Every year literally millions of singles, couples, families and groups of friends go on summer vacations together. Summer vacations are popular, and it's that popularity that can make planning and booking one a challenge. This is especially the case for families traveling together or groups of people. The availability of seats on airplanes are limited by demand, as are available accommodations. The demand to attend events or visit tourist attractions can also be affected by the higher demand summer vacationers pose.
There are a number of ways that you can make affordable airline bookings and hotel reservations.
Obviously the first step to making summer vacation reservations is deciding on a summer vacation destination. When selecting a summer vacation destination, a number of factors need to be taken into consideration. Some of these factors are;
Keeping these factors in mind will enable you to select the summer vacation destination that will best fit your needs and address any limitations you or a travel companion may have.
Once you've selected a summer vacation destination you can look for accommodations to book for your stay. A large number of amusement parks, campgrounds and hotels in the USA, Canada and at overseas destinations don't require reservations. However, it's advisable to reserve accommodations anyway. Summer vacation periods are short, and the demand is therefore much higher than normal. This can cause available rooms to be filled with vacationing tourists quickly. By making a reservation, you not only assures that you have a room, but that you have accommodations that fit your needs.
When booking a summer vacation, a great many travelers will count on the services of a travel agent. Using a travel agent is more convenient than searching online for vacation packages, calling hotels to negotiate a booking rate, or sourcing your own rental car deal. However, there are two things to remember when using a travel agent to organize you summer vacation:
Aside from traveling by car, air travel is a preferred method of travel to reach summer vacation destinations. If you're booking your own airline reservations, do so online and look for all of the alternatives to get you from point A to B. For example, a direct flight is convenient, but it can be costly if even available. Many departure to destination flights are simply not available because of the need to refuel. In cases where a direct flight is available, a flight with a stop over or two may be half the price. Likewise, for the same price as a direct flight, you can often choose to organize a tour for yourself.
When flying from Vancouver, BC, Canada to Quito, Ecuador, a peak summer season flight is just over CAD$1500 with taxes and surcharges. For the same price you can book a charter tour to Cancun, Mexico, spend a week there, accommodation included. After a week in Cancun you can take the train, a bus or fly to Mexico city. There you can stay a day or two, then fly from Mexico City to Quito, Ecuador. The cost is virtually the same, if not less, and you have an enjoyable tour. The original flight Vancouver to Quito requires at least on stop, most two. So does the alternatice Vancouver, Cancun, Mexico City and on to Quito route. The difference is you have a stay in Cancun and Mexico City at no extra cost, rather than wait in an airport for your connecting flight. It takes a lot of searching to find these deals, but they are available. This is because, as the saying in the airline industry, "A plane that takes off with an empty seat lost revenue." Airlines will do anything to fill every seat, even if that seat sale is drastically discounted.
If your summer vacation is centered on enjoying the outdoors, then you probably want to be camping. Even when planning a camping vacation, you should still make a reservation. Public and private campgrounds are limited as to the amount of camping space they have. By reserving a camping space you're guaranteed a place to set up your tent or park your RV or trailer.
To book a popular vacation destination at a discount, check out online travel websites. Travel websites offer discounts on popular hotels, airlines and restaurants around the world. There's a downside to using online discount travel websites though. The travel sites mostly focus on the more popular summer vacation destinations. That said, you can often find a better hotel deal that falls within your budget than you would booking elsewhere, saving nothing but enjoy far greater luxury at the same price.
There is a final, very important consideration to planning and booking your summer vacation flights and hotel reservations. Do your research and book well ahead of your intended departure. Deals on flights are rarely available under 21 days from departure, other than through last minute seat sales. The problem with last minute seat sales is that they're limited in both availability and usually in the amount of luggage you can bring. This is because the weight luggage would take is allocated to freight, which is actually more profitable for the airlines than transporting passengers. Plus last minute means last minute. You do not want to risk your entire summer vacation on being able to secure last minute seat deals. Likewise, hotels will rarely make deals at the last minute either, unless you show up at the desk at 2:00AM and there are vacancies. Even then, the desk clerk has parameters as to the discounts he or she can give. When you start negotiating for rooms well in advance of your arrival you're dealing with management, who generally have greater latitude when it comes to granting discounts to secure bookings.