Looking for some deals on Labor Day getaways? If you’re among the 34.1 million planning on traveling this holiday weekend, there are many opportunities to spend less on your weekend excursion and save some cash for back-to-school season. Check out these savings before you book:
Travelocity: Save up to 66% on hotels. Locations include several popular tourist destinations, such as Orlando, Chicago and Honolulu.
Last Minute Travel: Save $30 on hotel reservations totaling $350 or more in addition to saving up to 40% off brochure prices. Domestic locations include Manhattan, Miami and Las Vegas; European destinations include London, Paris and Milan.
Expedia: Book a hotel for up to 50% off brochure prices. Some of the most deeply discounted rooms are in Costa Rica. With a quick search, you can find deals on lodging in whichever city you’re planning to visit.
VacationRentals: Save up to 65% on home rentals. If a hotel room isn’t large enough to accommodate your whole family, renting a larger space could be a more cost-efficient solution.
CheapOair: Save up to $25 on your trip. Some of their most affordable Labor Day flights include Minneapolis to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale and New York City to Calgary.
CruiseCompete: If you’ve got more time than just the weekend, book a cruise at a discounted rate. Choose from a Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona to Monte Carlo, an 18-night cruise from San Francisco to New York City and many others.
Hertz: Rent a car for 40% off regular rates. If you’re traveling to a car-centric locale, this deal can help you save while making it easier to get around.
TravelZoo: Save on tickets to shows, games and other venues. From getting up to 80% off the brochure cost of Las Vegas performances to booking a Banff horse-riding trip with meals included at a $400 discount, these deals can help you craft a lively itinerary.
TakeTours: Buy two tour admissions and get thethird one free. Locations include New York City, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and activities include historical sightseeing as well as nature outings.
More Savings Strategies
Keep in mind that some of the best deals for Labor Day travel tend to be in places that have less-than-ideal weather during Labor Day. Expedia reports that hotel costs are down by 12% in Palm Springs, for instance, but this is due in part to triple-digit weather this time of year. The chance of hurricanes and tropical storms can also push the cost of Caribbean cruises down. Prepare appropriately and invest in travel insurance so that you are financially protected in case a storm hits or your plans suddenly change.
Booking a flight? For the lowest rates, try purchasing your tickets at 3 p.m. Eastern on a Tuesday. It might be hard to get a low rate if you’re booking only a couple weeks in advance, but looking for tickets during this time could help—it’s when airlines try to fill their empty seats.
If you’re traveling internationally, take the time to find a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. It’s also a good idea to steer clear of ATMs, which often charge high fees and high conversion rates for foreign tourists. If your bank has international branches, you can save money and get better exchange rates by visiting those locations instead.
Before you leave, establish a daily budget and leave room for error. Keep in mind that some charges on debit cards could put a preauthorization hold on your account while the final charge is being processed. For instance, if you fill up your tank with gas and charge it to your debit card, the gas station might put a $70 hold on your account temporarily. If you don’t plan ahead for this, you could end up wasting money on overdraft fees.
Packing snacks and meals can help you save on expensive restaurants. Take a trip to the grocery store before your trip to stock up some of your family’s favorite foods. With the money you save, you’ll be able to order whatever you want when you do go out to eat.
Looking for souvenirs? Don’t end up paying too much for gifts that just end up collecting dust. Search flea markets and festivals for meaningful and unique trinkets that are also affordable. You’ll save money and your recipients will be even more appreciative.
If you can’t find a good bargain for the trip you’re planning, ask. Managers who are trying to fill spaces may be willing to work with you and give you a lower price. Wherever you’re heading this Labor Day weekend, simply requesting a more affordable rate could help you maximize your savings.
Image of couple on beach via Shutterstock.