Money Saving Monday: Travel Cheaper

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(WHNT) Huntsville, Ala. -  Some tips may sound familiar but bare repeating, such as planning early, at least six weeks before you want to travel.

And some experts have found a pattern in days and times when it's cheaper to book:

With Thanksgiving and Christmas sneaking up on us, travelers need to act as soon as possible to arrange a trip to get close to family or get away.

"I think the biggest thing is for people to plan in advance," said Leslie Gesele, a travel consultant for Sterling Travel in Huntsville.  She encourages people to use travel agencies for cost savings and convenience, but acknowledges there are ways you can save if you want to do it yourself.

Beth Jett asked Gesele, "You're not going to find any good deals the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, right?"  "I would be shocked if you did," Gesele said with a smile.

But any other Wednesday is the perfect time to travel.  Experts say that's because it's the middle of the week and fewer people travel during that time, so flights are cheaper.

Also, experts who track airline ticket costs have found flights close to meal times tend to be cheaper.

The bottom line is don't fly when everyone else wants to and you'll save money.

And you might have better luck if you call the airline's toll free number around 11:00 p.m. to book and go for the first flight out in the morning,

But what if you want to float away instead of fly away?

Gesele says a travel agency is the way to go to book a cruise, since they can get you money back if ticket prices go down.

"More often than not, we get to just lower that price with the cruiseline," said Gesele.

A quick Google search will reveal various online travel sites can do the same for you.  Early reservations give you your choice of the best cabins on board.

As for hotel reservations, here are a couple of tips: call the hotel itself, not its toll-free number, to book.  Ask for the director of sales or the manager on duty, not reservations.

Any hotel that says you'll never get a better deal than what's online is not telling the truth.

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