Negotiating Low Price Vacations: Get the Best Deals at Resorts; Take a Last Minute Trip for Less

Getting away from it all doesn’t have to mean spending it all. In fact, vacationing these days means saving a lot on accommodations. “Book three nights, get one free” or “reserve seven nights and get two free” are common advertisements, especially in family-friendly destinations close to home. High gas prices and a down economy mean big savings for cost-conscious vacationers.

How to Find Great Last Minute Lodging:

Ask for a deal. You may not find out about bargains unless you ask. The specials are often listed on the web, but maybe not on the main page. A little digging will save you a lot. And just because one deal is advertised doesn’t mean you can’t get an even better bargain. For instance, even if you are receiving two nights free, ask for a further discount. Often hotels and resorts will eliminate the booking fee (that’s usually at least $15) if you ask. They might even throw in some coupons for meals and excursions.

Shop around. Even if you already made your summer vacation plans last year when the economy was better, look around for a better deal. And if you find one, call the resort where you have your reservations and ask for a discount. If they won’t give you the same special everyone else is getting, threaten to take your business away. If the resort won’t budge, cancel! You might be out $50, but you’ll certainly save more by booking a stay at the condo down the street. And do you really want to patronize a place that refuses to work with you?

Wait until the very last minute. If you have a little adventure in you, and you know the destination you are travelling to is not sold out, consider waiting to rent a place until you arrive there. You can actually see the accommodations close up and you can walk out if you don’t like the prices.

Travel with another family. Only have enough room in your car for four? Consider renting a mini-van and hauling two or three families to the beach. Not only will you have more fun, you’ll save gas and won’t have to worry about putting wear and tear on your car.

But if gas prices are putting a serious damper on your vacation plans, think about taking a trip closer to home. Instead of a 12 hour drive to the beach, consider a three hour trip to the lake. Think about it this way; You’ll save so much in gas, you’ll have more money to spend once you get there on restaurant meals and amusement parks!

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