What makes a deal?
Always ask yourself why a trip is discounted. Are you getting a great rate on that Antarctica trip because someone cancelled at the last-minute, or is it because it's the off-season and the weather's bad? Is that $500 Inca Trail trek so cheap because it's with a local tour operator, or is the outfitter cutting corners and not including basic things like meals, camping equipment, or transfers?
The best deal is the one that gets you the trip you want at a price you're comfortable paying. It's not always the cheapest—frequently it's the one with the best departure dates, or the best itinerary, or the best guides.
Still, there are times when price is the deciding factor. In those cases, one thing is more important than all the rest: "Be flexible," says ExpeditionTrips' Kristy Royce, "and be willing to travel at the last minute." Good advice. After all, spontaneity is the very heart of adventure.