bargain rates

Old Aug 14th, 2007, 07:41 AM
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bargain rates

would like to book winter trips anywhere South at the best bargain rates(flight/hotel). My theory is to get bargains on last minute basis where there are unsold accomodations. Is this practical and are the typical internet travel sites the best place to do this?

Thanks,
evesty
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Old Aug 14th, 2007, 08:03 AM
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Where and when?

Rates can very by thousands depending upon your location and the calendar.
 
Old Aug 14th, 2007, 08:14 AM
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Generally speaking airlines charge more for last minute flights. Your best bet is to start monitoring fares for your particular destination so you'll know a good price when you see one. low fares have a habit of disappearing very quickly so when you see a a good fare don't delay - BOOK IT.

As for accomodations, again you'll find that hotels and resorts in most warm weather destinations don't have any difficulty finding customers who are willing to pay top dollar so they generally get booked up fairly far in advance - the most popular places are booked a year in advance. While there may be a couple of places that offer discounted rooms it is almost impossible to predict if and when discounts will be made available.

Quite frankly, if you are looking to stay in a 3 or 4 star resort for 1 or 2 star prices during "peak season" it isn't going to happen.
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Old Aug 14th, 2007, 08:50 AM
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Thanks for your replies. As I mentioned I'm looking to go anywhere it's warm at bargain rates. I don't like to plan in advance but when the mood moves me.

My thinking is that with all of the weekly "hot travel deals" on the net, I could at least find one.

evesty
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Old Aug 14th, 2007, 09:29 AM
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Like I said, start checking prices for various destinations now so you'll know a good price when you find one. Check travel sites like Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotels.com, etc. and the major airline websites. They all offer package deals to literally hundreds of places. You can also check the Sunday travel section of your newspaer as they often have ads for tour package companies.

Are you wedded to the US or would you consider going to the Caribbean, Mexico or Central America?

Just rmember warm destinations are popular during the winter (it's when most warm weather resorts and related businesses make their most profit so you are going to encounter the highest rates of the year. Don't rely on find a "hot deal" to a warm place in winter - everybody has the same idea and there's only a finite number of places to go.

That doesn't mean you can't find places to fit your budget but rather only that you have to be realistic in your search. For instance, hotels that are not in close proximity to the beach will be less expensive than beachfront accommodations, hotels that have few amenities will cost less than full service resorts.

Prices are going to be "relative". Resorts that are in warm climate areas charge more for their rooms in peak season (winter) than during the summer. Luxury full service resorts charge more than small barebones motels. Thus if you are budget minded you'll get more for your money if you go in off season. If you have to go in peak season be prepared to make some concessions with regard to the the type of resort or hotel you select.
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Old Aug 14th, 2007, 10:18 AM
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Thanks for your reply which I understand. However I prefer to wait to the last minute and take the risk of not getting a bargain. I'm registered with many sites to get their last minute deals.

evesty
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Old Aug 14th, 2007, 11:00 AM
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You'll just never get the best bargain doing that, what you prefer, evesty. You may get a good bargain, but you won't get the best bargain.

The best bargains are usually ones you can only get at 3 or 4 months "out" and oftentimes in shoulder seasons or when it is a combo with a airfare reduction program marketing sale etc.

And most of those have a "more than 21 days in advance" or other specific provisions list for the speciality fares as well.

Actually, what the discount hotel brokers do is buy those statistical "last minute" vacated rooms due to cancellation or whatever (that you deem as "unsold" in your OP post), and sell them at a discounted rate WAY ahead of time so that those sure to appear spaces DO produce income.

And I never once found a rate that is more of a bargain, for the exact same product, as I have on priceline or hotwire or one of the combo discount travel websites- and usually in a window of 3 or more months. All my best deals have been in the 5 month out range myself, although I have heard of good 1 or 2 day length stays won during the 2 weeks previous to the occurance a few times. But in recent years for Priceline, not at all.

Just two weeks ago I booked an air fare round trip to Lake Tahoe/Reno area with ski provision/ lodgings for 5 days to be taken in December. Looking today it is already at least $100 more per day, just for the room.

And soon the airfare will be more as well.

The only time I got nearly the best deal was in an airfare to Europe about 5 weeks ahead (vacancy sale) and also on a trip I did to D.C. which I never would have done but for the fact that I couldn't pass up a $69 air fare each way (usually around $129 each leg)- and that one was about 6 weeks out at the least.

The only truly bargain BEST fares I have ever seen done within a very short time, 10 days or so- would be within the cruiselines. And in recent years I don't think they have even offered those often, as the cruises are filling their ships.
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Old Aug 14th, 2007, 12:50 PM
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Flights are one issue--no easy solution. However, I've had luck in the Keys with the various Welcome Centers. It's risky, but you can often score some bargains on same-day lodging. Other options are some of those travel publications available at interstate rest areas. Often works for cheap midweek lodging for a couple days.
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Old Aug 15th, 2007, 09:49 AM
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Thanks RoamsAround, JJ5 and Bookhall for the time to give me your insights. I have to agree that the best bargains will come with the greatest lead time in booking.

I'm an investment manager in the Adirondacks with a flexible work schedule in that I can do my work wherever there's a computer. Pyschologicly my pleasure is to travel South in the Winter whenever the cold weather becomes too much here so I resist planning in advance. I like bargains too but I might have to pay the going rate by waiting too long to book.

Right now I'm on about 20 email alert list for travel bargains. Maybe this winter I'll be able to snag a good deal, possibly on a cruise. One question though, are the deals that are currently being sent to me, deals that could have been booked months ago at even better rates?

evesty
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Old Aug 15th, 2007, 11:10 AM
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That exact scenario is what very well could be, evesty.

I find with my cruise friends, if you are considering that aspect of travel, there will be perks received if you get this through a cruise vendor and not directly.

For instance, there will be onboard gift of $50 or $100 per person to spend on your on-ship card etc. when you do it this way. There is a specialty agent in my Chicagoland area that just does cruises. She books groups of 20 or so for each cruise and with quantity gets a better price for each and also some on-board credits or upgrades that would not be gotten when booking direct by individuals.

You sound like you could be real flexible with your dates, so it might be worth it to get a contact with such a venue to alert you to last minute specialty rate/deal PLUS her/his perks added. Those you might get in a much later timespan.
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Old Aug 15th, 2007, 12:35 PM
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Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but site59.com which has evidently merged with lastminute.com is evidently good for last min air/hotel.
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Old Aug 16th, 2007, 08:25 AM
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Thanks JJ5, I'll keep your vendor friend in mind. Yesterday we got an NCL mailer for their newest ship, Norweigian Gem which as Latitudes members we are considering.

Mclaurie, I'm already on lastminute.com email list.

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Old Aug 17th, 2007, 03:53 PM
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one thing you have to remember is that the last-minute deals are usually for the worst flight times (early mornings) and worst dates (won't work if you want to take advantage of your entire weekend and fly in early morning and leave later in the afternoon) since those are the ones they have no problems selling.

In terms of hotels, you can always get a good deal last-minute if you're going to a place where it's not high-season travel time. Otherwise, it's not so easy.

Basically, just realize what these "last minute deals" actually mean. They're selling flights which haven't sold until that last minute, meaning they're at worst possible times.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 04:34 AM
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What are my chances of getting a cruise deal during the months of January through March out of New York on last minute basis?

Thanks,

evesty
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Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 05:48 PM
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what kind of cruise would you take at that time of the year out of NYC?
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