10 Tips for Saving on Holiday Travel Right Now
6. Don't rely on a single site: When checking booking sites, make sure you check a few to get the best deals, especially if you will be traveling out of the country. "For international flights, check both the airline you want to fly and any U.S.-based codeshare airline," says Carol Margolis at SmartWomenTravelers.com. For example, when flying from Orlando to Paris, check Air France and Delta. "You'll be booked on the same flight, but one airline may offer a much less fare."
7. House swap: "You stay in my house, and I stay in yours -- that sums it up!" says Tracy Rubin, who works with Homeexchange.com. You pay a $120 annual membership fee, which Rubin points out is less than a one night stay in most hotels, and list your house. This may be good if you plan on traveling a lot, but it's not for everyone.
8. Sign up: "Sign up for email news from travel suppliers you like so you're the first to know of any holiday specials," says Peter Grubb, founder of ROW Adventures. He also advises if you're going on an adventure tour or outfitted trip, book that before your airline ticket. "Many people do it backwards and can't find the trip to fit their flight."
9. Get gift cards for yourself: Andrea Woroch, a consumer savings expert, says to look for discount gift cards. Sites such as GiftCardGranny.com sell gift cards for flights, hotels and more for less than face value. "While you are shopping around, pick up a few for restaurants and movie theaters to save on those favorite family nights out during the holidays," Woroch says.
10. Look for price matching: Just like in the grocery store, some sites will price match if you find a better deal in a certain amount of time. Jeff Pecor, founder of Tailwind PR, says that some sites, including PayPal, will price match -- even on some airline tickets -- if lower prices are advertised.
2012 HOLIDAY GUIDE: