After the busy summer travel season comes to an end, travelers looking for deals should be in luck. Prices for airfares and hotels drop after Labor Day, so that’s a great time to take a vacation for less.
Most airfare sales start on a Tuesday morning. I suggest waiting until late Tuesday, or even better, Wednesday morning, to purchase fares. This gives the other airlines time to match the lower fares, giving you more flight options. This is a strategy to use year-round, not just in the fall.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday are usually the cheapest days of the week to travel within the continental U.S. If you want a three- or four-night vacation, check prices for departure on a Saturday and return on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
During the fall, we should see vacation package specials that combine airfare and hotel, especially to tourist destinations. Your best bet to get the cheapest rate is to first check the airfares for your destination using a flexible travel calendar tool. If you are flexible not only on the day of the week, but also the date, you should check prices for multiple weeks. Sometimes the prices can vary quite a bit, depending on the advance purchase requirements. Once you’ve found the dates with the cheapest airfares, price a vacation package with airfare and hotel bundled, using those dates.
Here’s an example of a deal where you might save by buying airfare and hotel separately.
Starwood has a Pay Your Birth Year promotion that allows you to pay a rate equal to your birth year for the second and third night of your stay. If you were born in 1960, you’d pay the regular rate for the first night and $60 per night for your second and third nights. I know some of you are wondering if you can put the room in your 10-year-old’s name to pay $4 per night, but you must be at least 18 years old to qualify for this promotion.
Make sure you put the reservation in the name of the oldest person in your traveling party. Please note that some of the luxury properties add $100 to your birth year to get the rates for the second and third night. The offer is valid for Thursday through Saturday arrivals at participating hotels and resorts in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. Restrictions apply. Starwood includes Sheraton, Four Points, W, Aloft, Le Meridien, Westin and other hotel brands. Visit americas.starwoodoffers.com/payyourbirthyear for details.