There are many reasons why firms offer reduced, or discounted travel deals, ranging from flights, up to packages which include several components, all inclusive in one price.
One of the main reasons for travel deals is the unsold places. Competition can also play a part in further reductions in list prices.
Before giving you a whole list of tips to get the best travel deals and discounts, I want to show you a amazingly simple but brilliant technique that you can use pretty much in most places and for most products and services.
I have used the technique all over the place it works so well it is almost unbelievable. But it is so simple that you may dismiss it without trying. I want you to be mentally prepared and be willing to give it a try, so here we go.
To get a discount or a bargain in most places, even in a high class boutique or a high street store, what you need to do is: “ASK”. Yes, just “ask”. But also I want you to remember, as they say, “… it is not what you say, but the way you say it …” that really counts.
So, to get a discount, you need to keep your intention to ‘buy’ to yourself until you’re ready to make your payment. You must always appear like you’re not convinced yet and that if the sales person doesn’t “do better” “he will lose” the deal. But you should also seem reasonably interested or else the sales person will think you’re not serious and therefore he won’t try to sweeten the deal for you.
OK, so how do you do all of the above? Easy and this is how I’ve done it for travel deals all the way to buying just 2 shirts at an up market men’s boutique – yes for just 2 shirts:
* I get information on the various options (be it travel deals or shirts).
* I decide what I want but will only – and this is the very important part – tell the sales person about a portion of what I want. So I may show interest in just one shirt or a holiday for 2 people and not 4.
* I ask all my questions and show that it is just what I want (so the sales person knows he almost has sale) but …
* I indicate that I’m not happy with the price. For example I may have seen something similar cheaper elsewhere. Or that I am prepared to go shopping around (all sales people know, if the customer walks out they usually will not come back). Or that I have the money (you’ll see why next) but had not planned on spending that much.
* I let the sales person try to ‘sell me the IDEA’ that it is OK to buy the product. Sometimes, they offer some free product (e.g. a pair of socks or tickets for a gallery or some show while on holiday). Then I ‘ask’ for the discount but make it clear that I will definitely buy if they give me the discount. This is how I ‘ask’ …
* “Look I’ll definitely take it at $X”. The sales person then says “… so you want $Y off the price?!”. They may tell you they don’t normally offer a discount outside of the sales season, etc. If they are very confident about not offering discounts, I then say “ok, I’ll take 2 shirts … this one and … that one, only if you give me them at $Z for both …”.
* At this stage the sales person may even say he hasn’t the authority to offer discounts. No problem, I ask them to speak to their boss. I have done this lots of times and get this: 90% of the time the boss agrees to the discount. Of the remaining 10% at least half the time, the boss offers me a counter discount which is a not as good as what I asked for but still pretty good.
Do you want to know the kind of discounts I’ve had? Well, on two shirts worth $62 I got $22 off. That is around 35%! On a travel package worth around $4,300, I got about $600 off but wait for it … I also got an upgrade from a deluxe room to a business suite in the same 5 star hotel. That suite was worth $800 per night and the deluxe room was worth $250 per night!
I had to explain the above details at length but all that I did was to display that I ‘WILL’ buy with a discount. They knew all they had to do was just one thing: give me a discount, so they did it. I made it, as they say, “a no brainer” for them.
In short just “ask” but (a) be realistic (let them make a little profit, don’t ask for 80% off) and (b) have a little flexibility as a backup plan (be ready to tell them that you’ll buy more, e.g. 2 shirts or a holiday for 4. Hey, even the sales people like to think they have got a concession form you … it is not a one-way street).
This technique works for almost everything but also works extremely well for travel bargains too. So lets get back to more tips specific to travel deals then.
Travel bargains, discounts and deals are all around you because we all travel regularly and repeatedly for holidays as well as for business and of course the travel industry competes for our dollars. Nevertheless, some research and being alert to travel deals can mean more substantial savings. Here’s how to spot and get the best travel deals:
* Booking as early as possible usually entitles you to some travel discount.
* If you’re buying more than one ticket, a further travel discount is possible.
* Be flexible. Sometimes weekend flights can be cheaper than weekdays (less business travellers).
* Flights departing later at night can be cheaper.
* Depending on your timetable, consider indirect flights, which take longer, but are probably cheaper, as opposed to direct flights.
* Travelling other than peak periods, such as schools holidays and public holidays will probably be heaper.
* More often than not, holiday packages are cheaper than buying the components separately.
* Compare prices online, by phone, or visit individual travel agents in the high street.
* As all airlines overbook, consider taking a later flight which usually comes with sweeteners from the airline in the form of further travel discounts, and travel vouchers.
* It may also be possible to travel on ‘stand by’, but it means that you’ll be called with very little notice
* If you’re lucky, it may be possible to travel as a ‘courier’. Some firms will pay, or subsidise your airfare in return for carrying important packages and letters.
* Buy travel insurance that best suits your circumstances. In case of emergencies it’ll save you lots of money.
The more time and effort you devote, the better travel deals you’ll bag. In many instances the saving could be quite substantial. So much so that you may be able to add on extra days stay. Happy travel deals.
Sami T Fab operates a dedicated travel and vacation information website packed full of free travel tips and informative content.
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