Follow the Deal

Man looking at laptop in Meadow (Photo: iStockPhoto/Kemter)
by , SmarterTravel Staff
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on June 8, 2009. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: adventure travel, bed and breakfast,,, camping, destination, family travel, farm, Hilton, hostel, hotel, Kate Hamman and Carl Unger, La Quinta, Las Vegas, New York City, Pennsylvania, road trip, student travel, summer, TripAdvisor, United States, vacation package, Vermont, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts.

A good motto for summer travel this year would be: Follow the deal. Let your wallet guide you to a vacation that maybe you wouldn't have thought of otherwise. To wit:

  • Travel last minute. Airlines are still struggling to fill their planes, albeit less than a few months ago. Still, keep an eye on last-minute airfares to see what's cheap. If an airline has a cheap fare and the destination looks interesting, why not go for it? If that's not your style, pick a few places that interest you and see which is the cheapest. Monitor fares for a bit and then pick whichever is the best deal.
  • Speaking of last-minute travel, who says you can't snag a last-minute vacation rental deal? Senior Editor Christine Sarkis did some digging, and found last-minute savings of up to 50 percent.
  • Look to ski resorts and other traditionally winter-centric destinations. Lodging is often deeply discounted in the summer, and many resorts offer top-notch summer activities such as mountain biking, rock climbing, and watersports.
  • More generally, look for destinations that are off-peak during the summer. In her recent roundup of the top five off-peak destinations for summer, Associate Editor Jessica Labrencis suggests the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Costa Rica, San Antonio, and the Ft. Myers area as good bets for some off-peak savings.

Have any tips for traveling cheap this summer? Perhaps an out-of-the-way destination or a unique and inexpensive place to stay? Leave a comment below with your ideas.

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