By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Memorial Day weekend brings the unofficial kickoff to the summer travel season.
If you’re booking a trip for the whole family this summer, 3 On Your Side consumer reporter Jim Donovan has some simple ways to save.
During peak summer travel periods, it can be tough to find a reasonable airfare, let alone finding them for a family of three, four or more.
Travel website Orbitz says fare-hunters can find the best deals by avoiding days with the heaviest bookings.
“According to our data, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are the busiest days for travel over the summer season. So people that may be looking to travel on those less-volume days will maybe find some cheaper fares, if you look Sunday through Wednesday,” said Orbitz Senior Travel Editor, Jeanenne Tornatore.
Orbitz also surveyed summer travelers on how they plan to cut costs when they arrive at their destination.
“A lot of people told us the ways they’re going to save this summer by using rewards points, but also things that you see families do very often like bringing their own food, or eating some of their meals in their hotel rooms, looking for condominiums,” said Tornatore.
Families might consider suite-style accommodations, to allow more family members to stay for one rate, and also to take advantage of in-room kitchens to cut the cost of dining out. And a search just a little beyond your ultimate destination, could turn up lower room rates.
“A lot of people want to stay right on the beach. A lot of times in these beach destinations, if you’re willing to stay across the street from the beach, that can save you a lot of money off of your hotel rate off your room,” said Tornatore.
Also look for hotels that bundle a room rate with free breakfast or tickets to theme parks and nearby attractions.