Scoring A Deal On Your Next Race (Or Any) Vacation

The TriWives are very pleased to welcome back guest blogger, Tariq Ali, triathlete and creator of the website, 3Dealz.  This time he’s back with some great tips for booking your next race vacation and scoring a deal at the same time.  You can you know.  Enjoy and learn….

3dealzPicMonkey Collage

Tariq and his family…

5 TIPS FOR SCORING A DEAL ON YOUR NEXT RACE VACATION

For most of us, signing up for an Ironman means a destination vacation for the rest of the family.  Successful travel vacation planning should involve hitting all the online travel search sites to score the best travel deal.  However, the process isn’t that simple, and just because you found it on Hotel.com or Travelocity, it doesn’t mean you scored a good deal.

I recently booked our travel/vacation trip for an upcoming race and these are some of the things I learned:

  • Most of us know to shop around on different travel comparison search sites to find the best hotel rate, plane ticket, or car rental.  However, many times you will find the best deal on the airline or hotel website.  So, before you rush and book your next vacation using Travelocity or Hotel.com, check out the airline vacation section and see what type of offer they have.  In my case, going through American Airlines Vacation to book the flight and hotel was cheaper by about $500 for a family of four.
  • Check rates on different dates.  Flying on Wednesdays seems to be the cheapest.  So, if your dates are flexible, try to fly out on Wednesday.  I experimented with different dates and for a 7-day vacation, flying on Wednesday gave me cheaper results than flying any other day of the week, even if staying for less than 7-days.
  • Book Early.  Many hotels/resorts offer discounted rates if you book way in advance.  You can save close to 50% if you book 7+ months in advance than booking closer to the travel date.
  • When booking for a trip, go through the booking process and enter your information; name, email, and opt-in to receive special offers, but don’t pay.  Then wait a few days for the website to start emailing you.  In most cases, you will get some coupon or offer to book a trip with them.
  • Use specialized websites.  The lesser known sites might have better deals than the big and popular ones.  Check out Roomkey.comEnduranceSportsTravel.comGetaRoom.com, and HotelTonight.com.  Some of these sites were created by hotel chains like Hilton and Hyatt just to offer discounted rooms.

It helps to do your research and know exactly which hotel, date, and airline you want to use.  That way, you can just narrow your search on them.  Do your homework and research hotels on TripAdvisor.  RoadScholar.org is another website you can get some tips from on hotels and places to stay at and things to do.

 – TARIQ

Tariq Ali is an Ironman athlete and an avid follower of technology.  He discovered triathlons in 2009 and has since competed in many Ironman 70.3 races and completed his first full Ironman in 2012.  He founded 3Dealz, a triathlon coupon and deal website.  You can follow his training and racing on Twitter @tariqhali.

 Do you have any other tips? Please share below!