Melinda Gale

Real Life In Raleigh

So You Haven't Booked Your Holiday Travel...

I will be the first to admit that I am a psycho planner when it comes to travel. I am one of those people who creates a document the day they book their flights and meticulously plans out every single detail of my trip, down to where I will be eating my meals. The same goes for holiday travel. 

If you are a crazy person and haven't already booked your holiday travel, here are a few last minute tips from Juan Perez Sosa, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Occidental Hotels, that might make your life a little easier. 

FLIGHTS

  • Time and route it right. Flying the day before Christmas or the first few days of January is pricey and it can be difficult to deduce which days offer the best airfare deals. Hopper is a data-analyzing app that will alert you when fares for your desired route have hit their predicted low point
  • Let the deals be your guide. Unless you have your heart set on a specific destination as a last-minute getaway, there are a variety of sites that can help you find an affordable trip such as Fareness and Kayak’s Explore tool – simply punch in your home airport and a few dates to see which destinations offer the best bang for your buck.
  • Make the most of your miles. Are you a frequent flier? Make the most of your miles when airfares spike to make the most of their value.  UsingMiles can crunch the numbers to tell you when you’re better off paying with dollars by combing reward travel sites based on your miles

HOTELS

  • Make use of apps. Score a room at short notice at discounted rates. HotelTonight offers discounted rates on properties after 3 P.M. on check-in day while Roomer sells off prepaid reservations of travelers who had to cancel are looking to recover some of their losses.
  • Choose a business-friendly hotel. Conferences and meetings slow down during the holidays so many large chain hotels will cut visitors a deal. "Business-friendly hotels not only provide top features like free wi-fi, but they often offer special pricing offers," said Juan Perez Sosa of Occidental Hotels & Resorts. "For example, Occidental El Embajador offers a Winter Special, a Christmas Special, and Shopping & Family Packages, making it an appealing option for those looking to save money."
  • Bundle with airfare. Look for packages that combine airfare with a hotel stay to save money – some may even include a car rental.

Have any of your own travel tips? Leave them in the comments!