Save Big by Bundling Your Travel Accommodations
Bundling your flight and hotel often can save you big bucks, but is it right for you?
The internet offers plenty of hacks for budget travel, but none may offer more cost-savings than bundling your airfare and hotel accommodations.
Sites like Travelocity, Orbitz and Expedia claim you can save as much as $200 or more by bundling your next vacation. The four major airlines (Southwest, Delta, United and American) also offer opportunities to book vacation bundles directly through their websites at what they market as discounted rates.
So, how do these sites get away with offering bargain-basement prices?
How it works
Oftentimes, the individual price for a single room or flight when included as part of a bundle is even cheaper than the price listed elsewhere, including the hotel’s and airline’s own websites.
However, when you book through a site like Travelocity or even an airlines’ vacation packages webpage, you are often not shown the price for the individual flight or hotel room. Rather, you are shown the combined total.
Both you, the hotel and the airline benefit from this as you get the best possible price while they feel confident in not having to reveal their lowest price point.
When bundling, airlines and hotels are more willing to unlock lower pricing, allowing them to fill unused rooms and unfilled seats while offering you a getaway with your budget intact.
Is it for you?
Spontaneous travel adventures and last-minute trips are a vacation bundles best friend. Trying to book a flight in the eleventh hour can result in some serious sticker shock, but you’ll save when bundling that flight with a hotel room. This also is ideal for those traveling to popular destinations during peak travel seasons.
Bundling may not be the best option for those looking to cash-in on rewards. As hotels and airlines are likely offering their lowest possible price, redeeming points for more discounted or free nights or flights is a double threat to their bottom line.
However, certain sites like Expedia and Orbitz have their own rewards programs allowing you to earn points toward free travel or other rewards.
These packages also are not for those seeking a flexible itinerary. After booking a travel bundle, you are often locked in for those travel dates and times, a major inconvenience for those looking to add or take away days from their trip.
You’ll also want to consider the terms of your flight as oftentimes the flights included in these packages will have early or late departure times or long layovers.
And, be sure to check the fine print as you may have to pay additional fees like resort fees on top of the price of the total package, but this often varies based on hotel.
When traveling on a budget, it’s always a good idea to explore all your travel options. While there is potential to save a bundle by bundling your travel accommodations, shopping around and setting price alerts can help you save even more.