MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It’s January and it’s cold. You might be thinking ‘Gosh, I wish I booked that winter vacation to the Caribbean!’
Well, there is still time to do so and not break the bank.READ MORE: Mark Bell Charged With Fatally Shooting Girlfriend In St. Paul
WCCO’s Kim Johnson sat down with Pioneer Press Deals Expert Nancy Ngo to find out how to get the best getaway bargains.
“Things have changed a lot in the industry. Five years ago remember the fire sales?” Ngo said. “Those are almost non-existent [now]. There are still ways to save, but you have find more creative ways to do it.”
Ngo says the old logic of ‘it’s cheaper to fly on week days’ might also be a thing of the past.
“That was always the strategy, but what we’re seeing these days is that Tuesdays and Wednesdays aren’t necessary the best times to fly to get the deals,” Ngo said. “Saturday is actually a really good time because airlines are offering two to three flights a day on Tuesday or Wednesday, and then there are nine to 10 flights available for a destination on Saturday. So, if airlines don’t have those seats booked, they’re going to drop their rates.”
When it comes to destinations, Minnesotans might find the best deals going to Mexico or the Caribbean.
“You’ll find direct flights out of MSP to those destinations,” she said.READ MORE: Minnesota Groups Unite To Oppose Recreational Marijuana Legalization
Airfare may also be more affordable if airlines haven’t booked those flights.
Ngo also says even in the age of discount travel websites, travel agents can still find bargains you might not be able too.
“For example, Midwest Travel Service out of St. Paul, what they’ll do is personally, for their all-inclusive packages, fly to destinations such as Cabo. They’ll negotiate with the resort owners, block room rates so that gets passed on to their travelers,” Ngo said.
As for when the cheapest time to travel is?
Ngo says the beginning of March, just before we hit the peak spring break travel period.
There are ways you can find deals yourself such as with Airfarewatchdog.com, a site that lets you enter your destination city and get email alerts when there’s low airfare.MORE NEWS: St. Paul Police Searching For Shoplifter Who Shot Liquor Store Worker Over 6-Pack
Another tip, make sure to check Groupon in your destination city. You can find deals on hotels, restaurants and attractions that help save up to 50 to 70 percent off.