Flexible travel dates — the prompt comes up with internet airline searches, hotel stay inquiries and when booking vacation package deals. That question: “Are your travel dates flexible?” used to annoy me. I’d think to myself, “Mr. Website, if I wanted to travel on other dates, I’d put those in instead.” Then I realized something unique to the travel industry! Changing travel dates can save hundreds of dollars!
For instance, a one-way flight on August 19th costs $160. The next day, it’s only $109, a savings of $51. Similarly, a hotel room in Williamsburg, VA is $79 one weekend, but the following weekend the price drops to $65. The same is true for vacation packages. Theme parks and resorts have peak travel seasons, when prices are highest. Book the week before or after peak season, and save up to 20%. Families with young children, especially, can save a bundle on a vacation if willing to travel in September, October or January to vacation destinations across the country.
When I make travel plans for our family, I now check other times to see if travel prices are any better. For instance, on our Paris trip over spring break, the original plan was to go after graduation. Summer travel to Europe is expensive — for us, it was cost-prohibitive. Going in April, even though it was over the Easter break, we saved close to 30% on lodging and almost 20% on airfare prices. The savings for a family of five traveling for eight days really adds up.
Flexible travel dates. Whenever you see those words, remember to check your calendar and check the prices where you plan to go. Adjusting your trip — even a day or two — could save hundreds!