Step 4: Discounts

If you are a frequent flyer, a student, a senior, or travel with your family, there are often special deals just for you. Visit the specialty sections on our website, or consider these options:

Frequent flyers

Search for specific deals in SmarterTravel.com's frequent flyer section.

Frequent flyers can earn miles for packages booked with airline vacation providers. In addition, many of those providers offer limited-time bonuses, so you can earn even more miles. Another way to earn miles for vacation packages is by using a mile-earning credit card when you book. Typically, you'll earn one mile for every dollar you spend, and sometimes even more.

Students

Search for specific deals in SmarterTravel.com's student section.

There are providers that specialize in student travel, and this is a good place for young people to start their searches.

Contiki offers trips for people ages 18 to 35 while EF College Break's age range is 18 to 30. Both agencies feature packages that include airfare and accommodations to destinations throughout the world.

The flexibility of young people's schedules can also help them save money on vacations, regardless of the provider. People on academic schedules generally have more time off, so students can go when it's cheaper. Book packages for midweek travel to avoid weekend surcharges.

For additional savings, there are three major student discount cards: the International Student Identity Card (ISIC), the International Student Exchange Card (ISE), and the Student Advantage Card (SAC).

For an annual cost of about $20 to $25, these cards will provide you with a bevy of savings on bus, rail, and air tickets, and thousands of other travel discounts on hostels, attractions, and more. These cards also offer other special features, like basic travel insurance and reduced phone rates. The discounts offered by each card vary, but generally, the ISIC and ISE are the most valuable for international travel.

Seniors

Search for specific deals in SmarterTravel.com's senior section.

There are many tour operators that cater to senior travelers, including Elderhostel, Interhostel, Grand Circle Travel, and Viking River Cruises. And, just as with students, having senior status can translate into special discounts, particularly from organizations such as the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

Families

Search for specific deals in SmarterTravel.com's family section.

Also, airline vacation providers often make packages more affordable to families by offering free kids' fares when you purchase adult tickets. Another option to consider is booking a vacation package that includes condominum- or apartment-style accommodations. A family can easily share such lodging and will then save on food and drink costs by having access to a kitchen and refrigerator.

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