From our Family Weekender Guide, you might have seen that the annual Travel Madness Expo is happening this weekend (July 7 to 9). And you're probably wondering are the prices for the deals, promos, and packages lower? Will you find your family vacation that won't break the bank here? From what frequent travelers told us and based on our personal experience, yes, you can get a bargain here. But there are some research you need to do beforehand so you pick the right deal for your family.
1. You need to be flexible with your travel dates. Based on our experience, that means choosing dates that are probably at least half a year away. You may even find better bargain deals if your travel dates don't fall on the weekend. As one frequent traveler told us, be ready with several schedule options.
2. Learn the airport for budget airlines of your desired destination. In Japan, for example, one of the editors said airfares for planes landing at Narita Airport are often more expensive than those heading to Haneda Airport. You can easily access Tokyo from both airports. Depending on where you are staying, it can take less than an hour to get to Tokyo by bus from Haneda.
3. Check plane ticket costs online. This way, when you’re already at the expo and standing in front of a counter, you won't keep asking yourself is this a good deal or not. If you can't decide, frequent traveler Lhen shares to one of our contributing writers that in her experience it's the long haul flights and local beach packages like Palawan that are sulit. So, if you're just looking at Hong Kong, it may not be worth the long lines.
4. An expo is a great way to compare prices. Here’s another reason why an expo is a great venue for trips that are at least six months away. There will be a lot of travels agencies participating, which means you’ll be able to really get an idea of what you want out of your vacation. You’ll be able to canvas for great deals and have a picture of what’s on offer (activities, tourist destinations, etc.) at your vacation destination.
In our experience, when your travel date is just a few weeks away, an expo may only get you flustered to commit to a travel package without checking to see if there are better deals. A number of choices can get too overwhelming!
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5. Don’t bring the kids. The expo is packed with people. You don't want to worry about your child's safety. Also, you’ll be doing a lot of idle walking around and talking with travel agents. It can be tiring enough for a grown-up, let alone a kiddo! Yes, there will be food booths and sitting areas, but they will not be enough to keep the children happy.
Now, if you are the type who are easily scared by hordes of people and sales folks talking a mile a minute, there are instances where you may be able to score the same promos offered at the venue even if you’re sitting at home. Mom Jan shares, “In my experience, the flight will cost the same online on the day of the expo itself.” And some of the travel agencies may offer the same deals in the expo that you can get by calling them or heading to their office. Look: