some hotels offer a minimum night stay package bringing down the per night rates.
  • is a great guide and offers discounted rates.

How to save in general:
  • Groupon or Living Social offer discounts in many cities around the US.  You can buy a Groupon or Living Social coupon to local attractions for the city you are visiting.
  • CityPass offers discounts to local attractions and some of them have skip the line privileges.
  • Bundle where you can with the Airline, Hotel, Car Rental or purchase a package from a Travel Agency.

Happy Trails!
Ja’Vonne Harley