Vacation Deals: 5 Ways to Save on Travel

To find the best vacation deals out there, check out these handy tricks of the travel trade?

Always ask for an upgrade when making travel bookings

Knowing the tricks of the travel trade could save you a ton of cash next time you book a trip

Getting the best rates on flights, hotels and more will require a bit of work on your part, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

Tips for Saving Money on Travel Bookings

Collect Points: Start by working all the angles and doing a little research. Sign up for preferred customer programs; you’ll get some sort of benefit the first time you book, either an upgrade, a discount or rewards points. 

Use a website like to help maximize and manage all of your loyalty programs in one place — frequent-flyer programs, hotel rewards, credit cards and more. You can track points, move around, buy more, exchange, even redeem, all using this one site. It can take a bit of time to set up, but at the end of the day you could find yourself with a free flight or hotel stay you might have thought was out of reach.

Check for Promo Codes: Never press “book” without first doing a Google search for a coupon or promo code for whatever service you’re booking. You’d be surprised at how many products and services have a discount listed online. 

Book after Midnight on Tuesday: A really simple tip to remember if you’re looking for a hot deal on a flight is to book after midnight on a Tuesday. This is because each week, fare wars start on Friday when the biggest airlines will lower fares to gain interest. The small carriers match the fares over the weekend. The big carriers evaluate the number of seats on Monday and figure out what fares will move seats — those lower fares are loaded into the computer at midnight on Tuesday. 

Use Social Media: If you use social-media websites such as Twitter or Facebook, get connected with your favourite travel companies. Some airlines, hotels and even car-rental companies only offer their really last-minute or limited-space offers via these forms of social media. 

Ask for an Upgrade: And if it’s just some perks you’re looking for, I always recommend asking for an upgrade when you make your reservations and as you’re travelling. The worst the reservation agent can say is no. But oftentimes you’ll be offered the upgrade for free or for a nominal fee — so it’s always worth asking the question.

One note on calling ahead to your hotel to request an upgrade: Make sure you’re calling the front desk of the hotel and not its 1-800 reservation line. It will make a difference.

Watch Claire Newell on Global BC News: Final (Mon.), Early (Wed.), Morning & Noon (Thur.), Noon (Sat.). Or catch her Tuesdays at 8:30 a.m. on Shore 104 FM.

Originally published in TV Week. For daily updates, subscribe to the free TV Week e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.