Travel packages have a reputation of being geared toward budget travelers, but luxury seekers can also score huge savings when booking their hotels, flights and rental cars together – up to 30 percent, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Hotels, airlines and car-rental companies have gotten more aggressive at offering discount prices through bundled packages.
Data firm Airlines Reporting Corp. used airline data and Expedia hotel rates to calculate an average savings of 30 percent in trips to London, 24 percent to Paris and 22 percent to Las Vegas, Maui and Cancun, 19 percent to New York and 18 percent to New Orleans.
Airlines and hotels are able to offer deep discounts because consumer and competitors can’t see what the actual prices are since they’re not listed in the reservation system. This goes against the modern trend of do-it-yourself travel, with consumers comparing prices and booking what they think is the best deal themselves.
The Wall Street Journal found that a Thanksgiving trip from Maui to Seattle from Nov. 21 to Nov. 28 was 12 percent less when purchased as a package than a la carte. Seven nights at the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea came out to $7,455 and two nonstop flights on Hawaiian Airlines came to $3,518, totaling $10,973. The same trip booked as a bundle on Expedia totaled $9,657. That’s an extra $1,300 in spending money!
Orbitz says travel packages generated $20 million in savings in the first half of 2015, and sales of packages are growing at a rate greater than 20 percent.
Another incentive for hotels to offer deep discounts on packaged deals: the quality of the customer.
“The package shopper books twice as far in advance, stays twice as long and is less likely to cancel,” Expedia Senior Vice President Greg Schulze told the Wall Street Journal. “So the hotelier gets a good customer.”
The extra benefits extend to the customer too, since they can still collect airline miles (hotel loyalty points may or may not be earned, depending on the program).
Keep in mind, though: cancellations can be tricky—so make sure you really want to go on that trip before you shell out the cash.
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