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VOL. 131 | NO. 239 | Thursday, December 1, 2016


Lance Wiedower

Saving Money On 2017 Travel


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I can’t in good conscience encourage anyone to spend money. Do we really need a Cyber Monday to go online and shop more? And it’s not like you’re saving money; yes, that TV might be $50 less than it was the previous day, but you’re still spending money.

However, if you planned to buy a TV anyway, it probably does make sense to seek out those deals. The same goes for travel, and that’s why I’ve started thinking about my family’s travel plans for 2017.

There are lots of ideas, and what destinations become reality in part will be because of what I discover are the costs.

I didn’t shop for travel or anything else on Cyber Monday. I’m just not ready to make that purchasing decision on a trip.

But Tuesday is my favorite day to shop for airfare and I did find myself checking out flights for some of my travel wish-list destinations. Let’s just say I’m hoping a few flights across the Atlantic next summer get cheaper. Nothing is booked, and I’m not revealing those dream destinations quite yet.

But here are a few tips for planning your 2017 travel.

Not sure where you want to go? Check out travel deal sites and sign up for email alerts or check in from time to time to see what fun vacations are on sale. Travelzoo is a good site. It has a variety of ways to search, and offers deals on everything from hotel stays to all-inclusive resorts.

Have you signed up for hotel or airline rewards programs? If you’re a frequent traveler and are committed to one brand those points will add up quickly. If you’re like me and use a different hotel brand every stay, well, you’re not getting much more than free Wi-Fi. But don’t leave cost savings on the table, especially if a free night or two at a hotel can make the difference.

Pick the right time of year for your travels in 2017. If you’re a parent like me your travel dates are somewhat decided by school schedules. So that means spring break and summer travel.

But if you don’t have kids – or you’re a rebel like me and willing to take them out of school for a couple of days – hit the shoulder season. We traveled to Gulf Shores, Alabama, last April after the spring break rush when prices were lower and crowds were non-existent.

It still pains me to say this, but if your eyes are set on Las Vegas consider the heat of the summer. We did and found steals at several of the high-end properties along the Strip.

One place I’ve always wanted to visit is Greece, and in many ways summer makes the most sense. But October in the Greek Isles is full of possibilities, as the weather is still pleasant but many resorts are preparing to close for the winter season and offer lower prices.

Other values include Hawaii in early February, winter in Australia in July, or Orlando and Disney World in September.

Lance Wiedower can be reached at tripsbylance.com.

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