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Early-booking discounts

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on August 14, 2006. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: adventure travel, Josh Roberts, vacation package.

Early-booking discounts

If waiting until the last-minute is too risky for your taste, look for early-booking discounts to save you money.

ExpeditionTrips, a specialized wholesaler of small-ship expedition travel—such as Galapagos adventure voyages—offers advance-booking discounts. "Several of the shipping companies we work with offer early-booking discounts, which we extend to our clients," says Kristy Royce, the company's director of marketing. "We are also able to offer special savings with certain lines that are not available directly or though most other travel agents. With some trips it is better to book early and get an early-booking discount and the cabin you want at the best time of year."

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Some companies also offer seasonal advance-booking discounts to help fill trips during slower travel periods. Adventure seller iExplore recently announced a 10-percent discount on any trip booked before August 31 that travels between December 15 and January 8.

You can even save money with companies that don't have formal advance-booking discounts by checking in at the right time of the year. Intrepid, for example, does not offer an "official" early-booking discount, but Bird suggests "keeping an eye on Intrepid around brochure-launch season, which is October through December, as there is sometimes promotional activity associated with kicking off the new year."

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