Happy hour is good for more than half-price drinks and discount appetizers: it can also yield great savings tips on travel. Of course, you have to meet up with my good friend to yield these benefits, so I’ll spare you the awkwardness of drinks with a complete stranger and relay her savvy strategies in this post.
My friend and former boss is an avid traveler with a particular affinity for cruising. She and her husband cruise annually to the Caribbean and sometimes hop on an additional cruise during the year, so I consider her an authority on this popular vacation mode. Over a glass of the house red, she shared with me how she’s able to book a cruise one year in advance and pay the same price as the last-minute deal seekers. And trust me, her strategy is groundbreaking.
She simply asks.
My friend books her trip through a travel agent and then watches the price of her chosen package — or “class” in cruise-speak — during the months leading up to her trip. When the price drops, she contacts her agent and requests a refund, which she receives as a credit on her charge card. At one point, she was refunded over $2,600 — now that’s savings!
Getting back over 20 Benjamins is more the exception than the rule, but even the smallest return counts. My same friend has $123 in credit from Southwest Airlines as the result of price reductions on booked airfare. Most airlines don’t offer this option but it’s no surprise the customer-friendly Southwest Airlines does. Once you book your itinerary, continue to check the price of the ticket leading up to your trip and contact the airline if the price drops. It’s that easy.
Ultimately, when you feel you’re eligible for a refund or price adjustment, just ask. Doing so could yield some serious savings without sacrificing the quality of your initial investment.